De Facto Leader in Online Decision Guides Broadens Scope of Product Line to Include Personalized Sales Agents, Comprehensive Product Catalogs and Market Analytics

Burlingame, Calif. ( February 5, 2001 ) - Active Research Inc. (ARI) today announced that it has changed its name to Active Decisions, Inc. (ADI). The new name better reflects the full range of ecommerce business products and services the company now provides to its fast-growing roster of customers that includes more than 80 Fortune 500 corporations, top-tier Internet portals, and online retailers.

 “Our new name better describes the new, broader scope of our business,” said Jeff Dunn, Active Decisions’ president and CEO, in making today’s announcement. “From our established and very successful base in portal decision guides and market analytics, we’ve now grown to offer a full range of decision support solutions. Our products let online merchants directly guide their buyers toward better purchase decisions – and they help manufacturers and retailers make better product and pricing decisions. Taken as a whole, all of our web-based solutions help companies sell more.”

Dunn also points out that, unlike traditional retailing – and notwithstanding the impression given by a rash of recent, negative media reports – ecommerce sales were actually up significantly in this recent holiday season. He noted that some estimates put this growth as much as 60% above last year’s figures.

“This overall growth in ecommerce, and the market’s current demand for cost-efficient return on investment, has driven even more impressive growth in the eCRM sector, ” said Dunn. “A recent report in Business Week places the current growth rate for eCRM at more than 50% a year, with analysts projecting total eCRM revenues of $9.8 billion by the end of 2001. We are ideally positioned to benefit from this opportunity.”

“Together with the growth in our own revenues and client base, these overall industry growth trends are among the reasons why we continue to hire top people in all areas,” said Dunn. He estimates that Active Decisions will increase its current staffing by 33% in the next two fiscal quarters.

Recent industry reports note the need for new CRM technologies to help companies better understand their customer base and develop programs, pricing and products that respond to its needs. Reflecting the need to introduce more personalization in the online shopping experience, one analyst group predicts that sales in the analytical CRM market will grow 111% this year. Others concur.

"The first wave of ecommerce technology promised tremendous efficiency through automation – almost always a depersonalizing process," noted Harry Watkins, research director with Aberdeen's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice.  "The next wave of technology, like Active Sales Assistant, uses sophisticated software to personalize the shopping experience, building on the developments over the last couple of years. The net result is a more satisfied customer, lower rates of return and less abandoned shopping carts. By providing detailed data about customer preferences and values, Active Decisions' new technology also gives merchants valuable insight into the why behind the buy - a tremendous advance over traditional click-stream analysis."

“With more than 70 top Internet portals, and ecommerce sites using our interactive recommendation engines, we believe we influence more purchases than any other company in our sector,” added Daniel Greenberg, Active’s vice president of marketing. “As the de facto leader in eCRM decision-support technology, we felt it was time our name more fully reflected both the scope of the services we already provide and communicate our strategy for the future.”

Part of that strategy, both executives say, is to continue to expand their products and services to related areas such as online guided selling. The company’s new, value-based Active Sales Assistant™ service, for example, offers intelligent, personalized product recommendations which have already proven enormously popular with major consumer giants such as Sony Online, and with online shoppers. Consumer preference data gathered by Active Sales Assistant fuels the new market analytics service known as Active Advisor™, which provides real-time insight into buying patterns based on detailed customer responses. This product not only forecasts consumer demand, but also helps guide optimum pricing, messaging, and feature prioritization.

About Active Decisions
Active Decisions, is the leading provider of eCRM decision support applications. The company helps businesses increase revenue by providing online sales assistance while generating real-time intelligence about customer needs. More than 80 Fortune 500 companies, leading portals, and e-commerce sites use Active Decisions' technology to reach millions of active buyers every month. The company's products include Active Buyer's GuideTM, the Web's leading recommendation engine; Active Sales AssistantTM, a personalized online sales agent; and the Active AdvisorTM demand forecasting system.

Named a "Hot 100"' company by Upside Magazine, Active Decisions provides solutions that span major markets including consumer electronics, computers, appliances, automotive, and financial services. Customers include Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Consumers Reports, Sony (NYSE: SNE), e*Trade (NASDAQ: EGRP), Ralston Purina (NYSE: RAL), GE (NYSE: GE), McKinsey & Co., (NYSE: DIG), and Inktomi (NASDAQ: INKT). Founded in 1997, Active Decisions (formerly known as Active Research) is based in Burlingame, Calif. and on the Web at and

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For Information Contact:
Alexis Hamilton
The Hamilton Group for Active Research