In a previous DealerCloud post we talked about EDI (Electronic Data interchange) vs. cXML (commerce eXtensible Markup Language). We’re back to sing the praises of the B2B punchout, one of the ways cXML shines. An online experience is stronger when a dealer’s eCommerce site uses technology to simplify a complicated workflow. And that’s exactly what the punchout website does.
The punchout process takes your customer from your site’s shopping cart to a supplier’s website, lets them shop around and create a customized product, then returns them to YOUR e-procurement site and places the customized item into YOUR site’s shopping cart. Your customers expect to easily buy online at their businesses with the type of smooth buying experience they have online at home. Punchout manages interactive communication sessions over the Internet from one website to another, enabling a seamless transaction.
Let’s look at punchout in action.
cXML is used to punchout in scenarios other than out from a dealer’s eCommerce site to a supplier catalog (such as HON Office Furniture, Konica Minolta and others).
A dealer’s customer can enter the eCommerce site through HTTP, create a shopping cart, then when it’s confirmed/checked-out, return to the customer’s ERP system URL, for example SyQuest, People Soft, or TriMega. Or, the dealer’s customer can enter the ERP with a Purchase Order using cXML (post to VibeNet URL, for example), VibeNet will return a response to customer’s ERP system.
As B2B eCommerce continues to grow – we hear it’s continuing to trend; sales will top $1.1 trillion in the US by 2020 – you might want to consider offering your customers the best online experience with punchout.