Virtual Community: Concepts, Implications, and Future Research Directions

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Sumeet Gupta, Dept. of Information Systems, National University of Singapore and Hee-Woong Kim, Dept. of Information Systems, National University of Singapore


Virtual communities (VCs) are places on the web where people can find and then electronically “talk” to others with similar interests. Being capable of increasing stickiness of the website, VCs have potential to form future business models especially in B2C. This research presents an integrated and conceptual understanding of VCs dividing it into three parts namely, virtual community (VC) evolution and formation, VC dynamics and VC application. This research also highlights the importance of VCs in relation to its application for building trust, relationship and commitment over internet. Due to their ability to make the site sticky VCs can be of benefit to both the customer and the marketer in many ways. This research reviews the benefits VCs can provide to the vendor/host in relationship marketing, building customer relationships, enhancing store image and customer loyalty.


Virtual Community, Virtual Communities, Types, Core Elements, Relationship marketing



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