One of the most important parts of running any business is B2B procurement. It involves selecting and purchasing goods, materials, parts, and raw materials from vendors. Like most business processes today, even procurement is done digitally. But visiting every vendor’s eCommerce website can be time-consuming and challenging. This can be simplified with a PunchOut catalog.
- What is a PunchOut Catalog?
- How does a PunchOut catalog work?
- How can resellers deploy PunchOut Catalog integration?
- 1. Talk to your customers to gauge the need for PunchOut catalog integration
- 2. Assess your current technology to ensure it supports PunchOut integration
- 3. Educate your sales team on the benefits of using PunchOut integration
- 4. Set up eCommerce PunchOut catalog integration
- 5. Offer PunchOut integration for new and existing customers
- Get VARStreet PunchOut Catalog Integration
What is a PunchOut Catalog?
In any B2B business procurement, there are two players: buyer and seller. PunchOut is a system where the seller’s eCommerce platform is visible on the buyer’s procurement application. This allows the buyer to directly view the seller’s product catalog, browse it and buy products from their procurement system without visiting the seller’s eCommerce website. Such a catalog is called the PunchOut catalog. A seller’s eCommerce site that is visible on the buyer’s e-procurement system is called a PunchOut catalog.
Types of PunchOut Catalog
Catalog Interchange Format or CIF file is a type of catalog where the product data is uploaded into a procurement application manually. Every time you need to add or alter any items, you need to do it manually. Thus the data in the customer’s e-procurement system is static.
cXML, OCI PunchOut
cXML or Commerce eXtensible Markup Language and OCI or Open Catalog Interface are protocols or standards for communication between e-procurement systems and eCommerce platforms. While cXML was created by Ariba and used by the Ariba PunchOut catalog, OCI was developed by SAP.
Level 2 PunchOut
A Level 2 PunchOut catalog software combines a PunchOut website with a CIF catalog so that it helps the buyers on two levels:
- The buyer can shop on the seller’s website through PunchOut directly.
- Search the products on the seller’s website directly in their e-procurement system.
How does a PunchOut catalog work?
The eCommerce PunchOut catalog is used by both buyers and sellers to simplify B2B transactions. PunchOut catalog software acts as a bridge between the buyer’s procurement system and the seller’s eCommerce website. For this to work, the buyer’s e-procurement system must be PunchOut enabled and the seller’s eCommerce platform must have PunchOut catalog integration. Let’s see how it works.
Say, a buyer wants to purchase or procure some goods for their business. Instead of visiting the seller’s eCommerce website, they log in to their e-procurement application and start a PunchOut connection to the seller. Now the buyer leaves or punches out to the seller’s platform where they search, browse, and add items to the cart.
Once the buyer is ready to check out, the cart content is transferred to their e-procurement system. It processes the shopping cart data to generate the purchase order and submits it to the seller for order fulfillment.
Once the seller ships the order, the PunchOut catalog sends an Advanced Shipment Notice (ASN) to the buyer to track their shipment. After the delivery is complete, it generates the invoices and sends them to the buyer for payment.
How can resellers deploy PunchOut Catalog integration?
If you are a seller and have an eCommerce website targeting B2B buyers, PunchOut Catalog integration is a must as it simplifies procurement for the buyers. But how to deploy it?
1. Talk to your customers to gauge the need for PunchOut catalog integration
First, you need to talk to your existing customers to understand their requirements for a PunchOut catalog. Chances are they are probably using an eProcurement application. Collect data on which procurement systems your customers use and if they are PunchOut enabled or not. PunchOut catalogs Coupa, SAP, and Ariba are some of the common examples.
2. Assess your current technology to ensure it supports PunchOut integration
Since you will be deploying the PunchOut Catalog on your eCommerce website, you need to first assess whether your platform supports PunchOut integration or not. If it doesn’t, you can either go for a third-party add-on module or switch your platform to the one that comes with PunchOut-enabled stores with it. For example, VARStreet.
3. Educate your sales team on the benefits of using PunchOut integration
Before you go ahead with the deployment, you need to get your sales team on board with it. Since they are the ones who will manage the sales, they need to understand how PunchOut integration will help them work efficiently and increase sales. After understanding the benefits, they will be able to offer PunchOut integration to your existing and new customers.
4. Set up eCommerce PunchOut catalog integration
Once your team is on board, you can go ahead with the setup. If your eCommerce platform is already PunchOut enabled, you need to contact your service provider who will help you with the process. If you are switching platforms or adding a third-party module, do your research to choose the best-suited one according to your requirements.
5. Offer PunchOut integration for new and existing customers
Once your PunchOut catalog is up and running, you can upsell to your existing customers and offer it to your new customers. Encourage your sales team to find and reach out to the right decision-makers from the buyer’s organization. Use past success stories and case studies to educate your buyers on the importance and usefulness of PunchOut integration.
Get VARStreet PunchOut Catalog Integration
If you are a seller looking for a good PunchOut catalog to integrate into your business, you need to consider VARStreet. We are one of the leading B2B eCommerce platforms with PunchOut Catalog integration. We ensure a simple and seamless integration so that you can retain your existing customers and onboard new ones. Check out more details here.