The U.S. B2B Tech Indirect Market Grew 3% Through Q3 2019, According to NPD

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Software Dollar Sales Continued to Outpace Hardware Sales, Up 9% and 1% Respectively

Opportunities in B2B verticals – areas like education and hospitality – are driving spikes in both hardware (notebooks and tablets) and software (content and collaboration), which we expect to continue as we round out the year and head into 2020

According to The NPD Group’s B2B Distributor and Reseller Tracking Service the U.S. B2B technology market saw 3% dollar sales growth through the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same timeframe a year prior. During this timeframe, software dollar sales continued to outpace hardware sales, up 9% and 1% respectively[1].

Through Q3 2019, IT operations and networking software made up the largest dollar share of all B2B software and cloud services sales. However, in September security software sales surpassed that of IT operations, likely a result of increased federal spending at the end of the federal buying season. While all software categories experienced growth through Q3 2019, storage and data protection sales grew 4 points slower than the total software category. Declining average sales prices are contributing to slowing growth in this segment of the market with ASPs down 26% in the data protection and recovery subcategory year over year.

In hardware, tablets and e-readers saw strong sales through Q3 2019 compared to year ago, up 18%. This increase has been realized as a result of new use cases in education, healthcare, hospitality and construction. Additionally, as companies move away from one size fits all solutions and invest in custom alternatives to fit their needs, total build to order (BTO) PC dollar sales grew 16%. Conversely, over the same timeframe, total PC (preconfigured) sales were down 1%.

“While growth in the channel has shown signs of slowing, we expect 2019 will close out up year over year fueled by new model launches and increasing competition,” said Kate Roe-Semyon, President, B2B Technology Practice, The NPD Group. “Additionally, opportunities in B2B verticals – areas like education and hospitality – are driving spikes in both hardware (notebooks and tablets) and software (content and collaboration), which we expect to continue as we round out the year and head into 2020.”

[1] Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. B2B Distributor Track® and Reseller Tracking service, Jan.-Sept. 2019 vs. Jan.-Sept. 2018. Sales are adjusted for 5wk Jan. 2018 vs. 4wk Jan. 2019.

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 npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup and @npdtech.

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