Monday, April 11, 2011

Online Retailers Satisfy Long Tail Demand

In retailing, the “long tail” refers to the great many products that have only a small demand. Bricks and mortar retailers prefer to sell products that everyone wants regularly, but online retailers are better at satisfying the long tail demand. This can cause consumers to be dissatisfied with their traditional bricks are mortar retailers.

When I’m looking for something I need, like many people, I start with an online search to see what’s available. The incredible breadth of retailers available to online searching often results in my finding an item even better for my needs than I first imagined.

The next step is to decide where to buy my desired prize. Buying from an online retailer is often a problem because it is usually in the U.S. and shipping leads to annoying delays and extra charges at the border. This leads me to search local retailers for the item I want.

But, these retailers often don’t have the item I want. They have an apparently weak selection that doesn’t include the item that best meets my needs. The fact that I know a better product exists makes me less satisfied with local retailers. I long for the day when shipping becomes faster and more predictable so that I can give up on local retailers for specialty purchases.

When I’m looking for specialty items related to a hobby or favourite activity, I’m getting addicted to the long tail of online retailers.

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