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IBM iX acquires Fluid's Watson-based Expert Personal Shopper

IBM Interactive (IBM iX) has announced that it will acquire Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) which utilises Watson's technology to power its cognitive shopping assistant.

The company's product-recommendation platform is entirely dialogue-based and was developed by a former partner of IBM called Fluid. In 2014, IBM invested heavily into Fluid in an effort to showcase what companies could achieve using its Watson cognitive computing system.

Fluid's XPS is able to improve product discovery and personalise customer experience through the use of IBM's Watson. The platform is also more approachable for consumers as it uses natural language and can provide a much more personalised shopping experience.

Kent Deverell, Fluid's CEO, highlighted how the company has utilised IBM's Watson to develop its XPS platform: “Three years ago, Fluid, in collaboration with IBM Watson, developed the very first commercial example of conversational commerce. Since then, we've been hard at work developing Fluid XPS, a leading platform for intelligent dialogue drive product recommendations and are very excited about its future as part of IBM iX.”

Paul Papas, IBM iX's global leader, has released a statement in which he offered more details regarding how the company plans to integrate XPS into its own business, saying: “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 discover simpler, smarter and more personalised for consumers. In addition to retail, we believe, XPS can be leveraged and applied to the digital properties for brands across a variety of industries.”

The acquisition will see several key members from the XPS team join IBM iX and the company's former accounts with The North Face and 1-800-Flowers will move to IBM as well. 

Image Credit: Ricochet64 / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.