Ecommerce Report 2018
This year, GMO Registry has been proud to support the Ecommerce Foundation ecommerce reports. Each report delves into ecommerce and marketing trends in a particular country or region, and is a great resource for cross-border ecommerce businesses. In December, GMO Registry CEO, Hiro Tsukahara was featured in the
United States report, and talks about how to effectively use domain names for branding in ecommerce. Read the interview here or download the free version of the report at the link below.
Interview with Hiro
Q 1. When looking at Generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs), how do you believe they help can differentiate an ecommerce business from the competition?
Hiro: A domain is an important marketing tool for any ecommerce business. Your domain name is your business identity and a short, meaningful and brandable domain name can differentiate you from your competitors by clearly identifying what it is that your business does, and making it easy for customers to remember where they can find you online.
Q2. China, Germany, andJapan make up the top three locations for the .shop domain globally. Why do you think these particular countries are most on the lookout for a TLD, and what product type/category of Ecommerce have you seen been most popular with the brand?
Hiro: I think there are different reasons why .shop has been successful in different markets. China is a huge market with big ecommerce players like Alibaba that are helping to drive our growth, while in Japan we have definitely had a home ground advantage with GMO Internet Group being the number one domain registrar, hosting company and ecommerce solutions provider in Japan. In Germany and in Europe more broadly there seems to be a higher awareness of new domains, and willingness to use different domain extensions. I think that comes from Europeans being used to seeing different country code extensions (eg .de for Germany or .fr for France), whereas for example in the US, Internet users have traditionally been very much limited to .com when it comes to exposure to domains.
Q3. What are your top three tips for creating a domain name for your brand in a foreign country you’re planning to expand to?
Hiro: My number one tip would be to keep your domain name simple, intuitive and memorable. Chose a name that is easy to read and avoid “creative” spelling. Before new domain extension were introduced many businesses were tempted to use derivative spellings of common words in order to be able to have a short .com name. Now that there are so many domain extensions available, there is absolutely no need to make sacrifices like this to acquire a good domain name as there are now so many available choices. Does your domain name withstand the radio test? Meaning will listeners be able to understand and locate your domain name if they hear it on the radio? In most regions, including English speaking markets, it is generally recommended to avoid hyphens although in some markets such as Japan, hyphenated names are quite common.
Q.4 When looking at domain names globally, .com is still by far the most popular domain name to utilize. Why should ecommerce businesses thinking of going cross-border to the US consider alternative TLDs?
Hiro: Most ecommerce businesses outside of the US are more than likely to be using a local ccTLD like .jp or .uk. This is still a great choice for a local ecommerce business as it is generally trusted in the local market and is familiar to the local online shopper. However, an ecommerce business planning to go cross border, will need to consider different currencies, different payment methods and different languages, and it may make sense to separate these out under a different domain name that is more recognizable to an international audience. Nowadays there are many options that can add meaning to your domain name and provide a strong global identity.
.shop is the definitive online shopping address. Whether your business is online or offline a .shop domain name instantly identifies your website as a place to shop. Coming to the Internet this summer!