IBM (IBM) Announces Acquisition of Fluid's Expert Personal Shopper Division

November 1, 2016 12:02 PM EDT

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it acquired the Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) division of Fluid, a leading innovator in digital customer experiences. 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 key members of the XPS team will become part of IBM iX (Interactive Experience).

With increased competition in the digital marketplace, customer experience is a critical differentiator for brands across any industry. Through the power of Watson, XPS uses natural language interaction to assist shoppers across digital channels, creating 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. By adding XPS into digital experiences, IBM iX aims to make online discovery simpler, smarter and more personalized for consumers," said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. "In addition to retail, we believe, XPS can be leveraged and applied to the digital properties for brands across a variety of industries."

"Three years ago, Fluid, in collaboration with IBM Watson, developed the very first commercial example of conversational commerce," said Kent Deverell, CEO, Fluid. "Since then, we've been hard at work developing Fluid XPS, a leading platform for intelligent, dialog driven product recommendations, and are very excited about its future as part of IBM iX."

With the addition of XPS, IBM is expanding its commerce leadership with a proven cognitive solution. IBM iX helps clients across the full lifecycle of their commerce needs from brand and marketing strategy through world-class experience design and technology implementation at scale. The XPS solution will extend IBM's portfolio of SaaS offerings and services that help companies of all sizes conduct commerce and engage with their customers.

This is the latest of several IBM iX acquisitions in 2016 as it rapidly expands its business in strategic ways to better serve clients. From strategy and design to scalable digital, commerce, mobile and wearable platforms, IBM iX's team of specialists work side-by-side with clients across more than 30 global IBM Studios to invent and co-create innovations that drive results.

Two key XPS accounts, The North Face and 1-800-Flowers, will become IBM clients. Financial details for this deal were not disclosed.



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