Electronic commerce has existed in the business‐to‐business marketplace since the 1970s, in forms such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and electronic funds transfer (EFT). With the emergence of the Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, electronic commerce entered a new era which opened the door for an electronic business‐to‐consumer marketplace. Although the retail side of electronic commerce is still in its infancy, the Web medium offers great potential for building the customer‐base, promoting sales, and improving after‐sales service. Examines the concept of relationship marketing, which has caused a paradigm shift in business‐to‐business marketing during recent years. Extends the concepts of network marketing to the Web retail marketplace, and develops a market process model for Web retailing that outlines the stages of the relationship building process.
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