We remember: the term Long Tail was coined as a thesis by US journalist Chris Anderson in the year 2004 who was chief editor of Wired at that time. One decade later, the term is on everyone’s lips. Following the trailblazer Amazon, retailers as Otto, Lidl or Real have long ago carried their drop-shipping business into the age of e-commerce and have built up so-called partner platforms.
But where are the limits of Long Tail? What about the competition with the own product line? At a roundtable discussion with Zalando, Real digital, K-Mail-Order and Tradebyte on this year’s ECD, Blogger and writer Stephan Meixner of neuhandeln.de wanted to know more about the risks and chances of trading with external product ranges.
Zalando prefers to be the “host of a party” and wants to extend its shop by integrating external product lines. For food retailer Real drop-shipping is a very promising possibility to round off its own range for the benefit of its customers. But the panelists also agreed on the difficulties when it comes to the integration of external product ranges, for instance when partners do not follow the guidelines consistently. After all the customers don’t know if they are buying directly from the shop retailer or from a third party.