Direct Sale Brand Ribble Launches Live Video Shopping Service

Jan 17, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

The UK based direct to consumer brand, Ribble Cycles, has today launched a new service that will allow customers to connect with ‘In-store experts’ from their own home.

Ribble claims that it will allow you to “enjoy the benefits of going in-store from the comfort of your own home”. The service works by you connecting to a one-way video call (You can see them but they can’t see you) with Ribble staff letting you ask any questions you may have and see any bikes you are interested in.

At first, it will just be using staff at their Preston showroom but they are planning to expand this to others in the near future. As well as offering customers the option to browse their stores from home Ribble are also going to offer extended opening hours for their virtual showrooms with the live calls being available later in the evening and on Sundays when the shops would normally be closed.

Andy Smallwood, CEO Ribble Cycles, said: “As a leading direct-to-consumer, digital-first business, Ribble is the first in our sector to offer an authentic retail experience in an online format. Ribble Live In-Store offers the consumer the opportunity to gain access to a physical store, a dedicated expert Ribble brand champion and the complete product range via their own phone, tablet or laptop,”

The technology behind the service is being supplied to Ribble through the customer engagement platform Go Instore, a customer engagement platform, which currently works with a whole range of high profile brands from Dyson to Porsche.

Andre Hordagoda, Go Instore Co-founder, said: “As a keen cyclist and having been through the consultative process of buying road bikes over the years, I fully appreciate the need for professional support in getting sizing and configuration just right. From the early conceptual days of Go Instore we always felt we would work well with a leader in this category – so it’s great to be partnering with an award-winning brand such as Ribble and we are excited to deliver their excellent customer service to consumers worldwide.”

As direct to consumer brands become a bigger part of the industry, the ability for customer to see and talk to a member of staff and have them talk you through their range of bikes offers an interesting future with an element of customer service, normally only available if the bike is in a brick and mortar store.

Find out more about the new 'Live In-Store Expert' service from Ribble here.


  • 181 4
 Ooooh yeah, is that mountain bike going to get dirty? Now, show me the bottom bracket.... That's it, now give that spoke nipple a twist.
  • 7 1
  • 7 0
 a little more to the right...
  • 20 0
 @bigtim And this is why you can see them, but they can't see you.
  • 16 2
 Oh... sorry 5 inches in the rear isn't enough.....give me 8!
  • 23 17
 @meSSican: you wouldn’t say that in jail...
  • 1 0
 Yeah really give it to the suspension.
  • 1 0
 Don't look me in the eye!! Now call me daddy. Big Grin
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Did you just assume his preferences?
  • 86 2
 I shop online so that I don't have to interact with people.
  • 72 0
 I shop online so I don’t have to put on pants.
  • 6 0
 I shop online cause I have no bike shops close to my home.. And pants/interactions too !
  • 6 1
 I shop online so I don't have to pay sales tax.
  • 28 0
 @Almazing: I shop online to meet young single mums in my area
  • 3 18
flag AutumnMedia (Jan 17, 2020 at 19:04) (Below Threshold)
 so you dont want to interact with people - but you want things - and that requires people to make them - people to give them to you - an illusion you dont interact with them is in your own little world - keep going down this road and the people who ride bikes wont see you at all - youll just be on the internet...
  • 3 0
 @AutumnMedia: You're alright my man !? You should be fine just go on with your day
  • 71 1
 middle aged men with bluetooth headsets make me uncomfortable
  • 4 0
 Should go to Asia.. they are everywhere there....
  • 9 0
 How much you wanna bet he's got a size XXXXXXL phone in a belt holster?
  • 7 0
  • 12 0
 @seraph: "Billy Mays here with a long low and slack bike for you to crush your friends on the descents"
  • 1 0
 @saladdodger: hahahah !
  • 51 0
 Those poor sales people.
  • 9 0
 Indeed. ‘Brand opens one-way call centre with additional anti-social hours’.
  • 4 7
 You clearly dont work in sales, this is a great alternative to making sales and in turn commission. Especially important due to the ever decreasing retail foot fall. But yeah terrible for those sales guys to have more opportunities to make money lol.
  • 6 0
 It’s going to be so much less fun for these employees to actually have to stand up and leave their shit posting on pink bike to actually have to interact with a customer. . .
  • 3 5
 Only on PB would a logical comment on sales and basic principles of economics get a negative rating. Jokers
  • 24 0
 I can't express how much I do NOT want this service.
Did they do any market research prior to launching?
  • 3 0
 You don't have to use it - can still view/order the traditional way.
  • 2 1
 @ryan77777: ah traditional, like in a shop talking to a person and showing them your bike and they can touch your bike and experience what you do
  • 15 0
 Will they be able to get a virtual shop dog sniffing my pants?
  • 12 3
 Bought a roadbike off them for my daughter a few years back and she had a fall racing six months later. Needed a new derailleur hanger so called them up to be told they hadn't got any and maybe I could find one on BETD. Surprisingly enough they had nothing either. Pitiful customer service so I wouldn't waste a penny in their direction now.
  • 5 9
flag maxtodamax (Jan 17, 2020 at 11:14) (Below Threshold)
 Bad customer service just because they didn’t have the part you wanted in stock?
  • 15 0
 @maxtodamax: Bad customer service because they are the manufacturer, distributor and vendor of a product, and they don't support it with a commonly damaged item.

Being Canadian, you probably weren't aware that Ribble "makes" their own brand bikes/frames that they sell direct. If they don't carry the derailleur hanger (I thought Brits called them mech hangers?) it becomes an impossible item to source. Thus writing off the bike for want of a $20 piece.
  • 4 0
 @nouseforaname: Exactly that and they are 20 miles from me but weren’t in the slightest bit interested either.
  • 2 1
 @BertRoot: In that case yeah get mad, it's justified. I was going off the assumption that their showroom isn't connected to a warehouse and was more like a separate shop.
  • 5 0
 @maxtodamax: I guess you've never had to find a rare derailleur hanger. Not stocking a proprietary part is a huge no-no for a brand.
  • 1 5
flag maxtodamax (Jan 18, 2020 at 19:15) (Below Threshold)
 @DGWW: If it's a rare part call ahead before going 20 miles out of your way maybe?
  • 3 0
 @maxtodamax: not sure what you're referring to, he called the mfg and they said they didn't have it..meaning noone would have it.
  • 1 0
 I rang the shop, they do have one in Preston, and said they didn’t have them and nor would they ever so they suggested BETD. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the bike was a close out piece but it wasn’t.
  • 16 5
 Considering the level of "expertise" I've witnessed my entire life at LBSs ... Forgive me for being sceptical
  • 27 2
 Well your going to the wrong shops then
  • 8 0
 @jlawie: there are not many to choose from mostly... there isn't even a single shop I'd trust to do a tubeless setup where I live, and that's not that small of a city.
  • 4 0
 @jzPV: That's a bummer... I have a dozen MTB specific shops near me, but only 2 or 3 are any good, and they are not the bigger more prosperous ones.
  • 2 1
 @jzPV: Proper tubeless setups are so foolproof these days I'm having a hard time believing that there's not a single shop who can pull it off to your standards especially since it's pretty binary; it either holds or it doesn't. You can't really do it better or worse.
  • 4 0
 @fullfacemike: you underestimate their incompetence. I have even seen a wheel set with cotton rim strips under the tape...others say a tubeless setup is always luck and you can't guarantee that they work. And lose proprietary hub caps in the process...
  • 2 0
 @jzPV: That's rough. Tubeless used to have a little luck involved but we've come so far. It's a marvel shops like that can keep the doors open and I feel for you.
  • 2 0
 @fullfacemike: people who buy expensive mountain bikes here and ride a lot tend to do everything themselves. Heck, it's often impossible to test ride any of those bikes from brands that are featured here except Specialized and Trek, when you are lucky some Giants and Mondrakers. Bike shops in Germany sell 90 % city and touring bikes, one shop owner (Cube dealer) even recently told me he's not interested if it doesn't have a motor.
There was one little shop few years ago catering to the freeride/dirt jump scene but the owner gave up the business because he couldn't keep parts to all those different standards and wheel sizes in stock so service was difficult and dealer prices for Shimano/Fox and Sram parts for small shops were often higher than the average price on the internet. He showed me the receipt for an Acros headset I ordered... 94 € for him with a recommended price of 99 € for the consumer.

German online shops like bike components are very knowledgable on the other hand, it's easy to talk to someone and the service is second to none.
  • 12 8
 Why not..., but I always prefer to have the salesman in front of me to ask him tricky questions he mostly can`t answer. I know it`s sadistic, but I`m a salesman myself and I love to check how dishonnest or ignorant some of my fellow-salesmen can be. That`s my little pleasure, whip me if you want Smile
  • 1 1
 This could be a fun drinking game.
  • 12 2
 If you're a salesman you must be aware of how much it sucks when some douche comes in and wastes your time "testing" you. Maybe if people didn't do that the LBS could focus on actually making some money?
  • 4 1
 @fullfacemike: I dunno, some of them deserve having their time wasted.

Example - I was at one of the shops near me, just casually browsing, and was looking as some five.tens. Personally I am a fan of the freeriders, but that's not important. As I am looking at the freeriders, the bro shop kid comes up saying "dude those are like my favorite shoes".

We then pickup another set of a dif model, and he's all "those are my favorite shoes".

At this point I am noticing a pattern, so I grab a set of the adidas branded five tens and sure enough " these new ones are totally my favorite".

At least that kid was trying to make a sale, at another shop I was with my 5 yo trying on kids helmets and all the hardworking staff couldn't get off their ass from having a coffee and petting the shop dog (admittedly it is a super nice dog). To even say hi to us. So we got sizing and I purchased the helmet online at a substantially lower cost.
  • 3 0
 @onemind123: No one deserves to have their time wasted. Have you considered that you could provide some constructive feedback? It's not your job, no, but it takes the same amount of time to check his response on every pair of shoes as it does to say, "Hey your selling technique is awful and certainly not helpful." As it stands, you think he's an awful salesman and he thinks you're the kind of dick that tries things on then buys them online and that's not great for a community. That shop's got some problems, no doubt, but a little feedback can go a long way.
  • 1 0
 Lemme guess, Can you do a barre roll?
  • 3 1
 @fullfacemike: reading comprehend much?

The guy that did talk to me I neither tried anything on, nor did I buy the shoes online elsewhere.

The bike shop where I tried helmets on my son nobody even acknowledged our existence so f*ck ya I bought it online. At least the online place sent a thank you email for using them.
  • 2 3
 @onemind123: I did miss the "another shop" part but that doesn't negate my point at all, in fact it means that you had two opportunities to be a part of the solution and chose not to on either. Also the online shop's thank you email was probably automated so...
  • 6 0
 Fyi They dont sell mountainbikes. Except one hardtail.
  • 3 1
 But it's nice looking HT at that.
  • 17 16
 They had a bricks and mortar store in Leeds until recently, personally, I prefer my LBS, the warm welcome I receive being a repeat customer is worth the little extra I pay and is far more engaging than some wannabe actor trying to sell me what they have rather than what I want, plus, road bikes are not on my radar, unless I'm driving where each one is worth ten points.
  • 1 0
 They have one in Birmingham too, but you can't try the bikes so pointless apart from looking at it. I bought from elsewhere in the end, sadly.
  • 1 0
 @beggers87: Totally agree, pointless not offering a demo, it would at least help the customer determine what he / she wants, does make you wonder what their returns policy, to direct sale customers, will be if they don't offer demos from their bricks and mortar stores.
  • 1 0
 @Gavalar66: Yeah I was quite dissapointed, supposedly I could've went to the Peaks and got one from their main-store or use their 30 day return. But it was hassle I couldn't be bothered with. Don't see the point in a store if I can't try the bikes.
  • 1 0
 Tthey have a store in Bluewater Shopping Centre, proper pretentious,
  • 13 2
 You almost sounded like a genuinely good, community-oriented person until that last bit about hitting road bikers with your car. Now you sound like a smug dick.
  • 8 3
 Hitting riders while driving?! I don’t care what kind of rider you are and who you do/don’t like. Delete your garbage post you garbage human.
  • 5 9
flag Boosting (Jan 17, 2020 at 11:57) (Below Threshold)
 Guys, it's a joke not a dick. Don't take it so hard!
  • 7 0
 @fullfacemike: It's so weird to me when folks who (seem to) love mountain biking in particular have so much contempt for cycling in general.

Riding a bike is awesome. Some rides are more awesome than others. But it's still all awesome.
  • 3 7
flag markg1150 (Jan 18, 2020 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
I'd think the UK in genreal hates road cyclist's. Especially the weekend lycra brigade.
Think it might be worse here in uk as are roads are so narrow, twisty and busy that getting stuck behind a strung odd spaced pack of them is ...... They ignore every rule of the road, have no insurance , get themself's into accidents with there own stupidity and blame the vehicle drivers road conditions ect every time. It's NEVER there fault.
I'm a terrible human being for dreaming of mowing them down but so are they with there behavior and attitudes to everyone else on the road.
  • 3 4
 @fullfacemike:@GPP2117 Did I say I hit riders with my car, it's part of road cyclists and motorists here in the UK, road cyclists are despised as they have no thought for any other road user, here in my home town we have a road cycling club with some 3500 members and every weekend you can guarantee they ride along country lanes 5 a-breast causing traffic jams and chaos, and when you ask them to show some cycling etiquette they just give you the finger, it's your choice to call me a smug dick, garbage human but until you have ridden behind 150+ riders for forty minutes over a 5 mile stretch whilst trying to get to work your comment has absolutely no merit
  • 2 4
 @Gavalar66: I have your back mate .roadies are f*cking wankers . I get them streaming down the a21 in barky at the front .f*cking c*nts .
  • 3 0
 @Gavalar66: So being inconvenienced justifies killing someone in your mind? Genuinely curious how you justify that.
  • 4 2
 @markg1150: You are f*cked up if you dream of mowing people down, plain and simple. Having such a blatant disregard for another human's life - no matter how much of a wanker you think they are - is staggering. Even if you're just saying it because you think it's cool to hate roadies or whatever, that's the first step on a very short path to seriously f*cking someone's life up.
  • 2 0
 @pigman65: cheers for the support, it would appear that our American counterparts don't get the British sense of humour or understand the continuous fight with ignorant roadies.
  • 1 0
 @fullfacemike: where in my post does it mention thatI hit or aim my car at a roadie, you're also commenting on something that appears to be unique to the UK, maybe if you ever visit our little part if the world you may just get the joke.
  • 1 0
 @GPP2117: where in any of my posts have I mention killing another, it's very obviously unique to the UK and our sense of humour, when driving along and we see roadies riding 5 abreast we simply say, 10 points for every one, it's a theoretical video game we play whilst driving, it's that simple.
  • 2 1
 @Gavalar66: Everywhere I've ever been, when you see any kind of pedestrian or cyclist and say "10 points" you're referring to how many points would be awarded for hitting them. I find it a little hard to believe that there's not even an undercurrent of that in the UK and that you're entirely baffled by this completely foreign notion but hey, if you are I'm sorry for mistakenly directing my ire at you. Your fellow countrymen on this thread don't seem nearly as confused by it so just assume all my responses are to them.
  • 2 2
Ha dumb snowflake bought it hook line and sinker . To easy
  • 1 1
 @fullfacemike: Don't worry about it, here in the UK it's a daily battle between motorists and cyclists, maybe it's unique to our little island, the same battle goes on off road between MTB riders and Ramblers {walkers} as they, the Ramblers, always refuse to make way or give way when out on the trail, there are even trails where I live that Ramblers walk up the trail putting themselves in danger, their argument is that it's public land, when you point out that they are designated MTB trails they then just become unreasonable and in some cases sabotage the trails with the intention of causing injury, the struggle continues both on the trails and on the roads, maybe it's just a quirk unique to us here in the UK.
  • 2 1
 @markg1150: Oh yeah, that totally makes it sound like I'm the idiot and you're not a sociopath.
  • 1 0
 @Gavalar66: yes , i live 10 miles from the centre of London, they are feral mate.
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: London roadies are on a different level, just annoying bastards.
  • 1 0
 I can't imagine how many people will waste their time with this. I can't imagine how they'd verify you as being even half serious to use this service. I get that they are direct sell and this is one of the only ways they can show stuff in person, I'm sure a room full of clever marketing people have the buyer vetting process figured out though.
  • 5 1
 Ribble sounds like the name you give to the sound of a flowing creek.
  • 5 0
 Funny you should say that, they're named after a river
  • 3 0
 The live chat many companies have is great. They can get all the info you need and not wear pants!
  • 1 0
 As a person on the other end of that... Some benefits flow both ways.
  • 3 0
 Hook it up to your peloton and you can even take it for a test ride!
  • 3 0
 But can you test ride the bike and try it on to see if it actually fits?
  • 1 0
 Sounds like you can't do that at the bricks and mortar stores either so...
  • 1 0
 What we really need is Live Video Educational service so kids can learn from home and we can eliminate school zones, traffic jams, and school buses.
  • 1 0
 Like it or not this is the future... unless you choose to NOT buy everything online. It may seem crazy because it’s a first but give it time.
  • 1 0
 "Don't worry we won't be able to see you" me opening Snapchat to see my crusty ass every time thanks you.
  • 1 0
 What is this 1999? Reminds me of the dot com boom era of and
  • 1 0
 I hope he has thick ears. Damned if I wannabe a poster boy for shop shit flak.
  • 1 0
 South African! Lekker Jaco, en sterkte!
  • 3 6
 Looking forward to the "SuPpOrT yOuR LbS" brigade in here
  • 1 0
 Truth be told buying online is already quicker and easier half the time. Are you good with not having a LBS the other half?

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