The long tail – definition

The theory of the Long Tail* suggests that new technology, including the rapid growth of online shopping, has reduced barriers to entry for many firms selling products to niche markets.

These products are unlikely to command shop space in traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. Lower production and distribution costs means that many products may have a very low break-even quantity, which does not deter specialist online retailers with ‘infinite’ storage space, and which has created the so-called long tail of smaller, specialist retailers.

*Chris Anderson, C. (2006).The Long Tail. Hyperion.