- What is a PunchOut Catalog?
- How Do PunchOut Catalogs Work?
- How does an Integrated PunchOut Catalog Help Both You and Your Customers?
- Key Takeaway
Traditionally, B2B salespeople were responsible for handling sales of an organization. They networked with procurement experts of buyer organizations, and the entire sales were dependent on the in-person network between buyers and sellers.
This procurement process was not only time taking and inefficient, but also error-prone. For example, incorrect figure transfers, misaligned expectations between buyers and sellers, and communication failures.
Today, eCommerce has revolutionized consumer retail. Thanks to the emergence of eProcurement that leverages online stores integrated with buyer procurement software through PunchOut catalogs.
In 2022, businesses can rationalize and smoothen the procurement process with the help of PunchOut catalog integrations. In this process, they identify cost efficiencies that ultimately result in reduced procurement spending.
What is a PunchOut Catalog?
PunchOut catalogs are an efficient way of making the browsing process easier for the buyers. With the help of these catalogs, the buyers can seamlessly browse, compare, and purchase products from the seller’s online store without leaving the buyer’s protected eProcurement system.
They have gained immense popularity in recent times because they blend the eCommerce platform of the seller and eProcurement software of the buyer, without compromising the experience provided by any of the parties.
How Do PunchOut Catalogs Work?
Punchout catalogs establish a tight integration between the supplier’s eCommerce store and the buyer’s eProcurement platform. It lets the order data process smoothly between the supplier and the buyer.
There is a vast range of platform combination choices, including spend management, eProcurement, and ERP platforms. All these platforms possess communication protocols and APIs that are incompatible during recent times.
A tightly integrated PunchOut catalog solution has two approaches that help them to translate between each platform. One is customer interways, while the other one is cloud gateways.
In the case of customer interways, both the seller and buyer collaborate to construct and host software that allows the online store and eProcurement software to communicate with each other. They are not only extravagant but also include longer lead times. It requires much time to coordinate, code, test, and deploy. It also lays much stress on the part of the sellers who do not have any prior coding knowledge.
On the contrary, cloud gateway is a mediator between the two platforms. It makes the incompatible websites come to life with their ability to transfer data from various eCommerce stores and eProcurement platforms. When compared to the customer interways, it is both easy and cost-effective to offer PunchOut catalog facilities between buyers and sellers.
How does an Integrated PunchOut Catalog Help Both You and Your Customers?
PunchOut catalogs help to create a direct connection between the eProcurement system and all the suppliers. The accuracy and enhanced speed are only some of the features, but when you dig deeper, it will help you find out the specific benefits that you can derive from this integration. For a better understanding of how a tightly integrated PunchOut catalog can make your B2B customers go crazy about your procurement process, here are some of the benefits that you should consider:
Clean and Accurate Data
If you are adopting digital transformation in your business or ready to make the changes after realizing the need for procurement optimization, you require complete, accurate, and high-quality data to enhance the process of procurement, strategic planning and decision making, and financial forecasting and reporting.
With the help of real-time information updated straight from your sellers’ systems on the PunchOut catalogs, you and your team can:
- Integrates with inventory management software to avoid any redundancy in orders.
- Access the accurate product, pricing, and shipping of your desired products.
- Mitigate invoice fraud and rogue spending and enhance data purity for analysis and cash flow management.
- Eliminates the need for manual data entry.
- Improves category management and smoothens supply chain, along with contingent planning to safeguard the continuity of the business.
Better Shopping Experience
PunchOut catalog integration helps the buyers access the products straight from the eProcurement system. From shopping carts to discount codes, the buyers will find anything and everything in their buying journey. It will help them effortlessly find what they require and assist them in checking out instantly.
The PunchOut catalog has a single sign-on (SSO) support feature that allows the buyers to make their way to the complete supply chain without requiring to manage various login information of different eCommerce websites.
The PunchOut catalog makes the procurement application process a lot easier by generating automatic purchase requisitions and approval workflows. It also empowers you to set a minimum spend threshold to ace up the approval process even further.
Real-time Availability of the Products
The PunchOut catalog provides real-time access to product availability. Any changes made in the product or the catalog are immediately reflected in the eProcurement system used by the buyer.
This way, the buyers can get any information related to the product, be it pricing, availability, or discount, in real-time without any extra cost of catalog importing and hosting.
Increased Order Accuracy
When you manually process orders, it is prone to extravagant errors, like pricing mistakes, order duplication, misconfigured products, quantity and delivery schedule errors, and a lot more.
PunchOut catalog integration to your eCommerce website automates the entire order process, thereby ensuring that the right information is available to the buyers and sellers
Enhanced Buyer Retention
As PunchOut catalogs are gaining more popularity, buyers favorably select products from the suppliers that match their intent. The supplier that offers desirable products to the buyers has an edge over the competitors. They close more deals and retain customers for a longer time.
Therefore, you can partner with an eCommerce platform that offers PunchOut catalog integration with the capability to retain more buyers. VARStreet is one of the best platforms in that regard. Its PunchOut catalog integration smoothens the entire procurement process, thereby leading to enhanced buyer retention.
Simplified and Centralized Purchasing
As PunchOut catalogs allow the buyers to access the products from their eProcurement systems, the procurement professionals can leverage the benefit of negotiated prices with their preferred suppliers.
With all the catalogs centralized in one dashboard, PunchOut catalog integration promotes better spend management and purchasing consolidation.
As the PunchOut catalog processes orders faster, it enhances your productivity. You no longer have to enter the data manually, and you have much more time to focus on the other important aspects of the business. Thus, automation in the eProcurement systems amplifies the impact of your resources, yielding a better outcome for both you and your businesses.
Does Not Require Maintenance
When you use PunchOur catalogs, you do not have to incur any publication and maintenance expenditure on your end. It is the responsibility of the sellers to keep the product catalog up-to-date so you can see the changes made in the product catalog in real-time. Furthermore, it will eliminate any chances of errors or redundancy during the maintenance process.
B2B eCommerce business relationships offer many opportunities for improving the customers’ buying experiences and throw up a lot of challenges as well. PunchOut catalog is one such opportunity that aims to improve the customer’s overall experience by enabling the buyer to purchase products directly from the supplier’s eCommerce website without leaving the buyer’s eProcurement system.
If you wish to integrate the PunchOut catalog into your business, you should consider VARStreet. VARStreet is one of the leading eCommerce platforms that offer a tightly integrated experience to your B2B customers. This way, you can not only gain new customers but also retain the old ones effectively.