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12-Month Study Shows .Store Strength and How New gTLDs Can Cut Through the Clutter

ICANN launched their new gTLD program over a decade ago, resulting in more than 1,100 new domain extensions being available for registration today. However, the ten most popular new gTLDs, less than 1% of total TLDs, account for 53% of all new gTLD registrations. It is obvious that reaching a high level of success with new gTLDs is not an easy task. Even so, in July ICANN green lighted the creation of another round of new gTLDs that are expected to arrive in 2Q-2026. With the already stiff competition soon to get even tougher, it is imperative that current and future new GTLD operators figure out how they can stake out a profitable piece of the market for themselves. 

 

A good way to do that would be to look at what today's successful operators have done to cut through the clutter. That group includes Radix, the operator of ten new TLDs, who has made several of their extensions stand out in the crowd using a multi-pronged strategy that has included building communities around specific TLDs, conducting unique marketing campaigns that reward participants and providing credible research that demonstrates the inherent value of their TLDs. With respect to the latter tack, Radix commissioned a recently completed independent 12-month SEO study of .store domains (one of the ten most popular new TLDs) conducted by eCommerce marketing agency Contrast Digital 

The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any performance differences in using a .store vs a .com domain for an eCommerce website. Contrast Founder Elliott Davidson noted, "There isnít any public data available on this so to test this, we launched two eCommerce sites that were the same, selling the same products, the only major difference being that one used .com and the other used a .store domain name extension. We wanted to run this as any business owner or creator would want to do for their own store from a resources and knowledge perspective. As such, the stores were built using Shopify and we didnít invest an excessive amount of time into paid or SEO that couldn't be replicated into a monthly owner's workload."

"The main thing here is that, unlike most other experiments like these, these would be actual stores customers could buy from, not just a front as a way to collect the data. This way, the experiment could be as real as possible. So that search engines and users interpret the sites as unique, we reworded the content."

The study determined that the eCommerce businesses using .Store domains got 87% more traffic, a 12% lower cost per conversion and achieved 2X visibility by ranking faster and higher on search engines. ††

 

Suman Das
Radix, VP of Brand Operations

With the new study in hand, Suman Das, VP of Brand Operations at Radix, now has an even stronger case to make for why eCommerce entrepreneurs should have .store on their radar. "A .Store domain inherently communicates a clear, retail-focused identity, helping businesses to stand out in the crowded online marketplace," Das said. "By slashing customer acquisition costs and boosting store visibility, .Store can provide a marketing advantage to eCommerce business owners. These advantages are vital for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence, drive more traffic, and, ultimately, increase sales. The results of this study not only highlight the effectiveness of .Store, but also reinforce our commitment to providing solutions that address the real needs of the eCommerce seller community."  

Suman added, "For eCommerce business owners, customer acquisition and website traffic are some of the key challenges today. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by GoDaddy Venture Forward (.pdf file), 42% of small business owners listed online marketing through ads, promotions, and social media as one of the top three challenges when starting their business."

(Posted December 4, 2023)  

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