IBM and Salesforce unveiled plans to connect their respective artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to drive insights for their retail partners.

The technology supplier giants will integrate the natural-language AI programme IBM Watson with Salesforce’s Einstein, which monitors customer purchasing habits and shopping data.

The partnership will allow Salesforce retail partners to gain insights from IBM Watson AI technology, which is currently used by retailers including include Shop Direct, Macy’s, Sears and Staples.

According to the suppliers, the combined insights from Watson and Einstein will enable retailers to combine local data trends with specific customer data to deliver highly targeted advertising campaigns for shoppers.

As part of the partnership, IBM will also be able to use Salesforce’s cloud services to manage its own customer support division.

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said: “Within a few years, every major decision – personal or business – will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies.

“The power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers.”

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