How to name your online store
- Does it represent your values — and those of your customers
- Is it a match for available domain names
- Are there alternate spellings of the business name
- Does it leave your options open
- Does it accurately reflect your product
- How does it compare to the names of your competitors
What’s in a name? When it comes to your online business — a lot.
The name you choose defines your business. It’s how customers learn about you and remember you — and how they refer you to their friends. It’s also how search engines find you online and what distinguishes you from your competitors.
A name that’s unique and memorable will fulfill all the above criteria, but choosing one is easier said than done. Here’s some advice on how to name your online store and settle on a moniker that checks all the right boxes.
How to name your online store: 6 questions to consider
Before you choose a name for your store, give these questions some thought.
1. Does it represent your values — and those of your customers?
Your store’s name has meaning, even if it’s just one word. That’s why it’s best to pick a name that resonates with your values and the values of your customers. This makes it easier for them to remember the name, and it may help them relate to it more than a competitor’s business name.
“If the online store is a niche store, the name should have your niche keywords in it,” says Thomas Sleeth, founder and editor of Dropshipping Hustle, a free resource for those who want to learn about the dropshipping method of e-commerce. “This makes your store feel specific to your target audience and makes it clear what you’re selling.”
For example, if you sell baby products and your ideal customers want to stay away from harsh chemicals, then your business name may include words such as “gentle,” “natural,” or “safe.”
2. Is it a match for available domain names?
Before settling on an online store name, make sure you check whether a matching domain name is also available for your website. If your business name and your domain name don’t match, it can be confusing for your customers.
The domain name is your website’s address on the internet, so it’s only natural that customers will assume it’s the same as your business name. For example, if your business name is “Mechanic Mark,” then your domain name should be “www.mechanicmark.com” instead of “www.markthemechanic.com.”
3. Are there alternate spellings of the business name that might be confusing?
The spelling of your business name can be very important in the online world because it may affect how your customers find you on the internet.
When a prospect types your business name into Google, they’ll have better luck finding your website if they can spell your business name correctly. For example, if your business name is “Kraazy Kuppcakes,” a customer may not remember that unique spelling and may end up typing in “Crazy Cupcakes” instead — which may not lead to your store.
“The warnings I give in relation to how to name an online store are to avoid using any symbols or dashes; wording that could confuse people; or similar names to other stores, as this could be trademark infringement,” says Sleeth.
4. Does it leave your options open?
This tip is for online business owners who may want to expand their offerings at some point. If you currently sell one product but are open to the possibility of selling additional products in the future, then don’t box yourself in with overly specific references. For example, don’t name your business “Cool Cat Toys” if you eventually also want to sell cat treats and cat beds. Go with a business name that doesn’t limit your options for what you can sell.
5. Does it accurately reflect your product?
If you want to commit to one product and one product only, then focus the name on that idea. “If you’re creating a one-product store, it’s very important to name your store after your product but also to give it a unique branded name,” says Sleeth. “The most successful one-product stores all do this, as it gives the perception they are the original creator of the product, and it mitigates the chances of shoppers price-checking other options.”
6. How does it compare to the names of your competitors?
The e-commerce world is crowded, and there are plenty of competing online stores for every industry and market niche. Do your research and check out the names of your store’s competitors. You don’t want to end up with an online store name that’s too similar to a competitive business.
It’s also important to see what types of names stand out and grab attention. Some industries may have established naming practices that make sense for you to follow. For example, a law firm typically includes the names of the partners in the business name.
“The rules I always follow are these,” says Sleeth. “The name needs to be memorable and original, it needs to sound like an actual brand, and it ideally should have two words maximum without too many syllables so it rolls off the tongue.” That’s no small task, but hopefully the result will be something you love.