Through Q3 2018, the U.S. B2B Indirect Market Grew 9 Percent Year Over Year, According to NPD

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Software dollar sales growth exceed hardware, with 14 percent growth compared to 8 percent

The growth we have witnessed year to date is a result, in part, of higher average selling prices in key component areas, due to shortages, and an overall shift toward digital transformation while securing the overall business.

The U.S. B2B indirect market experienced strong growth through the first three quarters of 2018 compared to the same time period in 2017, as evidenced by a 9 percent dollar growth, according to The NPD Group’s B2B Distributor and Reseller Tracking Service. During the period, hardware represented 74 percent of revenue and grew 8 percent, while software represented 26 percent of revenue and grew 14 percent.

In the software market, strong growth was exhibited in the security software (+10 percent) and cloud infrastructure and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) (+18 percent) categories. Notable segments within the security software category were data loss prevention and endpoint protection (+16 percent), identity and access management (+13 percent), and security information and event management (+9 percent).

“From leveraging software to protect against potential security risks or to ensure compliance with federal regulations, throughout 2018 we have seen steady increases in security software sales,” said Michael Diamond, director, industry analysis, B2B Technology for The NPD Group. “In the cloud and PaaS category, growth has been a result, in part, of the SMB market embracing public and hybrid cloud to gain access to enterprise grade applications that were once out of reach.”

In the hardware market the PC, ProAV, integrated systems, and storage array categories were notable growth drivers. Year to date, revenue through the channel for the personal computer segment increased 10 percent, driven by the continued growth of Windows 10 Pro, demand for Chromebooks during the education buying season, and segments such as high performance workstations (+18 percent), which are growing as businesses require advanced equipment to implement big data strategies. In ProAV, large format commercial displays sales were up 23 percent in the channel driven by sales of both collaboration screens, due to the open office trend, and digital signage. In integrated systems and storage arrays, hyperconverged systems experienced a 20 percent increase, followed by all-flash arrays, which were up 13 percent year over year (Jan. - Sept.).

“The growth we have witnessed year to date is a result, in part, of higher average selling prices in key component areas, due to shortages, and an overall shift toward digital transformation while securing the overall business,” said Diamond. “We expect the channel to have a strong finish in the fourth quarter of 2018, as economic growth tends to propel technology spending.”

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, games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup and @npdtech.

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Megan Scott
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