Elevate Your Brand: A Step-by-Step Guide to Naming Your Online Shop

Woman working on laptop on her online ecommerce store

For countless entrepreneurs and small business owners, naming their online store is the first real encounter with the power of branding. The right name can pave the way to success, while the wrong one might steer your business off course.

Here are ten proven insights to help guide your decision.

1. Understand the power of a strong brand name

Your online store’s name is often the first point of contact for potential customers. It’s a crucial element that shapes their first impression of your business. As such, your name should reflect the essence of your brand—its vision, mission, and values.

For instance, when Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, was launched, it was named after the most voluminous river, symbolizing vastness and diversity—an impressive metaphor for a store aspiring to offer everything to everyone.

eBay, another massive online marketplace, uses an abbreviation for Echo Bay Technology Group, showing a connection to its roots.

2. Brainstorm without boundaries

Get creative, allow free thinking, and brainstorm without constraints. Scribble down any idea that comes to mind, even if they seem ludicrous at the onset. These sessions are about quantity over quality, generating a pool of potential names from which gems can be unearthed.

For example, imagine you’re naming a store selling ethically sourced clothing. You might jot down words like “ethical,” “sustainable,” “fashion,” and “eco-friendly.” Perhaps one of those words, or a combination, strikes a chord and becomes the perfect name.

Allow ideas to flow freely when brainstorming, creating a vast pool from which to select potential names.

If you’re opening a store selling vintage clothes, brainstorming might generate words like “retro,” “classic,” “vintage,” “timeless,” or “heritage.”

For an online bakery, words like “sweet,” “oven,” “delicious,” “crumbs,” and “yeasty” could spark inspiration.

3. Seek external input

Contact your friends, family, and potential customers for their thoughts. People with different backgrounds and perspectives can provide a fresh viewpoint or suggest names you might not have considered.

A friend or family member might suggest “Past Perfect” for your vintage clothing store—a name you may not have considered.

Crowdspring offers an effective platform, allowing you to crowdsource names from a global community, often at a fraction of the traditional cost, starting at just $299.

4. Review, shortlist, and test

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential store names, it’s time to review them. Look at them through the lens of your target customers. Shortlist those that are memorable, easy to pronounce, and resonate with your brand’s ethos.

Testing is vital, too. You can use focus groups or simple surveys to gather feedback.

For example, if you’re naming a shop that sells handmade crafts, your top name choice might resonate beautifully with your target audience of art enthusiasts. Still, it may be less impactful among a general audience.

If you’re naming a vegan skincare store, a name like “BotanicGlow” might resonate beautifully with your target audience of eco-conscious consumers.

A store specializing in organic coffee might find that “BeanPure” or “BrewNatural” garners positive responses in focus group tests.

5. Conduct thorough checks

Before you finalize your name, checking for existing trademarks and domain availability is crucial. Infringing on another company’s trademark could result in legal complications. Likewise, securing a domain that matches your business name is vital for online visibility.

Before finalizing “Past Perfect”, check for existing trademarks and ensure that pastperfect dot com is available.

Even if “Bake Bliss” ticks all the boxes, proceeding without ensuring bakebliss dot com is obtainable would be imprudent.

6. Incorporate your business’s unique selling proposition

Your online store name can also be a clever marketing tool if it highlights your unique selling proposition. If your store offers 24-hour delivery, a name like ‘Round The Clock Retail’ can make it clear to potential customers.

A store specializing in next-day delivery of handcrafted gifts might opt for “Craft&Swift.”

A name like “PureGrain Bakery” could work well if your online bakery offers gluten-free options.

7. Reflect on future scalability

Choose a name that allows your business to grow. Overly specific names could limit you if you decide to expand your product range or geographical reach in the future.

Amazon, again, is a perfect example. If it had been named “Book Barn,” its expansion into selling virtually everything might have felt out of sync with its name.

“Past Perfect Attire” might limit your future expansion to other vintage items. “Past Perfect” offers more flexibility.

“Bake Bliss Breads” might feel restrictive if you introduce pastries or cakes later. “Bake Bliss” allows for such growth.

8. Consider cultural sensitivity

Names that translate well and are culturally sensitive are crucial to targeting a global audience.

An international fashion store named “StyleMosaic” can reflect the diversity of fashion trends.

“WorldCuisine,” for an online gourmet food store, resonates well across different cultures and implies that it offers foods from around the world.

9. Balance simplicity and creativity

A simple, memorable name can engage customers, but a touch of creativity sets you apart.

“Ampersand” for a bookstore combines creativity (as ampersand stands for ‘and’) while signifying a place where stories ‘and’ people meet.

“Bespoke & Co” for a custom clothing store offers simplicity while suggesting a personalized shopping experience.

10. Reflect your brand personality

A store name that resonates with your brand personality can build a strong emotional connection with customers.

A store selling quirky home decor might thrive with a fun, playful name like “BumbleBee Bazaar.”

A luxury watch store may opt for a sophisticated name like “Timeless Elegance.”

Remember, the perfect name for your online store is out there. It might require a blend of creativity, research, and strategic thinking, but the effort will pay dividends in the long run.