When you have an online store, you have to establish your brand — who you are, what you sell, and what makes you stand out from others who sell the same things. Your brand name and your domain name, which ideally should be the same, are the first elements in building a great online brand.
It’s crucial to stand out from the multitudes of retail sellers who are either starting up their businesses or moving their retail operations online. The best way to do this is to set a domain name that not only reflects your brand identity but also sets you apart from the pack.
The Naming Game: Pick a Domain Extension
Are you considering a domain name with a .com extension? Short for “commercial,” this domain extension was created for profit-oriented websites. After all, search engines also look at a website’s domain name to determine that site’s content and goal.
But there’s a hitch if you want to use .com for your domain name. The .com extension has been around since 1985 and, being the most recognized, is also the most sought-after. Chances are the “domain_name.com” that you want has already been taken.
What Are The Alternatives To .COM Domain Extension?
There are other domain extensions out there aside from .com that could highlight the nature and intent of your website. Organizations, especially charities and non-profit groups, normally use the .org extension. Government sites are usually suffixed by .gov while schools use .edu. Websites that want to be identified by their countries of origin use domain name extensions like .au for Australia or .sg for Singapore.
From these examples, it’s apparent that domain name extensions are intended as identifying markers to help Internet users immediately see what a website is about.
The Best Domain Name For Ecommerce Websites: .STORE
With a .store domain name, your website will be instantly seen as an online retail site. This helps you get more qualified leads just by making it obvious to visitors that your site is a virtual store. Online shoppers prefer to click on a link with .store at the end of its domain name instead of a .com site, which might lead to a blog or unrelated site.
There are other benefits to using a .store extension:
- Global recognition – The word “store” is known worldwide, allowing you to build an e-commerce brand that could be recognized anywhere.
- More domain choices – Because .store is a relatively new extension, you can get to choose from a large number of excellent, short names that haven’t been taken yet.
- Ease of branding – With a .store domain extension, you already have half of your branding set: you are a store that sells things. All you have to do now is to let people know what you are selling. For example, if you are selling modern furniture, you could go for modernfurniture.store and easily tell people what your business is about.
- Savings on marketing – Because people can instantly see that your website is a store, you don’t need to exert effort to let people know that it is a store and instead focus your energies towards telling people what you have to offer. You can then re-allocate funds intended for the promotion of the site as a store to meeting other needs of your business.
- Improved SEO rankings. Some would say that Google prioritizes .com domain names more than others. But the only reason this may be true is that Internet users generally think of websites as having .com extensions — and search engines try to predict what the users are looking for. Outside of that, Google and other search engines that treat .store the same way they do .com and other domain names.
As more online retailers use .store, the higher it will rank in searches, especially if the search has “for sale” in it. So, why not use a domain that immediately says what the site is instead of one that beats around the bush?
The Future of E-Commerce Domain Names
Are you still undecided about using .store for your website? Maybe it’s because you have not heard of websites that have .store in their names. You might be concerned that the extension will make your domain name too long and unwieldy. Perhaps you are thinking that it would make your domain name so obscure that Internet users would not be able to find your website and make you lose business.
Don’t worry. You would be in good company. Although .store is relatively new, more than 350,000 businesses are now using it. These include both startups and multinational companies like Billboard and Emirates, Grammy-nominated artist Khalid, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, actor Jack Black. Given current events, expect this number to grow exponentially.
Using .store to Promote Your Business Online
The .store extension provides you with opportunities to promote your online retail outlet. Here’s how:
- Shorten The Lengthy URL – If you want people to land on a specific product page on either your website, or a marketplace like Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, etc. the link is generally quite long and hard to remember. Instead, you can just provide the intuitive link that goes something like yourshop.store/product instead of a long string of characters that is cumbersome to use. Why use a weird url shortener like bit.ly/XYWHW when you can have yourshop.store/product?
- Discounts – One smart way to use the .store domain is to create a promotions page that is memorable like specialdiscount.store. This way, users can quickly type in that page’s address instead of looking through the many bookmarks they’ve stored over time.
- Social Media Marketing – When you engage your followers on social media, it is more convenient if they get links that tell them exactly what to expect from your business. These brand links boost customer trust because they lead precisely to the page or content you’ve promised. You can’t get any more direct than modernfurniture.store/new. Not only that, but these links are also easy to remember and share.
- Offline Marketing – It is much easier to promote your online store through offline channels like flyers, tarps, and other marketing collaterals with a short and easy-to-remember domain address than with a longer domain name. For example, you can promote a new line of industrial-themed furniture with a link like modernfurniture.store/industrial. The link is highly predictable and definitely memorable.
In Summary: Pros and Cons of the .store Domain
Pros of the .store extension:
- Short – It allows you to choose a strong but concise brand name.
- Memorable – Because it is short, it is easy to remember. And recall often translates to repeat business.
- Understandable – The .store extension tells people that your website is a store, and that is a significant hurdle easily overcome.
- SEO-Recognized – Search engine recognize it and makes it easy to search.
Cons of the .store extension:
- Not common – Consumers are accustomed to .com extension, therefore, they might mistakenly type in yourshop.com instead of yourshop.store. However, you can expect this to change over time as more businesses use .store domain names.
- Decreasing availability – As more and more businesses begin to use .store domain names, available names get fewer. Even though .store is still a relatively new domain name extension, there is a possibility you might not get the name you want.
With these pros and cons in mind, I think the pros completely outweigh the cons if your preferred domain name in the .com extension isn’t available. You won’t go wrong with a .store extension, especially if you’re doing ecommerce.