One of the benefits of new gTLDs for brand owners that some marketers have been discussing is the ability to provide personalized domain names to customers in order to build up brand loyalty. We were talking about new gTLDs and different ways to use them with a client recently, and she mentioned that a friend of hers (let’s call her Jane) is such an avid J.Crew customer that she has her own 1-800 telephone number. When Jane calls it, a customer service representatives answers, “Hello Jane, what can we do for you?” This kind of service is easily transferable to new gTLDs; instead of their own 1-800 numbers, J.Crew could give out personalized domain names, and instead of calling J.Crew, Jane could visit JaneDoe.JCrew.
There, Jane could access a site that looks just like J.Crew’s homepage, but is specifically configured to her shopping preferences. It could include links to her J.Crew online shopping account and her J.Crew credit card account, automatically fill in her size on the various items she browses, and prioritize how items are displayed based on the colors she tends to prefer.
J.Crew could give .JCREW domain owners exclusive access to new collections or sales before making them available to the general public. It could store customers’ tailoring history, making it possible to get a pair of pants or a skirt hemmed to just the right length with the click of a button. Essentially, Jane Doe’s JaneDoe.Jcrew could become a completely customized shopping hub.
But what about the personal touch of being able to call up a real live human with her 1-800 number? J.Crew already has an application in place that allows Internet users to chat with a personal shopper on the homepage, which it could easily integrate into new personalized domains. Or it could go a step further and integrate Skype’s API to provide video calling with those personal shoppers, in the way that Facebook uses Skype to allow users to video call their friends. For both retailers and other brands, new gTLDs can present unique and valuable marketing opportunities and ways to connect with customers in different ways.
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