IBM has announced the acquisitions of DemandTec, a provider of cloud-based price, promotion and other merchandising and marketing analytics, for $440 million.

DemandTec delivers cloud-based analytics software that let businesses examine different customer buying scenarios, both online and in-store. The aim is to help companies can spot trends and shopper insights to make better price and promotion decisions.

For example, a retailer can us analytics to predict how consumers will respond to a price change before making that decision. A brand manager might adjust the marketing mix for a product to drive sales in the grocery channel, and merchant and supplier can work together to understand how shopper segments differ.

IBM will integrate DemandTec’s offerings into its Smarter Commerce initiative, offering services designed to hel companies better define the best price points and product mix based on customer buying trends.

IBM claims the market for Smarter Commerce is $20 billion in software alone, and that extending these capabilities to the cloud gives organizations immediate access to consumer information, providing instant return on investment.

DemandTec has approximately 450 customers worldwide in retail, consumer products and other industries. The company is based in San Mateo, Calif. and has more than 350 employees, with additional offices in Minneapolis, London, Paris, and Bangalore.