Earlier, all the B2B sales were handled by sales reps physically. From maintaining relationships with the procurement professionals to taking appropriate care of their sales, the entire process relied on in-person collaboration between buyers and sellers.
This process was tedious and inefficient and even resulted in multiple errors like inaccurate transfer of figures, communication failures, and misaligned expectations. It also led to expensive litigation of the businesses.
Today, due to SaaS eProcurement, the B2B eCommerce business is witnessing significant growth in its sales. Using a PunchOut catalog solution, eCommerce stores integrated with buyer eProcurement platforms are gaining competitive advantages in their businesses.
In this article, we will provide you with a detailed overview of the PunchOut catalog and the reasons why B2B eCommerce platforms should offer them to their buyers.
What Is a PunchOut Catalog?
PunchOut Catalog is the product catalog that enables buyers to search, browse, compare, and buy products from the seller eCommerce store. These catalogs work through integration between an eProcurement platform and your eCommerce application. This integration helps in a seamless flow of the order data between buyer and seller.
A PunchOut system is highly beneficial for selling IT and office supplies since they are immensely configurable and constitute variable or dynamic items and pricing. When you maintain these products in a buyer-hosted catalog, it becomes arduous to update them consistently. But when you integrate your B2B business with a PunchOut catalog, you provide buyers with an accurate and updated product and pricing information.
In a nutshell, a PunchOut connects the buyer’s procurement system to the supplier’s eCommerce store to provide them with real-time catalog pricing availability.
Why Should B2B Business Offer A PunchOut Catalog Solution?
Today, businesses are experiencing a rapid transition in their sales. The buyers are now shifting their preference from traditional stores to self-serve eCommerce stores and very few people want to interact with salespeople personally. That is why you should integrate a PunchOut system into your eCommerce platform. Read on to know about more benefits of the PunchOut catalog solution.
Provides Real-Time Availability
With the help of the PunchOut catalog, buyers do not have to import the supplier’s catalog directly into their eProcurement system. Data regarding price, items, product availability in real-time is displayed on their interface through integration. Due to the availability of real-time data, there is an increase in efficiency and accuracy as there are minimum chances of errors.
Cost-Effective Procurement Options
PunchOut catalog is a sturdy, simple, and cost-effective solution that provides both the buyers and sellers with detailed documentation. With the help of this solution, you can simplify your communication with the buyer’s eProcurement system.
The streamlined processes and transparency due to the PunchOut system give insight into spending. That is why businesses with eProcurement and PunchOut integration manage their expenses very well.
Increases Buyer Retention
The rapid increase of eProcurement led to a significant rise in the demand for PunchOut catalogs and B2B automation. The sellers’ B2B eCommerce platform offering a PunchOut system gets them a greater competitive advantage.
This catalog wins more business for them and increases customer retention. Due to the cost-effectiveness, the seller can offer discounts to the buyers who are willing to integrate with their system. Hence, it is like a cherry on the cake for both buyers and sellers.
Increases Order Accuracy
When the orders are processed manually, it leads to multiple expensive errors like duplicate orders, pricing mistakes, delivery delays, and many more.
With the help of PunchOut catalogs, the buyer can access the vendor’s catalog, control spending, and process documents like purchase orders and invoices digitally. In a clear sense, there will be a minimum error, less repetitive data, and a dramatic increase in order accuracy. It ensures accurate data for both the buyers and sellers.
Sell a Range of Product Configurations
As a B2B reseller are you offering highly configurable products? A PunchOut catalog will allow you to showcase a variety of configurations and service-oriented products. As PunchOut catalog is a dynamic product, you can provide options to your customers to configure products.
The commonly used formats for PunchOut integration are cXML and OCI. If you are a reseller choose an eCommerce platform that supports third-party procurement platforms like Ariba, PeopleSoft, etc. Now your B2B customers can access this real-time product catalog and pricing through your eCommerce store.
Makes Searching Of Products Faster
With the advancement in technology, level 2 PunchOut has made product search more convenient and faster. Here, the buyer can PunchOut to an item directly from a procurement system, even if there are multiple suppliers. So, when the buyer searches for an item, the list of available products appears. Now the buyer can click on the link given with each item in search results to access the master catalog of concerned suppliers with real-time pricing, product availability, and inventory count in hand.
With B2B integration, buyers get complete access to the product catalogs in their eProcurement system. It also contains shopping carts, discount codes, and other hallmarks of the eCommerce store, which helps buyers to look for the product they want and checkout effortlessly.
PunchOut catalog comprises a single sign-on option that enables buyers to use their procurement application and purchase products from your website. It involves the process in which the buyer clicks on a link displayed in their procurement application. It takes them directly to your website where they are allowed to browse a catalog of products and add them to their cart. No login credentials are required to access PunchOut catalog.
The integration with their procurement system enables you to generate purchase requisition and send it for approval. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to streamline customer experiences.
PunchOut catalog is considered the most important part of your B2B eCommerce business. Since multiple online millennials are leading the procurement departments, there is minimum tolerance for complex and frustrating procurement experiences.