Bredin Report: SMB Tech Purchase Channel Preferences

Many SMBs plan to purchase technology this year. Our most recent SMB Pulse survey of 500 U.S.-based principals reveals where they want to buy: mostly online or in a company-branded store, but preferences vary by product category.

SMBs strongly prefer to buy software online. 53% pick it as their preferred channel, and fewer than 20% of SMBs cite any other individual option.

The plurality of SMBs (41%) prefer to buy PCs/laptops/desktops online, followed by office supply stores and company-branded stores such as an Apple or Microsoft store. Purchase preferences for tablets are similar. While most SMBs prefer to buy servers online, this category has the highest incidence of tech reseller (12%) and IT consultant (13%) channel preference. Printers are the only product most companies want to buy at an office supply store, with 47% of SMBs preferring this channel.

Cell phones and cellular services channel preferences are different from hardware and software – nearly half (49%) prefer to buy these at company-branded stores.

SMB Channel Preferences: 2024 Purchases

The takeaway: In every category, some fraction of SMBs prefer to buy via all five different channels. It’s essential that you make it easy for them to buy your product however they prefer to purchase.

Want deeper insight into your target SMB’s channel preferences? 
Bredin’s global research can give you in-depth, actionable insights to improve your go-to-market, product, pricing, UX, and other strategies. We can also conduct research to generate uniquely valuable data for high-impact content for content marketing, PR, social, and sales support.

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About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.