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Long Tail is the Strong Tail

Top products may get the glory, while the long tail swells.

In the early days of ecommerce, brands and retailers hitched their ecommerce hopes to the edges - becoming a source of extended colors, sizes, and generally serving as the destination for a broader assortment.

Today, marketplaces serve as a shopper's destination for assortment and choice. Retailers are adopting the marketplace model as a means of broadening assortment, and competing with the now-established marketplace heavyweights. These retail marketplaces are also experiencing a shift - the long tail of the catalog is becoming more important. More specifically the sales contributions from the ‘bottom 20%’ of products are increasing faster than the share from top products.

In 2021, the share of product sales by the long tail of products increased by 14%, while contribution from the top 20% of products fell a few points. This long-tail growth provides an affirmation for retailers and brands that seek to find advantage by attracting and serving shoppers through product assortment expansion.

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