COVID-19 has had far-reaching consequences across Australia and has affected almost every industry. For those in the construction industry, work was able to continue as normal. This is all thanks to the Federal Government labelling construction work as essential. However, construction equipment dealers struggled with the lockdowns as face-to-face sales and interaction were nearly impossible.
However, those in the machinery industry are tough, and construction equipment dealers persevered through. As with most businesses, machinery dealers turned to online marketplaces, like Machines4U, to market, sell and hire out their machinery.
By utilizing marketplaces to handle their business needs, construction equipment dealers were able to keep their heads above water and keep the supply of machinery going for the entire construction industry.
Online Marketplaces Provide A Safe Sales Platform For Both The Buyer & Seller
With brick and mortar sales not a possibility during the 2020 lockdown, and continuing with the subsequent lockdowns throughout 2021, online marketplaces became the first choice for both buyers and sellers.
Buyers were able to navigate through hundreds and even thousands of machines to find the make and model that suited their needs – while also being able to view photos, videos and spec sheets to ensure that the machine was in good condition.
In fact, Machines4U found that most users relied on video as their main inspection tool for construction equipment, and found engagement increased by 80% when a video was on the listing. This showcases how vital platforms that enable videos or online inspections truly are.
For sellers, online marketplaces provide a platform where they can list their machinery for hundreds of thousands of potential buyers every month. This benefit was particularly noticeable in the construction equipment hire industry where interest and enquiries spiked and continued to climb, thanks to lockdowns and restrictions affecting the import and transport of machinery from interstate and overseas.
Construction Hire Equipment Popularity On The Rise
Due to the restrictions with importing and transporting heavy machinery from overseas, new stocks were hard to come by. This led to the need for construction companies to establish new ways of operating to ensure they were able to meet the construction demand across Australia.
The solution for most companies was to move away from buying new machinery from overseas suppliers and hire existing machines from local or nearby machinery dealers. And like machinery buyers and sellers of the past, machinery dealers turned to online marketplaces to solve their needs during the COVID lockdowns.
Machines4U construction machinery hire saw a rise in interest over the last 12 months, in part due to the shift away from brick and mortar stores, combined with the need to access current machinery stock, without waiting for overseas shipping.
After seeing the increase in demand for hire equipment and the lack of marketplaces dedicated to ensuring those in the industry could easily find it, Machines4U stepped up to the challenge.
Steve Krebs, Founder and CEO of Machines4U had something to say about the rise in demand for construction hire equipment in their marketplace:
“COVID had a huge impact on the construction industry, and the capital equipment industry as a whole. We’ve seen businesses evolve rapidly, and while they may have been challenged, many have come back stronger than ever.
For instance, we saw many capital equipment businesses experience stock shortages and lengthy shipping delays, which caused a shift into the hire game to maintain cash flow. As a result, we pivoted to provide a platform to support the hire industry and the uptake we were seeing from our customers.”
Another factor in the rise in online marketplaces and the growth of construction equipment hire in Australia was the decrease in auctions held over the last 12 months, as well as the recurring restrictions and lockdowns that prevent auctions from going ahead with ease.
Machinery Dealers Embracing The Online World
With the continued reliance on online marketplaces to provide access to construction equipment across Australia, it’s clear that machinery dealers are embracing the shift to online marketplaces and are becoming better at utilizing it for their needs.
Machinery dealers had to adapt to selling, hiring and buying machinery through online marketplaces like Machines4U. No longer able to depend on showroom sales to showcase machinery, dealers and hire companies have picked up new skills in photography and videography to be able to display their machinery to prospective buyers.
Those who deal with construction equipment or any heavy machinery must understand the ins and outs of machines better than anyone. Even just hearing the sound of machinery during operation can let a potential buyer determine whether that machine is worth their time. Of course, being able to see pictures and photos of the machinery is a huge factor as well.
Thanks to lockdowns and restrictions, machinery dealers have learned to embrace online marketplaces as a core part of their marketing over the past few years. From selling forklifts and excavators to hiring out roadwork equipment and mini loaders, online marketplaces have become a go-to option for many machinery dealers who want to diversify their sales platform and reach the highest number of potential buyers possible.