U.S. B2B Tech Indirect Market Sales Grew 3 Percent in 2019, According to NPD

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Top growth drivers spanned hardware and software categories including headphones, BTO desktop computers, and cloud infrastructure and PaaS

“We expect 2020 will result in another positive year for the channel, in particular, for software and data center, as well as key vertical segments.”

According to The NPD Group’s B2B Distributor and Reseller Tracking Service, U.S. B2B technology channel sales experienced a 3% dollar growth in 2019 compared to 2018. While the channel surpassed $94B in 2019, fourth quarter revenue decreased -2% from Q4 2018.

Top growth categories in 2019 across hardware and software included headphones (+54%), BTO desktop computers (+36%), cloud infrastructure and PaaS (+35%), operating systems (+32%) and work stations (+26%). Some of the growth in these areas can be seen as a result of a more mobile workforce and increasingly open office environment. For example, in today’s office, headphones can be used to block out open floorplan noise, while cloud infrastructure and PaaS solutions provide employees with the ability to store and access information from virtually anywhere. Today’s workforce also requires increased power and customization, leading to sales of BTO desktops and workstations that are able to handle advanced computing tasks.

Beyond these high growth categories, software as a whole continued to see gains in the B2B tech channel, up 10% year over year. Within software, IT operations and networking saw 16% growth, adding an additional $1 billion in sales in 2019. As companies become increasingly technical, there is a greater need for software to aid in monitoring and controlling the IT infrastructure, leading to these gains.

“Despite a soft fourth quarter, 2019 was positive for the B2B tech channel with advanced technologies and changing employee needs driving channel growth,” said Kate Roe-Semyon, President, B2B Technology Practice, The NPD Group. “We expect 2020 will result in another positive year for the channel, in particular, for software and data center, as well as key vertical segments.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. B2B Distributor Track® and Reseller Tracking service, Jan.-Dec. 2019 vs. Jan.-Dec. 2018.

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 2,000 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 29 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. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup and @npdtech.

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