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Author's profile photo Cui Jian

Personalization for SAP Commerce Cloud with Intelligent Selling Services (ISS)


In e-commerce, how do you accompany customers on their purchase journey in the best way possible? How do you capture the relevant contextual information, perform effective and efficient data analysis, and provides real time individual experiences back to the customers? These are all covered by the Intelligent Selling Services for SAP Commerce Cloud solution.

In this blog post, I will give you a brief introduction to Intelligent Selling Services for SAP Commerce Cloud, what are the major functionality modules of the solution, and how it is used together with SAP Commerce Cloud to support personalized customer experiences.


Intelligent Selling Services for SAP Commerce Cloud, also known as ISS, 

  • is a cloud-native system with intuitive UI for easy data management and configuration
  • captures and analyzes contextual and behavioural data across customer journey
  • provides real-time customer experience merchandising and personalization
  • can be directly integrated with SAP Commerce cloud based systems.
  • is only available for professional and enterprise licenses of cloud version of commerce (i.e. not supporting on-prem)

Please also note that, ISS is rebranded from Context Driven Services, SAP Commerce Cloud (aka CDS) 

ISS consists of 3 important functionality modules plus important reporting features:

CDS Essential Modules


  1. Foundation: continuously tracks and stores customer behavior data so that they can be used in the other modules.
  2. Merchandising:promote and advertise products in a way that improves user experience and boosts e-commerce performance.
  3. Recommendation: one-to-one behaviourally driven product recommendations for known or unknown customers
  4. Reportingprovides insights core Key Performance Indicators as well as overview regarding test outcomes of A/B testing situations

Let’s take a look at each of the modules in further details.


enables to create, maintain, and continually extend customer data via difference resources, e.g.

  • clickstream or commerce data coming from SAP Commerce Cloud
  • from any other external system that can feed data into the foundation database of ISS


The collected data are then used for supporting the merchandising and recommendation modules coming next.


This module focuses on providing

  • An Intuitive GUI for merchandisers to define and immediately visualizable content
  • Metric-driven product selections with the merchandiser’s insight and experience
  • Scheduling capability enables time targeting preferences with no manual interaction required

Possible use cases are:

  • Enable product discovery by showing trending products.
  • Promote products based on their real-time business KPI scores (e.g. conversion rate, product views, best selling products, mostly added into cart products, etc.).

Once a merchant has configured a possible mix with the intuitive UI:

A trending carousel can then automatically show the most up2date products according to the configuration:


this module applies machine learning analysis of shop visitors’ click-paths and behaviours to show the most relevant products during the shopping journey.

At the moment, there are 2 types of fully automatic recommendation features available:

  • Related Products can recommend products related to the current product, based on collected clicks of all customers of the shop.

From the business users’ perspective, this feature can predict the next click of the current user, based on what other users have viewed next. Therefore, it can be used on the product detail page to keep the current user engaged in the exploration of the shop as it directly addresses product discovery. One typical example is to show a product carousel as follows:


an example of – Related Products – recommendation

  • Personalized Products can recommend products according to the combination of user’s personal click history, product metadata, and the behaviour of the other users on shop.

Again the state-of-the-art ML sequence model and deep learning is applied to analyze the shopping journeys of all users to achieve personalized recommendations to each user.

Compared to Related Products feature, this feature provides 1-to-1 personalized product recommendation that is related to the current visitor in more shop pages, such as landing page, home page, category page or product page.

    Please note, ISS portal page here states that there are 3 types of recommendations documented. The first one “Trending Products” is introduced in the previous module “Merchandising” already because it’s not based on machine learning analysis, but managed by merchants to directly influence the list of the recommended products.


    This module provides graphical, intuitive and easy-to-use, yet powerful reporting functionalities regarding different strategies of product merchandising and recommendation.


    Reporting Tools on ISS GUI

    As you can see above, 2 reporting tools are provided on the ISS GUI:

    1. Merchandising Reporting: enables to assess the click-through rate (CTR) for regarding predefined product mixes, strategies as well as the product carousels that are backed by the merchandising strategies and displayed on the online shop.
    2. A/B Test Reporting: can compare 2 product mixes within one product strategy against each other to illustrate the user impressions values, averaged CTR as well as the CTR range, and finally can even suggest which mix performs better.

    If you want to know more?

    Please take a look at the portal page of ISS: 

    Also pay attention to the up-coming live sessions on SAP Learning Hub about ISS.

    That’s it and thanks for reading 😉

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        Author's profile photo Vishal Khurana
        Vishal Khurana

        Hi Cui Jian ,

        Thanks for the detailed information.

        I have following doubts though:

        1. Could you please help me with some documentation (links) where SAP has described the rational behind rebranding CDS to ISS.
        2. I see that both CDS & ISS have different sets of documentation & integration guides. Are these products supposed to co-exist?
        3. Is it true that CDS will be replaced with ISS in future? If yes, then could you please highlight how ISS is better than CDS?

        Thanks in Advance!

        Author's profile photo Cui Jian
        Cui Jian
        Blog Post Author

        Sorry for my late reply Vishal, was a busy month for us in commerce. Find below the answers to your questions:

        1. There is no official documentation stating the rational, however: we believe that we should be using the power of AI/ML to unlock more profitable revenues for our customers. ISS focuses on these business outcomes and removing segmentation means we can incorporate more algorithms and automated functionality faster than CDS. ISS is a move away from putting that burden on the merchandiser to manually create the journeys the customer will experience.
        2. Yes, they will co-exist. But there is no further development of new features in CDS planned for now, ISS on the other hand is now embedded/bundled with SAP Commerce Cloud together and will receive new features constantly.
        3. ISS and CDS will co-exist for now. Future roadmap investments are focussed on ISS, so this is where new innovations will become available.

        Hope these answer your questions.

        Best regards!