The .SHOP new gTLD

The main purpose of applying for the TLD is to establish a clear, unambiguous and easy to remember online identity for individuals, business entities and organizations that deploy commercial activities in an online or offline environment, or provide information in relation thereto over the Internet, and to promote a defined, meaningful, and secure namespace in order to contribute to the further development of ecommerce markets and industries.

JP Morgan predicts that, by 2013 annual global ecommerce sales will be worth USD963 billion. (Nothing but Net: 2011 Internet Investment Guide on Digital Commerce, JP Morgan, 2011)

Further, the report states that “Even after several years of very robust growth in eCommerce, the sector represents less than 5% of all retail sales in the US and is even less developed in many other countries.”

The Applicant believes given burgeoning growth in the ecommerce market, and equally strong growth potential, that both commercial traders and Internet users would benefit from the introduction of a dedicated commerce namespace.

Of course, .SHOP would not be restricted only to online commerce. Retailers and traders who primarily conduct transactions offline would also benefit from a web presence with a .SHOP identity especially as they face increasing competition from their online counterparts.

The .COM generic top-level domain has provided a specific online identity for commerce since the beginning of the Domain Name System. Its powerful brand and sustained growth has been unparalleled and today about 1 in 2 domain names registered is a .COM.
However, .COM can no longer claim to be the exclusive online location for commerce. As a result of the unrestricted nature of the TLD, anyone who can pay the domain name registration fee can access the world’s biggest Internet extension.
Therefore, currently there is no domain specifically targeting individuals, business entities or organizations that deploy commercial activities. As a result, these activities are operated under various gTLDs and ccTLDs that may not be particularly relevant.
.SHOP makes it possible for these businesses to operate under a relevant TLD space with a clear, unambiguous and memorable online identity that is recognized by Internet users as meaningful and secure. Having a strong online identity is a key asset for businesses, and translates to a better user experience when dealing with these businesses.

Advantages for Businesses

In addition to providing more TLD options .SHOP also provides an opportunity for individuals, business entities or organizations to register a direct, simple, and intuitive domain that corresponds to their businesses. Furthermore, this TLD will offer an additional suite of tools and services that are focused on providing .SHOP users with a safe, secure and reliable experience.
Since .SHOP is clear and easy to associate with commercial activities and the word “SHOP” is recognized worldwide, it allows a business to easily reach out to its target audience and market its products and services in an effective and efficient manner, thus promoting business growth.
Today, having an online presence is considered to be a necessity for any business. One of the crucial first steps in establishing an online presence is the selection of a TLD and domain name. In current TLDs, especially .COM, which has the most registrations and is intended for all purposes, there is a high possibility that the business’s desired domain name(s) will be unavailable, and it will be forced to find an alternative. In this case, it will need to spend more time finding out what is available and deciding on which ones to register. The end result may be that the registered domain names are far from direct, simple, easy to understand, and intuitive, all of which are important qualities from a marketing perspective. The Applicant hopes that .SHOP will help reduce difficulties in securing a relevant online identity and facilitate a smooth business launch. In addition, if there is demand from registrants or registrars, the Applicant intends to provide optional supporting products (i.e. shopping cart) for new businesses and others.

Benefits for Internet Users

As stated in the previous paragraph, individuals, business entities or organizations are often obliged to use non-relevant gTLDs and ccTLDs since there is no domain that specifically identifies this community at this point. As a consequence, Internet users often have difficulty reaching the websites, information, and services they seek. The Applicant believes that .SHOP will help reduce user confusion and improve convenience for online shoppers and other Internet users since it is intuitive and self-explanatory.

Just as proliferation of smartphones and tablet-type devices contributed to what is now a ubiquitous network society, expansion of .SHOP could enhance user experience in online commerce for those who deploy commercial activities online as well as Internet users.
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Jovenet Consulting,
Aug 11, 2016, 7:00 AM