IBM Watson Group Invests in Fluid to Transform Online Shopping
“At Fluid, our mission is to create personalized, digital experiences that will change the way all consumers shop,” said Kent Deverell, CEO of Fluid, in a blog post. “Thanks to IBM Watson’s ability to interact naturally with human users and discover insights from massive amounts of data, we’re building an interactive shopping experience and taking consumer engagement to a new degree of personalization and service.” In partnership with The North Face and other consumer brands, Fluid XPS will take advantage of Watson’s ability to answer consumers’ questions and learn from their responses, engage in real-time conversations and then tailor suggestions for products. Watson will understand the context of its users’ questions, and continuously learn about their needs based on the information they share. As an example, one could ask Watson for advice on what outdoor gear is best-suited for a five-day, June hiking adventure in Phoenix. Fluid XPS would call upon Watson’s understanding of natural language to identify clues from the user’s question suggesting particular needs around weather, terrain and trail conditions. When complete, Fluid XPS will draw on data, including the brand’s product information, user reviews and online expert publications through IBM Watson, to provide consumers with informed recommendations according to their needs and desires. Consumers will receive valuable insights in making smart purchases and be able to interact with Watson on desktops, tablets and smartphones.“Fluid and IBM are purposely involving consumers in this new era of computing,” Deverell said in a statement. ”An era in which people no longer type best-guess keywords into a retail website’s search box and hope for meaningful results; instead people ask specific questions based on explicit needs and get expert, personalized, information-driven responses to guide buying decisions. This is the same experience we have in real-world stores with great sales reps every day and is what’s missing from digital retail.” In January IBM launched the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive advisors. The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to deliver a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover insights from massive amounts of big data.
With a vision to forever transform the online and mobile commerce space, IBM and Fluid aim to bring back the era of personalized customer service, by accelerating the consumer shopping experience into a new era of cognitive computing.