If you’re considering investing in a hosted catalogs for your business, you may be wondering what it is and how it can benefit you. In short, a hosted catalogs is an eCommerce solution that allows businesses to outsource hosting and managing their online product catalogs.
Suppliers frequently wonder whether it would be better to use a hosted catalogs or punchout catalog for their customers who utilize an eProcurement system. However, both choices come with perks.
What is Hosted Catalogs?
A Hosted Catalogs is a supplier’s listing of offered goods and products that their customer can access on an eProcurement system. The eProcurement system provides potential buyers with a static spreadsheet that includes essential product information, such as the name, price, and description. With this file, buyers can compare prices between suppliers and make purchases.
Although the hosted catalogs is a quicker and easier option to set up, it has many challenges that must be addressed. Primarily, there is less flexibility since it is not interactive. The only user interface available is within the eProcurement system, limiting the supplier’s ability to upsell or cross-sell. Out-of-date catalogs from suppliers can cause a lot of problems for eProcurement systems. If prices or content stay mostly the same, it might not be such a big deal. But for most suppliers with price changes all the time, constantly uploading new files into the system can become quite a nightmare. And suppose an ordered product is out of stock or priced incorrectly because its corresponding catalog entry needed to be updated at the time of purchase. In that case, chances are that supplier will have to honor whichever older price is still listed in their now hosted (but outdated) file.
How does a Hosted Catalogs works?
The hosted catalogs is regarded as a centralised database of service and product information, which is maintained and hosted by the 3rd party service provider. The business organisations use the hosted catalog to share the product details with potential customers and buyers, through the online portal. Now, we will explain how the hosted catalog works:
The supplier fabricates a catalog of different services and products, such as product images, product prices, product descriptions, and different related information.
- After this, the supplier will upload the catalog to the specific hosted catalog service provider. The service provider provides different tools that are useful to the supplier in maintaining and managing the catalog.
- It is possible for potential customers and buyers to seek access to the catalog through the web portal that the hosted catalog service provider offers. The buyer can browse the services and products, make a comparison of the features and prices, and place orders via the online portal.
- After the placement of the order, the specific hosted catalog service provider will send the order details to the supplier, which will fulfill the order, followed by the processing of the payment.
Six benefits of Hosted catalogs:
1. No Maintenance
Suppliers must upload and update their hosted catalogs and punch cards. This allows buyers to enforce compliance with contracts before prices go live internally. You can also take advantage of new content, such as videos and blogs, without waiting for your catalog to be updated.
2. More Accurate Data
Catalogs are available online and linked to supplier’s databases, providing buying organizations with a 360 view of item availability and discounts on delivery costs. With the centralization of the product details in the hostel catalogs, it is possible for the suppliers to ensure updated and accurate product details. It plays an integral role in decreasing errors. Moreover, it also helps improve the overall data quality.
3. Simplified and centralized purchases
Users can only see the prices that have been negotiated when they access catalogs through our cloud-based procurement platform.
4. Improved user experience
The hassle-free and well-organized hosted catalogs offer a better shopping and browsing experience to potential customers. The procurement process is transparent for the stakeholders, and item categories are streamlined. This makes it easy to find what you need and track progress.
5. Improved productivity
Automating your purchase order validation workflows and order life cycles will save you time to focus on more important tasks.
6. Native ERP Interface
Integration of purchase requests/orders into your ERP system.
7. Boosting sales
With the implementation of user-friendly hosted catalogs, it is possible for businesses to offer a convenient and hassle-free option to their potential customers to browse and buy different kinds of services and products.
The hosted catalog provides a budget-friendly option to promote the services and products, since it does not involve any distribution and printing costs.
9. Real-time updates
It is possible to update the hosted catalogs in real-time. Moreover, it enables the business organization to update different new services and products quickly. It is also beneficial for updating the pricing. In addition, it helps introduce different changes to the descriptions.
10. Search Engine Optimization
The hosted catalogs bring an improvement in the search engine rankings. In addition, it helps grab the attention of potential visitors to the site of the business.
It is possible for the hosted catalogs to accomplish various business needs, regardless of whether they are large or small.
12. Enhancing brand awareness
The hosted catalogs offer a comprehensive view of different services and products, thereby boosting brand awareness.
13. Improved analytics
The hosted catalogs offer valuable insights and data into the potential customer’s behavior, like the most popular products and the way in which the pages are viewed most frequently.
Importance of Hosted Catalogs
Customers, suppliers, and different stakeholders can access the hostel catalogs to facilitate different kinds of business transactions. These catalogs also help streamline the procurement process. Now, we will discuss the various advantages of hostel catalogs:
Boost in visibility
The hostel catalogs enable the suppliers to exhibit their services and products to a vast assortment of audiences. It also helps boost the visibility of the product. Besides this, it is also useful in increasing sales. Potential customers can browse and search through different catalogs to look for different kinds of products.
Hostel catalogs are useful in centralizing product details. Moreover, it also helps streamline different kinds of procurement processes. Thus, the hosted catalogs are beneficial in decreasing the costs, which are related to inventory management and purchase.
Improved supplier relations
The hostel catalogs have become the need of the hour in offering a centralised platform for collaboration and communication. Thus, it also helps in creating a stronger and more effective relationship between customers and suppliers. It is also beneficial in improving the trust and transparency between two different parties.
The hostel catalogs offer hassle-free access to product costs, product details, and other kinds of information. Furthermore, it is useful in decreasing the efforts and time, which are essential in completing the transactions.
Reasons to choose the Hosted Catalogs
The hosted catalogs are beneficial in different kinds of situations, such as
If you are willing to operate the online store, the hostel catalog is useful in managing product pricing and inventory. Thus, it is easy for the potential customers to buy and browse the products.
Business to business procurement
If your company is buying services and goods from different suppliers frequently, the hosted catalog offers a centralised database of product pricing and product information, thereby simplifying the procurement processes.
If you are operating in a highly regulated industry, the hosted catalogs assure you that the supplier is useful in accomplishing different kinds of regulatory needs.
After the negotiation of the contractors with the supplier, it is possible for the hosted catalogs to assure that the terms and pricing are adhered to.
For the management of a wide assortment of suppliers, the hosted catalog is useful in monitoring the supplier’s performance. It assures that you can opt for the best service and pricing.
The hosted catalog is regarded as a valuable and effective tool for the business enterprise. It helps manage a massive array of service and product details, regardless of whether it is for external sales or internal procurement. Moreover, it is useful in streamlining the procurement process. Besides this, the hosted catalog assures compliance with different kinds of regulatory needs. After this, it brings an improvement in supplier management.
Challenges in Hosted Catalogs.
However, they also come up with certain challenges. Now, we will discuss some of the most popular challenges in the hosted catalogs:
Integration of the hostel catalogs with the ready-made purchasing and procurement system is time consuming and complicated. It is essential to ensure the proper integration of the catalogs with different systems. It is considered to be an integral part of the smooth procurement process.
You need to keep in mind that the hosted catalogs need the latest and most accurate product information to be effective. It can be challenging to ensure that the catalogs have the most updated product details, primarily when there is involvement with different products and suppliers.
Like different kinds of technology, the hosted catalogs need the success of user adoption. You should ensure that the potential uses can meet the prerequisite benefits. You should be aware of the hosted catalogs. You need to be trained to use the user adoption process in an effective manner, as it is necessary for the widespread adoption of the hosted catalogs.
The hosted catalogs depend on the efficiency of the supplier participation. It can be challenging to motivate the suppliers to stay engaged and seek participation, primarily when the suppliers boast of their own processes and systems.
Hosted Catalog vs Punch Out
One can find electronic catalogs in any of the following two forms:
Hosted Catalogs can be accessed and archived through the P2P system of either the customer or service provider.
PunchOut provides an interface between the customer’s E-procurement solution and the supplier’s website. This makes it easier for customers to find your products and purchase them directly from your site.
Each solution is designed to address the specific needs of the customer’s organization. Here is the major difference between the two types of catalogs:
|Hosted Catalog||Punch Out Catalog|
|Creation||The supplier must submit a CSV document (or equivalent) that meets the required format.||The customer can view the supplier’s range on their website.|
|Publication||By the P2P solution’s customer or supplier.||The supplier adheres to the commercial conditions its website outlines.|
|Data verification||The customer will receive each catalog with their delivery.||The supplier submits reports on product consumption and price changes to the customer. The customer’s standard (UNSPSC) and specific product codes are supported.|
|Reporting||Ad hoc reports.||The supplier offers reports on product consumption and compliance and access to all the technical documentation related to the transaction (order, delivery note, track & trace, etc.)|
|Product searches||All of the ranges on our solution’s search engine are common and are based on the data we provide.||The supplier’s e-commerce site includes a search engine that uses data from the website. There is also support for creating lists of favorite products and reviewing previous orders.|
|Updates||To create a smooth workflow, it is necessary to reduce the number of outdated products.||Automatically performed tasks on the e-commerce site.|
If your company sells strategic products that are very specific and occur regularly, then hosted catalogs would be your best option. However, if you want to manage strategic purchases with a much wider range of products, PunchOut systems would better suit your needs. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which system will work better for streamlining your purchasing process!
Questions to ask when choosing between a Hosted Catalog vs Punch Out?
Should we choose a punchout or hosted catalogs system? Here are some questions that may help you decide:
- Should users buy certain items because of rebates or deals?
- Would it be beneficial to users if we had supplier-specific site features?
- Are you able to be alerted of any updates regarding products or pricing?
- How important is it for my organization to have control over a specific category of spend?
- Are there any products my suppliers offer that users shouldn’t buy? Can the suppliers restrict access to these items?
Keep your end goal and procurement objectives in mind when you compare a punchout catalog solution to a hosted one. Technologically speaking, punchouts are less complicated than making a hosted catalogs. Nevertheless, while punchouts may save time right away from a procurement angle, they only give access to the supplier site’s features.
1. What is hosted catalogs in Coupa?
Hosted catalogs are storehouses of product data your customers can access and search from the main Coupa homepage. You can make a catalog using the Coupa catalog template (.csv) and upload it into Coupa, or your customers can directly upload hosted catalogs themselves through the CSP. If you choose to upload them yourself, remember that once your customer approves, they will be available within Coupa.
2. What are the Buyer Benefits from the Hosted catalogs in Coupa?
One of the benefits of using a hosted catalogs is that it is easy to maintain and update. Any changes you make to the product data will be visible immediately so that you can keep your catalog up-to-date easily. This also makes it easy to keep track of any updates your suppliers may make to their products.
3. What are the Supplier Benefits from the Hosted catalogs in Coupa?
Hosted catalogs are storehouses of product data your customers can access and search from the main Coupa homepage. You can make a catalog using the Coupa catalog template (.csv) and upload it into Coupa, or your customers can directly upload hosted catalogs themselves through their CSP account.
4. How do the Hosted catalogs work in Coupa?
The process is simple: you upload the catalog into Coupa, and once your customer approves it, it will be available within Coupa. Your customers can then access the catalog from the main Coupa homepage and search for products using the various filters and search options.
5. How to upload hosted catalogs items into Coupa?
You can upload hosted catalog items into Coupa using the Coupa catalog template (.csv). Once you’ve saved the template to your computer, you can fill it out with the relevant product information and then upload it into Coupa. Remember to check with your customer before uploading the catalog, as they will need to approve it before it becomes available.
Hosted catalogs are a great way to keep your product data organized and up-to-date. They are easy to maintain and can be accessed by your customers from the main Coupa homepage. If you’re looking for a simpler way to manage your catalog, hosted catalogs may be the right solution!