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Relationship e-commerce (r-commerce) is a form of electronic commerce in which the primary focus is on business-to-consumer(B2C) and peer-to-peer(P2P) interaction. In r-commerce, the focus is shifted from product sales toward customer relationship building. The concept of r-commerce stems from the relationships a consumer has with other consumers and with a particular business by purchasing its online merchandise or services. If the customer's overall experience in these purchases is positive, he or she may relay the product information in a positive manner and urge others to follow through on similar purchases.
Relationship e-commerce may be known as simply relationship commerce.
In relationship e-commerce, word-of-mouth marketing can be an extremely efficient, beneficial and inexpensive tool for merchants. Brand advocates are an active part of r-commerce. In exchange for suggesting product or service purchases to people they know, brand advocates can receive product discounts or free products. In turn, they may include their electronic feedback to the business itself via website testimonials or advertising campaigns. Their interactive websites also encourage consumers to engage in online conversations with other consumers. Businesses strive to develop solid working relationships with brand advocates and other electronic consumers in order to improve their word-of-mouth marketing.
While products sales may not be the main concept of r-commerce, it does help facilitate final outcome sales because consumers are more likely to purchase an item if it has been highly recommended by a trusted friend.
Businesses actively engage with consumers by genuinely thanking them for their input and getting to know them on a somewhat personal level. This is done by inquiring about and discussing shopping patterns, personal hobbies relative to the merchant's goods and product satisfaction. All this in a while encourages electronic word-of-mouth marketing. Enterprise relationship management and customer relationship management are forms of r-commerce in that merchants share the information they have acquired from their online customers regarding their activities and satisfaction by using customer analytics solutions, among other business applications.