Online relationship marketing: evolution and theoretical insights into online relationship marketing

Park Thaichon, Gajendra Prasad Liyanaarachchi, Sara Quach, Scott Weaven, Yi Bu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the past, current and future trends in empirical research and theoretical insights into online relationship marketing.

Design/methodology/approach: Review over 100 empirical and theoretical studies in the online relationship marketing from top marketing and management journals.

Findings: This paper examined three areas pertinent to online relationship marketing: first, the evolution of online relationship marketing from pre-1990s to the present, which offers a temporal snapshot of changes in and an overview of the critical components that make up the structure of online relationship marketing; second, key theoretical perspectives are underlying the development of online relationship marketing; and third, empirical insights into online relationship marketing. In general, online relationship marketing has evolved from customers being passive receivers of online information and services to active co-producers and value co-creators.

Research limitations/implications: The paper identifies future research areas, including multiple layers of interactions, use of new technologies and platforms and the dark side of online communications.

Originality/value: The authors dedicated summary tables for each area, highlighting key findings, which in turn suggest a series of managerial recommendations for facilitating efficient, effective buyer–seller interactions and maximising firm performance in relation to online relationship marketing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-698
Number of pages23
JournalMarketing Intelligence and Planning
Issue number6
Early online date28 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020


  • new technology
  • e-commerce
  • empirical research
  • theory
  • online relationship marketing
  • theoretical insights

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