In 2014, IBM invested in Fluid’s XPS app. Both companies worked together with the aim of evolving the e-commerce experience beyond the traditional realms of price, convenience, and selection. With Watson’s cognitive technology, the companies added the prowess and tailored advice of an in-store sales representative. In the words of Kent Deverell, Fluid’s CEO, “Three years ago, Fluid, in collaboration with IBM Watson, developed the very first commercial example of conversational commerce.”
XPS isn’t the first company IBM has invested in first and then bought it out. In early 2016, to enhance Watson’s dataset, IBM bought data and digital assets from The Weather Company for ~$2 billion. Prior to this acquisition, in March 2015, IBM had entered into a partnership with The Weather Company as part of its billion-dollar investment in the Internet of Things (or IoT) space.
Paul Papas, the global leader of IBM iX, said, “We look to incorporate the Expert Personal Shopper platform into the customer engagement and commerce solutions that we create for our retail clients.”
E-commerce is a rapidly growing market, dominated by Amazon (AMZN). To tap this growing market, in mid-2016, Salesforce (CRM) announced its acquisition of Demandware to gain entry into the lucrative e-commerce space. Though IBM’s Watson is gaining recognition, it still faces intense competition from Amazon and Salesforce.com.
View more information: https://marketrealist.com/2016/11/ibm-acquired-expert-personal-shopper/