Giving a boost to its retail and shopper-marketing practice, IBM has acquired the Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) division of Fluid, a firm focused on digital customer experiences. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The acquisition includes the XPS solution, a dialogue-based product recommendation platform developed by Fluid that applies the power of IBM Watson to personalize the customer experience and improve product discovery.
The XPS solution and several members of the XPS team will become part of IBM iX (Interactive Experience). With the acquisition, two XPS accounts, The North Face and 1-800-Flowers, will become IBM clients.
XPS (via Watson) uses natural-language interaction to assist shoppers across digital channels, creating what IBM claims is a more engaging, personalized and relevant online shopping experience. Delivered as a service over the internet (SaaS), XPS provides tailored recommendations on a business’ site, across online and mobile experiences, and can be incorporated into social channels.
“We look to incorporate the Expert Personal Shopper platform into the customer engagement and commerce solutions that we create for our retail clients,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “By adding XPS into digital experiences, IBM iX aims to make online discovery simpler, smarter and more personalized for consumers,” noting that its application can work for industries beyond retail.
“Three years ago, Fluid, in collaboration with IBM Watson, developed the very first commercial example of conversational commerce,” said Kent Deverell, CEO, Fluid, adding the company is “excited about its future as part of IBM iX.”