In retail, location is everything! A retailer will always choose their address or physical position in a shopping centre with care. When it comes to your e-commerce website, your domain name plays this role. In this article, we look at why domain names matter and offer tips to help you choose the best fit for your e-commerce website.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address of your website on the Internet, like “”. It is what your customers will type into the address bar to be directed to your website.

Why is choosing the right domain name important for e-commerce?

Choosing the right domain name is important for all kinds of businesses. However, when it comes to an e-commerce website, people are highly sceptical. Everything on your website needs to build trust and credibility, including your domain name.

A good and relevant domain will make it easier for potential customers to remember your address. Added to this, a domain name is “forever”. While many SMEs change their business focus and even the company name over the years, they keep their domain name at all costs.

That’s because they don’t want to lose the organic search engine ranking, and domain awareness they’ve established over the years.

Try these tips before choosing just any domain name:

Tip 1: Take your time

Don’t rush registering your domain name. Brainstorm with family and friends and look for inspiration online. What are other companies doing? What are the trends in your industry?

Use a thesaurus to build a list of suitable alternative options and go through a process of elimination by following the rest of our tips below.

Tip 2: Prioritise your shop’s name or use an Exact Match Domain (EMD)

Do you have a catchy and short name for your shop? It can work well as a domain name too. Alternatively, consider an Exact Match Domain (EMD). An EMD is a domain name made up with keywords of the items you sell. Like “” for example.

Back in the day, search engines gave an extra SEO boost to EMDs, but this is not the case anymore. However, if you can register an EMD that is short, relevant and brandable, it can be a good choice.

Tip 3: Consider a less mainstream Top-Level Domain (TLD)

A TLD is the part that comes after your domain name for example, .com, or .net. Owning a in South Africa has always been preferred but these days with the rise of new generic TLDs, you have more options to really get the domain name combination you are after.

Why not consider a .store or a .online instead? If you are going to sell wine or coffee you could register a .wine or .coffee TLD? The list of innovative TLDs to choose from now is extremely exciting.

Tip 4: Choose a simple, short, and relevant name

If your domain name is simple, short, and relevant to your industry it will make it easier for potential customers to memorise and recall it later. Avoid long domain names containing numbers, hyphens, and complicated spelling as this creates confusion and affects its efficiency.

Your perfect domain can be a short, punchy phrase as well as a combination of words.

Tip 5: Think long-term

Your e-commerce website might start out selling accessories but who knows what you might sell 10 years down the line? Try to think long-term by not limiting your choice too much which will make it difficult to diversify your product offering later.

Tip 6: Be careful of registered trademarks

Have you checked whether the name you want isn’t a trademarked word or phrase? Do this now! It’s crucial to do thorough research beforehand to avoid legal consequences or risk having to change your name.

Tip 7: Think about protecting your brand

Once you settle on your ideal domain name, do a Bulk Domain Search and register other available extensions to protect your brand. For example: You’ve decided to register “” for your online nursery based in Johannesburg. Consider registering “” and “” and pointing them to your main website.

Having multiple domain extensions can improve your online visibility and make it easier for users to find you, regardless of which extension they use.

Your domain name plays a significant role in your online presence, branding, and success. Taking the time to choose it carefully can have long-lasting benefits for your e-commerce website.

It all starts with a domain name.