Naming an Online Store: Best Practices and Inspiration

If you’re starting an ecommerce business, you’ll need a great name for your shop. But naming an online store can seem intimidating—or even downright hard—if you don’t know how to approach it. After all, you could call your store almost anything, so how do you pick something that’ll make your business stand out?

The answer: You’ll need to do a little bit of creative and strategic thinking to land on the right online store name for your business. And we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to name an online store, plus, we’ll review some online store name ideas to offer some inspiration to help you find yours.

How to Name an Online Store: 9 Top Tips for Success

There are several approaches you can use to brainstorm, research, and, ultimately, choose a name for your online store. Here are nine best practices to follow.

1. Think About Your Demographic

Who are you selling to? The interests, habits, and proclivities of your target customers should have a bearing on how you go about naming your online store. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your demographic, and try to get a sense of what would resonate most with them.

2. Look at Leaders in Your Industry

If there are similar online stores that you admire, or are even directly competing with, carefully examine their names. What works about them? What doesn’t?

Conducting a market analysis can allow you to learn from competitors and help you stand out from them. This is a place where taking an informal poll in your circle can also help so that you understand others’ perspectives on what makes a good (or bad) name in your specific industry.

3. Think Creatively

If you sell widgets, it’s very possible you can name your online store “The Widget Shop.” But you probably want to think outside the box.

Are there variations on the word “widget” that you can use? Are there alternative spellings or portmanteaus, or can you tack on a fun suffix (think -ly, -ify, -r, and other popular fun endings)? You may have the urge to approach your name in a very straightforward fashion, but allowing yourself to have a little fun and get creative can help lead you in unexpected directions.

There’s one caveat here that’s important to mention: Creative doesn’t necessarily have to mean difficult. For instance, you don’t want to introduce an online store name that’s tricky to say or spell. This can prevent referrals or repeat traffic. Make sure that you’re still being clear even as you think big.

4. Value Simplicity

You might be tempted to embrace an overly complicated name in order to stand out, but when it comes to naming an online store, simplicity is often best. You want your name to be easy to remember, spell, pronounce, and share. 

As you consider different ideas, it can be helpful to test your store name on some friends or family members to get constructive feedback.

5. Consider the User’s Perspective

As with building any kind of business, it’s important to consider the customer’s perspective as well. 

What do they expect out of a business name in your industry? 

As an example, what’s common for online store names in the hardware industry will be very different than those in the baking industry.

6. Pay Attention to Search Potential

Although some customers will find your online store through referrals and advertisements, many will find your shop by searching for a specific product or type of product. As such, your online store name can make a big difference as to whether search engines rank your site.

If you sell a certain category of products with a lot of search potential—let’s say widgets again—you might want to consider having the name “widget” in your store name. Even better, if you sell within an even more specific niche market, you might want to add that to your name, too—i.e. “Android widgets.”

A strategic, search-focused name will not only signal to your customers exactly what you’re selling, but it will also best position you to rank on Google and other search engines.

7. Look Into Fun Generators

Feeling a little stuck or uninspired? You can lean on some tools for help with how to name an online store. These business name generators generally take words you want to include in your online store name and put a spin on them.

Let’s walk through an example. Continuing with our Android widgets example, we’ll type that phrase into the name generator and receive a variety of results to sort through (as you can see below).

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Image source: Oberlo

These types of generators can help you find the perfect name—or at least help get the creative juices flowing.

8. Ask for Feedback

We’ve mentioned this a little, but it’s worth repeating: Make sure that you test your name on other people.

Whether you’re having trouble coming up with an idea in the first place or need help workshopping some top contenders, getting feedback can be crucial to ensuring that you find the right choice for your online store.

Getting feedback from others can help you think of things you didn’t and identify blind spots. For instance, maybe your name has some connotations you didn’t see and would rather avoid. These details can make a big difference, so ask at least a few people what they think of your choice.

9. Check for Availability

You might have a great idea in mind for an online store name, but before you can make it official, you need to make sure that it’s available. Here are a few things to look into:

  • Domain: Check that your domain name is available. Most people want a .com, but keep in mind that these are often harder to get and more expensive. There are lots of other types of domains, such as .ly, .store, .tech, .digital (and even fun ones like .money, .pizza, and .diamonds). So, if your ideal .com is already taken, or it’s out of reach financially, you might consider some of these alternatives.
  • Social handles: If social media is going to be part of your strategy (and it should), you’ll want to check that your desired social handles are available across each platform. You can use a tool such as Namechk to see what’s available across domains and social networks.
  • Trademarks: You should also browse a trademark registry to make sure that your business name isn’t infringing on any existing trademarks. A site like Trademarkia can help you view trademarks. 

Online Store Name Examples

Now that we’ve walked through these best practices, let’s review some online store name ideas so that you have a better sense of why putting effort into naming an online store is so important.

Well-Bean Coffee

When it comes to selling coffee, there’s definitely a range of avenues you could take in naming your online store and building your brand. With Well-Bean Coffee, however, their name (and anything you read about them) reflects their brand personality and illustrates their philanthropic values, with the goal to only offer direct-trade coffee to support coffee farmers around the world.

naming-online-store

Image source: Well-Bean Coffee

Plus, this online store name also capitalizes on some of the other tips we’ve discussed. It’s creative, but simple. It includes the words “coffee” and “bean” both of which are applicable for searchers browsing for coffee.

Moreover, for an engaged audience focused on sustainability, giving back, and health-consciousness, Well-Bean has certainly positioned themselves well.

The Whiskey Ice Co.

As you can see in the image below, in addition to their signature whiskey ice ball maker, The Whiskey Ice Co. sells a variety of spirits-related products—from bar tools, to glasses, to syrups—and even apparel and gift cards.

naming-online-store

Image source: The Whiskey Ice Co.

With this online store name, therefore, The Whiskey Ice Co. does a few things:

  • They set customer expectations: It can be helpful to communicate to customers what they’re going to experience even before they go into your online store—and as you can see here, your name can help reflect this. 
  • They keep it simple: While creativity can be a benefit, you don’t want to get overly complicated with your online store name idea.
  • They put themselves in a good place for search: If potential customers are searching for whiskey, whiskey ice cubes, and other similar products, it’s much more likely that their store is going to come up than if it had a different name. 

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to naming your online store. You might even find yourself in the great position of having to decide between a few really strong online store name ideas.

That said, don’t forget to have a little fun, too—you’ll probably come up with some funny names that you end up tossing out, so take a breath and allow yourself to laugh during the process. You’ll land on the right name in the end.

Sally Lauckner

Sally Lauckner is the editor-in-chief of JustBusiness and the editorial director at Fundera.

Sally joined Fundera in 2018 and has almost 15 years of experience in print and online journalism. Previously she was the senior editor at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed fintech startup that provides personal finance advice. There, she edited articles and data reports on topics including taxes, mortgages, banking, credit cards, investing, insurance, and retirement planning. She has also held various editorial roles at AOL.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and ColoradoBiz magazines, as well as Yelp, SmallBizClub, and BizCrat.

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