Nearly every company uses aspects of both relationship marketing and transactional marketing in their daily functions; however, each company will focus on one more than the other. Transactional companies prefer to sell a high-quality, reliable, but high-priced piece of merchandise, while relationship companies prefer to sell multiple purchases of low-priced merchandise over a period of time.
Transactional marketing is the process of luring customers to a store so they can purchase a single item. Transactional marketing focuses on expensive items and large purchases, such as a car, television or computer system. A transactional strategy uses incentives to direct customers to larger purchases. After the purchase, a company can use relationship marketing to address future needs related to the large purchase, such as service plans or component parts.
Relationship marketing attempts to build a relationship between a company and its customers by focusing on the long-term interests of customers. The goal is to lure customers back to the store regularly to purchase additional items. A relationship marketing strategy may include selling various engine parts, instead of selling the car itself, allowing customers to visit the store regularly to purchase parts.
Transactional marketing uses short-term incentives to draw customers into the store for large purchases, such as sales and advertisements for product quality, as in the case of a store advertising a new car's quality aspects. The goal of a transactional marketer is to make a one-time, large sale of an item that will meet the needs of a customer. Relationship marketing incentives can also help draw customers in to make their large purchase in the store. Product performance is an important quality of transactional marketing -- selling customers on the idea of purchasing an item that will work well without needing regular maintenance.
Relationship marketing uses long-term incentives, such as everyday low prices, a convenient return policy and a focus on respectful customer service, to convince customers to return to the store for all of their needs. Relationship marketers will focus on the shopping experience, making sure that a customer's visit is pleasant. Product quality is an important concern for relationship marketers -- selling customers on the overall value of a purchase due to its high quality and low price.