Ecommerce platform comparison: Shopify vs SAP Commerce Cloud

When running a web store, you want to have total confidence in your ecommerce software so that everything from inventory management to SEO functions to the best possible standard. One solution that is used by more than a million merchants across the globe is Shopify, a subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) and complete commerce platform that simplifies the process of starting and maintaining an online store. As well as its main B2C ecommerce platform, Shopify also has B2B functionality and even has a point-of-sale app that supports in-person trading.

Another popular SaaS is SAP Commerce Cloud (previously called SAP Hybris), an enterprise ecommerce solution built for large businesses that integrates with other SAP products such as SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud. These are cloud-based solutions that make up SAP C/4HANA, the platform’s combined customer experience tools aimed at enterprise merchants.

In this guide, we're going to compare SAP Commerce Cloud with Shopify across key features and considerations to help you decide which software is best for your ecommerce store. Click on one of the links below to jump to that section:

Shopify and SAP Commerce Cloud: Summary

Shopify

SAP Commerce Cloud

Target business size

Businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMEs and companies with 10-50 employees with over $1-10m in revenue.

Specifically designed for large B2B enterprise companies and B2C retailers.

Prices

  • Shopify Lite: $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month
  • Shopify: $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month

SAP Commerce Cloud does not publicly share its pricing information. Its plans are split into a ‘Standard edition’ and ‘Premium edition’, with prices available upon request.

App store

The Shopify App Store is an extensive ecosystem of over 6,000 apps.

The SAP App Center is an online marketplace where users can purchase and renew solutions from SAP and its trusted partners to maximise their investments.

Integrations and APIs

Shopify API gives you access to all the data from online stores that are Shopify-based and use it for your own purposes. This supports both JSON and XML.

SAP Commerce Core includes OData Services as well as opportunities for you to create your own customised integrations.

Content management

Out-of-the-box content management system developed by Shopify for creating, managing and modifying store navigation, content and design as well as SEO.

A centralised repository for bulk editing, publishing and uploading products as well as built-in workflow review and approval.

Security

Level 1 PCI DSS certified. In other words, all stores are equipped with protection and data encryption tools to prevent ransomware and viruses from entering your servers.

Protected via the PCI DSS 3.2 security standard.

Support

24/7 support.

You can use the Help Portal on the SAP Commerce Cloud website to report issues and search for solutions to common problems.

Setup and ease of use

Once you sign up to Shopify, your online store is ready to go within minutes. The drag-and-drop storefront editor, more than 70 free and paid themes and a variety of customisation options allow you to build your ecommerce website with little or no coding knowledge. The Shopify Mobile app enables you to keep on top of everything even when you don’t have access to a computer.

SAP Commerce Cloud, on the other hand, not only requires specialist implementation but is also built for users with technical knowledge. It is a headless commerce solution, meaning that the front-end development is decoupled from the back-end. Front-end developers will use API calls to create unique progressive web app (PWA) storefronts and user experiences. This means the process of setting up a site on SAP Commerce Cloud can be quite lengthy, and extensive training is necessary for generally maintaining a store and keeping on top of even the most basic features.

Reporting and analytics

Every Shopify merchant has access to an Overview dashboard that previews store activity, visitor insights, store speed and recent transactions. When subscribing to the Basic Shopify plan or higher, you get even more reports covering key business areas such as customer behaviour, inventory, customer acquisition and a live view function to monitor your store’s activity in real-time.

SAP Commerce Cloud can be integrated with Google Analytics for gathering data about clickstream and visitor behaviour, such as page views, clicks and conversions. This can be used for improving storefront design and performance, digital marketing strategies and product merchandising.

Order management

When a customer places an order through your Shopify store, this appears in the Orders section of your Shopify admin. This is where you will process and manage orders, get an overview of order analytics, and create returns and refunds. You can also create orders manually on this page if you have sold something outside of Shopify but want to keep a record of it in your Shopify system. You can turn on automations for payment capture, order fulfilment and order archiving in the Orders area to make this process quicker and simpler.

SAP Commerce Cloud Order Management enables you to monitor and manage customer orders, refunds and returns as well as shipping and inventory information. Features include fraud reports, real-time inventory management and automated workflows.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to be a coding expert to run a Shopify store?

Unlike with SAP Commerce Cloud and other ecommerce platforms, you don’t need to know about coding to set up a Shopify store. Of course, some knowledge of HTML or CSS will be helpful for customising your store, but this is not essential.

Does Shopify charge transaction fees?

Shopify does not charge a transaction fee when orders are made through Shopify Payments, their own payment gateway which is available in 17 countries. For external payment gateways, fees of 2%, 1% or 0.5% will be applied for the Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans, respectively.

What are the multi-channel selling opportunities offered by Shopify?

As well as POS, with Shopify you can sell on many different channels including Google, Amazon and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.