The Long Tail...
For some reason, anytime I heard the phrase the “Long Tail,” I always thought of those damned Yellow Tail adds with the kangaroo. Aaaanyway, the long tail is a term that is used to describe the end part of a graph that displays a company’s sales. This is the type of graph that I am referring to. Amazon is primarily an online bookstore. Now borders books, a chain of book stores, makes most of it's money off of the head of their sales. They make money of the best seller and the other books that are popular at the time. Amazon, on the other hand, makes more money off of the long tail. Amazon has an infinite amount of books that would be considered best sellers. These books are still wanted by at least someone. So, people can go online and find the books that would be sold in bookstores. Basically, Amazon makes money off of quantity sold rather than price of product.
Julia talks about how companies need to carry a larger inventory in order to focus on the long tail. The problem with actual stores doing that is space. Stores don’t have enough space to hold every little thing that someone could want. The Internet however, allows for companies to offer a product and still keep it in a warehouse.
The brilliant part about companies that utilize the long tail is that they don’t really have to do any work. Most companies focus on the head of their sales. They have to figure out what is popular or what can be popular. They have to display and advertise it. And there’s always the chance that a company can focus it’s sales on one thing and be wrong about it’s potential popularity. Long Tail companies just offer a huge selection of a product. The only aspect of advertising that they have to do is to promote the large selection of products, rather than the actual product itself.
Not every company can use the Long Tail to their advantage. Chris Anderson talks about how Nexflix is able to take advantage of The Long Tail because it has an abundant amount of storage space to keep popular and unpopular movies. Now a regular movie rental store doesn’t have enough space because their storage is limited to just the store. Right now Internet companies are have to best advantage when it comes to benefiting from the Long Tail. Jessica talks more about this.