Advantages of Electronic Catalogs Accessible in PunchOut compared to those based on CIF
The objectives of an electronic catalog accessible in PunchOut mode and those of an electronic catalog based on the CIF format are the same. Both types of catalogs want suppliers to offer their products and services to their customers. However, these two approaches are opposed. But the evolutions of modern B2B environments prefer more and more the PunchOut approach.
Differences between catalogs offering PunchOut and those based on CIF
A CIF (Content Interchange Format) based catalog is ideal for simple products or services that do not offer different options or configurations. Also if the catalog is relatively small it will not need a large CIF file, and updates will be easy to perform. If, on the other hand, the products sold offer different options or configurations, if the catalog consists of a large number of products, and if the content of the catalog is likely to change several times a year, then the limitations of the CIF format become very issues.
As today the trend is to offer products or services that are the most adapted to the needs of customers it is imperative to be able to rely on an approach that allows such scalability and flexibility. In these conditions, it is less and less interesting to use an approach rather adapted to static information, frozen prices, and non-customizable products, such as that offered by the CIF format.
On the contrary, an electronic catalog with the PunchOut capability will be able to offer products that can be easily configured and personalized, with prices that will always be updated in real time, and relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date information.
Easy management of product information with PunchOut
Thanks to the PunchOut it is very easy:
- To correctly represent categories, groups, or product families.
- Display all the necessary information for the products without any limitation.
- To communicate in real time the prices and availability of the desired products.
- Update electronic catalogs as often as necessary to reflect changes and to correct errors.
- To have an electronic catalog used by the different purchasing systems of different customers.
- Having to establish catalog update feeds for each of the clients.
- Immediately provide the customer with stock availability information, order confirmation, and delivery dates.
- To relay the decided marketing and commercial strategies for certain products.
- To personalise the commercial offers vis-à-vis each of the customers allowing to tighten the relations between the commercial partners.
Better controlled purchases with the PunchOut
With the PunchOut, you can be sure that:
- The chosen products will have the desired options or configurations.
- The product information will be correct.
- The selected products will only be purchased when their purchase request is approved.
- Additional sales will be offered to improve the efficiency of the electronic catalog.
- The products sold will fully meet the customer’s expectations based on the information communicated to him.
ROI of an improved catalog with the PunchOut
PunchOut increases the return on investment of an electronic catalog because:
- Electronic catalogs with PunchOut are easier to automate and require less manual intervention to make them work.
- Catalogs can offer a great choice to customers to allow them to sell more while minimising the sales force needed to publish a varied and customisable offer.
- The easy updates and frequent electronic catalog ensure its good ranking in the search engines and thus improve its visibility and sales results.
Better branding with the PunchOut
With the PunchOut approach your company can:
- Communicate quickly and often reliable and personalised commercial offers.
- Thoroughly control the contents of the catalog that will be accessed by customers.
- Be selected by large customers who only retain vendors with catalogs that have the PunchOut feature.
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