E-Commerce: Domain Names, Branding and Positioning Strategy
The success of e-commerce for any given company majorly relies on the domain name. Online success or e-commerce, therefore, greatly depends on the effectiveness of the domain name because this is the mechanism companies use to direct their clients to their products and services. Domain names are, in simple terms, website address that identifies a given company. Examples of domain names could be Barclays.com or Microsoft.com. These are the domain names of Barclays bank and Microsoft Corporation.
Domain names can be used to represent various hosts, but a single domain name can only be traced back to only one company. Equally, there are domain names that have been registered but not active online, while there are those that are registered and active. The most common reason for failing to register domain names is that some companies don’t want to maintain websites by only maintaining email addresses.
Domain names have wide applicability for organizations and e-commerce. Essentially, they have a huge role to play in branding and strategically positioning the company with regard to competitive pressures because it provides them with the opportunity of creating a breathtaking first impression. Domain names are, therefore, advantageous as compared to earlier versions of e-commerce which relied on GeoCities addresses which were primarily long and very bureaucratic.
Domain names also increase the branding profile for a specific company because companies are able to own their brand in this system wholly. For instance, if a medium-sized company was using a GeoCities address and expanded to demand more effective methods of e-commerce, existing clients and new ones would already know the existing URL, and the company would be prompted to rejuvenate its GeoCities address campaigns all over again. However, with the use of domain names, the company would have the liberty of engaging many host addresses. Clients would also still be able to access the company’s products and services by typing the domain name.
Domain names also provide marketers with another alternative to promoting their brands through e-commerce communications. This happens through the promotion of company websites from emails because the domain name is usually shown whenever messages are sent. For example, [email protected] can come in handy when marketing allbusiness.com. At the same time, [email protected] can be effectively used to market aol.com as a marketing brand.
The size of market traffic for any given company is equally likely to increase with the use of a domain name because domain names provide some sort of return policy for companies because customers can easily remember their names. Equally, popular search engines such as yahoo or Google remember companies or organizations which have their own unique domain names.
Companies can also use domain names to retain their customers better through error pages. Essentially, customers are discouraged from exiting a company’s website because of an error or broken link. As an additional advantage, having a domain name for a company today is so cheap that no company or organization should have an excuse for not having one.
As a way to strategically position a company as one of the best in the market, domain names portray companies as professional entities. This eventually counts to a great extent, especially when trying to attract new clientele and retain existing ones. The level of professionalism is also directly proportional to the success of the domain name, and so businesses should strive to build effective domain names to position the company among the best strategically.
Domain names can also help the company better manage its customer service in e-commerce through company-client communication. With the establishment of professionally built email addresses, companies can use domain names to direct feedback to the right departments. This provides a good mechanism to manage company information and respondents’ feedback. Customer service will therefore be improved in this manner, and the eventual positioning of the company with regard to competitors will be elevated.
The credibility of a company can also be highly elevated with the use of domain names. In essence, when customers encounter a product or service through a company’s domain name, they are bound to be more confident buying the product or seeking the service because they know they are dealing with a legitimate company, as opposed to a common fly-by night operator. It is therefore important for marketers to understand that customers often want to deal with companies in environments that make them feel secure. Domain names provide this environment.