Pros and Cons of Using SAP Hybris for Personalization

Learn about marketing personalization capabilities of SAP Hybris and products within its ecosystem that can deliver personalization when it's needed.

When you are first considering an eCommerce solution for your store, it’s crucial to generate a comprehensive understanding of the functionality that you want to have. It’s great when a solution is easy to set up and maintain. What’s better is having a solution that supports building up your brand loyalty through personalization, stellar customer experience and flexibility in digital content management.

Once your business takes off, it’s vital to keep the momentum going. If you’re not geared towards growth, then you might as well abandon the idea of launching an eCommerce business.

Enter the marketing functionality that’s available with your platform of choice. Marketing and sales are helpful tactics to get your business over the next milestone you set for it.

Numbers don't lie

It’s vital to get a basic understanding of required marketing features for your preferred solution. Otherwise, you’ll end up ‘patching in’ specific marketing functionality either through add-ons/ extensions or a custom project designed specifically for your eCommerce business. You can also get a dedicated marketing solution from a third party delivering specific marketing projects, but this will only further break the integrity of your data and marketing activities as you become reliant on outside help; not to mention more complicated and thus costly infrastructure.

SAP Hybris offers a comprehensive suite of marketing functions that can help you skyrocket sales and improve a variety of metrics, from customer engagement to brand loyalty. The one that we want to focus on today is personalization and how Hybris can augment your marketing activities by offering a more tailored customer experience for your visitors.

We recently covered several taboos of personalization and wanted to continue with a more detailed overview of solutions that drive the synergy between eCommerce and marketing. Hybris is a good place to start, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of utilizing SAP Hybris for personalization.

Pros: Versatility

Hybris offers a broad range of marketing solutions that incorporate the majority of marketing best practices that can propel your business. You don’t have to use Hybris Commerce to take advantage of these solutions, which is always a bonus if you’re all set up with a different eCommerce platform. Not to mention that Hybris as an eCommerce solution is an expensive suite if you take the package deal, but more on that later.

Let’s focus on the marketing versatility that can help your business to directly personalize the customer experience for your users.

SAP Hybris Marketing cloud

Let’s take a closer look at each of the products pictured above to see how they can accurately target the pain points that businesses have when it comes to creating truly customized marketing experiences.

Dynamic Profiling

This is probably one of the most versatile features on the list, as it allows you to set up and execute on customer profiles on the go. The beauty of this solution is that it can pull data from numerous sources, such as Facebook, which is SAP’s partner. This additional information enriches the customer profile on the go and allows you to personalize marketing campaigns at an individual level.

For example, you can select customers that had a negative sentiment towards your brand and create a follow-up campaign with an additional discount or another type of promotion - right there in Hybris. No need to download data from your database, then upload it to your email management software and execute a particular campaign.

Propensity modeling within this package allows you to predict specific actions by specific users. From there, it’s easy to create a custom campaign to ‘gentle nudge’ them towards a purchase, when you see that they’re in the right part of their customer journey.

Segmentation and Campaign Management

This feature plays off the previous one. It uses dynamic customer profiles to create segments for your marketing campaigns and allows you to reach out to customers through the channels that are most relevant for those specific users. This feature is additionally enhanced by the fact that you can create trigger-based campaigns, depending on activities that customers perform or do not perform on your site.

What you end up with is a multi-channel marketing setup that allows you to predict where customers are more likely to interact with you, depending on their segment.

SAP Hybris Segmentation and Campaign Management

This information is then used to create campaigns that engage people through social, email, and other channels - all within the confines of the same marketing campaign with no need to engage people via multiple platforms. This is high-level personalization, and it’s much more efficient than the standard rules-based or list-based campaigns that many marketers are used to.

Loyalty Management

One of the most important aspects of running a business is creating a brand that the customers are likely to get behind. This is one of the most desirable forms of personalization because, in this scenario, a customer gets personally attached to you and your business.

Hybris offers a compelling loyalty management suite that includes a wide variety of engagement tools. One of the best overall features of the package is the ability to integrate your offline and online loyalty management techniques seamlessly. For example, it allows you to use geo-fences (imaginary boundaries set by GPS) and iBeacons to create regional restrictions to personal promotions in a specific city or area.

It also works great with promotional tactics that focus on mobile loyalty engagement, allowing you to create personalized coupons that are geared towards mobile audiences and are compatible with the majority of mobile wallets like Google Pay.

Customer Attribution

There are numerous touchpoints that your potential customers use to interact with your brand. Some arrive through ads, while others find out through Google, and so on. It takes a number of touchpoints to push a visitor towards a purchase. Which one should you invest in? This is the central issue of marketing attribution, or simply put, the understanding of the most impactful marketing channels.

Examples of manual attribution models

Understanding where the customers are coming from can be crucial for your personalization strategy. Instead of waiting for them to go through all of the touchpoints, you can personalize their experience right from the start, within the channel that’s more likely to host highly engaged leads who are likely to convert. This shortens the conversion cycle and increases revenue. It also gives you insights into personal preferences, like the communities where people reside, to personalize your marketing further.

Hybris uses patented machine learning and mixes it with game theory to build marketing attribution predictions. So despite you not being able to understand how they arrive at specific conclusions, you will be able to experience a positive effect on your business.

Cons: Affordability and Scarcity

SAP Hybris, including its Marketing Cloud, is priced according to quotes that SAP provides once you reach out to them. It was reported that SAP Hybris, as a platform, starts at around US$50,000. The Marketing Cloud is going to be a cheaper venture since it’s not a full-scale eCommerce solution, but expect to pay top dollar for your specific project. We don’t want to scare you off. So reach out directly to Hybris and get a quote for the specific product or suite that you’re interested in. Their Commerce as a Service solution, for example, has a ton of free micro-services, which are like versatile versions or extensions/add-ons that we’re used to within other eCommerce platforms.

It’s also widely accepted that Hybris overall has a weak reporting/analytics suite that undermines the whole package. While personalization doesn’t always require that much analytical effort, especially if you hand it over to a machine learning algorithm, it’s still nice to be able to take the driver’s seat from time to time.

Hybris project pricing comparison

Given the specifics of pricing and the ‘black box’ nature of Hybris (its Marketing Cloud), there aren’t that many medium-sized businesses or even bigger companies that use it. This means that you might experience a certain lack of available development talent that can adequately help you implement Hybris Marketing Cloud for your personalization needs. There are also not that many development agencies that can deliver a high-quality Hybris implementation simply because there aren’t that many projects that can be used to build up experience with the platform.

For Your Consideration

If you’re looking for an experienced development team that’s ready to take on any custom Hybris implementation, look no further. Our multi-dimensional ecommerce development team at Iflexion has experience and the necessary expertise to deliver the complete package when it comes to Hybris, including its plethora of marketing personalization tools.


SAP Hybris has a robust set of personalization features, powered by machine learning and various other patented technologies that offer a single, extremely versatile suite that’s able to deliver an almost 1-on-1 customer experience. It also provides full access to the code once you purchase the product, so there shouldn’t be any issues deploying it for your custom project. However, given its pricing and the overall target audience consisting of medium and large enterprises, a successful SAP Hybris implementation might be a costly endeavor, unless you are able to find an adequately priced development team.

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