Case Study: Sapient Shopping

Organizing for, then participating, in a specialty sport requires a lot of time, money and effort. Enthusiasts must routinely conduct massive online-offline searches and comparative shopping campaigns to locate gear, coaching, and guidance. Suitable destinations must then be identified and travel arrangements made.

Often, what promised to be an exciting experience turns into a repetitive, time-consuming ordeal by the time the activity occurs.

Sapient Shopping solves all of these problems, and more, via an AI-enabled platform called AquaThings for water sports. An AI engine draws from a multitude of retail and service partners’ websites, personalizing the shopping experience for each site visitor based on their choices. Detail-rich content captures their attention while on-site guidance builds trust, leading to a higher conversion rate than the 2% industry average.

Sapient Shopping is a Palo Alto, California-based e-commerce firm that’s utilized AI in its consumer retail websites for decades. Its new innovative platform provides a centralized marketplace for all matters relating to water sports such as shops, resorts, travel, learning, coaching and so on.

Their tech involves:

  • Sophisticated AI-driven ecommerce platform
  • AI engine that draws product and service data from partner retail and supply shops, hotel, travel sites
  • Responsive-to-the-screen-and-process guidance that, by virtue of maintaining focus, creates a more refined customer experience

How it works:

All visits to the AquaThings site begin with a search for information on:

  • Equipment for all levels of expertise
  • Educational and coaching resources
  • Hotel, resort and air travel arrangements, and even
  • How to meet up with fellow enthusiasts based on skill level, locale, groups etc. via a community network

Complex decisions are made easier by on-site guidance that guides the shopper through subsequent choices and decisions.

One-on-one interview with Sapient Shopping’s founder & CEO, Faramarz Farhoodi.


  • A one-stop solution approach for all matters related to water sports saves site visitor hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars,overall
  • Friendships can be sparked based on common interests and entire adventures arranged
  • People new to a particular sport can ramp their knowledge up quickly with newfound confidence leading to more frequent purchases
  • Platform can be modified to be a marketplace for other types of sports and e-commerce sites