The Long Tail Theory popularized by Chris Anderson saying that a powerful new economic force in the world of Internet allows almost unlimited choices. This is particular true for the new era where you’re a retailer and you offer your items over the Internet. The display of your products on the Internet is practically costless if compared to a brick and mortar retail store that involves high operating costs. At the end, the additions of small quantity sales of long-tail niche products maybe larger than the total small percentage of hottest mass selling items.
The Long Tail Curve
For slow moving products, this is a really good news. Amazon.com can offer endless list of book titles, but Barn and Noble chain stores have to make a wise selection of titles for display in their limited shop space.
The Internet has given us a lot of dreams, and proven some old theories wrong, and created some new ones. Unfortunately the Long Tail Theory sounds great for online retailers, but not for manufacturers.
We are the one who still have to abide by the conventional Pareto Principle’s 80-20 rule. We may tolerate 80% of slow moving items in our product line against the 20% of the hot items i.e. FingerTec TA100 and R2 model, but no manufacturer can afford to produce endless niche products that sell very little.
From product design, to structural design, to molding, to prototype, to sampling, to mass production, to A&P, the investment is snowballing, if the new product is not making a hit, producers have to lick their own wound.
Everyone dreams to become Apple, just one model of iPhone versus a plentiful of Nokia models and still making tones of money. We are no Apple, but what we can do is to limit our new products to a few models every year to avoid long tail, and pray for the newbie to rewrite the Pareto Principle to 70-30, 60-40, 50-50….
And come back from the Chinese New Year, we have finally unveiled the latest three models:
1. FingerTec FaceID 2
Yeah, it should be released last December, but to make you look good in color on the screen and not just you in black and white image, we had to hold it back until R&D department removes the final hurdle. It’s worth the wait. You can compare it with some of the rival’s products and notice the striking difference. The first batch of the Face ID 2 are all booked, we hope the good news would sustain in a longer period.
2. FingerTec Keylock 8800
This is another much awaited product. To lift the standard of conventional and high-tech fingerprint door lock combined, the effort and investment are three times higher than a normal fingerprint reader. We hope the market proves that it’s worth the economy of effort.
3. FingerTec TA300
It showed up in my plan a year ago. But the designs were shot down many times until I’m almost given up. But the tireless R&D team kept on trying to keep it alive, and we finally have a desktop standalone fingerprint reader. TA300 is meant for no-installation and low price easy market.
We would release 3 to 4 additional new products this year. To avoid the long wait and the grumbling resellers, this time I have to keep it confidential until it nears production.
But all in all, the more pressing matter now is, forget the Long Tail, what’s in my mind is to beat the damn Pareto principle’s 80-20 rule!
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ