More than three-quarters of manufacturers expect ecommerce revenue growth this year, according to a report on digital leaders among manufacturing companies.

Last year ushered in strong growth in ecommerce customer portal development, but 2024 will be even more robust, a new report on digital leaders in manufacturing says.

The sweet spot is the combination of commerce and multiplevalue-added digital services.

A survey of nearly 100 manufacturers found that 66% of them plan to invest in customer portals this year, up from 50% last year, according to the report, The Voice of Digital Leaders in Manufacturing 2024, by digital commerce technology and services firm Valtech and Copperberg, which develops content for manufacturers’ digital and offline platforms.

The report says the growth of customer portals coincides with the increase in manufacturers’ online sales of aftermarket products and services. It notes that digital sales account for 26% of aftermarket sales but only 16% of new products and equipment.

“In today’s economic and industry landscape, where competition is fierce and [servicing] is growing, it’s no surprise that many manufacturers see a huge opportunity in growing business within their existing customer base by upselling and creating digital services in the aftermarket,” Mascha Tamarinof, Global Vertical Lead, B2B at Valtech, says in the report.

Focusing in 2024 on aftermarket services

“The upcoming year, manufacturers will focus their digital efforts and investments on existing clients, especially in the aftermarket,” the report says. “The sweet spot is the combination of commerce and multiple value-added digital services, often integrated into customer portals and delivering a seamless customer experience to their clients. Much is expected of expert services like predictive maintenance, based on [internet-of-things sensors] and AI, significantly contributing to improved asset management.”


Along with a focus on aftermarket services, the report notes that more manufacturers are moving ahead in the ecommerce maturity curve, with 30% of respondents ranking themselves ahead of their competitors, up from 16% in last year’s survey.

“Faced with the challenge of confronting the complex IT landscape that still exists within many B2B manufacturing organizations today, it’s positive to see an upward trend in digital maturity as they begin to leapfrog the competition and benefit from the digital capabilities they invested in last year,” says Herbert Pesch, managing director, Valtech B2B.

What manufacturers worry about

The report also reveals areas of manufacturers’ concerns, including:

  • 51% of respondents are concerned that rising costs of operations will pose a threat to their digital success in the new year.
  • Concerns about new entrants in the market and disruptors of business models have increased by 23% from last year.
  • The top reasons for slow or failing internal adoption are reluctance to change or to embrace digital tools (49%), lack of cross-functional and departmental collaboration (46%), and lack of ownership of digital at the local level (46%).

Pesch adds, “Like last year, the results this year reflect a common organizational culture struggle that can be addressed with change management, collaboration, and a more cohesive approach to digital ownership. Overcoming these challenges is essential for industrial manufacturers to unlock the full potential of digital commerce and customer portals in the aftermarket.”


Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].

Sign up

Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week. It covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact Mark Brohan, vice president of B2B and Market Research Development, at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @markbrohan.