Selling a great product is only half the battle won for upcoming online stores. The real challenge is getting the word out, standing apart from the competition, and convincing customers that you’re the best in business.
In fact, smart branding may establish you as the best in business, even though your competitors might actually be better than you. It’s all about how you present yourself at different stages of the consumer’s journey, starting from when they first come across your brand. In the online world, the first thing someone might see is your domain name, and therein lies a big branding opportunity for new online stores.
You don’t even need to spend big bucks on acquiring a premium domain name or hire a branding agency (at least not yet). Online stores have their own domain extension, .Store, that promises a wide array of branding opportunities to businesses like yours.
Consider this scenario: You are all set to launch your online thrift store. You’ve spent days coming up with the perfect name for it. But when you go online to register your website name, you see the message: This domain name has already been taken. Your options are to purchase this domain name, albeit at a high price, or go back to the drawing board and come up with something new.
As a new business, both options may not be feasible for you. This is where the most important benefit of a new domain extension such as .Store. The best domain name is one that is available, easily brandable, and affordable. The .Store extension gives upcoming businesses, such as yours, an opportunity to create a memorable online brand without having to compromise on a brandable name.
Online stores have a lot riding on first impressions as they compete with thousands of other websites. When your website pops up on the search engine results page, you have a window of just a few seconds to convince someone to click on your link.
By combining your brand name with .Store, you are clearly indicating that you are selling something. You can also use other relevant keywords with .Store to create an even more descriptive domain name. For instance, you can call your online thrift store secondhand.store or thebigthrift.store.
Short and sweet always win on the internet as people searching online want quick solutions. A .Store domain name helps you state your purpose in as few words as possible. For instance, thethrift.store is not only shorter but also catchier than thethriftstore.com. Moreover, the latter most likely would already be in use.
Shorter domain names are also easier to communicate. A clean domain name that uses simple words with no special characters or numbers is more likely to pass the radio test, i.e., it can be understood and recalled even after being heard just once.
Let’s say you are looking to buy hair color online. You come across two websites: colorhappy.store and hair-color-store1.com. Which one would you pick? The former is short and has a cheerful quality about it. The latter, on the other hand, seems rather lackluster. Also, you can be the best hair color brand online, but with such a convoluted domain name, you’ll come across as spammy.
You may be starting small, but you need to keep the future in mind. How can you create an online brand that will hold you in good stead for the entirety of your business? Of course, you can rebrand yourself anytime you want, but then all your previous efforts may go to waste.
As your profits increase, you will want to expand. For instance, you may be an online thrift store right now, selling locally. But maybe down the line, you might launch your own clothing line and will need to compete with the best online clothing stores. You may also start shipping your products all over the world.
Keeping these growth prospects in mind, you should get a domain name that is scalable and future-proof. A .Store domain will always indicate that you’re in the business of selling, whether it’s thrift items now, shoes five years from now, or your own designer clothes ten years later.
It’s also a universally recognised term, so you don’t have to worry about launching different websites for your local and international businesses.
The perception that search engines favor traditional domain names is a thing of the past. In 2015, Google went on record to state that it treats all domain extensions the same. Thus, you’re not losing out if you opt for a new domain extension. On the contrary, there is much to gain.
Apart from all the cost and branding advantages of using the .Store domain extension that we have already established, perhaps its most significant benefit is its SEO repercussions.
Some may argue that search engines don’t consider domain name keywords while ranking websites. But SEO isn’t just about keyword rankings. It’s also about how much organic traffic your website attracts and how much time people are spending there. With a .Store domain name, you have a higher probability of attracting relevant traffic, such as people looking to purchase. More visitors mean higher credibility, which leads to better ranking.
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The beauty of .Store is its versatility. Anyone selling something online can register a .Store domain name, whether you’re a local or global seller, a small, mid-level, or large-scale business, an artist-turned-solopreneur, or someone with a side business. It’s no wonder that several big brands have already jumped on the bandwagon and are making the most of .Store’s branding benefits, such as emirates.store, kindle.store and pewdiepie.store. It’s now time to join this growing breed of online stores and get smarter branding for your business with a .Store domain.
Rebecca is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at Radix Web Services. A marketing enthusiast, she describes her role as one part creative explorer and one part strategic alchemist. Her contributions feature in publications related to social media and online marketing.