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Executive SummaryMost of the companies have an online presence. Whenever a customer clicks on an ad or views a product specification, web site operators make a note of this and record his digital trail. They would like an answer to the following questions: Why did the visitor viewed this product but did not buy it? What was the source of this visitor? Did he found an attractive scheme at some other website? They would also like to know his demographic profile and his key personality traits and interests. eCRM enables marketers to answer these questions.

eCRM is a new initiative that is the new ‘buzz word’ in relationship marketing circles. This report makes a critical analysis of an article “Exploring the success factors of eCRM strategies in practice” by Qimei Chen and Hong-Mei Chen. The primary objective of their study is to understand the benefits of implementing eCRM, and determining the key success factors for a beneficial eCRM implementation. They make ant attempt to understand the strategic objectives of the companies to implement an eCRM package. The authors then present an eCRM survival model that shall guide companies for their eCRM implementation.

The rest of this report is organized as following: The first section is the Introduction which lays the ground for further analysis. This is followed by a review of the available literature on the same field. The article by Chen and Chen is then analyzed with respect to their objectives, methodology and findings. This is followed by a study of 2 case examples: Compaq, and Amazon. The last section is the Reflections which present my outlook of the report.

IntroductionCustomer Relationship Management which is deeply based on the concept of relationship marketing focuses on finding the best customers for a company, maximising the value for them and retaining them. This enables the company to maintain long term profitability instead of spending on acquiring new customers. The advent of internet technology and e-business has opened new avenues in ways CRM can be done. This new concept eCRM consolidates the traditional CRM with e-business activities. In light of these developments, it is necessary to explore the status of eCRM in industry and determine the Critical Success Factors that enable eCRM to be succeed.

The paper by Chen and Chen analyzes this with the help of a primary research undertaken by them. The authors analyzed the benefits and the Critical Success Factors. The authors then develop a survival model for helping companies with their eCRM strategy. Literature AnalysisVarious defnitions of eCRMeCRM is seen as an amalgamation of two significant strategies: The e-Business market and shift to customer-centric strategies (Bradway & Purchia, 2000). Forrester Research (2001) defines eCRM as a ‘web centric approach to synchronizing customer relationships across communication channels, business functions and audiences’.

Classification of eCRMFigure 1: Types of eCRM (PCMAG)Various Channels and Applications of eCRMeCRM includes various technologies: Internet, e-mail, mobile telephony, customer call centers, and voice response systems. Anon (2002) argues that these technologies have reduced the level of human interaction on the supplier side. These new technologies and mobile commerce have given us new methods of selling products, new learning curves in the field of customer relationship management (Wright et al. 2002).

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