Maybe you think your business is too small to benefit, or that your products or services don’t lend themselves to an online catalog. This quick e-catalog guide will help you shed some light around some of these misperceptions, and which type of e-catalog is best for your business.

 

Let's start by talking about what really matters:

 

How Can E-Catalogs Help Your Business?

 

Though benefits vary depending on customer parameters and whether you implement CIF or PunchOut, all e-catalogs offer extensive advantages over paper, including:

 

  1. Higher sales through an enhanced user experience. Today’s buying organizations increasingly seek the intuitive navigation and user-friendly features they experience when shopping on consumer websites. E-catalogs provide the familiar, comfortable purchasing environment they want—which in turn leads to higher sales.
  2. Greater customer retention. Because e-catalogs demand a certain degree of commitment to set up and maintain, e-catalog customers are more likely to be serious about buying from you and have a stronger investment in maintaining a long-lasting relationship.
  3. Lower costs and a shorter order-to-cash cycle. By making detailed product information readily accessible, e-catalogs help users quickly find the right items and eliminate the need for lengthy back-and-forth exchanges about specifications, availability, or other details. Automated processes lessen the time and effort needed to place orders and reconcile invoices, dramatically shortening the order-to-cash cycle while cutting costs for you and your customers.
  4. Broader access to new buyers. Buying organizations seeking new sellers are more likely to prioritize those who already have an e-catalog on the Ariba Network, since they know you’ll be easier to do business with.
  5. The ability to negotiate more favorable contracts.The comprehensive reporting and tracking capabilities provided by e-catalogs offer clear visibility into customers’ purchasing requirements, enabling you to project future demands based on real numbers instead of educated guesswork. As a result, you’ll be better equipped to offer effective options and negotiate favorable terms and conditions that benefit you and your customer.

 

 

B&H Photo: Using E-Catalogs to Optimize Sales and Service

 

B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio, a world-class provider of creative technology products, is a great example of how a seller can realize major benefits through e-catalogs. When a large buyer asked them to join the Ariba Network, B&H initially handled the request in a tactical manner. However, B&H leadership soon recognized this as an opportunity to grow the account by replacing their 500-item, annually updated CIF catalog (which had rapidly obsolete, too-high prices) with a 40,000-item CIF catalog to be updated monthly. The customer’s initial reluctance to update the catalog at this higher frequency disappeared once they realized it would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars due to more timely pricing—resulting in a true win-win. Today, B&H provides the customer with a 200,000+-item PunchOut catalog updated multiple times daily and has increased sales in the account by millions.

 


In The Next Blog: What’s the Difference, and How Do You Choose?

If you don't want to wait until tomorrow to learn more, then go to http://exchange.ariba.com/groups/supplylines/blog/2013/03/26/which-online-catalog-is-right-for-you to read the full article.