you just purchase the ticket from your driver who will load and unload your luggage for you.
You do not purchase your ticket from the driver. You purchase it from the machines at the bus station, now that the manned ticket office at LHR has closed, or on your 'phone/mobile device. On most National Express services it would be very unusual to purchase from the driver, especially where there is a terminal building with ticket purchasing facilities.
I can't remember last time I saw purchase from the driver happening.
I think I know what I am talking about, being a regular National Express user across the country (in fact I am on them tomorrow), including on the Bath route, and I do promote them whenever possible on suitable routes.
Buying in advance with the flexible £5 option gets you better fares than on the day, and as I say, covers you against unexpected spikes in demand. Several times I have been on NatEx on strike days when they are booked solid.
In practice people haven't turned up on those days, so the system says 'sold out' (even the on site machines), but turning up with the flexible option, coach side, when the coach has loaded, finds the odd unclaimed seat.
That happened with me the other week out of Leeds. On that day even people with non-flexible tickets were just allowed to travel on the first available bus if they turned up bus side to buses that were booked full.
That is when booking ahead DOES pay off. Buy on the day today (for the 1st suitable bus this morning) and you'll pay as much as almost £37, buy today for 2 weeks time and as low as £16 can be found (for the first suitably timed bus).
In the ultimate take whichever modal choice which suits you.