Coronavirus drives surge in online construction plant buyers
The coronavirus lockdown has driven a shift in the way construction firms buy machinery, with one auctioneer reporting that its mobile app users have risen by 90% year on year.
Ritchie Bros temporarily moved all auctions online when the coronavirus crisis began, but said businesses were still buying machines “in great numbers”.
In March, it held timed auctions that close on a set date and time in France, the UK and Germany. The auctions featured 5,300 auction lots, sold on behalf of 460 equipment owners, with 6,200 bidders, more than half of whom were from abroad.
The company says its mobile app users have risen by 90% year on year. Website visits and web account creations have increased by 15% and 19% respectively.
The firm has invested in online technology and was already seeing around 78% of winning bids being placed online before coronavirus hit.
Managing director Jeroen Rijk said: “March auctions have shown massive online participation from all over the world and achieved strong selling prices. Although it’s strange and uncertain times for our industry, there’s still a lot of projects around the world being carried out. Businesses are looking for places where they can safely buy equipment that is quickly available to them.”