Project Management

Local Preference Minorities And The Internet

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Executive Summary

Local stores face trading area and retail space constraints, so the products they offer tend to cater to the tastes of the local majority. Consumers whose preferences are dissimilar to the majority in trading area - preference minorities - may be under-served. The author further conjectures that online sales of niche products, relative to popular products, will be even more responsive to preference minority status. Finally, it's seen that these two hypotheses imply that niche products in the tail of the Long Tail sales distribution will draw a greater proportion of their total sales from high preference minority regions. The data support both hypotheses and the Long Tail result. Implications for retailing theory and practice are discussed.

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