Consumer Relationship Marketing on the Internet: An Overview and Clarification of Concepts
Fang Wang and Milena Head
Reference: Wang, F., Head, M. (2005). “Consumer Relationship Marketing on the Internet: An Overview and Clarification of Concepts”, Innovative Marketing, 2005(1), 55-68 Abstract: Relationship marketing (RM) has the potential to be a highly effective marketing technique. However, it has been problematic in retailing applications and caused confusions in interpreting research results. This paper analyzes problems of RM in the consumer market and reflects on the Internet's impacts on consumer RM. The problems in previous consumer RM research are traced to two roots: conceptual confusion and practical difficulties. To clarify the concept, it is proposed that RM can be classified to a broad sense or a narrow sense. It is stressed that RM strategy design has to comply with the relationship characteristics of targeted consumers. Alleviating practical difficulties in consumer RM, the Internet is presented as an effective facilitator for consumer RM success. Key words: relationship marketing, Internet, e-tailing, consumer research
Relationship Marketing (RM) is a popular concepts in current marketing research and practice. RM has the potential to increase customer retention by building long-term customer relationships. RM can increase marketing effectiveness and efficiency by reducing marketing costs, facilitating the targeting of high-profit customers, reducing price sensitivity, creating opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling, erecting exit barriers, and facilitating database development (O'Malley and Tynan, 2000). Since relationships can become an important source of competitive advantage, a marketing paradigm shift from transactional to relationship marketing has been proposed (Buttle, 1996). RM was initially conceived as an approach in the business-to-business (B2B) environment. The adoption of the RM concept to consumer...