Trade Buying Trends
The way trade buyers operate is changing – it is a shift driven by a combination of technology, trends in consumer purchasing activity, an improving economy and access to stock funding. These were the key lessons taken from NextGear Capital’s UK wide auction tour during June.
In total the tour took in 20 auctions in just 2 weeks covering some 5289 miles. The team were able to talk with hundreds of trade buyers and the auction businesses that serve them, gaining important first hand subjective insights on the marketplace. The undoubted conclusion is that buyers are increasing their activity but in light of increasing supply, they are able to be more selective in their stock buying. They are also far more confident in buying remotely, albeit they value the camaraderie and insights to be gained by being on the auction floor first hand and continue to see this as a key part of a wider mix of activity.
The top 5 findings arising from the tour were:
- Trade buyers are seeking to increase their stock levels ahead of seasonal levels
- Confidence is higher than in the previous year– a reflection on post election activity and increasing consumer footfall;
- Buyers can be more selective in stock purchasing as a result of increasing supply; importantly they need to be more selective to buy ‘on demand’ to meet consumer needs;
- Digital and 24x 7 access to stock are now seen as a core activity – tools that support this such as NextGear Capital’s StockMaster inventory funding tool are seen as vital to aid the new level of flexibility;
- Dealers are looking to review their stock funding now that supply is increasing; albeit some still like to be seen to be paying cash (even if they are using stock funding!)
Reflecting on the first hand insights gained, NextGear Capital’s Sales Director Nigel Warrington notes;
“What we have seen from this first hand ‘voice of the customer’ activity is that dealers are reacting to an improving market with real entrepreneurial spirit. Contrary to some perceptions, dealers are keen to leverage new technology, albeit they do value some support and the added account management. They have also embraced change in the way they buy stock. Much of this has been driven by the emergence of the well-informed consumer in the showroom.
Dealers recognise the need to buy smarter and be more agile in their stock purchasing and inventory management to preserve margins in an increasingly commoditised marketplace. Suppliers who can help them in any of this activity are highly valued.”