“The long tail” – the advantage of a wide online range in the omni-channel approach

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longtail

Modern communication technologies reinforce two key factors for sales success:

1.) Social media like Facebook and Youtube quickly and dramatically increase the popularity factor of “trendy” products. The traditional way in which search engines work also focuses this even more by favoring popular search terms.

2.) Thanks to the almost universal range of information on the Internet, consumers can research practically the entire range of articles, variants and models. Both search engines and providers such as Amazon are trying to take greater account of the individual preferences and behavior of consumers by processing personal data.

An interesting article from the Hardvard Business Review:

Blockbuster Strategy vs The Long Tail

While classic stationary retailers can easily accommodate the first trend, the range that can be displayed and available is very limited due to the limited shelf and storage space. Omni-channel strategies offer an interesting solution that even offers strong advantages over pure online retailers:

While top sellers are made available directly in the store, access to their own online shop enables the full range of model variants, colors and alternatives – right down to niche products for special customer requests. Customers can thus enjoy personal advice and (for the most part) the touch & feel of their desired products in the store – and are also served directly in the shop if they have unusual requests. The purchase is completed directly in the store, and delivery is made immediately via the web shop.

The only and essential requirement, however, is a well-integrated warehouse and supply chain solution. Reliable availability and fast delivery times minimize the risk that customers switch to alternative online providers.