Multichannel selling is a term that describes how a wholesale distributor can provide his customers with multiple buying options, or “channels.” Examples of “channels” are physical store, phone, email, and of course, the Internet. Although most B2B sellers have been multichannel for years and sell on the Internet today using an online web store, many are neglecting what could be their most lucrative sales channel – e-procurement.
Why is the e-procurement channel potentially the most lucrative sales channel for wholesale distributors?
Note that the biggest B2B buyers in terms of volume are Fortune 5000 companies – and they buy a lot of stuff! But these Fortune 500 companies use e-procurement systems like Coupa, Ariba, SAP, Oracle, Jaggaer and iValua among others to buy online from suppliers.
Sorry, but they can’t and don’t use a browser and a credit card to shop in your online store (watch for our future post explaining why.)
So how does a B2B seller tap into the e-procurement channel?
By connecting your e-commerce web store (Magento, Shopify, Episerver, Big Commerce, Prestashop, Opencart, Oro Commerce, Woo Commerce to name a few major providers) to your customer’s e-procurement systems.
And the best way to do this is PunchOut (aka Procurement PunchOut.)
How many e-procurement systems support PunchOut today? 100% of them (and most ERP systems too.)
How many e-commerce web store platforms support PunchOut? Most don’t, at least without extensive modifications!
So, if your online web store is up and running, but you aren’t getting the sales you expected, the e-procurement channel is there for the taking. Get yourself a PunchOut Solutions provider, make your web store PunchOut-ready, and go get those missing sales!
The first generation of e-procurement systems hit the market in the late 1990s. and a recent study by The Hackett Group indicates that e-procurement system usage will triple by the end of 2021, so the e-procurement channel is not only alive and well – but also growing!