Have you heard about business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce punch out and wondered what it was all about? Curious about whether you should implement punch out or if your customers would appreciate the functionality? In today’s article we are looking at what punch out is and who should use it.
What is ecommerce punch out? No, I am not talking about a boxing or ultimate fighting term. Punch out is a B2B ecommerce functionality that makes it possible for a buyer to access a supplier’s website from within the buyer’s own procurement application. In essence, with punchout one of your customers can purchase your products without ever leaving their organization’s procurement system. Additionally, the customer only sees his or her negotiated pricing and product catalog, thereby customizing the ecommerce experience further. The order placement experience is transparent to the customer and you secure the sale just as if the order had been placed natively on your site.
Who should consider using punch out? The concept of punch out was created with manufacturers and distributors in mind. Manufacturers and distributors have key customer accounts–at retail stores, dealer locations, government agencies, wholesale companies, and other manufacturers–that require a direct line of communication with their supplier without the hassle of having to leave their procurement system to place an order. Enter punch out capability. Now those customers can order from their usual system without the extra step and you get the order directly.
Why is punch out important? Punch out capability is all about providing an exceptional ecommerce / online ordering customer experience. Making it easier for your customers to order from you increases the chances that they will continue to do so in the future. It also decreases the chances that your customers will be out looking for a new supplier–rather than logging into your system to order since their procurement system automatically offers your products.
Punch out is an excellent way for B2B organizations with ecommerce initiatives to differentiate themselves from the competition. Through strategic partnerships with key customers, punch out allows the customer to order what they need directly from the supplier without leaving their standard procurement system.
To learn more about how to leverage B2B ecommerce for your organization, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.