Of Searches and Psychics: The Costs of Long Tail Businesses
Kevin Laws has a beautiful post about the costs involved with long tail business that applies particularly well to many types of website whether you sell products, services, information or community.
He talks about the two costs of a transaction that often get overlooked, though not by so many here i susptect:
- Search Cost: How much time/effort does it cost me to find what i want?
- Psychic Cost: Is it an easy or difficult decision to buy?
The first we know much about, in that providing good, intuitive interfaces to product data, whatever that product may be, is essential for a smooth transaction.
The second is just a little more complex, but one known well to salesman: Making decisions is tough, and people don't like it. In many cases, a sale is more easily made with "would you like it in blue or pink?" than "what color do you want?".
I won't try to paraphrase Kevin's whole post, you should read it. Trust me, it's smashing stuff.