Active Decisions' New 'Active Sales Assistant' Increases E-Tail Conversion Rate Uses Active's Personalized Recommendation Service
To Help Guide Online Shoppers Through Myriad of Product Offerings

BURLINGAME, Calif.----Feb. 12, 2001--Active Decisions Inc. (ADI), a leading provider of eCRM decision support applications, today launched Active Sales Assistant(TM), an interactive decision guide for eCommerce sites that helps consumers decide what to buy in over 120 product categories.

Already deployed by a number of major consumer electronics, computer, and entertainment e-tailers, the Active Sales Assistant can be customized for and seamlessly integrated into the "look and feel" of a licensee's own Web site. Retailers and manufacturers provide the service to their customers to increase online sales, customer confidence, brand loyalty, and site "stickiness," while lowering return rates and costly customer support.
    Customers, such as Sony Electronics e-Solutions Company LLC, incorporate the technology in their ecommerce web site. "Technology from Active helps us convert online shoppers into buyers," said Brian Siegel, manager of new business development at Sony Electronics e-Solutions Company, which manages the more than 750 consumer electronics products and services on the web site. "Active's system, like a knowledgeable sales person, helps customers quickly determine which product best meets their individual needs."

Active Sales Assistant's easy-to-use, interactive question-and-answer format hones in on consumer preferences, generating intelligent, personalized, value-based recommendations (see screenshot). Each retailer's latest pricing and product availability information is updated automatically via an XML feed. This service helps online shoppers make more timely, well-informed, and satisfying purchase decisions by recommending and comparing the products that best fit their personal priorities in terms of price and features. It also aggregates information about consumer preferences that can help retailers and manufacturers better understand their customers.

The same scalable technology that has been licensed to major portals such as Yahoo and Lycos is being used to power the recommendation engine in Active Sales Assistant. The software is extremely mature, having been used by tens of millions of online shoppers and having gone through two years of usability testing. The service also comes bundled with Active Product Spex(TM) which provides comprehensive product specification data and photos that are always up-to-date. This enables retailers and manufacturers to implement Active Sales Assistant in as little time as one week.

"If an online retailer doesn't quickly differentiate itself by offering consumers the tools they need to make better choices, the competition is only a click away," said Tom DuBois, COO of Active Decisions, in making today's announcement. "80% of online shoppers that have used Active Sales Assistant intend to buy one of the recommended products. It is an extremely useful tool that saves shoppers both time and money. This increased customer satisfaction is reflected in higher sales conversion rates, greater retailer loyalty, fewer returns, and improved bottom line results."

"In today's fast-growing but highly competitive e-tailing environment, revenues count, but ROI is king," added Jeff Dunn, Active Decisions' president and CEO. "By helping our clients' customers make better purchase decisions, we dramatically reduce 'buyers remorse' and the costly product returns that go with it. At the same time, our highly automated decision-support technology dramatically reduces customer service costs for the e-tailers themselves. We also save them money by offering our Active Sales Assistant 'recommendation engine' at prices well below what it would cost them to develop this complex and sophisticated technology in-house."

Pricing and Availability

The new Active Sales Assistant decision-support service is now available to the full range of online retailers traditional "bricks and mortar," hybrid "clicks and bricks," and so-called "pure play" e-tailers with prices for the fully integrated, site-specific service beginning at $100,000.

About Active Decisions

Active Decisions, Inc. (ADI) 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 ecommerce sites use Active Decisions' technology to reach millions of active buyers every month. The company's products include Active Buyer's Guide, the Web's leading recommendation engine; Active Sales Assistant, a personalized online sales agent; and Active Advisor 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, Consumer Reports, Sony, e*Trade, Ralston Purina, GE, McKinsey & Co., and Inktomi. Founded in 1997, Active Decisions (formerly Active Research) is based in Burlingame, and on the Web at and

Active Buyer's Guide is a registered trademark; Active Advisor, Active Sales Assistant, and Active Product Spex are trademarks of Active Decisions, Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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    CONTACT: Active Decisions                        
             Cheri Hariri, 650/762-2531                            
             The Hamilton Group
             Alexis Hamilton, 650/843-1265