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Virtual commerce, or v-commerce, is a type of application, service, or product feature that helps enterprises implement strategies and design Web sites for e-commerce (the buying and selling of goods and services using the Internet). The term "virtual commerce" is sometimes used as a synonym for e-commerce itself. [1]

Virtual commerce in business[edit]

Virtual commerce can help organizations transcend physical barriers that brick and mortar operations would usually face. Virtual retailers such as co-shopping sites, on-line auctions, Internet retailers, and e-commerce portals have the potential to reach the world market, while having the ability to customize their services using flexible payment systems and CRM databases for one-to-one marketing. Virtual commerce has been pictured as part of a new paradigm for doing business.[2] Many companies are starting to explore commercial possibilities and trying to engage virtual consumers. For example, Starwood Hotels was an early arrival, prototyping a new real-world hotel on the site, while technology companies like IBM are quietly eyeing virtual communities as the building block for next-generation operating systems. Retailers such as American Apparel are attempting to gain value from both ends of the spectrum by mixing and matching virtual and real-world sales.[3]

Virtual commerce in education[edit]

There are many different scenarios in which virtual commerce can play a vital role. For one, traditional learning, usually campus-based, can be augmented by technology, and can allow people to learn at any time, any place. This can be instrumental in providing a customized learning environment that can cater to the needs of every individual. V-commerce looks to be a key component in the 21st century learning environment. However, many institutions of higher learning have yet to develop the knowledge and competency in virtual commerce. The reason is that for many leaders of institutions of higher learning, the focus is still on basic infrastructure and applications, and they currently do not recognize the value or importance of virtual commerce. [4]


  1. ^,, Accessed March 30, 2013.
  2. ^ Leading Practice - A Preferred Context for Researching Virtual Commerce.
  3. ^ How Viable Is Virtual Commerce?.
  4. ^ Preparing for Virtual Commerce in Higher Learning. Accessed April 1, 2013.