April 28, 2018 (Sat). I believe a virtual world is developing. If you want to have a glimpse of how it will look like, I suggest you go and watch the movie Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg. When you are watching the movie, make sure that every time the word ‘game’ comes up, you replace it with ‘shopping’. Then you’ll see how much fun and better shopping will become in the future.
The main venue of shopping will shift from the high street to the cyber street. Just imagine that you can open a store in this virtual world where you can have unlimited floor space, open 24/7, and have customers from every country in the world. Most importantly, you can have millions of AI-powered store specialists each catering to just one – yes, just one – customer from a specific country, speaking the language of the customer, knowing the entire purchase history of the customer, and understanding the preference of the customer.
Compare the high street with the cyber street. The former is local with limited trading hours and limited number of knowledgeable store staff; the latter is global with 24/7 trading hours and unlimited number of store specialists.
In this scenario, the digital address is a critical part of your store strategy. Unlike the physical address which is usually long and difficult to remember, in the virtual world you can get a short and meaningful address which can be remembered by any one from any country in the world. Why is it important? If your customers can remember your digital address, they can come to visit your store directly without going through any middleman (such as search engines).
The digital address has another name: domain. If you have a good domain, you’ll save a lot of money from having to pay the middlemen to help your customers to come to your store. This explains why top companies have spent millions of dollars in acquiring good domains. An example is the China-based ecommerce platform JD.com, the 3rd largest internet company in the world according to Wikipedia. The company spent $5 million in 2012 to acquire JD.com. As a result, the company has saved some $20 million a year in advertising.
So, how do you select the best domain for your company. First and foremost, acquire a brand-matching .com domain. What does brand-matching mean? For example, Jack Ma’s company is called Alibaba Group Holding, but most people remember it as “Alibaba”. Therefore, its brand-matching domain is Alibaba.com -- not AlibabaGroup.com or AlibabaGroupHolding.com. Remember this rule/example when you select your next digital address.