May 5, 2018 (Sat). Yes, they are. Domains are really digital addresses and there is a historical reason. Understanding this concept will greatly improve your store location in the virtual world. So, let’s take a short walk down the memory lane.
In the early days of the internet, scientists devised a way to interconnect networks (hence “internet”) located at universities and research institutes so that they could share information. The system is called IP (internet protocol) address. Some examples are 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. These IP addresses are very difficult to remember and some early users even had to telephone a university to get its IP address before connection.
In 1985, the domain name system (DNS) was created to address this problem. With the DNS, each IP address is expressed as a domain. Now, users only need to remember domains and the DNS will translate the names to the corresponding IP addresses, or vice versa.
Today, many free DNS lookup services such as WhatIsMyIP.com can be found on the internet. Entering “apple.com” gives you the IP address 22.214.171.124 and “alibaba.com” the IP address 126.96.36.199, which were mentioned earlier. Large companies may have multiple IP addresses for just one domain in order to prevent the website from going offline. If you have a domain, you can try it yourself.
So, domains are really digital addresses, and they are much easier to remember than their corresponding IP addresses. How can you use this knowledge to improve your store location in the virtual world?
Because the virtual world is global, you want to use a digital address which is easy to remember by any one in the world. This will allow your customers to come to your store directly without requiring any assistance of third parties. The best choice, in my opinion, is what I call the English+dotCom strategy. This involves using a name based on simple and easy to understand English words, together with the .com extension. Both are recognized globally. A good example is SenseTime.com by SenseTime in China, which is also the highest-valued AI startup in the world according to Techcrunch.
One final thought. Note that domains are not case sensitive. You can take advantage of this characteristic and be creative in your marketing materials. For example, apple.com can also be expressed as Apple.com, APPLE.com, aPpLe.COM and more.