If you are a business that has begun contemplating the idea of Punchout Catalogs for your buyers, make sure you do it right.
It is likely that you have started exploring this possibility after a client demanded it.
Punchout Catalogs have been deemed mandatory by large organisations that are looking to have a thoroughly systematic purchasing process which will eventually help them keep a tab on their expenses. The system has already been adopted by major companies and is slowly making its way to mid-level businesses. It is possible that it might become an industry standard shortly which means that you should join the bandwagon as early as possible. It will help you stay ahead of your competitors.
You need to know that these buyers are mostly Business organisations that have an entirely different set of needs compared to a traditional online buyer. It is essential that you adhere to the standards mandated by the buyer organization to increase your business potential. These companies are looking for long-term associations that can help them provide cost-effective solutions to their purchasing needs. However, this does not mean that the quality can be compromised. In fact, usually, they aren’t looking for the best available quality or the cheapest product. They want a product that meets both these requirements somewhere in between maintaining a good balance of both.
Streamlined Purchasing Process
The priority of a B2B Punchout buyer is a streamlined purchasing process. It is important to note that the buyer might have upgraded to an e-procurement system after encountering several problems that are associated with the traditional purchasing means. They could have been let down by their suppliers during busy months or might be merely looking to expand their footprint with the help of suppliers around the globe. Therefore it is essential for you to adhere to their needs continuously and establish yourself as their priority seller. This will help you grab opportunities from the clients and generate more substantial revenue.
Large Organizations Mandatory
As we just mentioned, your buyers could be mid-level companies that are facing trouble with their supplies or large organisations looking to organise their purchases with the help of technology. You might have to deal with large organisations that have a formal purchasing policy in place. An official purchasing policy mentions strict criteria a company follows for choosing its suppliers. Shipping Times and Costs are equally important to some buyers as are prices and quality. They might access supplier performance at regular intervals and hence would want you to send your products after extensive quality checks. It is usually these large companies that make it mandatory for you to possess Punchout Level 2 Catalogs which eventually makes their purchasing process flawless.
Their Outlook of You
Your chances of getting the order increase by almost 15% if you support purchasing through Punchout Catalogs compared to a seller who does not. It is not just the ease of the process that a buyer is concerned with. Of course, the Punchout protocol will make it easier for the buyer to keep track of all orders easily and increase efficiency in the workspace, but that is not the only reason that they prefer a buyer supporting the technology.
A supplier with advanced means of technology is deemed to be more professional in the business which helps in establishing an absolute trust in the buyer’s eyes. They presume that you will meet the industry standards when it comes to quality of the products and never cause unnecessary shipping delays like most of the suppliers.
Importance of UI
There are companies that sell their products to large companies via their website. It is the face of their business and has been helping them to cater to a specific set of buyers. However, these companies are hardly taken seriously by large organisations that are looking to make their purchasing process streamlined. Even if these companies provide industry standard quality levels, the buyer still prefers to do business with suppliers that offer Punchout Catalogs.
The reason for choosing Punchout Catalog compliant suppliers is pretty apparent. Traditionally, the buyer looking for a specific product will need to head to each company’s website that manufactures the product and negotiate the deal individually. This is a tiring mechanism where the same searches will have to be made inside each catalogue. The layout of each site is different, and so are the payment options. This becomes exhausting for the buyer who needs to do this at regular intervals.
However, with e-procurement systems that deploy Punchout Catalogs, the buyer can make purchases from different suppliers in the same application that has a consistent design and layout. The familiarity with the outlook makes the B2B Punchout buyer to prefer someone who is available on that platform.
Importance of accuracy
What happens when you open Amazon or eBay? Well, you are flooded with a plethora of deals that are mostly irrelevant to you. Then you make the searches with a specific set of keywords and boom, and you are presented with another ten pages of products that might not be what you were looking for. Complicating the process further, you need to select sub categories than one by one to filter out the rest of the products until you find the one you were looking for.
Now imagine doing it on a regular basis and that too for different products each time. This is another reason why e-procurement systems are the industry choice for large organisations. The process here is straightforward which eventually saves you the crucial time that can be invested in other parts of the business. The buyer raises a request for a particular product and the suppliers then send personalised Punchout Catalogs with only the specific products to the buyer. This improves accuracy and enhances the buyer’s experience.
Importance of Saving Time
As mentioned earlier, to order goods from a supplier that doesn’t support Punchout Catalogs, the buyer will need to research extensively for the manufacturers and then search their entire range of products to place an order his goods. This is exhausting and time-consuming.
These buyers then use the e-procurement systems that are highly efficient and introduce them to the effortless experience of purchasing. It is natural that these buyers will be looking for a supplier that understands the importance of their time by ensuring there are no unnecessary delays.
Most of the clients that use e-procurement systems today are multinational or mid-level companies that consist of more than one departments which approve the purchase. For instance, there might be a special purchasing team that in an engineering firm that is responsible for ordering machines for the company. However, they might need the approval of the engineers who will work on those machines as well as the finance department who will release the funds for the same.
The e-procurement systems allow the B2B Punchout buyer to share the order details with the concerned authorities that will approve the purchase. As a supplier, you need to be extremely patient for the process which certainly takes more time than B2C online transactions.
If you manage to provide products that are high on quality while also being cost-effective, it is likely that the buyer might want to extend this partnership for a longer period, thus giving you a benefit compared to other sellers.
This will only happen with your consistent support and regular assessment of product quality. If the buyer seems to be satisfied with both the cost as well as the quality, he might want to sign a contract for regular supplies which will translate to regular revenues.
Since the buyer is delighted with the quality of the products he received, they will want to eliminate the exhausting process of searching a new supplier again to streamline their purchasing process. However, one of the most important things to ensure that will take your relationship further with the client is special pricing. If the buyer has been consistent with his purchasing and given you more business than others, you should consider giving them extra discounts. With Punchout Catalogs, changes to product information like features, model numbers and pricing can be made in real time which can help in establishing a healthy relationship with the buyer.
Before you implement the Punchout Catalog protocol, you should ensure that the other things that we mentioned are also in place. The demands of a B2B Punchout Buyer are different from the conventional online shopper which can require you to take a few extra steps for their customer satisfaction. These buyers can give major business to the company which can translate to better year on year revenues. You need to stay persistent with your product quality and maintain strict shipping schedules to ensure there are no uncertain delays in the deliveries.
Punchout Catalogs have worked wonders for some major companies around the world, increasing the sales by over 32% in some cases.