The North Face XPS

The North Face debuts fluid expert personal shopper: an artificially intelligent digital commerce platform, powered by IBM Watson


Cognitive Computing

eCommerce is growing rapidly but little has changed about the online shopping experience for decades. Shoppers are left on their own to find the “right” products through long navigation trees, one-and-done keyword jockeying, complex filtering and a general lack of reliable advice. Which for us raised the question: could an innovative solution tap into the rise of new technologies? More specifically, could IBM Watson hold the key to better shopping experiences?


Instead of manually combing through page after page of results using traditional search or navigation-style shopping, XPS provides an interactive, dialogue-based approach to assisting shoppers that mimics the expertise and efficiency of talking to an in-store expert that can make personalized recommendations. Using Watson’s abilities to apply logical reasoning and understand, categorize and evaluate natural language, XPS asks a brief series of refining questions. XPS then interprets your answers, evaluating them against a retailer’s extensive product-specific data points to quickly and accurately deliver tailored product and content recommendations that match your articulated desires and preferences.


The North Face launched the beta application December 9th, 2015 for jacket recommendations. Week 1 results included:

  • 55,000 total sessions during beta
  • 2 minutes average session time
  • 60% clickthrough while 75% of users said they would use it again