The introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in 2012 – the end portion of a URL, such as .com – presents promising opportunities for brands to further strengthen and cement their online presence and image. In fact, it has also challenged .com’s supremacy and allowed websites to better position themselves within their niche, in part by being able to rank higher on search engines. With location-specific gTLDs like .london and .berlin for example, website owners can more precisely and strongly associate themselves with a given region rather than an entire country.
The .luxury gTLD, however, is used to signify a brand or specific product range of the very highest caliber, rather than a region. For example, a company wishing to market a range of luxury jewelry to high-income consumers can easily separate this from their lower value items by using a .luxury gTLD, therefore more precisely capturing their target market. This of course also greatly benefits online shoppers too, who are seeking more relevant results when searching for products online. While .com domains have long been the flagship of online shopping sites, they are not a guarantee of quality per se. However, anyone with the desire can pick one up from domain name providers like 1&1, alongside more standard TLDs that’s we’ve all come to know. The core component of the luxury shopping experience is exclusivity, and by being able to easily identify those brands offering a high level of exclusivity, shoppers can discover the quality they are looking for more easily.
It’s clear to see why luxury brands are utilizing their status and spending power to strengthen their reputation as companies of the highest class. Despite these benefits, the new gTLDs do still face one major challenge in particular to reach their potential, namely awareness. The nature of what the new gTLDs are exactly, how they differ from standard .com TLDs, and what they can offer, is not always so easy to communicate. Even when Google released a .xyz domain, ordinary internet users seemed not to grasp its significance with the same understanding or enthusiasm as the tech community. This is certainly a hurdle that luxury brands will have to address in order to capitalize on the full potential of their .luxury domains. Nevertheless, once they hit the mainstream, .luxury domains will offer lovers of luxury goods a far more bespoke online shopping experience than is currently possible.