You can optimize ecommerce sales through integration with your buyers’ own e-procurement systems via PunchOut catalogs. That’s why it’s becoming one of the fastest growing B2B sales channels.
Many procurement processes can now be automated that once required manual processing, from product choices to order approval and invoicing. This approach improves accountability and control throughout the procurement process so it’s becoming more popular.
What is PunchOut?
PunchOut integrates supplier ecommerce portals with buyer e-procurement systems. Customers can browse product catalogs online and purchase goods or services within their own digital infrastructure. PunchOut allows organizations to use their enterprise resource management (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM) systems to manage their purchases.
The process involves opening an in-house B2B e-procurement platform to search for approved suppliers. Once the buyer selects a provider, the platform forwards them to the supplier’s B2B ecommerce portal or marketplace for authentication. The buyer can then choose products from the catalog as if they were browsing the supplier’s site. Alternatively, they can be automatically presented with a custom product catalog and pre-agreed discounts.
Products can be added to the buyer’s cart to be automatically exported the order to their e-procurement platform for approval. Once the purchase order is approved the order will be placed with the supplier.
PunchOut integrationIntegration can be achieved with a customized solution or through a cloud gateway.
For custom integrations, suppliers and buyers cooperate to build and host a joint solution. Alternatively, a third-party managed cloud gateway can allow communication between platforms.
A PunchOut website is a version of a supplier’s ecommerce site that is accessed within their buyer’s e-procurement platform. The PunchOut catalog integrates the buyer and seller platforms without importing the seller’s catalog, which could become out of date.
The benefits of PunchOut catalogs
Punchout catalogs allow B2B ecommerce companies to integrate their catalog with buyer back-end platforms with very little investment. PunchOut catalogs are always up-to-date and automated transfer of data between platforms minimizes errors.
Real-Time Product Information and Availability with a PunchOut Catalog on a Supplier’s B2B Ecommerce Site. PunchOut catalog hosted on a supplier’s B2B ecommerce site means changes are seen immediately by their buyers. Buyers have access to real-time product availability information, pricing, and discounts.
Advantages of Using PunchOut Catalogs and Automated Ordering to Reduce Errors and Costs in Order Processing. Businesses can manage their spending through seamless procurement data and processes. PunchOut catalogs streamline data interchange between platforms and automatically synchronize buyer and seller information, saving time and money.
Eliminating Order Processing Errors with PunchOut Catalogs and Automated Ordering. Manually processing orders will inevitably introduce errors which can cause delays and additional costs. This might lead to duplicate orders, pricing and quantity errors, and disrupted deliveries. PunchOut catalogs and automated ordering help to eliminate many of these problems.
Efficiency and Cost Savings through PunchOut Catalogs and B2B Automation. Buyers need fast and efficient solutions and will choose and remain with suppliers that make their tasks easier. PunchOut catalogs and B2B automation reduce processing and staffing requirements for buyers and sellers, helping to manage costs.
Benefits of Direct Purchasing for Businesses. Businesses have more control over how and where buyers make their purchases and can negotiate prices with pre-selected suppliers. This also minimizes the risk of fraud from payment requests or catalog misidentifications, for example, which can be closely monitored.
Streamlined B2B ecommerce and procurement
Effective and efficient procurement has become a strategic function where supply chain disruptions can affect revenue and profitability.
Buyers find it easier to search, compare and purchase products in the controlled environment of their own e-procurement system.
There are many different e-procurement, spending management and ERP platforms available. Communication protocols and application programming interfaces (APIs) can be used to make the integration process work seamlessly. Common protocols and formats include cXML, XML, OCI, EDI, iDOC, CSV and email.
B2B ecommerce businesses can gain a competitive advantage when they have established processes to implement a PunchOut solution for customers. Well-trained sales and marketing staff and easy onboarding will make it an even more attractive option.
As millennials play an increasingly important role in B2B procurement high quality online purchasing experiences will become increasingly important. Providing effective search tools, personalization, and conversion rate optimization techniques help to build trust and confidence which will increase sales.
Work with experienced PunchOut partners
Leading supplier of protective packaging in the UK and Ireland, Macfarlane, chose Cloudfy Enterprise as their core B2B ecommerce platform. They deliver online ordering and customer self-service with direct integration with SAP Ariba Supplier Management, PunchOut, cXML and EDI.To find out more book a free Cloudfy demonstration.