Leveraging the long tail! Nowadays, with the power of the Internet, people can just almost buying anything they want online. The Internet allowed products and information to be spread globally to different range of people. While common products have a broad range of market, unique and niche items usually have specific sub-groups of people they aim to sell their products to. The term ‘long tail’ can be described as the retailing strategy of selling a large range of unique items in relatively small quantities, in contrary to selling popular items in large quantities.
According to Chris Anderson, as the costs of production and distribution fall, there is a less significant need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In providing niche or unique products, manufacturers allow buyers of the targeted market to find the products that they require. Leveraging the long tail is one of Tim O’Reilly’s web 2.0 pattern that websites should adopt in order for business to thrive. Tim O’Reilly’s lesson for this pattern is that web 2.0 should leverage a customer-self-service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web: to edges and not just the center, and to the ‘long tail’ and not just the ‘head’.
Bonanza.com is an online marketplace similar to eBay that aims to offer unique items to buyers, as well as making selling online easier for users. Bonanza was first launched in August 2008, and it renamed itself from Bonanzle.com. Bonanza allows users to display their items on their own “booth” to create their own version of an online store. By comparing the list of best preacties from leveraging the long tail against Bonanza.com:
Build on the driving forces of the Long Tail – Bonanza provides a large range of niche products from any sellers; users can even import items they were selling from eBay and Etsy. Bonanza is democratizing tools of production by letting users introduce the range of products they want to sell. It adds dynamic to the range of products and ensures that if there is a demand, there is supply, as consumers are also the suppliers of the market.
Use algorithmic data management to match supply and demand – Bonanza helps buyers to search and find the products they are searching for easily by categorising the product into collections and hand-picked lists. Bonanza also allows consumers to find products that are sold by the same users.
Use an architecture of participation to match supply and demand – Users and consumers are allowed to post feedbacks on the message forums to talk about what item that they are looking for.
Leverage customer self-service to cost effectively reach the entire web – Bonanza allows users to create and manage their own unique “booth”, which provides them with a unique way of presenting their products. It also allows consumers to have real time chats with sellers to discuss about their products. This will provide a faster feedback as well as minimize the risks and costs for consumers.
Leverage the low-cost advantages of being online – Bonanza, like its competitors eBay and Amazon, utilizes a self-service model for their website that allows the users to manage their own inventory that they want to sell, as well as choose the amount of advertising they want. This reduces the support costs for both Bonanza and its clients, and give clients greater control over their own products. The lack of physical counters and shops also reduces costs of support.