But which trade-offs will push you to choose one platform over the other for your ecommerce install?
The answer requires some stepping back. Both pieces of software were built with very different intentions.
A key point about Hybris is that a license to use it costs approximately $1 million. (You read that right!). And it was built from the ground up for companies that can afford $1 million in licensing fees alone.
Compare this to Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The cheapest installs start at $150,000 — which makes it very affordable for companies for whom $1 million in licensing fees alone is a far stretch.
This is the key starting point for a few reasons. One is that if you don’t have a million dollars in licensing fees, don’t even think about it and the decision is made now!
There’s another key difference between Hybris and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. As the “Cloud” in “Commerce Cloud” implies, SFCC is hosted entirely on Salesforce’s servers. You don’t have to worry about system administration or, what they’re now calling, “dev-ops.”
Since Hybris is hosted by you, you need your own infrastructure to host it and manage it: server farms and dev-ops to manage the scaling up and performance. Hybris is well-suited for companies that already have that in place — and if you’re going to build out of your own hosting environment, you may want to consider Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which has already done that.
You, wise reader, are probably thinking: “So much more expensive! And you have to host it on top of that! Why would anyone even use Hybris?”
And the answer is: Hybris offers extensive customization that the other platforms, including Salesforce Commerce Cloud don’t. In fact, it is designed to be deeply customized.
For example, it doesn’t even have a deep dashboard nor a real product information management system — because the starting assumption is that your developers will build out the dashboard that you actually want.
Contrast this with Commerce Cloud, for example, which has endless dashboards for everything. Well, seemingly everything.
But as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. So much is customizable that it’s easy to press the wrong button and… boom.
In conclusion: if you have a 7- or 8- digit budget, your own competent server farm, devops and (Java) development teams, and you want something deeply customizable and you’re ready to deeply customize it — then Hybris is for you. If not, you may want to consider Salesforce Commerce Cloud.