IBM and Fluid Join to Provide an Innovative Shopping Experience

Apr 24, 2014

120747935_Internet_Shopping.jpgIBM is partnering with Fluid, Inc. to change the shape of the consumer shopping experience. The companies are honing in on the missing link in on-line shopping (as compared to in-store) that likely has lead to many "shopping carts" not making it to the "register."  In stores, we have sales associates to help us make decisions and guide us to the register to ensure we make those purchases.  On-line, we certainly get a little aid from product information and reviews or the chat function to speak with an agent.  However, there is no concierge that gets us past the research stage and make the payment.

IBM and Fluid Inc., are planning to change this "through personalized, digital experiences with a personal shopping concierge that understands and advises its users on key purchase decisions" as noted in the press release link below.  The Fluid Expert Shopper (XPS) made with IBM Watson, is an app that allows consumers to ask specific and detailed questions just like the may ask a sales person in a store. In this way, they are able to obtain the customized advice that helps them be more comfortable with their purchase, before they leave the site. Because, once they exit, they may not come back..

This has great potential in high-end and high tech product selling.  Combined with augmented reality, another big trend in retail that allows the consumer to build a relationship with a brand or product, this may be the next big thing for retailers to bond with consumers.

Alpa Shah


This May marks my 22th year with Frost & Sullivan. Being part of a fast-growing company and dynamic industry, an entrepreneurial culture, and a fun environment is invigorating and worth every moment. My professional and volunteer experience includes business and strategy planning, product and vertical market analysis, growth consulting, event planning and execution, sales and marketing, web design, and most importantly, creating and inspiring teams to be best in class. Consulting projects have ranged from strategy development to white papers to end user analyses. My focus now is to guide visionary CXOs and IT leaders through the next era of digital transformation with the help of a IT experts and analysts across all industries. Prior to joining Frost and Sullivan, I worked for Smith Barney for 5 years in its accounting division handling incentive compensation plans. In this position I was responsible, from an accounting and payroll perspective, for the capital accumulation and deferred compensation plans of top management and account executives. Thereafter, I worked as an account executive at Edward Jones, a brokerage company for approximately one year. In these positions, I learned much about the operations of a financial company, financial instruments, and sales techniques.

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