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Among the updates, manufacturers are adding personalization to their ecommerce strategy and platform.

As digital-first customers become the priority, manufacturers are looking to overhaul and update the user experience for online sales.

A recent 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.

Manufacturers focus on online sales

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.


Personalization is another important update more manufacturers are adding to their online sales strategy and platform. For example, manufacturers and other B2B sellers can look back at a successful 2023 keeping their digital business buyers happy. But only to a point.

85% of all buyers graded their experience on a B2B ecommerce platform as excellent or good, according to a survey of 150 buyers who took part in the 2023 B2B Buyer survey from Digital Commerce 360 and Forrester.

Yet the fact that only slightly over one-third of B2B buyers (36%) graded their B2B ecommerce site experience as excellent is telling. Namely, it speaks volumes about how much work most B2B buyers still must do to meet the big user expectations of the increasingly digital-first customer base. B2B ecommerce buyers do their homework before making an online purchase. But once they do commit, B2B buyers place more frequent orders online, according to the Digital Commerce 360 and Forrester Research data.

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