It may have gone unnoticed but in the very near future, Amazon will start to offer a new service. Amazon Registry will be the new home for the global e-commerce giant’s domain name registration services. Back in June 2012 when the applications (and applicants) were revealed in the new gTLD programme, the scale of Amazon’s investment in the programme took many by surprise. They applied for 76 Top Level Domains, a number only surpassed by Google and Donuts. Whilst some of the more generic terms were immediately put into contention sets, they had shown their cards as serious players in the future of the new Internet.
Three years later and we are still waiting for them to make their move. Twenty seven of their applications have now transitioned to delegation, with five names (including the controversial dotAmazon) not proceeding any further than the application stage.
However, they are yet to actively launch any of their suffixes. Perhaps the compelling event for them was the creation of a new division specifically to offer domain name sales?
Amazon already offer domain name registrations through their Route 53 services which was introduced in 2014 to provide a holistic solution for the AWS (Amazon Web Services) hosting customers. However, it has never been commercially marketed. Whilst it is anticipated that this service will remain in place, the launch of AmazonRegistry.com could prove to be a headache to the likes of GoDaddy over time, especially in the US. Google have already moved into the domain registrar market, although their service is only available in certain countries. The marketing power of Amazon should be a concern to GoDaddy, currently the world’s biggest domain name registrar with over 50 million names under management. Amazon have the clout to go head to head in a price war with them should they so desire.
Amazon.com is the 6th most visited website in the world today, with over 175 million monthly users able to buy every product from A to Z. In their twenty years of trading they have made some very significant acquisitions, such as LoveFilm, Zappos, Pet.com and IMDB but their strength has really come from introducing new brands such as Kindle, Fire and Prime. Each of these has delivered significant improvements in Customer Experience within their own business sectors and if Amazon gets all its ducks in a row they could make some significant ripples in the domain name registrar world.
Whilst the future of domain name sales now appears to be moving onto the virtual High Street, one disappointment so far, as highlighted by The Domains website in a blog post last week, is that Amazon have decided to use a dotCom for their website rather than a more impactful, and highly relevant, dotDomains TLD which seems like a big opportunity missed to bring some awareness to the new gTLD programme despite having registered the domain name back in March 2014.