Long Tail

Episode 597

July 11, 2020

Have you ever thought of publishing a book or a podcast?
Is there a product that you would like to market? 
How will you get the word out? What will drive consumers to you?

The long tail of internet marketing can bring success to your podcast, song, Youtube video, bLog, book or product.

The long tail refers to a graph which shows that a few vendors sell the highest volume of products.

A great many vendors sell small volumes of similar products. The result is that the majority of product is sold in small volume. Amazon sells 7% of products from high volume sellers and 93% from 3rd party, low volume markets. This is truly a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Amazon takes advantage of this long tail by curating an immense virtual store with endless aisles of unlimited shelves of product. Currently, Amazon sells 350 million products.

Most of the product is drop-shipped directly from the vendor and therefore does not need to be warehoused. Amazon is a fulfillment company for the world’s products.

Other online distributors, like Apple or Google, do not sell physical products. They deliver digital music, education, computer apps and streaming services. You pay Apple $100, the developer/producer gets $70 and you receive the product via download to your computer or mobile device. No shipping costs.

These long tail distributors drive business from down the tail with suggestions for purchase.

“If you liked this product, you might like these.”
“People who viewed this product also viewed these.”
“People who bought this product also bought these.”

When searching for a product the solutions are agnostic regarding the volume of the product sold. Keywords drive the search solutions, so that lower volume products end up grouped with high volume products. 57% of Amazon sales come from long tail item keywords because their search is powered by Artificial Intelligence.

Amazon brings low volume items to the top of the list by allowing search solutions to be sorted in a variety of ways.

Products can be sorted by “Featured,” which can mean that they advertise with Amazon. Anyone can advertise… even the low volume vendors. The economy of small production runs allows for larger advertising budgets. 

Other sorts can equalize the field. “Sort by: Price Low to High” can bring a low volume vendor with a good price from way down the tail to the top of the list.

Reviews can drive products up the tail. Sort by “Average Customer Review” to find well liked items even if they don’t sell in high volume.

Grocery and department stores and are examples of retailers with almost no marketing tail. Due to limited space and the desire to sell large volumes of product, only the most popular products end up eye level and center on the shelves.

In a bLog like iMentor Hints and Rants content is not limited to what i type. Because of links to articles that i provide in my illustrations readers often spend more time on other websites than they do on mine. The benefit is that my topic and the point i am making gets reinforced beyond the content of my bLog. In addition, my readers are exposed to new sources of information.

If your product is very low volume you can drive it up the tail with advertisement, good keywords, positioning in multiple market places and, of course, popularity. Your product cannot become popular without exposure and that is where online retailers shine.

Leave a Reply