Remote Work Mandates Drive Productivity Hardware Sales in U.S. B2B Tech Indirect Market

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PC sales up 16% year-over-year, reaching $2.4 billion, according to NPD.

By shoring up additional security and data protection software, businesses are hoping to ensure the same levels of protection they experienced while working in-office.

As the spread of COVID-19 forced Americans to shelter-at-home during the first quarter of the year, work-from-home and distance learning requirements drove the need to quickly equip remote working environments. According to The NPD Group’s U.S. B2B Distributor and Reseller Tracking Service (1), top growth categories during Q1’20 across hardware included total PCs (2), with sales up 16% year-over-year to a revenue of $2.4B. Further reinforcing the need for additional hardware as more people moved to a work-from-home situation, landline headset equipment grew 50.9% and stereo headphones grew 65.4% compared to the prior year.

“As everyone’s jobs and schedules have been flipped upside-down, procuring additional hardware to set-up suitable work-from-home and distance learning environments became a priority, driving additional demand in the channel,” said Mike Crosby, Director and B2B Technology Industry Analyst, The NPD Group.

Underscoring an increased need to secure work-from-home stations not necessarily covered under an organization’s traditional network security safety-net, U.S. B2B software sales were driven primarily by storage, data protection, and security demands in the first quarter of the year. According to the report, storage and data protection software sales grew 12.5% year-over-year in Q1’20, while security software sales grew 5.3%, representing nearly a quarter of the sales in the software market during this time.

“With more points of entry, an organization’s network becomes increasingly vulnerable to attacks,” added Crosby. “By shoring up additional security and data protection software, businesses are hoping to ensure the same levels of protection they experienced while working in-office.”

(1) Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. B2B Distributor Track® and Reseller Tracking service, dollar sales, Jan.-March 2020 vs. Jan.-March 2019.
(2) Total PC market includes workstations, thin-clients, notebooks, desktops.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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Lauren Leetun, APR
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