Because even your grandmother shops online these days. SAP Hybris Commerce for dummies.

Apr 07, 2016

For a recently graduated university student and junior consultant, nothing is more exciting (and scarier) than being introduced to a new technology. A few months ago, I was introduced to the Hybris Commerce world.

What is this thing called Hybris?

E-commerce is growing exponentially, both in a B2C and a B2B context. This is where Hybris Commerce makes its debut as a broad multi-channel e-commerce platform with ready-to-use website templates and functionalities.

Offering products and services online with a seamless User Experience (UX) requires more than just a website that is pleasing to the eye with flashy ‘add to cart’-buttons. Hybris understood this and created a commerce solution that is supported by product content management tools, order management and marketing functionalities. Hybris stands strong in the e-commerce vendor market because it offers extensive core capabilities (carts, checkout, pricing, site search,…) and integration with SAP ERP, CRM and Hybris Marketing.

A quick head start thanks to 4 accelerators

To support their partners’ and customers’ project kick-off, Hybris offers a template storefront that is called an accelerator, which is meant to give projects a quick head start in the development of their e-commerce platform. What the nice people of Hybris did was to check which functionalities were most commonly implemented to deliver a fully functional e-commerce platform. The result was an out of the box usable front-end solution with integrated back-end tools and features. Today there are 4 accelerators, each with their own specific functions that are suited for their own market domain.

1. For the end consumer B2C customers are tricky customers that will ditch a retailer website in a heartbeat if it doesn’t provide a smooth shopping experience. This is why the accelerator includes support for a standard website, mobile-first design, a call center, order management tools and integration with an order fulfillment system and different payment service providers. 

2. For business partners More and more businesses implement e-commerce websites that offer a similar B2C UX because these days, users expect nothing less. That is why the B2B accelerator has many elements similar to the B2C accelerator. Additional features were implemented to answer the more complex needs of B2B organizations. These elements include the ability to request a quote and customer self-service functionalities like managing their own users, user groups, budgets, approvals, etc.

3. For telecommunication customers a distinction can be made between vendors that only sell physical products and those that sell a combination of physical products and services. The telco accelerator’s focus is on telecommunication providers that sell services and products as bundles and subscriptions. The goal of telco is providing vendors with capabilities to provide very diverse offerings and high-level service.

4. For financial clients the youngest of the accelerators is the Financial Service accelerator. It is focused on direct insurance companies (obviously) and other financial service providers. The Hybris financial service differentiates itself by offering complex business capabilities with internal well-designed workflows and secure stable back-end systems.

Did I survive?

What is my opinion after 6 months of Hybris Commerce? Well, I haven’t rued the day that I accepted this platform. On the contrary. I’m thankful I got the offer to be part of a team that implements a constant changing e-commerce solution as Hybris Commerce. It was scary in the beginning and I sometimes got the feeling that becoming an Hybris expert was a lost cause, but with the help of my colleagues I’m getting there, one step at the time.


Author: Jürgen Suls. You can follow Jürgen on Twitter (@Jurgen__Suls) or connect with him on LinkedIn

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