This week we hit the 7th pattern – Leveraging the Long Tail
As discussed in this week’s lecture, Leveraging the Long Tail is a phrase used to describe the concept of small sites making up the bulk of the Internet’s content.
My example for this pattern is AbeBooks – an online book marketplace.
Here’s a description of Abebooks as displayed on their website:
“Launched in 1996, AbeBooks is an online marketplace where you can buy new, used, rare and out-of-print books, as well as cheap textbooks. We connect you with thousands of professional booksellers around the world and millions of books are listed for sale. Shopping on AbeBooks is easy, safe and 100% secure – search for your book, purchase a copy via our secure checkout process and the bookseller ships it straight to you.” AbeBooks, 2012.
Basically, AbeBooks is very much similar to eBay and Amazon – the only difference being that their absolute focus is on books.
The most obvious benefit of using AbeBooks is the low cost of actual products. As a long time user, being given the option of sourcing used books online is a huge perk. Even if you are buying brand new books however, there is still a huge discount involved. This is simply because there is no storefront and fees that apply with it. Books are directly sourced from the supplier and immediately sent over to you, as the consumer.
Here’s a few best practices applied by AbeBooks…
AbeBooks sources books from all over the world (best Practice #1 – Build on the driving forces of the Long Tail). With countless international suppliers, that means more products are available to consumers.
When you shop around AbeBooks and view listings of books that you find interesting, a list is also automatically generated which displays recommendations that may be of interest to you (best practice #2 – Use algorithmic data management to match supply and demand). As it such a large marketplace, this often comes as a useful feature as you discover new titles/authors.
There are also numerous lists which can be found on the site, featuring ‘Most Popular’ books of all time, for the year or even the month (best practice 3 – Use an architecture of participation to match supply and demand).
AbeBooks. 2012. Welcome to AbeBooks. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abebooks.com/books/Welcome/. [Accessed 05 May 2012].