Want More Visitors to Your Amazon or Etsy shop? Try Using a .Shop Domain.

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Marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay and Amazon provide an outlet for sellers of products -- anything from vintage clothing and handicrafts to electronics and books -- to reach a mass market at a relatively low cost. Not only do they make it easy to connect with millions of consumers, but they provide many of the tools and services that make it simple to manage, promote and grow your business.

Yet many people open up a shop on a popular online marketplace and wonder why their items aren’t selling. Etsy and eBay give you the storefront, but you must do your own marketing and digital optimization to be successful. Getting one step ahead of this game can help you master the ins and outs of building your online business.

What about the use of a domain name like .shop?

With new domains like .shop, .art, and .icu popping up more and more in Google search results alongside standard dot-com domains, online merchants of all sizes are in a great position to enjoy the perks that come with these new extensions. Using new domains like .shop in a customized way or as a logical shortcut to a merchant page within an e-commerce marketplace makes a lot of sense.

If you’re a small seller with great products looking to stake out a strong brand identity, you will undoubtedly feel limited by the dedicated URL provided to you by the Amazons and Etsy’s of the world. These URLs are usually long, unwieldy strings of words and characters that don’t lend themselves to your promotional efforts. Using a .shop domain makes it possible to turn your web address into a valuable piece of real estate, and it’s a lot easier than you may think.

In the past, if you wanted a domain name, you had to pick from an available .com, .net, .org or .biz ending, and the vast majority of the good names are already taken. This is especially true of .com domains. It is often nearly impossible to find some combination of words to get an available domain name, and you end up with a less-than-memorable link or you have to change the name of your business or product to arrive an alternative that is available.

All of that has changed with the introduction of .shop domains. Launched in September 2016, .shop is operated by GMO Registry, Inc., and there are already almost 650,000 registered .shop domains according to NameStat.org, a company that keeps track of these things. This is good news for owners of online businesses that operate in online marketplaces, because let’s face it, a web address like BlueSkyJewelry.shop is a lot better than www.XYZmarketplace.com/shop/BlueSkyJewelry. It’s memorable, unique and best of all, it’s all about your special brand.

How do I forward my web address to a .shop domain?

You start by registering for your new .shop domain at a registrar like GoDaddy
(most domains can be purchased for less than $10 in the first year). Then log into your account and select the new .shop domain you’d like to redirect. Click “forward” or “redirect” and enter the web address you want to forward the domain to -- in this case, you’d simply copy and paste the link of your Etsy, Amazon, or eBay shop. Save the changes and you’re done.

These instructions will vary slightly between registrars. Find out how to set up a redirect at your registrar here:

Namecheap: https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/385/2237/how-do-i-set-up-a-url-redirect-for-a-domain

GoDaddy: https://www.godaddy.com/help/manually-forwarding-or-masking-your-domain-name-422

Name.com: https://www.name.com/support/articles/205188658-Adding-URL-Forwarding

123-Reg https://www.123-reg.co.uk/support/domains/how-do-i-forward-my-domain-name-to-another-website/

Now you’re ready to begin promoting your business using your new .shop link. Every time someone clicks on your new .shop web address, they will be redirected right to your website! You can use the address for online advertising, email campaigns, and even social media. You’ll find the snappy branding
your .shop URL provides you is pretty limitless and a lot easier to use than the dedicated link provided to you by an online marketplace.

For example, think about featuring some of your best customer feedback in your Facebook feed with your new .shop web address sending readers right to your website. Have you been featured in a blog or magazine? How about calling them up and telling them about what you do and featuring your sizzling new link? Tell your customers about your new web address so they can help you spread the word. You get the idea -- don’t be afraid to brag a bit and use your .shop link to rocket your business into the stratosphere!

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