Dear dot-com: It’s time to meet your new domain sibling. Say hello to Dot-luxury.
Dot-luxury is one of the 600-plus new generic top-level domain names — others include .news, .shop and .web — that join the existing 250 country codes and 22 TLDs such as .com and .net that are already in use.
This story first appeared in the August 20, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to Monica Kirchner, who is cofounder and chief executive officer of .Luxury, the firm that won the auction for the rights to the domain name and, in turn, the registration rights to that extension, the new choices make the “right of the dot more relevant” in a search, a component that now becomes more important when deciding on how to build an online presence.
Fashion, jewelry, watches, shopping, travel and even real estate are categories that could all benefit from using .luxury as the new domain name when considering what IP address to use, Kirchner said. That’s because the new extensions are expected to help, or at least enhance, a firm’s online presence as well as aid in the discovery component of search results since the dot-luxury extension is “more intuitive,” she said.
Kirchner also sees the new .luxury domain for existing brands that have a dot-com presence as an option for a product launch or a service offering. Brands that have acquired a dot-luxury domain extension are likely initially to use it more as a content site until they determine their best approach to the new name, and Kirchner expects that most will at some point include commerce at the new .luxury site.
So far, more than 1,100 domains have been registered in just two months, including more than 600 luxury brands. The average cost for a basic registration is $800 a year. Among the brands or companies that have purchased the new extension are Chanel, Gucci, Hermès, Richemont, Rolex, Azzedine Alaïa, Versace, Harry Winston, Ferragamo, Balenciaga and Isabel Marant. While a brand such as Chanel can have chanel.luxury, categories such as mascara.luxury can exist as well, Kirchner said.
According to proprietary research disclosed by Kirchner, 50 percent of affluent consumers regularly buy luxury goods and services online. While almost 90 percent expect luxury Web sites to have a .luxury domain, at least 77 percent think a .luxury domain will help them find the best luxury sites.
Heather Clawson, the founder of the blog Habitually Chic, is already onboard the .luxury bandwagon. The URL for her blog habituallychic.blogspot.com has changed to habituallychic.luxury.
According to Clawson, she initially used the blogspot address in July 2007 because that was where blogs initially lived. “Changing over to a real Web site was on the docket for a while. [Using blogspot] seemed way behind the times to being completely ahead of the times [using .luxury]. I write about luxury on my blog, so this new name seemed a natural fit,” Clawson said.
Clawson also is blocked from using a .com address because of a cybersquatter, and she didn’t want to go through the legal process to get the name back.
For her new site, Clawson is planning on adding a commerce component, a store for affiliate products as well as for items she buys when visiting flea markets in New York and Paris.