Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales
Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales

Sourcing Activity Barometer: how buying behaviour is changing

The Sourcing Activity Barometer is based on the searches performed on the B2B platforms wlw and europages. It showcases purchasing trends and market developments, which can provide valuable information for buyers and sellers. Read more about this below.

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europages and wlw: what precisely does the Sourcing Activity Barometer measure?

Demand defines supply – this basic principle serves as the basis for the free market economy. Suppliers of goods or services who can quickly react to trends in demand and to the latest market developments have an advantage. Here is where the Sourcing Activity Barometer from Visable GmbH comes into play. On a quarterly basis, it lists what German and international medium-sized enterprises in the B2B segment are currently searching for the most. The Sourcing Activity Barometer is based on searches from nearly four million buyers who are on the lookout for products, suppliers and services every month on the B2B platforms europages and wlw.

Significant is not only the most frequently searched for products in the previous quarter, but also the highest growth in product research – information which can be used to determine trends. Also interesting are the changes in the Top 10 countries buying or selling, with the aim to evaluate the potential of individual markets.

DACH region: panic buying also noticeable for B2B

The searches on wlw in the first quarter of 2022, the leading B2B platform in the DACH region, were strongly shaped by the Ukraine war and its resulting supply shortages, as well as material shortages in some segments. The demand for cooking oil, such as sunflower and rape seed oil, experienced an increase of several hundred per cent compared to the same time last year. The cause for this is apparently panic buying and hoarding amongst consumers. In food retail, the sales of cooking oil in the week of 7 to 13 March 2022 more than doubled compared to September 2021.

The intensive search for solar modules (plus of 302 per cent), for the installation of solar systems (plus of 218 per cent) and for photovoltaics (plus of 163 per cent) is presumably due to the immense increase in energy prices. And looking at the eighth calendar week in 2022, demand for bulletproof vests even grew seven-fold compared to 2021.

The high growth in demand was also seen in CNC precision parts (plus of 367 per cent), computer solutions (plus of 315 per cent) and maintenance (275 per cent).

The five most frequently searched for products or product groups in the first quarter of 2022 (wlw):

1. Engineering

2. Photovoltaics

3. Food

4. Medical Technology

5. Discontinued Items (Sale Articles)

Strong increase Europe-wide in searches for electronic components

The Sourcing Activity Barometer for europages, the world’s largest international B2B sourcing platform, shows a somewhat different picture. Europe-wide, passive electronic components and printed circuits experienced the largest growth – 171 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021 – followed by plant-based oils (plus of 126 per cent) and candles (plus of 122 per cent).

Also interesting is which countries are performing the most searches and which changes have occurred here. France is in first place, like in the previous year, followed by Germany, which has moved past Italy (3rd place). The biggest move up is seen in the USA (10th place), which ranked 20 in this list last year.

The five most frequently searched for products or product groups in the first quarter of 2022 (europages):

1. Cosmetics

2. Foodstuffs Import / Export

3. Fruits and Vegetables Import / Export

4. Textiles and Clothing Import / Export

5. Foot Items Import / Export


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