The dotStore Top Level Domain (TLD) is on course to become one of the most popular Sunrise Periods so far in this round of gTLD launches. To date, the extensions that have attracted the most attention from trademark holders have been dotPorn (2,091), dotAdult (2,049), dotLondon (799), dotClothing (676) and dotWebsite (633).
It’s no surprise that adult-themed TLDs and a geographic domain hold the top spots, with rights holders largely ignoring Sunrise in the majority of TLDs and opting instead to register in general availability or simply to monitor for potential infringements. In this sense, Sunrise has been disappointing for registry operators, with those 60 days full of digital tumbleweeds or applications from the most defensive of brands with budgets to match.
This is a far cry from the Sunrises of old; does anyone remember the initial launch of dotEU? Back in 2006, the operator received a staggering 320,000 Sunrise applications from rights holders wishing to secure their corresponding dotEU domain. By contrast, there are only 40,000 trademarks in The Trademark Clearinghouse today – TMCH was set up in part to prevent the headaches of previous Sunrises where rights holders needed to submit reams of paperwork to demonstrate their rights and secure a domain.
With only a few days left for the dotStore Sunrise Period, it’s encouraging to see over 600 applications already; expectations are that it will close at over the 800 mark. The reason? I think it’s down to the fact that dotStore is the first new gTLD to focus on the e-commerce market. This TLD, along with dotShop and dotShopping, is a true e-commerce enabler and ideal for established brands, small businesses and start-ups that already have or intend to build an online store.
The use of this TLD is a great call to action for consumers, and works extremely well to describe an online destination over a sub-domain or lengthy URL. The term ‘store’ still ranks as one of the highest keywords used in domain registrations across the legacy TLDs, with volumes constant for the past six months. Brand.store will look and sound like a natural destination for online stores of any description. The use of the terms ‘store’ and ‘shop’ function across multiple markets and consideration should be given to both terms.
I look forward to reviewing the final figures next week as this is a great TLD. General Availability is also expected to gain lots of attention and hopefully use. If you’re yet to submit a Sunrise application or wish to know about the benefits of the TMCH, please contact your account manager.
Sunrise closes on 5th June 2016 at 16:00 UTC.