Since the late 1990s, the communication standard of choice when using Punchout catalogs has been cXML. The cXML structure is built off of the regular XML communication but is targeted for commerce, which is what makes it easier for buyers and seller’s systems able to talk back and forth efficiently.
Punchout and eCommerce Website Optimization
Punchout catalogs make it easier for buyers to login and connect to their procurement system electronically. This is helpful when there are multiple members of a team who buy for various sectors across a business. They simply add the items they currently need to their cart and then they are sent to management for approval.
Once the order is placed, there are additional perks to using Punchout catalogs. The option is available to use cXML with an EDI exchange. This will deliver your purchase orders, the invoices from the purchases, and the shipping notifications to you through a file transfer.
Punchout catalogs can help optimize your eCommerce website. They are capable of streamlining inventory procurement by allowing for electronic submissions. The catalogs are updated automatically so there is nothing for your company to do to maintain the information provided. You will always be up to date with the lowest prices. You are saving time and money by using Punchout catalogs to obtain your products for your buyers.
Checklist for Success in 2021
Taking the next step to business optimization can be scary, but it is a necessary fact that in order for a business to thrive in today’s market it must be able to adapt to the changes that surround it.
By the year 2021, an estimated $4.5 trillion is expected to be generated from eCommerce per year. If this isn’t enough motivation, within the next 20 years it is estimated that 95% of all purchases will be conducted electronically.
Ditch the Paperwork!
Finding a business that can help you switch from hard copy orders to electronic orders and implementing systems like Punchout and eProcurement solutions is the first step.
The integration process can take a little while to complete since the conversion would be from paper to digital, but in the end well worth it to be ahead of the eCommerce game.
Keywords Are Key.
In 2021, every eCommerce business is going to want to be number one. Not all of them are going to have the tools they need to do so though. Thinking that all marketing can stay in-house is a gamble, which has been proven in recent years.
The only way of making sure that you are a front runner is to populate in searches. Keywords are the key to being seen. You need to make sure that you are using the keywords that are being used by the people searching for sites like yours.
The rise of hiring outside companies has proven to be well worth the investment, especially if they are focused on the task of helping your business rise above the competition. If you haven’t already made the investment, it might be time to do so. Your competition has probably already done so.
Improve Your Product Page and Optimize Pricing.
Pages that are hard to navigate only frustrate people. Frustrated people will not buy products. They will move on to another site who has a much more user-friendly setup.
If you are incorporating eProcurement systems and Punchout catalogs in your sales structure, this optimizes the buying experience. The price and description of the product are all at the buyer’s fingertips.
Buyers want the best deal they can get. Using a Level 2 Punchout catalog can offer the buyer the chance to search multiple eProcurement sites to obtain what they are searching for and at the best price.
Flash Sales and Coupons.
If you want to make a big splash or simply help with cart abandonment within your eCommerce site, using flash sales or coupons may be the trick. People want to save money, but when they start to worry that they could get a better price elsewhere they may ditch your cart for someone else’s.
You can help combat this by offering them a coupon prior to actually leaving the site. This may make them a little more inclined to finish their sale using your cart, instead of a competitor.
Offer Multiple Payment Methods.
Some of the most popular payment methods out there today are debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, Venmo, and in some circumstances Facebook Pay. There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than getting to the checkout and realizing that a business does not take its payment method.
Another frustrating thing is when the customer realizes that they don’t have their payment method on them, but know how to access their PayPal, only a business doesn’t accept it.
These are simple things that can be avoided by opening up the types of payment methods accepted, which can help optimize business strategies.
2021: The Year of the eCommerce Customer
The above list contains ways to help optimize your eCommerce site, but ultimately none of it matters if you don’t have the customers.
Your business has the ability to make 2021 the year of the eCommerce customer. It may take a little bit of change on the side of your business, but all people want is to know that they are important.
These are changes that you can make for your customer, will also benefit your optimization in the long run.
- Enhance how your eCommerce site looks. You want your optimized site to be easy to navigate and simple to use. Customers don’t like to have to work when they are shopping.
- Keep your checkout process simple. Don’t create a bunch of hoops for your customers to jump through just to get their product.
- Make sure that all prices and fees are shown upfront so that there is not a surprise at the end of their purchases.
- Make sure you spend a lot of time on customer service techniques. The friendlier you are and the more personal attention you bring to a customer’s needs, the more likely they are to be a repeat shopper.
- Use social media to your advantage. Advertise sales and link your catalogs. Allow for customer reviews to be posted both on-site and on social media. Your potential customers are going to believe what your past customers say more than you.
There are two sides to the optimization of your eCommerce website for 2021. Making sure your customer base is happy and making sure that potential customers can find you. The last thing you want to do is have to try to manage your inventory, purchase orders, and shipping information. Allow a strong Punchout provider to give you an advantage going into 2021.
Samantha Wallace is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is the Content Advocate for Greenwingtechnology.com.