August 8, 2001

Contact: Susan Kalell



SPSS information is available on the World Wide Web through

the SPSS Press Center at:


Leading Japanese computer retailer uses Clementine to triple online profits

Sofmap Inc. benefits from data mining software implementation

CHICAGO, August 8, 2001 – Sofmap Inc., a leading Japanese computer retailer, tripled the profits generated by its Web site using Clementine data mining software from SPSS BI, a division of SPSS Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSS). Sofmap applied the data mining technology to develop a recommendation engine that suggests products to visitors to the site. Since the new engine went live in November 2000, visitors to the site stay twice as long on average and the rate of sales growth has increased 18 percent without additional marketing expenditures, resulting in substantial profitability gains.

"We already had a large database with information on over two million customers," said Nobuyuki Matsuda, strategic planning manager for Sofmap. "We needed a data mining tool to analyze the demographics, individual characteristics and purchase patterns of these customers in order to provide visitors with recommendations to help them make wise purchases. We selected Clementine because it is so easy to use that it enable the marketing staff members who have the best understanding of customer behavior to perform the analysis and develop the business rules for the recommendation engine on their own. Immediately after it went live, we began to see substantial increases in both traffic and sales."

During the recommendation engine’s first month, site traffic increased from a typical 18 million page views per month to a new sustained level of about 35 million views per month. Matsuda said the rise in traffic could be almost entirely attributed to the new recommendation engine. Prior to the go-live date, sales from were running at a rate of about over 200 percent higher than the same month in the previous year. When the revised site went live, the growth rate immediately jumped to 320 percent.

"Companies with an online component to their business are increasingly turning to Web mining to improve their Web sites and customer interactions," said Peter Caron, SPSS marketing manager. "The availability of data – lots of data – is inherent to the Web. Sofmap is an excellent example of a company that has taken its data, and by applying data mining technology, has turned that information into increased sales and profitability."


SPSS BI helps people solve business problems using statistics and data mining. This predictive technology enables customers in the commercial and public sectors to make better decisions and improve results. SPSS BI software and services are used successfully in a wide range of applications, including customer attraction and retention, cross-selling, survey research, fraud detection, Web site performance, forecasting and scientific research. SPSS BI's market-leading products include SPSS, Clementine, AnswerTree, DecisionTime and SigmaPlot.

About SPSS Inc.

SPSS Inc., (Nasdaq: SPSS) headquartered in Chicago, IL, USA, is a worldwide provider of analytical technology for business, government, and higher education. The company’s solutions and products enable customers to make better decisions by learning from the past, understanding the present and anticipating the future. With this insight, organizations gain a true competitive advantage: the ability to manage the future. SPSS analytical technology is brought to the market through five divisions: CustomerCentric Solutions (for integrated analytical CRM solutions); SPSS BI (for data mining and statistical products and services used to solve business problems); ShowCase (for analytical products operating on IBM iSeries/AS400 platform); SPSS MR (for analytical solutions in the market research industry); and SPSS Enabling Technologies (for integration of SPSS technologies in third party solutions through strategic partnerships). For more information, visit

About Sofmap Inc.

Since Sofmap opened its first store in Tokyo's Akihabara district in 1983, it has steadily increased its sales and expanded its network of stores. Now, Sofmap has 35 stores all over Japan, each with its own sales strategy. The stores are carefully targeted so that customers can choose one store that caters specifically to their needs and quickly purchase what they want. These specialist stores include the "Chicago" PC and digital technology stores, specialist Apple Macintosh stores, gaming stores, and the MIDI LAND digital audio stores. With 30,000 products on sale, a consistently high number of visitors and $87 million in annual sales, is one of Japan’s leading e-commerce websites.


- 30 -