The long tail is a business strategy that allows businesses to realize significant profits by selling low volumes of hard-to-find products to many buyers, instead of selling only large volumes of a reduced number of popular products. Products in low demand or with low sales volume can collectively make up market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters but only if the store or distribution channel is large enough.
Brick-and-mortar retailers and large companies end up focusing on the head of the demand curve by selling only the most popular products and services whereas online retailers such as Amazon and Craigslist focus on the longtail strategy by offering a large section of less popular and unique products in large quantities.
Benefits of Longtail strategy
- Volume: You can focus on featuring wide options and large volumes of less popular products. This will help you to reach a large number of consumer segments than companies that only focus on the head of the demand curve.
- Less Competition: Most businesses tend to focus on high-demand products and services. When you aim towards the long tail strategy, you will face minimum competition and can easily fulfill the needs of unique groups.
Best practices to implement for the Longtail Strategy
- Availability: Try to offer large volumes of products and choices to your customers. Make sure that the products you offer are available at all times.
- Low-cost: Due to limited availability, niche products are expensive. For retailers that focus on the mass market, stocking these products can be expensive. Businesses that target a long tail strategy should focus on providing the best prices for their offerings and as a result, the customers may buy more.
- Searchable: You can increase the number of niche products by helping the customers discover the products easily. You can help people find your products and make relevant suggestions. For example, when we add a product to our basket on Amazon, it gives us suggestions for similar items that you might like. These suggestions are often more niche than the mainstream.