Wired Article – The Long Tail

Before I got into IT, I was involved in Supply Chain Management – the stuff that gets your Cornflakes from a farmers field to your breakfast table.

One of the biggest problems in retailling has been an abundance of supply – unlike the previous 100 years where you could ‘never get anything in Ireland’ , be it staple foodstuffs or the latest Gucci Handbags, these are now available at Brown Thomas and shops all over Dublin (the Handbags, not the potatoes).

Unfortunately, shelf space can’t increase at the same rate, so most shops are stocking only the ‘Hits’ – the products that appear to the lowest common denominator of the mass market. This is a problem if you music tastes go beyond ‘Busted’, if you want an extra special Christmas present or or part for your Hifi that ‘they just don’t make anymore’

Step forward the internet. If you look at the success stories of the internet – Amazon, EBay, Online Travel, they all aim at the estimated 50% of purchases that are individual rather than mass market. Read the Wired Article here that explains more.

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