In a bid to strengthen its enterprise marketing and management division, IBM plans to acquire customer analytics software company Tealeaf Technology, it announced Wednesday.

Tealeaf Technology provides marketing officers with qualitative Web and digital analytics, showing how people shop online and ways companies can improve to retain customers and make more sales. The privately held company, which is based in San Francisco, provides real-time customer data about shoppers, including those who use mobile devices for shopping.

IBM will be able to offer chief marketing officers and others in marketing "qualitative insights into how customers actually experience their brands" as well as showing marketers "how to react in real time" in marketing, sales and service, said Craig Hayman, general manager of Industry Solutions at IBM, in a news release about the planned acquisition.

IBM has invested more than US$3 billion in its smarter commerce initiative after previously acquiring Coremetrics, Unica and DemandTec. IBM expects that more companies will demand services for e-commerce as analytics become more vital in online transactions.

Tealeaf's technology can be deployed into an existing e-commerce business, without modifications, allowing companies to capture customer data and react to that data "immediately," CEO Rebecca Ward said in the release.

The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter. IBM then expects it will continue supporting Tealeaf's 450 global customers, including 30 Fortune 100 companies in financial services, travel, retail and communication services, among other sectors.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The news was released in the midst of the IBM Impact Global Conference in Las Vegas.