Home Virto Commerce blog SAP Commerce Cloud Alternatives: A Detailed Expert Comparison 2024

SAP Commerce Cloud Alternatives: A Detailed Expert Comparison 2024

Feb 20, 2024 • 11 min

SAP Commercek Cloud has long become one of the most popular B2B ecommerce platforms for enterprises. The solution was created over 20 years ago and still attracts new businesses. In this article, Virto experts who gained great experience in market analytics and platform building will share their view of SAP Commerce Cloud among other Virto Commerce alternatives and compare it to other popular solutions. You will learn about the differences between SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Hybris, find out the capabilities of SAP and make an informed decision on purchasing it or another solution. This is a good starting point for those looking for an ecommerce platform or comparing SAP Commerce Cloud to other software like SAP.

What is SAP Commerce

In the B2B e-commerce platform market, there is a great variety of solutions. When we approach a particular vendor, we often find out there are even more software options than what every vendor offers. So, the first question to discuss is, "Are SAP Commerce and Hybris the same?". The answer is yes and no.

Hybris was a separate ecommerce platform until 2013, when German company SAP, headquartered in Walldorf, acquired the business and integrated Hybris with SAP solutions. Called SAP Hybris from 2013 to 2018, the solution was reworked to integrate well with the SAP ecosystem, and in 2018, the vendor renamed it SAP Commerce. Now the solution supports SAP's naming conventions and cloud-first strategy.

All in all, this is still a comprehensive B2B ecommerce platform that includes product content management, order management and more. SAP is more than simple ERP ecommerce software; this is why the platform rigorously takes bigger market shares: founded in 1972 (over 50 years ago) the solution still sits high in the market.

Diving deeper into SAP Commerce Cloud (ex. Hybris)

SAP Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Hybris, is a cloud-based ecommerce solution designed to help businesses deliver engaging, personalized shopping experiences across multiple channels. It is a part of the SAP Customer Experience suite and SAP ERP integrated ecommerce, providing businesses with the tools needed to connect with their customers, understand their needs, and deliver a seamless customer journey.

Though offering many SaaS features, SAP Commerce Cloud mostly operates like a PaaS ecommerce model (platform-as-a-service). The most popular features are:

  • Centralized management of product information
  • Omni-channel commerce across online, mobile, social, and in-store channels
  • Order management tool and inventory management
  • Various tools to create personalized and contextually relevant customer experiences
  • Support of multiple languages and currencies

SAP Commerce architecture offers tons of ready features, though their use is limited to only what SAP has already created: new features can be developed only if the vendor decides to include them in a new release, and the cost of creating them can be overwhelming.

The platform is customizable in certain features and offers many interface customization options. Deeper customizations are possible, but it usually takes a long time and surprisingly big costs to do it. While it doesn’t aim to enhance CX through adding innovations, SAP tries winning the market by providing personalized content, recommendations, and offers, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

SAP is a cloud-based solution and has its own ecosystem of products. All solutions within the system are integratable and interchangeable. Some of them can connect to third-party solutions.

Companies Using SAP Commerce and Successful Use Cases

While offering its solutions as ERP distribution software to mid-sized and large enterprises across various industries such as retail, telecommunications, manufacturing, and more, SAP Commerce is expensive enough to gather mostly large enterprises, retail giants, telecommunication and automotive companies. The solution offers generally needed capabilities, though the pricing often retains smaller businesses from purchasing SAP.

Good examples of SAP users are Adidas, Volkswagen and Samsung; market leaders who have good budget capabilities and need a certain set of features often choose SAP for an extensive list of OOTB capabilities, and later add needed innovative features with other third-party solutions, if SAP doesn’t offer them.

Integrations and Connectors

While mostly offering easy connections in its own ecosystem like SAP Business One, SAP Commerce Cloud can integrate to some other solutions like Salesforce, Adobe Experience Manager, and more.

Besides integrating with Google Analytics and payment gateways like PayPal for streamlined payment processes, SAP connects to everything through API to exchange data. As it is sensible to global software changes, it cannot deeply connect to any other platform, so when the business needs features of other platforms, sometimes it is easier to replatform.

Pros and Cons of the SAP Platform

SAP Commerce Cloud, as a leading ecommerce platform, has been widely discussed and reviewed, moreover, Virto Commerce has done its own research to learn more about SAP. Here are the findings on the strengths and weaknesses of the solution.


  • SAP ecosystem integrations. SAP Commerce Cloud excels in its ability to integrate with other SAP products, sometimes connects to other solutions.
  • Great set of OOTB features. The platform offers a wide range of advanced features, including product content management, order management, and customer experience management, which are essential for modern ecommerce operations.
  • Omni-channel capabilities. SAP Commerce Cloud supports omni-channel commerce, enabling businesses to provide consistent and personalized customer experiences across all channels, including online, mobile, social media, and in-store.


  • Complexity and Learning Curve. One of the most common criticisms is the platform's complexity. The steep learning curve and the need for specialized knowledge to fully leverage the platform can be challenging.
  • High Total Cost of Ownership. The cost associated with implementing and maintaining SAP Commerce Cloud can be high, including licensing, hosting, customization, and ongoing support. Some companies cannot use SAP as the TCO keeps growing extensively as the business grows.
  • Resource Intensiveness. Deploying and customizing SAP Commerce Cloud can require significant resources, both in terms of time and skilled personnel. This can be a challenge for organizations with limited IT staff or budget constraints.
  • Upgrades and Maintenance. While SAP regularly updates the platform, upgrading to the latest version can be complex and resource-intensive, especially for heavily customized installations.
  • Customization Options. Customizing features and adding new innovative capabilities usually take an overwhelming amount of time and money. While being easily customizable on certain features, SAP requires months to offer something new, allowing more flexible platforms to disrupt the market.

SAP Commerce Cloud: Implementation Cost

Let’s dive deeper into the subject of SAP pricing, as we touched the ground on its cost-prohibitive pricing structure.

Implementing SAP, including SAP Commerce Cloud, involves various costs that can significantly vary based on the size of the business, the complexity of its requirements, the extent of customization needed, and the specific SAP products and services being used. SAP operates on a paid model, offering a range of products and services that are not free.

The cost to implement SAP can range widely, from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars. Key factors influencing the cost include the scope of the deployment, the number of users, the level of customization required, and whether the implementation is on-premise or cloud-based. For SAP Commerce Cloud specifically, the implementation cost includes software licensing, cloud services (if applicable), professional services for setup and customization, and ongoing support and maintenance.

SAP's license cost varies depending on the product suite, the number of users, the type of access required (e.g., full access vs. read-only), and whether the deployment is on-premise or cloud-based. SAP Commerce Cloud, for example, typically operates on a subscription model for its cloud services, where the cost is based on the commerce revenue or the number of orders processed, among other factors. Licensing for on-premise solutions, on the other hand, might involve upfront costs plus annual maintenance fees.

All this leads to an ever-growing TCO as SAP user grows: starting from a very expensive implementation, the company keeps moving to higher prices as it might need more features, greater upgrade spends, so on.

SAP Commerce Cloud vs. Others: Competitors and Alternatives

While being popular because of its well-known name and extensive set of features, SAP is often considered too expensive and rigid to work with (as we said, offers hard innovation capabilities). So before choosing SAP, companies often compare it to other solutions. So, here we offer a table of the most popular SAP Commerce Cloud competitors.

Comparison Factor
IBM WebSphere Commerce
Target audience Large enterprises Mid to large enterprises Large enterprises Small to medium businesses Small to medium businesses Medium to large businesses Large enterprises Mostly large businesses
Functionality Comprehensive, complex Comprehensive Comprehensive Streamlined, easy to use Flexible, extendable Comprehensive, customizable Comprehensive Flexible, customizable
Price High High High Low to moderate Low Moderate to high High Moderate to high based on the needs
License and Ecosystem Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Open-source, extensive plugins Open-source, extensive ecosystem Proprietary Open-source, flexible, GMV- or order-based
Implementation Complexity High Moderate to High High Low Low to moderate Moderate to high High Moderate
Scalability Highly scalable Highly scalable Highly scalable Scalable with limitations Scalable with appropriate hosting Highly scalable Highly scalable Highly scalable
Integrations Extensive, complex Extensive Extensive Wide range, easier Wide range through plugins Wide range, complex Extensive Wide range, flexible
Support Extensive, premium Extensive, premium Extensive, premium Good, varies by plan Community-driven, varies by hosting Extensive, varies by plan Extensive, premium Good, community-driven
Use Cases Complex, global operations CRM-focused, multi-channel commerce Complex, diverse industries E-commerce startups, SMEs SMEs with WordPress sites E-commerce growth, complex needs Complex, enterprise-level e-commerce B2B, complex scenarios
Strengths and Weaknesses Powerful, complex, costly Customer-centric, costly Industry-specific solutions, costly User-friendly, less customizable Flexible, dependent on WordPress Customizable, resource-intensive Enterprise-focused, less agile B2B focused, customizable
Ideal Fit Enterprises needing comprehensive solutions Businesses focusing on CRM and commerce Enterprises with diverse needs New e-commerce businesses, SMEs Businesses already using WordPress Businesses needing customization Enterprises with specific e-commerce needs B2B Enterprises and complex commerce
Least Suitable For Small businesses due to cost Small businesses looking for only commerce solutions Small businesses Large enterprises needing complex integrations Non-WordPress users Small operations due to complexity SMEs due to complexity and cost Small, simple retail operations
Implementation and Ownership Cost Very high High High Low to moderate Low Moderate to high High Moderate
Innovations and Updates Continuous, with a focus on cloud and AI Continuous, CRM and AI focus Regular, focusing on cloud solutions Regular, user-driven enhancements Regular, community-driven Regular, community and Adobe-led Regular, enterprise-focused Continuous, B2B and tech-focused
Multilingual and Multicurrency Extensive support Extensive support Extensive support Basic to moderate, via apps Via plugins Extensive support Extensive support Extensive support
User Experience Complex, powerful Intuitive, feature-rich Complex, customizable User-friendly, straightforward User-friendly, flexible Customizable, learning curve Complex, enterprise-focused Flexible, learning curve


When choosing between SAP and other platforms and looking for the best B2B ecommerce platform, the first thing to think about is your need for innovations and your budget. The businesses with really extensive budgets that need one separate ecosystem and plan to use it for decades, can easily choose SAP. The ones who feel the risk of disruption and need to be faster in innovations need to consider other more flexible options in terms of extensibility, innovation-readiness, and more. And, of course, SAP prohibits itself from being purchased by businesses with smaller budgets. The solution is expensive at the implementation step, and the cost keeps growing with the business using it, leading to overwhelming TCO.

All this means that if you are a huge business strong enough to beat disruption without innovations, try SAP. In case you want something more flexible and extensible, try considering Virto Commerce. And if you are still unsure how to prove if you are making the right choice or how to choose the ecommerce platform for your B2B project, reach out to our experts and we will help you to see the difference.

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