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Why B2B Suppliers Need to Provide PunchOut Catalog Functionality

PunchOut catalog functionality is key for B2B supplies to provide. Explore why buyers want the streamlined purchasing experience that PunchOut catalogs can provide.

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PunchOut Catalog

Why B2B Suppliers Need to Provide PunchOut Catalog Functionality

Are your customers asking for PunchOut catalog functionality? If they are, you’re not alone. Interest in PunchOut catalogs has skyrocketed in recent years because companies are adopting eProcurement spend management systems to control spend among their preferred suppliers. They want the streamlined purchasing experience PunchOut catalogs can provide. If your business hasn’t been asked by a customer to integrate with their eProcurement system, it’s only a matter of time. 

But why do buyers want their suppliers to provide PunchOut catalogs? And should suppliers be willing to invest in the necessary eProcurement integration capabilities? This article will help you to answer these questions and explore some of the reasons forward-thinking B2B suppliers are happy to give their customers the purchasing experience that they want. 

B2B eCommerce Is Here to Stay

The digital sales space is undergoing a rapid transition from traditional in-person sales to digital sales. As we reported earlier this year, 97% of B2B buyers are willing to buy online through self-serve eCommerce stores, and fewer than 30% want to interact with sales reps in person.   

Buyers prefer self-serve procurement options, a trend that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research from PunchOut2Go and Digital Commerce 360 revealed that 82% of buyers rank B2B eCommerce as their most frequently used digital channel. 

At the same time, tech-savvy buyers are adopting eProcurement systems to digitize and streamline procurement and spend management. PunchOut catalogs and other procurement automation capabilities empower buyers to take full advantage of their eProcurement platform’s capabilities while enjoying all the benefits of B2B-focused eCommerce stores. 

PunchOut Integration Creates a Superior B2B eCommerce Experience

B2B buyers prefer the eCommerce sales experience, but eCommerce alone can’t provide the convenience and control buyers need. 

  • Managing multiple supplier contracts and access to their specific eCommerce storefronts is challenging. Buyers don’t want to juggle log-in details for many different eCommerce stores.

  • Uncontrolled access to purchase from any vendor increases rogue spending.

  • Buying direct from supplier eCommerce stores requires buyers to manually transfer order information into their eProcurement system, increasing costs, rework, and errors. 

PunchOut catalogs allow buyers to shop from supplier eCommerce storefronts from within their eProcurement system, avoiding these issues. To place an order, buyers login into their eProcurement system and select the logo of the PunchOut-enabled supplier they want to purchase from. They are automatically authenticated into the suppliers’ eCommerce webstore to shop from the PunchOut catalog. Once they have added items to their shopping cart and are ready to checkout, the details from the shopping cart are automatically transferred to the eProcurement system, where a requisition order is created. 

Suppliers shouldn’t underestimate their buyers’ desire for convenience. B2B buyers are willing to pay more for an improved experience: 52% will pay more for greater speed and efficiency, and 43% will pay more for greater convenience. 

Meet Buyer eProcurement Integration Expectations

B2B suppliers frequently misunderstand just how important PunchOut catalogs are to their customers. Suppliers may see them as a useful enhancement but not a deal-breaker. In fact, PunchOut integration capabilities are often a non-negotiable requirement. 

Once a buyer has committed to procurement digitization, they want to process as many orders  as possible through their eProcurement system. Every supplier that doesn’t conform risks losing the business,  increases procurement costs and adds avoidable complexity. 

If your company doesn’t support eProcurement integration, it may find it harder to win new business.  Prospective buyers are likely to choose competitors who support PunchOut catalogs and other procurement automation features, such as purchase order automation and electronic invoicing. 

PunchOut Catalogs Drive More Business Through B2B eCommerce Stores

We’ve focused on some of the reasons buyers want PunchOut catalogs, but eProcurement integration and PunchOut catalogs benefit suppliers too. B2B eCommerce is a cost-effective sales channel, so it’s in suppliers’ best interests to offer a streamlined, integrated experience.  

The main benefits of driving more sales through eCommerce are reduced costs and more efficient use of sales resources. A suppliers’ sales team should be focused on winning new business and supporting complex sales, not leading buyers through straightforward ordering and reordering processes better suited to a user-friendly integrated eCommerce store.  

Other supplier benefits include:

  • Increased sales: Reduced friction in the purchasing process encourages more frequent ordering. 

  • Improved analytics capabilities: eCommerce facilitates data collection, giving suppliers greater insight into buyer engagement, product appeal, account histories, and more.

  • Flexible sales: Your eCommerce store works round-the-clock, seven days a week. The same isn’t true of your sales team.  

  • Automation: PunchOut catalogs and purchase order automation automatically transfer data between the supplier’s eCommerce store and the buyer’s eProcurement system, accelerating the sales cycle, eliminating manual rekeying, and reducing order errors. 

EProcurement integration empowers B2B suppliers to build a fast, efficient sales process with reduced transaction costs and increased sales and revenue.  

Build Strong, Long-Lasting Buyer Relationships with PunchOut Integration

At this point, you may be thinking PunchOut catalogs sound great in theory, but they’re too difficult to implement. There are hundreds of eProcurement systems, and supporting all of them would be expensive, time-consuming, and technically complex. We built the PunchOut2Go Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) to solve precisely this problem. 

The PunchOut2Go iPaaS is a universal cloud integration solution supporting PunchOut catalogs, purchase order automation, electronic invoicing, and more. Once your eCommerce store is connected to the PunchOut2Go iPaaS, it can be integrated with any buyer eProcurement system or ERP platform. We transparently handle data translation between buyer and seller software, so you can confidently offer PunchOut catalogs and sales order automation to any buyer. 

To learn more about the PunchOut2Go iPaaS, eProcurement integration, or PunchOut catalogs, complete the form below, and an eProcurement integration expert will contact you soon.


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