As the country begins its slow return to ‘normal’ we are starting to see improvement in specific industry sectors across the broader economy, while others remain severely impacted. The simple fact is the pandemic didn’t affect each industry sector in the same way nor will all sectors recover at the same level or pace.

According to NPD’s U.S. B2B Reseller Tracking Service, the collective 20 vertical sectors as defined by NAICS can be segmented into three major groups based on the severity of the economic impact suffered as a result of COVID: high, moderate, and low/no impact.

Reseller Vertical High Impact Sectors:

  1. Admin./Waste Management
  2. Transportation/Warehousing
  3. Real Estate/Rental/Leasing
  4. Accommodation/Food Service
  5. Arts/Entertainment/Recreation
  6. Mining/Oil & Gas

The combined revenue of these six sectors represented 8% of B2B tech reseller channel revenue and declined by 21% year-over-year (YOY) in 2020. Recovery expectations for this group in 2021 fall into the moderate level mainly due to the high levels of human concentration utilizing these sectors products or services. As vaccines become more widely available and infection rates decline, the majority of these sectors are likely to see an accelerated economic recovery.

Reseller Vertical Moderate Impact Sectors:

  1. Professional/Scientific
  2. Finance
  3. Health Care
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Information
  6. Wholesale Trade
  7. Other Services
  8. Construction

The combined revenue of these sectors represented 60% of B2B tech reseller channel revenue in 2020 and declined by 8% YOY. NPD’s recovery expectations for this group also fall into the moderate range for the first half of 2021 and will likely accelerate to more rapid recovery in the second half of the year.

Reseller Vertical Low/No Impact Sectors:

  1. Education
  2. Public Administration
  3. Retail Trade
  4. Utilities
  5. Management
  6. Agriculture

The combined revenue of these six sectors represented 32% of B2B tech reseller channel revenue in 2020 (up from 26% in 2019) and also a revenue growth YOY of 19%. Though not as much recovery is needed in this grouping, NPD expects the first half of 2021 will see strong momentum for Education, Public Administration, Utilities, and Management as high demand continues. The Education sector, specifically with the aid of the latest Covid relief funding, will continue to make purchases that assist in closing the technology gap, especially amongst lower income states and districts. Public Administration will also benefit from federal funding earmarked to refresh aging hardware, software, and security. In the second half of 2021, Retail Trade and Agriculture will likely accelerate from a moderate to a more rapid recovery as pandemic conditions improve, and economies return to full strength.

While a return to ‘normal’ will look different across every sector, the ability to anticipate which industry sectors will emerge and at what rate provides a unique level of agility enabling analytic driven companies a huge advantage in better targeting, engaging and capturing new business.