February 8, 2023
Sales revenue growth continued in the U.S. B2B technology reseller channel in 2022, according to the NPD Group. It rose 10%, year over year, following 12% growth in 2021.
In contrast, consumer technology sales in the retail channel declined 8% in 2022. This was after 9% growth in 2021.
NPD Group’s Mike Crosby
Mike Crosby is executive director and B2B technology industry analyst for NPD.
“2022 was a year of strong revenue growth for the channel, but we started to see some softening in the last quarter. In 2023, we expect overall B2B budgets will be lower, resulting in a 2% revenue decline year over year, despite growth in software and cloud services revenue,” said Crosby said. “IT hardware categories will be most impacted in the near-term.”
He added that NPD expects a change in that momentum for 2024 and 2025, driven by device upgrade and refresh cycles. The channel will also return to growth in 2024. Look for sales to increase by 6%, followed by an additional 7% rise in 2025.
It’s More Complicated than That
Both hardware and software sales experienced strong gains; but NPD’s Reseller Tracking Service data show a more complicated picture. The RTS tracks sales from the top national solution providers and B2B e-commerce sites. It reveals software revenue growth doubled that of hardware, up 14% and 7%, respectively.
In 2022, hardware sales made up 63% of channel revenue, down from 65% the previous year. This is as software and cloud services gained share. The top two categories based on revenue gains year over year were security software and business applications software. Despite cooling sales in hardware categories, monitors had the third-largest revenue increase in 2022.
According to NPD’s vertical reseller tracking data, the manufacturing sector had the largest year-over-year revenue gain in 2022. It added nearly $800 million in sales. Last year’s growth leader – the educational services sector – struggled to maintain momentum in 2022. This resulted in a 3% decline, year over year.
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