Choosing the Right Name for Your New Online Retail Store
Having a strong brand name gives you an immediate advantage when you’re first starting your online retail business. Choose the right name when setting up your store to help it stand out from the crowd from the start.
Here are a few pointers on how to find the name that will work for you.
Keep Things Short and Snappy
Choosing a short name is for your new store is effective for several reasons: it’s memorable, is easy for users to type in online and fits in the header of your online store’s homepage.
Admittedly, finding the right name can be challenging. New retail stores and brands are launched every day, and names that appeal to you may very well have appealed to someone else too. But, it’s a big industry and there’s plenty of room for creative, compelling brand names.
Stuck for inspiration? Try one, or more, of these brainstorming tactics:
- Try different combinations of short words. Two short words that rhyme or that are alliterative (e.g. “Snack Shack”) can be more memorable.
- Make up a word or tweak an existing one. Brands like Google, eBay and Etsy have instantly recognizable names, even though they weren’t ‘real’ words when they were chosen.
- Use a word with personal meaning. It might be a nickname you have for your significant other, your pet’s name (a smart idea if your store relates to furry friends), or even your own name (like we did at Koehler Home Decor.) Using a name can make your store easier for customers to identify with on a personal level.
The Online Presence Issue
Once you have a list of possibilities for a name for your new retail business you’ll need to find out if there is a domain available to match it. Ideally that will be a .com, although that is getting harder as .com is the most popular top-level domain (TLD), has been for a long time and new ones are in increasingly short supply.
Having a custom domain name for your store is critical, though you shouldn’t let your search for the elusive “perfect” domain name stall your launch plans for too long.That having been said ideally this is a domain name you’ll be sticking with (rebranding is hard, and confusing for customers) so it does merit some considerable thought and opting for the wrong name out of panic may be a decision you’ll really come to regret.
If you will be selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy or another third party marketplace – or even if you think that may be a possibility in the future – you should check that your chosen name is available to you there too.
Break Out of the .Com Box
If your chosen name is not available to you as a .com. it may not be the end of the world. Although .com is the most popular TLD there are others that are gaining ground too. In the world of online retail you could consider making use of any of the following:
- Based on the product you sell (.shoes, .homedecor)
- A continuation of your brand name (e.g. johns.bargains for “John’s Bargain Outlet”, or sallyshomedecor.boutique for “Sally’s Home Decor.”)
While some SEO experts believe search engines are not as friendly to lesser-known domains – and some say that’s no longer the case – you should still be able to rank just as high as a .com if you have a well constructed website that offers a great user experience. Plus, going with a snazzy domain is far more unique and possibly far more memorable.
Finding More Inspiration
Still stuck? If you’re really short on business name ideas, give yourself themes to think about. Maybe you look for a business name that has nostalgia or speaks to a trend. Other languages can provide plenty of ideas, too.
Inspiration can strike anywhere. Listen to conversations around you, survey your surroundings, and even consider your usual expressions and mannerisms. Take your time and the right one will come to you. Choosing your business’ name is more important than you might realize, so any time you spend thinking it through more clearly will be time well spent.