DUBAI: Plant & Equipment, a leading online marketplace and industry news platform for the construction equipment markets in the Middle East and Africa, has launched a revamped website, www.PlantAndEquipment.com with enhanced tools to buy or sell used and new machinery and commercial vehicles online.
It comes as businesses and buyers are increasingly seeking online platforms to continue their trade, with the coronavirus pandemic having caused the postponement of many trade fairs and sales events, where traditionally deals are completed over a handshake.
The pandemic may accelerate the trend towards digital sales platforms for business-to-business (B2B) sellers, which lags behind trends in the consumer space in the Middle East and Africa, says Zayd Kuba, Managing Director of Middle East Strategic Advertising (MESA), the publisher of Plant & Equipment.
“Businesses are looking for online platforms where they can generate not only exposure for their brand but also receive direct enquiries and actually conclude sales,” said Kuba.
Plant & Equipment first launched its website two years ago, and since then traffic has grown rapidly, from just a handful of enquiries each month to now averaging around 300 enquiries per day, with around 120,000 visitors per month. The new website features enhanced paid dealer listings and improved search functionality, so that visitors can search for whatever brand or piece of equipment they want, while sorting by metrics such as price, age, hours or mileage. “Many of our site visitors are buyers looking for specific products, not just generic construction traffic,” he said.
The platform has listings from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as machinery or commercial vehicle dealers and distributors, including Al Tayer Motors, Al-Bahar and Al Naboodah in the UAE.
The website is unique in that it covers such as broad geography, including the GCC, wider Middle East, and Africa, says Kuba. Its top five countries for visitor traffic are – in order of traffic – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria. Categories with high levels of enquiries include excavators, cranes, wheel loaders, concrete equipment and trucks.
Despite a possible slow down across the construction sector globally due to the pandemic, Kuba believes this will produce new opportunities for sellers and buyers, and may also see renewed focus from international sellers towards buyers in the Middle East and Africa.
“Many of the dealers that sell on our platform are based in the US or Europe. Typically, when the construction industry in the US booms, their rental fleets grow. If the construction business there takes a hit, we expect machinery exports to grow as rental fleets downsize, meaning it will be a good time for contractors in the Middle East or Africa to look for used equipment from the US or Europe.”
Plant & Equipment is also available as a print magazine, published every two months, which is distributed across Middle East and Africa including industry news and in-depth analysis. To date it has published more than 200 editions of the print magazine.
Top countries by visitors to www.PlantAndEquipment.com
4. South Africa