1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Name your e-commerce company in six simple steps

Name your e-commerce company in six simple steps


Launching an e-commerce company can be hectic. You’ve got to think about website design, product pricing, cashflow, customer service – the list goes on. But there is one decision that turns smart entrepreneurs into anxious wrecks: choosing a company name. We get it. It’s a big commitment, and one that you’ll have to live with for a long time. How do you avoid analysis paralysis? Here’s how to find a great name in six simple steps.

1. Create a decision-making time frame

Naming your company is a big decision, but there’s a danger that the process can drag on for months. So challenge yourself to choose a company name within a fixed time frame. The less time the better. Two weeks, four weeks or six weeks. Once you’ve agreed on your timeframe, mark the deadline in your calendar and stick to it. A short time frame brings energy and focus - so no cheating!

2. Think about your long-term ambitions

Did you know that the Google search engine was initially called BackRub (because the engine checked backlinks to rank sites)? By calling the company BackRub, the founders highlighted one key aspect of their service. But when they changed the name to Google, they were no longer ‘boxed in’. Google was a name that gave them space to expand, flex and fulfill their potential.

So before you start brainstorming names, think about how your company might develop over time. Maybe today you sell delicious cupcakes, but what if you started selling smoothies and sandwiches in a couple of years? Look to the horizon - and choose a name that gives you room to grow.

3. Check out the competition - but don’t copy them

Great brands stand out from the crowd. Don’t pick a name that reminds your customers of other companies - it’s confusing, and can lead to legal issues. You want an original name, ideally something that will stick in people’s minds. So start a spreadsheet and note down the names of your direct and indirect competitors. And once you’ve got a shortlist of names for your company, check them against your list of competitors. Do your ideas stand out from the pack? Choose a name that feels different to others – and enjoy the recognition it brings you.

4. Brainstorming is fun!

Now comes the fun part - brainstorming a shortlist of company names. Here are some ways to kick-start the process:

Create an ‘inspiration board’. Every time you see an inspiring image or read an interesting article, stick it on your inspiration board. This can be a whiteboard or pinboard, or a digital space (such as Pinterest, Miro or Lucidchart).

Use online tools. Search the term ‘company name generator’ and you’ll find lots of sites that offer name ideas - including AI chatbots like ChatGBT. These sites are useful for kick-starting your imagination, but the suggestions might be a little bit ordinary. Remember, you want to choose an original name, so think of AI as just one of your tools.

Brainstorm metaphors. Ask yourself: how do you want your company to make people feel? For example: safe, luxurious, happy, cozy or healthy. Once you’ve pinpointed your brand essence, brainstorm the images and objects that evoke your brand feeling. These metaphors can work well in a company name.

Keep a pad by your bed. Don’t let good ideas go to waste. Keep a pad next to your pillow, and jot down ideas that you have just before you go to sleep (or in the middle of the night!).

Ask friends for ideas. Don’t be shy about this - you might be surprised at the ideas your friends give you.

5. Filter your shortlist

Got a shortlist of company names? Fantastic. Here are three principles you can use to filter your list:

Short is sweet. People are busy. If you choose a long company name, it suggests that you don’t respect your customers’ time. So choose the shortest name possible.

Say it aloud. Some words look clear on the page but are less clear when you say them out loud (often because they sound similar to other words). So don’t just evaluate names on the page: say them out loud, and find out whether people understand what you are saying.

Start a story. A good company name helps you tell the story of your brand. Think about the purpose of your company, and then think of words or connections that help bring your company's purpose to life. It might be a cherished grandparent, a favorite holiday destination, or a significant author - think of the words that have meaning to you, and will help you tell the world about your company.

6. Check domain availability

To have a strong online presence, you need a domain name that matches your e-commerce shop’s name. So, once you’ve decided on your preferred company name, check the availability of the domain name. We’ve got a handy guide to domain names to help you pick a great .shop address.

Make your decision and move on

After you’ve chosen a name for your online shop, you might experience some doubts. Did we make the right decision? Do people like the company name? This is natural – but it’s also an unproductive use of your energy. The truth is: company names acquire meaning over time. Customers associate your company name with the quality of your products, marketing and customer service. Concentrate on getting those things right, and your company name will be associated with positive things.

Looking for your perfect .shop domain?