FROM OUR BLOG

3 Big Insights for the Heavy Equipment Market

A yard of heavy equipment

Today’s heavy equipment market faces big challenges. They need to stand out from the crowd and grow their market share at the same time.

These challenges stem from many businesses listing their products on the same third-party marketplaces that promise big sales, but end up burying their products among competitors. Same equipment, same brands, same everything.

To make matters worse, most dealer websites don’t always show up in search engines for the products they carry while the third-party marketplaces show up first; sometimes they show up a few times if they’re paying for ads. This makes it hard for dealers to sell their products from their own website.

What most don’t know is that third-parties who manage websites and product listings are also absorbing all of the user data that would make their website grow on its own.

“So what,” you say. “Who cares where people click the button to get a quote?”

You should, that’s who.

The Click of a Button

That click of the button amounts to a lot over time. Looking at web traffic analytics reveals that there’s more people visiting your website than you might think – especially if you sell top brand products or parts.

Each time a person views, lingers, clicks, or fills out a form, your website gains credibility with search engines. That’s how websites grow – they gain credibility from people using them and so the search engines show your site to more people.

Plain and simple, clicking the buttons on a website plays a big part in making the website grow. What matters most is who owns the buttons.

If a third-party manages your website or the products on it, then all of that credibility is going to them, not you. This is pretty common practice for digital marketplaces, especially the ones that do web development and marketing.

They do it because it’s easier, from a technical standpoint. They also don’t want people to find your website. No matter if they manage your whole site or your products with a plugin or code, they absorb the credibility that comes from people using it.

It’s hard to gain a competitive edge when the resources that help you sell your products to more people also make it harder to sell them on your own. However, it is possible to grab a bigger piece of the pie, attract more loyal customers, and grow your customer base.

Below we talk about 3 effective strategies that can help you grow online independently while working with third-party marketplaces.

Facebook Is Not A Flea Market

Social media is a powerful tool for building a brand and getting people to find your website. A lot of heavy equipment dealers turn their business profiles into flea markets, filled with raw cut photos of machines. They get a lot of likes, but getting people to remember them when it comes time to buy, they do not.

Social media is designed to let everyone in your audience know about your business, whether they’re ready to buy or not. 

It’s far less common for a person to go to a website from social media than it is for them to remember a business and find their website because of social media. Social media helps people remember brands. Sharing a variety of branded posts about your company’s legacy, your successes and celebrations, and the community relationships you’ve built along side awesome shots of machines-in-action is more memorable than snapshots of stuff. People who find you on social media want to know about your business.

Row Your Own Boat

Updating web pages, maintaining a blog, getting links from other sites, and tracking rankings in search engines is called search engine optimization. The goal is to make your website and company more visible than your competition. If you sell products, having them listed properly on your website is a big part of showing up higher in search engine rankings. Web crawlers that create search engine rankings can identify those products and give you all the credit, showing them to more and more people over time.

Getting your website to show up on search engines is challenging if your products aren’t actually listed on your site.

Like we mentioned above, even though you may see your products on your site, it doesn’t mean they are yours. With every click and view, the third-party website drowns yours out of the search results. This keeps you in the same boat as your competitors. 

If you list your products on your own site, your website can start to grow. It can establish your site as a resource hub in search engines. Over enough time, your website will show up when people search for the products you list. In order to grow online, you’ve got to row your own boat.

A Bigger Piece of the Pie

There is a simple truth: relying on one marketplace limits your online visibility, which limits your market share. There are more people online than you think; there are also more people looking for heavy equipment online than you think. There’s no math involved in this. Listing in more marketplaces means a bigger piece of the whole internet pie.

Taking a look at the commercial market share of heavy equipment marketplace websites reveals that there is a enormous amount of daily web traffic spread out across a number of third-parties:

Heavy Equipment Dealers marketplaces and market share of daily web traffic.

Websites like United Rentals, BigRentz and Construction Equipment Guide are in the top three and collectively account for over 66% of the daily commercial web traffic associated with heavy equipment. It is also worth doing a cost comparison of the remaining 44% since marketplaces with a smaller digital footprint are more likely to offer flexibility and competitive pricing.

In short, the online market for heavy equipment is larger than most dealers think. Limiting product listings to a single marketplace and not growing your own website will always leave you with a much smaller slice of the overall pie.

How Heavy Equipment Dealers Can Grow

Growth means increasing market penetration and understanding that companies with less market share have fewer buyers that are less loyal. The goal is to stand out from the crowd and increase your market share at the same time.

We’ve discussed 3 ways to do that:

  • Brand Your Social Media: Maintain a strong, distinctive presence on social media that drives traffic to your website and doesn’t just say you sell stuff.
  • Own Your Website and Products: Take ownership of your products by listing on your own website and not giving away the data that helps your site grow independently.
  • List in Multiple Places: List your products on more than one marketplace so your market share grows beyond your competitors.

Leverage social media, take control of your website, and list in a few marketplaces.

Remember, it’s about putting your brand everywhere your customers are, speaking their language, and expressing the value of your company as much as the value of your products.

Wondering how we can help you grab a bigger piece of the pie? Contact us today to talk about how we can help drive your business forward.

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