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Business-to-customers (B2C)

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  • 234 million - The number of websites as of December 2009.
  • 47 million - New websites added in 2009.

Source: Pingdom

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The Long Tail

Chris Anderson, editor of the online magazine 'Wired' in his best seller, The Long Tail, explores how niche markets are increasingly accessible through the power of the web, so that there can be a Long Tail Distribution beyond the major sellers. Markets are now accessible to small firms selling less popular items, and lots of them, in markets within markets.

Anderson's basic thesis is that the instantaneous transmission of ideas and thoughts that the Internet allows has given rise to powerful niche cultures that are as lucrative and pervasive as mainstream products and culture. The niche (the Tail), while sold in smaller and smaller quantities, still create enough sales to be a significant source of revenue. Such patterns are difficult to sustain in a typical retail shop, with its limited space; but with the Internet, shelf space is not a problem.

According to Anderson, the Long Tail is everywhere, from politics to public relations, and from sheet music to college sports.

"What people intuitively grasped was that new efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing were changing the definition of what was commercially viable across the board. The best way to describe these forces is that they are turning unprofitable customers, products, and markets into profitable ones."

Anderson has maintained and developed his interest in niche strategies on his blogs and in his editorials in Wired.

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