Today, a procurement process no more requires the buyer to network with sellers, negotiate prices, and manually process payments. Thanks to B2B eCommerce’s various digital tools and applications, they can do it using procurement solutions. PunchOut catalog integration with the buyer’s eProcurement system has further streamlined the procurement process.
In this article, let’s understand the characteristics and traits of the PunchOut catalog that make it a necessity for B2B sellers.
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What is a PunchOut catalog?
PunchOut catalogs are the suppliers’ catalogs visible on the buyer’s procurement systems such that the buyer can browse, search and buy products in real-time without visiting the supplier’s online store. It is a CIF catalog created and maintained by the seller on their eCommerce platform.
The eCommerce PunchOut catalog simplifies B2B transactions. Because it acts as a communication channel between the buyer’s procurement application and the supplier’s eCommerce store. It provides real-time updates, allows custom pricing, reduces maintenance, increases employee productivity, maintains order accuracy, and increases sales and revenue.
How does a PunchOut catalog work?
Now let’s see how PunchOut integration works. Once integrated, the PunchOut catalog serves as a bridge between the buyer’s eProcurement system and the seller’s online store. Although it is installed on the seller’s eCommerce platform, it should be compatible with the buyer’s procurement solution.
Here’s how it works:
- When a buyer wants to buy or procure certain goods for their business, they log in to their eProcurement software.
- From here, they will initiate a PunchOut connection to the seller’s online store so that they can view the supplier’s catalog. After browsing, searching, and adding items to the cart, they can check out.
- At the checkout, their shopping cart redirects back to the eProcurement application. After checking for approvals, budget, accounting, etc, it processes the electronic purchase order and submits it to the seller for order fulfillment.
- The PunchOut catalog then acknowledges the order and sends an ASN (Advanced Shipment Notice) so that the buyer can track their shipment.
- Once the delivery is complete, the PunchOut catalog software generates the invoice and sends it to the buyer for payment processing.
Characteristics and traits of the PunchOut catalog
If you are a B2B seller, both you and your buyer’s eProcurement will be significantly benefited from PunchOut catalog integration. Let’s understand this through its characteristics and traits.
Integration with eProcurement systems
A PunchOut catalog by design integrates with eProcurement systems. It allows the B2B buyer to view, browse, search, compare and buy products from their eProcurement application without having to visit the seller’s eCommerce website. It even allows the buyer to add items to the shopping cart and check out. The PunchOut catalog immediately transfers the shopping cart data back to the eProcurement system for a seamless procurement process.
The more systems a PunchOut catalog software can integrate with, the more customers the seller can expect. Thus, effectively giving them an edge over the competition and increasing sales.
Integration with eCommerce Stores
As you already know, the PunchOut catalog is created and maintained on the seller or supplier’s eCommerce store. As a seller, you can enable it in two ways: an add-on PunchOut module on your eCommerce platform or switching to a new eCommerce platform with built-in PunchOut integration.
A PunchOut catalog enhances your eCommerce stores to establish direct communication with the leading eProcurement systems. A good PunchOut catalog comes with easy eCommerce integration without complex, extensive onboarding.
The main reason buyers love PunchOut catalogs is their search function. Because nobody likes to browse through a product catalog in a linear fashion which is time-consuming, ineffective, and boring. And unlike a traditional product catalog, you can search for a product and its specifications in a PunchOut catalog.
The search function is a key feature in any product catalog. Because the accuracy of the search results is directly proportional to the buyer getting the right product thus increasing sales.
Shopping cart syncing
In a normal scenario, a customer has to check out their shopping cart in an eCommerce store and track the shipping. If they buy from multiple sources, they cannot track the various procurements in one single place. This is exactly what the PunchOut catalog solves. It syncs the eCommerce platform’s shopping cart with the buyer’s eProcurement application’s shopping cart. This allows the B2B buyer to shop, get approvals, generate orders and track all shipments within their procurement solution.
Centralized eProcurement process
As all the B2B sellers’ PunchOut catalogs are centralized within a single application, it centralizes the entire eProcurement process for the buyer. They can make better buying decisions on buying products or services. This improves spending management and establishes purchase unification.
B2B procurement is a lengthy and complex process that involves searching for products, product specifications, customizations, internal approvals, budget considerations, custom pricing, offers and discounts, product inventory, availability, and so on.
Once a product is finalized, it again involves another set of operations from both sides like generating purchase orders, invoices, processing payments, and other transactions. A PunchOut catalog automates most of these simplifying the entire purchase process.
The PunchOut catalog integration on your eCommerce platform allows you to explore the market and sell to a large number of customers. For that, you must ensure that it supports the leading eProcurement solutions that most of your existing and potential customers use.
If that is the case, you need to consider VARStreet, one of the leading B2B e-commerce platforms with PunchOut integration. We offer SAP PunchOut, Ariba PunchOut, Coupa PunchOut, Jaggaer PunchOut catalog, JD Edwards PunchOut catalog, Peoplesoft PunchOut catalog, etc. You can contact our PunchOut experts to know more.