In 2022, with a quarter of the world’s population shopping online, there has never been a better time to start an ecommerce store. One of the first — and most important — steps in building an ecommerce business is picking a domain name. For businesses that operate primarily online, a domain name is a crucial part of their brand identity. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to choose a .store domain for your online store, how to buy a domain name, and more.
How to Choose a Domain Name For Your Ecommerce Business
Once you’ve decided you’re going to build an ecommerce store, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to sell. If you’re selling trending products on a general store, you’ll want your domain name to be generic. If you’re planning on sticking with a singular niche, you might want to include it in your domain name, such as beauty.
You can do a domain name search on Shopify where you test out different names to see which is available. Since most .com domains are usually registered, a .store domain will likely have an available custom domain for you. The domain registration process isn’t hard, but finding a free domain name can take some time.
You also need to choose a domain registrar. In ecommerce, some people choose Shopify, but there are many other options to choose from too. Namecheap is a popular domain registrar that specializes in domain names, that you can keep all your domain names on.
Once you’ve decided on your business name, you need to pick a domain name to begin domain registration. This consists of a domain name and a domain extension.
[domain name].[domain extension]
Domain Name vs Domain Extension: What’s the Difference?
A domain name is what comes before the period in a domain name. It’s the name that you choose for your website address.
A domain extension is what comes after the period in a domain name. The technical name for it is a “top-level domain” (TLD).
Originally there were only a few domain extensions, including .com, .net, and .edu. There were also country-code domain extensions, like .gb for Great Britain or .es for Spain.
However, over the last few years, descriptive domain extensions have become available, including .store, .tech, and .online.
It’s important to consider what your domain name and domain extension express about your brand separately, and what they convey when paired together.
When choosing a domain name, it’s best to make it match the name of your business as closely as possible.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to secure a domain name that matches your exact business name if you want a traditional domain extension like .com. A lot of names are already in use (or preemptively purchased by a company that wants to sell it to you at a ludicrous mark-up).
While the same domain name can be registered with various domain extensions, duplicate domain names cannot exist. There can only be one, yourbusinessname.com. But, yourbusinessname.net or yourbusinessname.store may still be up for grabs.
But before you can decide on a domain name — you need to start with a brand name.
How to Pick a Name for Your Business
A business’ name is more than just a name. It plays an important role in marketing, brand recognition, and search engine optimization (SEO). The right name can make it easier for you to sell more products, while the wrong name can confuse customers.
When you’re deciding on a name for your company, consider these popular business name types:
- A Descriptive Name: A business name that describes what your business does or sells is simple and powerful, like General Motors, MailChimp, or Burger King.
- An Emotive Name: Some brand choose a name that makes you feel an emotion, like Hugo Boss or Triumph Motorcycles.
- A Person’s Name: Many companies are named after a person. This can be based on someone’s first name, last name, or a nickname, like Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, or Tesla.
- An Acronym: You can turn a descriptive name into a memorable acronym. Did you know that CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart?” Examples of this include H&M, AMC, and KFC.
- A Simple, Modern Name: Your business’ name doesn’t have to have anything to do with the products you sell. Instead, it can just be catchy and memorable, like Zoom, Google, or Tumblr.
- A Compound Name: You can combine two or more words that describe what you sell or do, like MySpace, Facebook, or WordPress.
- A Playful Name: Brands with tons of personality sometimes choose to register a domain name that has nothing to do with their business, like Frozen Lemons, Dynamite, or Smashbox.
- A Metaphorical Name: Brands who want to have a special meaning behind their brand name will typically choose a metaphorical name, such as Nike, Jaguar, Amazon, and Target.
Sit down and brainstorm ideas for your business’ name. When you’ve come up with several options, answer the questions in this checklist to narrow down your options:
- Is the domain name general enough that it doesn’t limit your ability to expand your business in the future? For instance, a name like “Just Sneakers” tells customers that you only sell one type of footwear
- Is the domain name simple? Remove any extraneous words
- Is the domain name memorable? If not, try making it more memorable by using alliteration or repetition, like Lululemon
- Is the domain name unique? Do an internet search to make sure your name doesn’t infringe on any copyrights or trademarks
- Have you incorporated an SEO keyword into the name? Let’s say your name is Sarah and you specialize in selling vintage Persian rugs. Rather than choosing a generic name like Sarah’s Rugs, pick something more specific, like Sarah’s Persian Rugs or Sarah’s Vintage Rugs. Keywords are descriptive, help with marketing, and boost SEO efforts. You want it to be easy for people to find your ecommerce business through an online search
After you’ve chosen the perfect name for your company, it’s time to select the perfect domain name. Choosing a domain name for your ecommerce business shouldn’t be an afterthought. A domain name search will help you find an available domain you’ll love. So, let’s move onto the domain name registration process.
How to Buy a Domain
1. Make it easy to remember
Domain name registration is important because while you can always pick another domain name, it’s better to get it right the first time around. You want your domain name to be memorable so that it comes top of mind when someone wants a product from your website.
For instance, let’s say you want to name your business Kathy’s Super Duper Delicious Fudge Brownies.
Before you register your name with any legal entities, think about how difficult it would be for customers to remember. Consider how annoying it would be for them to have to type kathyssuperduperdeliciousfudgebrownies.store into their browsers.
However, something like Kathy’s Brownies or Brownie Heaven is much easier to remember.
2. Register a short domain name
If you can take a word or more out of your business’ name, do it.
Instead of Kathy’s Super Duper Delicious Fudge Brownies, consider shortening your business name to simply, Kathy’s Delicious Brownies. Then, you can buy the sweet and simple domain name, kathysdeliciousbrownies.store.
If your business’ name is long, figure out if it could be turned into a memorable acronym. If that’s the case, you can use the acronym as your domain.
Say your business is called Beach Umbrellas For the Sun. You could turn that into the acronym BUFTS (which is short and easy to remember) and buy the domain bufts.store.
If possible, avoid having and in your acronym. For example, if you want to type in the domain name for H&M, you might not be sure whether the domain name is just the letters hm.com or handm.com. So, think through your acronym carefully before domain registration.
3. Avoid adding words that aren’t in your brand name
Adding extra words could make it easier for you to get a traditional domain extension, but it hurts branding.
But, will your customers be able to remember that domain name when they think of your company’s name? Probably not.
So, consider using a new domain extension, like .store, instead. However, if you’re set on domain registration of a .com, then you’ll need to do some more domain name searches until you find something catchy and available.
4. Avoid dashes
Let’s say that your ecommerce business is called The Best Soap Company. Don’t include “The” in your domain name.
5. Choose the right domain extension
If your company’s name is Online Cheese Store, consider registering onlinecheese.store rather than onlinecheesestore.com. However, if you are going to add the word store in the url, you should only do this for .com domains.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Domain Extension
When it comes to domain registration, choosing your domain extension is just as important as choosing your domain name. With new extensions appearing daily, your options are growing. The domain extension “.store” is an optimal choice for ecommerce businesses, particularly when the .com is unavailable.
While selecting the domain extension for your ecommerce website, consider the following factors.
1. Domain Extension Availability
Traditional domain extensions, like .com or .net, have been around for years. This means the chances are higher that the domain name you want won’t be available with one of those domain extensions.
With a domain extension like .store, however, you likely won’t encounter the frustrating “that domain name is already taken” message since it hasn’t been around as long as .com or .net.
2. Domain Extension Cost
Traditional domain extensions tend to be the most expensive.
If the domain you want has a traditional domain extension and is available on the marketplace, you’ll likely have to drop a pretty penny for it.
If it’s not available and you desperately want it, you’ll have to negotiate a price with the current owner. Some domains can go for thousands or even millions of dollars.
3. Domain Extension Marketing Power
A traditional domain extension is generic and doesn’t tell website visitors anything about what they’re going to see.
A .store domain extension, however, is descriptive. It tells people that they’re going to end up at an online shop.
4. Domain Names SEO
A common misconception is that a new domain extension is bad for SEO.
However, Google has stated that they treat new domain extensions the same as traditional domain extensions. So don’t fret about your domain extension hurting your SEO.
The most important factor in determining SEO rankings is the quality of the content on the website.
A new domain extension like .store is a great option for ecommerce businesses. Not only is it more likely to be available.
Ultimately, you need to build brand trust. If you’re creating content, adding new products often, and getting backlinks to your .store domain names then you will have no problem with SEO.
Best Practices for Registering a .STORE Domain Name
Before you finalize your domain name registration and other concerns around how to buy a domain name, follow these final tips.
1. Avoid .Store Domain Name Lawsuits
Do your due diligence to avoid registering a domain name that is copyrighted, trademarked, or belongs to a well-known brand. A proper domain registration process will require you to do a domain name search for any trademarks or brand names under other domain extensions. By making sure no one else has your domain name, you’ll be able to prevent lawsuits based on domain names.
2. Protect Your .Store Domain Privacy
Anyone can look up the name and address of the person who has registered a domain name. If you run your ecommerce business out of your home, anyone can find your personal address.
If you want to avoid creepy solicitations from strangers, consider purchasing domain privacy from your domain registrar. You may also want to look into setting up a P.O. box to use as your address where required in business communications (like mass email sends to customers).
3. Keep an Eye on .Store Domain Name Renewals
When you register a domain name, you don’t own it.
Rather, you pay for the right to use it over a certain period of time. When this period ends, your access to the domain name gets revoked.
Take worrying about how to buy a domain name (in terms of domain renewals) off your plate by maximizing your registration time (you can register a domain name for up to 10 years at a time) and signing up for automatic renewals through your domain registrar.
After you’ve made sure that your domain name won’t trigger any lawsuits, you’ve protected your personal contact information, and you’ve automated renewals, you’re ready to lock down that perfect domain name by registering it.
How to Build an Ecommerce Website
Once you have a business and domain name, it’s time to build your online storefront. You have several options depending on how tech-savvy you are.
If you know how to code, you can develop an ecommerce website from scratch. If you’re not so savvy or don’t have the time, you can hire a web developer or website designer instead. These are professionals who can create your dream website from the ground up.
Keep in mind, website design services (especially for ecommerce) can be very expensive, depending on the skill and experience level of the person or firm you hire.
If you’re short on both time and financial resources, you’re in luck. There are a variety of excellent ecommerce platforms on the market that can help you build and launch an online shop quickly, easily, and on a budget. Shopify (Shopify Review), WooCommerce for WordPress, and BigCommerce are all popular options.
If you create your own site, make sure you create product pages with detailed product descriptions and high-quality images. You should also make sure you have a homepage, About page, and a Contact page.
How to Market Your Ecommerce Business
If you build it, they will come… right?
Once you launch your ecommerce website, the real work begins. Invest time into marketing your business. Read books and articles that will teach you how to reach your target audience and identify your ideal client.
Investigate companies and resources that can help you in your marketing efforts. You’ll need to put time and money into making sure potential customers can find your online shop and choose to buy your products.
You can implement marketing tactics on your own, or hire a marketing expert to do it for you.
Note: Not sure how to start marketing? Check out the 52 Week Marketing Plan. It guides you through 52 weeks of marketing ideas so you can test out different strategies in your first year of business to find what works best for you.
Choosing a domain name for your ecommerce business shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s an important decision to make while launching your company. It should factor into the name you ultimately choose for your business.
Your domain name will be an integral part of your brand identity when your business operates exclusively online and a new domain extension, like a .store domain, can help you get a domain name that matches your business’ name as closely as possible. It can also work wonders for your company by bolstering brand recognition and driving people to your website.
Are you ready to take the next steps? Search for a .store domain extension and lock in your perfect .store domain name!