Drivers of the long tail phenomenon: an empirical analysis

Hinz, Oliver, Eckert, Jochen and Skiera, Bernd 2011, Drivers of the long tail phenomenon: an empirical analysis, Journal of management information systems, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 43-69, doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222270402.

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Title Drivers of the long tail phenomenon: an empirical analysis
Author(s) Hinz, Oliver
Eckert, Jochen
Skiera, BerndORCID iD for Skiera, Bernd
Journal name Journal of management information systems
Volume number 27
Issue number 4
Start page 43
End page 69
Total pages 28
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0742-1222
Keyword(s) electronic commerce
long tail
recommendation systems
search technology
Summary The Internet makes it easy to offer large assortments of products, tempting managers to chase the “long tail”—that is, the phenomenon in which niche products gain a significant share of demand among all products. Yet few studies empirically examine the existence and drivers of this long tail phenomenon. This study uses a unique data set with 843,922 purchases from 143,939 customers that a monopolistic video-on-demand operator observed over 111 weeks after its launch of the service. The current analysis centers on the effects of increasing assortment sizes and improved search technologies on measures of the long tail, such as per customer demand, the share of products purchased from the assortment, the distribution of demand across products, and the concentration of demand. Increases in assortment sizes and better assortment quality lead to increases in demand per customer and a longer tail. The length of the tail (i.e., share of purchased products) is also driven by new customers and seasonal effects, such as school vacations, whereas the presence of high-quality blockbuster products shortens the tail. Different search technologies can shift demand toward niche products as well as toward blockbuster products.
Language eng
DOI 10.2753/MIS0742-1222270402
Field of Research 080609 Information Systems Management
0806 Information Systems
1503 Business And Management
Socio Economic Objective 970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Department of Marketing
2018 ERA Submission
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