As a supplier, if you want to streamline transactions with your B2B customers and improve business, you can rely on PunchOut, a protocol that allow a buyer to access supplier’s site with a single click of a button. It is essentially a connection wherein the customers are directed from their procurement system to their own respective contract catalogs located in the supplier’s ecommerce site.
This contract catalog is sometimes referred to as PunchOut catalog because the buyer “punches out” from his procurement application to reach his pre-configured catalog. The PunchOut catalog solution eliminates the tedious task of browsing through non-contractual products as user has direct access to contract catalog only.
Most B2B customers do not prefer the traditional checkout process as it is not compliant with their ordering process. This is because in a B2B environment, the items ordered need approval from the department that handles company expenditures.
A PunchOut catalog does not follow the normal checkout process since the items purchased from the reseller’s site are brought back to the customer’s procurement system. The shopping cart is then sent to the concerned authority for approval. So if you use PunchOut feature to connect with your B2B customers, it can simplify their purchasing process, which can help to increase sales.
B2B customers also want options to configure a product as per their requirements. In fact, this is a must-have B2B ecommerce functionality to engage customers. However, you won’t be able to offer products with configurable options if you have not incorporated this feature into your business. A CIF catalog doesn’t have the provision to show configuration options. So if you want to showcase products that have extensive scope for configuration, it is advised to incorporate PunchOut catalog into your business.
Contact some of the popular PunchOut catalog providers like PeopleSoft who can develop customized solutions and ease the buying process of your B2B customers. Implementing PeopleSoft PunchOut catalog will surely open the door to new business opportunities.