What is PunchOut Level 2?
While both L1 and L2 PunchOut offer a wide range of benefits over static catalogs, L2 functionality offers several key advantages over L1. “Level 1 gives buyers a ‘front door’ to access a specific supplier website: they punch out from their procurement application to the supplier’s site at the home page or storefront,” our catalog experts note. While this offers plenty of advantages, it also presents some challenges:
- Users have to learn multiple search mechanisms on different supplier sites, so it’s harder for them to find and buy the correct items.
- Users may not know you even offer the items they’re looking for unless they’re already familiar with your site and business—because they can search for your company’s name, but not for the items on your PunchOut site.
- Users have to go to at least two locations before they can begin searching.
L2 PunchOut eliminates these problems and builds on the capabilities of L1 by adding a number of key benefits, including:
- The more consumerized shopping experience your customers want. Developed to meet requests for a more consistent purchasing experience, L2 catalogs simplify the buying process by letting users conduct product searches within their own procurement application. This means they only need to learn one UI and search mechanism, rather than a different one for every supplier website. Since the navigation is already comfortable and familiar, they can easily find the catalog items you sell—so you don’t lose the business to non-catalog purchases. “No user likes navigating through 10 different supplier sites to find what they want to buy,” our experts say. “With Level 2, they don’t have to.” Higher compliance also helps customers by enabling them to better manage their spend.
- New ways to boost sales. With L2 catalogs, you can work with customers to leverage multiple resources that increase your product visibility, such as:
- Relevance ranking and other advanced features that help push your products higher in search results
- Greater flexibility in positioning what you sell by including hierarchical attributes that specify how catalog items are searched for and displayed, directing users to store, aisle, shelf, or product levels
- Emphasis on unique selling characteristics by highlighting catalog items with icons that indicate whether they’re green, preferred, contracted, or have custom attributes that customers want their users to know
- Support for favorites and kits that allows users to quickly select and save favorites from your site into their own procurement application to expedite repeat purchases, and/or create kits of multiple items for aggregated purchases
- Enhanced search capabilities. The item-level search capabilities provided in L2 enable buyers to use more granular details to find your items faster directly through Ariba® Network. L2 catalogs also support detailed descriptions, attribute-level key words, refinement support, and images, all of which help users find needed items quickly and easily—translating to higher sales for you.
Benefits of PunchOut L2
While your decision to implement L2 PunchOut may be driven by a customer’s request, you can also adopt it proactively. “If you already have a Level 1 PunchOut site, moving up to Level 2 requires only a bit of extra work while adding major benefits,” our experts point out. “You can capture more occasional users and drive up repeat purchases, and your customers get the user experience they want to help them maximize catalog spend.”
Even if you’re just launching your first PunchOut catalog, the additional effort required to provide L2 capabilities can pay off handsomely for your business. What’s more, you don’t have to limit yourself—you can add Level 2 capabilities and still keep your Level 1 storefront items, allowing your customers to choose the purchasing experience they prefer.
You can read more about L2 PunchOut by logging into your account at supplier.ariba.com, clicking Documentation at the bottom of the Help Center sidebar, then clicking Product Documentation/Catalogs and typing “Level 2 PunchOut” in the search bar.