long tail – dead end

Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with Christian Pirkner, who told me that Amazon actually doesn’t reference it’s long tail as part of its suggestion mechanism. In case any of you are not completely clear as to what I mean, I refer to long tail as in the Blook by Malcom Gladwell, wired magazines chief editor.

Gladwell suggests that aggregator services like iTunes or Amazon increase their revenue as they sell ever more different items, because its customers know they can find almost everything.

But what about the items on the long tail, how do they get found? It turns out that Amazon doesn’t help those at the far end of the long tail to sell. It’s suggestion mechanism is based on actual shopping by prior customers. That means if an item is listed on Amazon, but bought only by very few customers, it almost never gets suggested.

Thereby leaving the far end of the long tail a dead end.

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