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There are actually two different “versions” of customer management systems and those are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM). Even though the tasks and goals of these two systems are pretty much the same they are still much difference because of the way these systems try to reach those goals.

The first thing you have to learn is the definition and main parts of eCRM.

What is eCRM?

Electronic Customer Relationship Management can be defined as the system that uses different internet applications like websites, forums, e-mails and similar things to reach the goal of CRM. That complete system must contain organized and coordinated CRM processes that will automate different areas of customer service, marketing and sales of some organization. A well created eCRM system should increase the complete performance of organization and have great influence on positive relationship with customers.

eCRM strategy often consist a process of collecting all the needed information about some customer, a complete history of transactions and information about products and content. After that system should analyze characteristics of customer and his profile along with all the activities like the navigation, shopping cart and similar activities.


The main benefits of CRM system come in the way of much improved relationship with customers, better support and improved customer service. One of the great things that come with eCRM is the possibility to match the customer behavior discovered with the analysis of his activities and give offers based on that behavior. In that way customer will get offers that will mostly satisfy their needs. That leads to another great benefit of eCRM system and that is increased satisfaction of all customers and better loyalty towards your business and brand. The overall efficiency is increased and there is an opportunity to reduced costs too and increase the overall profit of organization.

If you want to look into details we can divide eCRM into three levels, those are:

  • Services centered around customer like order tracking, security, customization and the configuration of the product.
  • Services focused on website things like responsiveness of the site, effectiveness and fulfillment of orders.
  • Services that focus on online training and education and online auctions.

The difference

Now you know what eCRM is. The main difference between CRM and eCRM can be seen in the name itself. That little letter “e” in front of “CRM” stands for electronic and it means that some different and often advanced technology is used to fulfill CRM goals.

For example, CRM will contact and communicate with customers with fax, phone or retail store while eCRM will use e-mail, internet, wireless technology and similar stuff. Another great difference is that with CRM system customers have to download some applications if they want to view some web applications and with eCRM that requirement for clients is gone and therefore it makes their life much easier.
It can be pretty expensive to maintain CRM system. If something goes wrong, it’s often impossible to fix that problem yourself and you have to call and wait for the vendor to fix that problem. The overall maintenance of eCRM system is much less expensive and you also need much less time to maintain it or to fix problems.
The overall design of CRM system is focused to functions and products of job. On the other hand, design of eCRM system is more related to the needs of the customer itself. Also, eCRM offers the personalized views related to history of purchase and preferences. That same personalized view of CRM system is not available.

When you look at all that stuff it is obvious to see that eCRM has a lot of advantages over CRM system. It is less expensive, comes with modern technologies and offers some nice features you can’t get with usual CRM system. But, with eCRM system the resolution rate is much mixed and the overall acceptance of users is still pretty poor. I won’t tell you which system is better. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages but the important thing is to know the difference because that helps with the choice.

That’s it, now you know the difference and I hope that this will help you someday. Enjoy!