Integrating SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud
11 min read
SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud are two products within SAP Customer Experience. Each come with their own set of functionality and data. Integrating both, however, can help elevate the overall customer experience. There are many different options for integrating these two products. This article will focus on outlining the integration options, along with their pros and cons, to help you decide which option is best for you. Before starting, we recommend that you read through the article "Overview of SAP SAP Customer Experience solutions Integration and Extension Options".
Table of Contents
When discussing the integration between SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud, it is important to understand the different interaction points. The following diagram provides an overview of the interaction points:
When trying to determine which integration option is best, there are a few considerations that need to be accounted for:
- Data to integrate (clickstream, master data, product and offer recommendations, and more)
- Project timeframe
- Existing integrations
- Level of support
Because SAP Marketing Cloud comes with a set of common Integration APIs for inbound and outbound data, the focus of this article will be mostly on the options for the integration on the SAP Commerce Cloud's side.
Each section below will cover an integration option, followed by a summary of all the pros and cons of each option. The options below are not in any particular order.
Option 1: Integration API with SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI)
By leveraging Integration APIs that exist in both products as well as the power of SCPI, you will have full power over data coming in and out of both systems in a consent-driven way. If you're using SAP Commerce core with a version >= 1905 this should be your strategic integration solution. For more information about how to perform this integration please check this article Integrating SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud Using SAP Integration Suite and/or watch the following video:
Option 2: Out-of-the-Box Integration with SAP Commerce Cloud, Data Hub
As per the deprecation page, the Data Hub extensions used for SAP Marketing integrations are marked for deprecation. This is to reflect the dependent CUAN_IMPORT APIs being marked for deprecation in SAP Marketing Cloud. With the 2008 release of SAP Marketing Cloud these APIs will no longer be supported, but there are currently no plans to disable/deactivate them in the near future. It is still recommended to plan to migrate to Option #1 above.
This section will focus on the following versions of SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud. All integration options covered here are available with these versions. Prior to these versions, some integration options might not be available.
- SAP Commerce Cloud v6.6
- SAP Marketing Cloud 1808
The integration between SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud can be split into two types of data: clickstream and recommendations, and master data. The clickstream and recommendation data leverages the event framework of SAP Commerce Cloud to push data to SAP Marketing Cloud. For this data to be useful to SAP Marketing Cloud, master data (customer, product, order, carts and reviews), needs to be replicated first. These two integrations are shown in the diagrams below:
Master Data Replication
To replicate the master data, you can leverage the SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub solution, which is an integration and staging platform that comes with pre-built integrations for importing and exporting master data between the two solutions. With these integrations, there are cronjobs in SAP Commerce Cloud that can be triggered manually or scheduled. The cronjob will execute and leverage the delta detection of y2ysync against the SAP Commerce Cloud database to determine any changes since the last time the job was run. These changes will then be loaded, composed and published in the target SAP Marketing Cloud instance through a data adapter that was built using SAP Marketing Cloud's OData services.
We recommend this option for solutions that already have SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub. It is important to realize that SAP Marketing Cloud has deprecated the CUAN_IMPORT OData service. This means that some of the SAP Commerce Cloud extensions required for this integration have also been marked for deprecation. If you are already using this option, you will continue to receive support for the time allotted in your contract. However, the strategic way forward will be to leverage the Integration APIs (see below). We recommend that you consider in your future migration plans the Integration API option that best fits your needs.
This video will walk you through more details on the architecture and implementation for this option.
Note: The above functionality takes into account consent for various scenarios. See this page in the product documentation that details how consent for anonymous and logged-in customers is accounted for in each of the features.
Some helpful links:
Option 3: Expressway
Expressway is a non-standard (unsupported) integration solution for sending master and transactional data from SAP Commerce Cloud to SAP Marketing. It does not require an external server like SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub, so some may find it quicker and easier to set up. Expressway is an SAP Commerce Cloud extension that leverages many of the same extensions as the SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub option mentioned above. For this reason, it is possible to use it in conjunction with SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub.
Aside from not being officially unsupported, another drawback for Expressway is the extensions are only available for SAP Commerce Cloud v6.5-1811, though the 6.5 version may work for some earlier versions. It may be possible to leverage these extensions for newer versions of SAP Commerce Cloud, but there is no guarantee they will work. Additionally, you should also determine if you're looking to add more SAP solutions products in the future, as Expressway only works for integrating SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud. No other products would work whereas SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub and the Integration API options will. Finally, because Expressway leverages the same SAP Commerce Cloud extensions that are being deprecated (in accordance with the CUAN_IMPORT deprecation), you might determine this is not the right solution for you.
For projects that are just starting now, Expressway may be a good temporary solution until all the Integration APIs and SCPI Integration scenarios are completed. If you are starting a project with the intent to use Expressway, we recommend that you also ensure you minimize customizations and have a plan in your project's future to migrate over to the Integration APIs when they are ready.
Option 4: Build your own Integration API
With the release of SAP Commerce Cloud 1808, new Integration APIs were introduced to send data to, or receive data from, SAP Commerce Cloud more easily. Creating Integration Objects and Integration APIs to interact with them is the main integration strategy going forward, as outlined in Integration Options for SAP Commerce Cloud. Depending on which data you need to get in or out of SAP Commerce Cloud, it may be sufficient enough to leverage the existing Integration APIs in your version of SAP Commerce Cloud. Or create your own. Although you would be responsible for supporting any custom APIs you create, this may be the simplest option if you need to customize SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub or Expressway. If you require significant customizations or want to fully integrate SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud, then it's preferable to evaluate the other options in this article.
The following video covers more on the Integration API strategy:
SAP Commerce Cloud Integration APIs - Webinars
What about SAP Commerce Cloud, Context Driven Services?
The SAP Commerce Cloud, context-driven services solution provides real-time customer experience personalization for SAP Commerce Cloud and is complementary to SAP Marketing Cloud. SAP Commerce Cloud, context-driven services provides context-driven merchandising, customer recovery and segmentation. Although the key features integrate with SAP Commerce Cloud, there is also support for integrating Context Driven Services with Marketing Cloud via SAP Commerce Cloud (link) to be able to further drive personalization and gain more insights.
There are many options when it comes to integrating SAP Marketing Cloud with SAP Commerce Cloud. The table below summarizes the pros and cons of each option as well as when to choose each option.
|Options||Pros||Cons||When to choose|
|Pre-built integration APIs with SCPI||
Out-of-the-box integration with SAP Commerce
Cloud, data hub
|Build your own API||