Merkle, the data powerhouse within Dentsu International, announced that it has acquired LiveArea, a commerce and customer experience (CX) agency based in Dallas.

Craig Dempster, Merkle’s global chief executive, stated, “The acquisition of LiveArea is an important part of the future of the Merkle/CEM business, allowing us to enhance and expand our experience and commerce business and compete at the highest levels. All digital touchpoints will be shoppable in the future, and all shopping experiences will be digitally enabled. As such, it is important to have commerce at the heart of our customer experience transformation capabilities, and the acquisition of LiveArea underscores and augments our capabilities in these key areas.”

Merkle has reportedly signed a deal worth $250m with LiveArea. Merkle will take over LiveArea’s 590 employees under the new agreement. Merkle prides itself on being a market leader in “data-driven customer experience management (CEM).” Merkle claims the acquisition will strengthen its global experience and commerce capabilities and help bolster the business’ position as a “go-to partner for experience management.”

LiveArea’s client list includes key industry players such as Salesforce, SAP, and Adobe. Through the acquisition, Merkle and Dentsu may be able to strengthen their relationships. LiveArea will report directly to Merkle’s global head of experience and commerce, Pete Stein. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

This acquisition will strengthen Merkle’s commerce capabilities, which are timelier than ever before. Consumers spent $861 billion with US merchants online in 2020, which is a 44% increase from the previous year. The firm will benefit from investments in retail commerce and eCommerce even if growth plateaus.