Punchout enable your platform today
and start selling to B2B Customers
Punchout Catalogs makes it easy to do B2B business with your customers using cXML and OCI connectivity for a tightly integrated experience everyone will love.
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Get closer and more tightly integrated with your customers to boost your sales.
“Punchout Catalogs helped to marry Steelcase’s complex B2B and B2C business requirements with their expertise in eCommerce, eProcurement integration and application development to create a global platform that allows Steelcase’s dealers and customers to conduct business with us efficiently, effectively and easily, at any time, and on any device! This new platform provides Steelcase with a competitive advantage!”
“I truly value the service that PunchoutCatalogs has provided to USESI. They bring their software, technical abilities and project management skills to the table and have made every Punchout integration much easier for my in-house team. Our account manager has done a great job onboarding new customers, troubleshooting issues and acting as a conduit between our customers and our development team.”
VP of eCommerce
What is a punchout catalog? How does it work?
Your customers are likely asking you to provide a punchout enabled website, read this section to understand how it works.
The B2B shopping experience starts in your customer's purchasing system. Users then initiate the punchout connection and data is transferred to your punchout enabled catalog.
This message is called a punchout setup request (PSR) and usually formatted in cXML or OCI formats.
Our plugins examine the incoming data and route the user to the correct catalog in your solution. This process can send users to co-branded catalogs that display customer specific pricing, product sub-sets and more.
Upon connecting, users are logged into your eCommerce platform and can shop like any other user. Depending on the features of your eCommerce platform, you can show special prices or specific products to the user.
Customers find what they need and build a shopping cart in your platform. At check out, the user clicks a button to transfer the cart contents to their eProcurement or ERP platform.
At this point, our extension takes over and converts the shopping cart data into cXML or OCI formats that these platforms understand and maps the data according to the customer requirements. This process is called a shopping cart response.
After the customer returns the items to their purchasing system, a number of steps happen outside of your view. This includes the application of budget, accounting information and approval of the purchase. All of this happens in the buyers system while you are waiting for the purchase order.
Once fully approved, the request (shopping cart) becomes a purchase order. Your buyer then sends the order to your system to begin the fulfillment process. With Punchout Catalogs, you have the ability to accept electronic purchase orders and automatically create corresponding orders in your system.
Punchout Catalogs offers multiple solutions to support this part of the process.
Like any consumer shopper, your buyers want to know when their items will arrive. In this step, you create a advanced shipment notice (ASN) in your eCommerce platform with tracking and shipment information.
The PunchOut catalogs extension then converts your shipment record into cXML format and sends the notice to your customer.
If you want to get paid you have to submit an invoice. You can use our technology to generate an electronic invoice and speed the payment process and cut the paper processing time.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hear a lot of questions from our clients and prospects, in the section below you can get the answer to some of the questions we hear often. If there is a question that is not found below please feel free to reach out and we will be happy to help.
A punchout catalog is an integrated connection to a buyers e-procurement or ERP system that presents your goods and services to the buyer on your website. The catalog integration happens over cXML or OCI standards and allows the buyer to “punch out” to your application. This integration allows the user to find items on your catalog and return them to their platform for workflow approval, accounting assignment and additional steps.
In the punchout process the first step is to create a shopping cart in your punchout enabled catalog. The cart is then transferred to the external system to complete the punchout process. In our solution these are called transferred carts and the application keeps a grid showing the carts that have been transferred to external eProcurement and ERP systems.
After approval, the cart is converted to a purchase order and routed back to your system in the form of an order. It is important to keep in mind that a transferred cart is not yet an order and can be cancelled or modified before the purchase order is returned.
Yes, connections to punchout sites most commonly happen over cXML (Commerce extensible Markup Language) or OCI (open catalog interface) connections. Nearly all procurement systems and ERP solutions use these standards to communicate with your punchout enabled catalog.
The founders of PunchOut Catalogs were truly one of the early pioneers of punchout back in 1999.
After a decade of experience integrating other punchout solutions, PunchOut Catalogs offered their own platform in 2009. Since that time we have enabled thousands of suppliers to connect with their buyers in a true B2B environment.
Buying organizations of all sizes are looking to gain better visibility into expenditures across their company and consolidating spend to preferred vendors with negotiated contracts. The buyer is likely investing in a procurement solution to help govern the purchasing process and align the goals of the company (saving money) with the usability of the solution for employees. Often these organizations require suppliers to have punchout capable catalogs as part of the catalog maintenance strategy.
In many cases having a punchout capable website can be required for suppliers to bid on opportunities.
Having punchout capabilities provides a large number of benefits for suppliers, most notably:
- Do business the way the largest companies in the world do business, i.e. via B2B eProcurement systems.
- Qualify for very large contracts with these large companies who require punchout capable suppliers.
- Provide a captive purchasing experience when they access your site.
- Upsell and/or crossell additional products and/or services.
- Gain valuable insights into what your customers are doing on your site, e.g. searching, browsing, and many other user behavior analytics.
You have two choices:
- DIY – Build a punchout capable system yourself or retrofit your existing ecommerce website to support the various punchout standards and idiosyncrasies.
- SaaS – Subscribe to a turn-key punchout capable solution that is guaranteed to exceed your customer’s technical requirements and likely even their expectations.
A hosted catalog is essentially a flat file (or multiple files) that contain information on your products or services. Your customer loads the file(s) into their internal eProcurement system.
A punchout catalog is an external website that your customer accesses from their eProcurement system.
A Level 2 PunchOut catalog is essentially a combination of both a PunchOut website along with a catalog index file that lists all the items that can be found on your PunchOut website.
Providing this index file to your buyer allows them to search and find your products in their eProcurement system. Once clicked, the user then punches out directly to the product detail page on your PunchOut site.
PunchOut Catalogs can integrate with any eProcurement system that supports cXML PunchOut or OCI RoundTrip. Check out a full list of integrations
At a high level, cXML is a standard started by Ariba and adopted by most of the other eProcurement systems, except SAP.
OCI or "Open Catalog Interface" is similar in concept but a looser “standard” used almost solely by SAP.
Yes, with PunchOut Cloud for Magento and Punchout Express the system can create users based on data contained in the punchout setup request.
Yes, the platform provides the ability to map elements in your eCommerce platform to specific areas of the returned data. You can manage the mappings in the administrative interface and our team will help you with the initial mapping to meet your needs.
PunchoutCatalogs provides different options depending on your business needs.
- Punchout Express – fully hosted in our Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers. We provide the hosting, security, upgrades and maintenance for Punchout Express customers.
- Punchout Cloud – The punchout cloud extension is packaged and installed on your existing eCommerce store on Magento 1 or Magento 2 or Shopify. In this case you host the solution anywhere you like.