Business-to-business channel revenue has steadily increased over the last four years, and the latest data show that growth will likely continue. New insight from consumer market research firm NPD Group reveals not only the latest expansion in B2B revenue, but also the product that’s been fueling it: computers.
The company’s Distributor and Reseller Tracking Services revealed that U.S. B2B channel revenue expanded by nearly 5 percent in 2014, surpassing $62 billion in sales. The numbers mark the third-consecutive year that B2B revenue has increased, and NPD Group notes that in the last four years alone, the space has added $6.5 billion in sales to its revenue.
The strongest driving factor between the growth, the research found, is personal computers.
According to the data, built-to-order PCs attributed to nearly $11 billion in revenue in 2014, and a large portion of those sales was dominated by the Chromebook. Google’s personal computer saw a unit volume order increase of 125 percent last year. Reports note that 42 percent of those orders were placed between June and August during the back-to-school months.
The built-to-order PC demand saw more than 2.7 million unit sales through B2B channels, reports say – a 28 percent increase from the year prior. According to NPD, the numbers suggest that the PC is not “dead,” as many would expect, but instead is serving a different purpose than it used to. “Whether it is the newfound, education-based demand stimulated by Chromebooks, or the robust increase in average selling prices for Windows notebooks – businesses and institutions are demonstrating that they, and their employees, still find tremendous value in the notebook form-factor,” said NPD Group VP Industry Analysis Stephen Baker.
In addition to PCs, the research found, networking hardware and component sales all experienced a jump in 2014 B2B sales, whereas printer and software sales saw a drop.
In terms of brands, HP, Cisco and Lenovo contributed to $23.5 billion worth in B2B sales, a 7 percent increase, while Intel and Dell saw their sales surpass $1 billion for the first time, according to reports.