eProcurement & Procure-to-Pay Resources

Guided Buying vs. Search in P2P

Published March 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

We often explored on this blog a key challenge to corporate procurement: how can they create a buying experience that is simple for users and encourages high levels of engagement while, most importantly, ensuring purchases are performed under contract and through the corporate approval process?

One concept focuses on the idea guided buying. The concept of guided buying, popular in several P2P technologies, uses a guide which may vary from technology to technology, to direct the user through the process. The guided buying concept has merit but falls short with the casual user who simply wants to type in the name of product they want, buy it, and move on.

Why do you need a “guide” if you can search for yourself?

Whether it is a retail purchase, a search for a holiday rental, or a plumber or carpenter, consumers enter B2C sites with an idea of what they want already in mind, so they go directly to the search vs guided buying. These same users come to work only to find antiquated buying processes involving spreadsheets, approval forms, and a purchasing technology that uses cumbersome guides in an attempt to be a B2C site but does more guiding than buying, often punching out to complete the purchase.

At BuyerQuest, we believe buying at work should be the same as buying at home. And at home, it all starts with search.

For a successful corporate purchasing experience, the user interface must be intuitive and encourage high levels of adoption. Searching must be simple, contextual and provide relevant results. The shopping cart and requisition steps require simplicity, without a punchout or other cumbersome steps or guided buying.

Procurement organizations need technologies that are built on 3 critical elements:

  1. Rich Content -- Images, Descriptions, Characteristics, as well as configurable items.
  2. Contextual Search - The ability to deliver relevant, contextual information to end users throughout the buying process
  3. Scalable, Cloud-Based Solution -- The capability to support the millions of SKUs across the marketplace.

It all starts with Search

BuyerQuest enables casual requisitioners to search across all supplier contracts and services within a single storefront. Unlike other technologies, all supplier content resides in one place making it easy to search for and find the correct, under contract product or service. BuyerQuest’s advanced buying technology ensures that each user sees the relevant results for their search, eliminating the time to find the right product.

A quick, contextual search with "fast as you type" result sets of matching goods and services that is personalized by location and user, BuyerQuest applies the B2C experience to B2B procurement. Precision searching enables multiple search parameters to be layered together to deliver a precise result set

As a result, each user has an experience that is specific to them with only relevant information,  resulting in zero-touch training. This, in turn, reduces maverick and off-contract spending by only exposing goods that user is allowed to purchase, preventing inadvertent/non-permitted orders and expensive returns

Rather than focusing on guided buying for your users purchasing experience, consider a search-first approach that allows your casual buyers to purchase quickly and focus on true value-add activities to the organization.

Learn more about Search - Buy - Pay.


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