SAP’s increased marketing and product innovations are leading to more enterprise-level organizations opting to migrate to their ERP and CRM solutions.

As part of this movement, moving the front-end website over to the SAP Hybris platform is often sold in as part of the deal to ease integration with the new backend systems.

Large eCommerce migrations can often be wrought with problems due to large SKU catalogues, as not all platform integrators have robust in-house SEO teams or experience outside of that specific platform. From experience, a lot of platform documentation and experience is lacking in SEO terms.

In the case of SAP Hybris specifically, documentation is limited to partner login only, doesn’t provide snippets and the search functionality SOLR isn’t configured (all too well) for specific requests — so not only are things hard to find, you can’t download or share them either.

As you move away from other platforms to Hybris, you may find yourselves leaving the familiarity of Business Manager and other CMSs and entering the realm of Cockpit, SmartEdit, and BackOffice.

While SAP Hybris Cockpits are designed to make life easier, and product catalogues more management for store managers. The drag and drop functionalities and automated templates can lure users into a false sense of security when it comes to SEO.

Good examples of this knowledge gap include Hybris forum members discussing where they can add meta keywords at a category level as recently as 2018, and in the official documentation allows users to create “SEO URLs”, and in the example, advocates using reserved characters as an “SEO friendly URL”.

Common SAP Hybris SEO Issues

Out of the box, SAP Hybris is no worse or better than the majority of enterprise-level platforms when it comes to SEO capabilities.

The common technical SEO issues with Hybris are not unique to the platform, but given that it is quite restricted, they’d be resolved as part of the standard integration.

Commonly, these issues are:

  • Index bloat and crawl wastage stemming from parameter handling on faceted navigation elements.
  • Canonicalization issues and conflicts with PLPs (product landing pages) and parameter usage.
  • Pagination related crawl issues.
  • Canonical issues with the canonical tag being rule-based by the order.
  • Dynamic XML sitemap running on a chron (this is an issue as it updates every 24-hours and updates the file name, causing the previous XML sitemap to 404).
  • Hreflang implementation functionalities can sometimes cause issues for international eCommerce websites.

There are also reported issues around JS usage, and given how mobile indexing works, not having the Hybris storefront using JavaScript in a crawlable and SEO friendly manner may leaded to performance issues and traffic drops post-migration.

Working in conjunction with Hybris integrators

Many major platforms have a form of an in-house team, and from experience, the expertise levels of these teams can vary, and their consultation is often part of any given SLA or agreement with SAP Hybris/SAP Certified Partners in developing your new Hybris stack.

Overcoming these SEO issues and ensuring a smooth migration is essential to maintaining performance and preventing sudden declines in organic traffic.

Working with an external technical SEO vendor is also advised, as mentioned previously, in-house integrator teams often abide very closely to the platform documentation, which isn’t always correct or takes into account real-world variables, or best practices.

And, in my opinion, should lead to the common issues found with SAP Hybris to be avoided altogether – but this isn’t the case.