In recent years, there has been a growing trend of businesses selling products and services to other businesses online (known as B2B ecommerce).
According to statista, the share of B2B buyers who would pay more for better suppliers eCommerce capabilities has increased from 74% in 2019 to 87% in 2021.
This trend is driven by the increasing use of procurement systems and applications, which make it easier for businesses to find and buy products and services online.
One of the key features of these procurement systems is the ability to integrate with eCommerce punchout catalogs. Punchout catalogs are online catalogs that allow businesses to browse and purchase products and services from a specific supplier.
There are many benefits of using PunchOut catalogs for B2B ecommerce, such as increased efficiency, transparency, and improved relationships with suppliers. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why B2B ecommerce needs PunchOut catalogs.
What is PunchOut Connectivity for B2B eCommerce?
In the world of business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce, the term “PunchOut” generally refers to the ability of a customer to “punch out” of their standard eProcurement systems into a supplier’s website or catalog to select specific items for purchase.
For example, the customers using an eProcurement application – Coupa, punchout Coupa to a supplier website through an electronic standard like cXML. The users then select items at the supplier’s website and then return to Coupa.
Which means that once the customer completes their purchase on the supplier’s site, they “punch back in” to the procurement applications to finalize the transaction. This connectivity is established through an eCommerce platform with PunchOut Catalog Coupa integration.
For example, SAP Ariba PunchOut catalog enables you to present current and customized shopping experiences to buyers who are browsing catalogs. When they are redirected to your website, their latest items, prices, and ordering options are displayed in real-time.
Why do B2B Suppliers prefer PunchOut-enabled platforms?
B2B procurement is complex, and buyers have a variety of internal approval processes and product specifications. They also need to complete all their purchases from within their enterprise resource planning system or eProcurement system for streamlined procurement and management.
This is where the PunchOut catalog comes into the picture.
The PunchOut feature is especially helpful in a variety of situations, such as selling complex, service-oriented, or highly configurable product offerings; having large catalogs with many SKUs and line items; selling goods that require constant updates on price, description, and content; or conducting a high number of transactions.
PunchOut catalog software is a powerful tool for B2B suppliers for many reasons. Some prominent reasons are-
- Catalog presentation – it allows suppliers to showcase their full product catalogs to potential customers, which can lead to increased sales.
- Reduced maintenance – it saves the suppliers from maintaining multiple catalogs across different platforms by connecting the customer’s eProcurement system directly with the supplier’s PunchOut website.
- Real-time updates – it brings real-time visibility of the pricing, availability, discounts, etc to the buyers.
- Accuracy – the catalog details are more accurate as there are chances of fewer operational errors as compared to the buyer-hosted catalog.
- Faster order to cash – purchase orders are generated electronically via customers’ eProcurement system. Invoices are generated and submitted electronically through at the supplier’s end. This ensures that the POs are accurate and there is a faster order to cash process.
- Automation – the process of product selection, price comparison, order and invoice generation is automated which saves time and resources for both the buyer and the seller.
- Reduced Friction – it brings a clear picture of product and pricing in front of the buyers thereby reducing the chances of negotiations and friction in a deal.
- Customer data – it provides suppliers with valuable data about the purchasing habits of their customers, which can be used to improve customer service and the overall customer experience.
- Customer experience – it offers the ease and convenience of purchasing to the big ticket buyers thereby creating a great customer experience.
If you are a B2B supplier who is looking to increase sales and get valuable insights into your customers’ buying habits, PunchOut connectivity is a great way of doing so.
The trend of integrating eCommerce and customers’ eProcurement systems is likely to continue. This means that punchout catalogs will need to be able to seamlessly integrate with a variety of procurement applications. What we see in the future is the need for punchout catalogs to be mobile-friendly with the ability to be accessed through multiple devices. The use of punchout catalogs for custom-built eCommerce platforms is likely to increase.
With such a futuristic view, it is a wise decision to plan your online B2B transactions through PunchOut catalog integration. VARStreet offers PunchOut catalog integration for streamlined procurement with more than 300 PunchOuts successfully completed.