While Americans are finalizing their shopping strategies for retail’s biggest day of the year, brands have been developing their own Black Friday marketing strategies with new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS

How Many Brands Are Using New gTLDs for their Black Friday Marketing and Holiday Marketing Campaigns?

Uniregistry’s new gTLD has seen mild registration numbers so far (11,069), but for top retailers, protecting their trademarks in this string, along with Uniregistry’s .CHRISTMAS (13,380 registrations to date) could provide some holiday peace of mind.

To check how the top 100 online retailers, as ranked by Internet Retailer, have adopted these new strings, FairWinds checked their brand names in both .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS and found some interesting results.

Of the publication’s top 100 retailers:

  • Only 17 have registered their brand names in .BLACKFRIDAY, and only 14 have registered their brand names in .CHRISTMAS.
  • 9 of the 17 brands who have registered in .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS are among Internet Retailer’s top 20 online retailers
  • 8 and 4 brands that rank between 21-100 on the Internet Retailer list have registered in .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS, respectively

Luckily for brands, very few third parties have registered these names either, and the pages that are registered (JCPenney.BLACKFRIDAY or Gilt.CHRISTMAS) either resolve to parked pages or don’t resolve at all. Brands might be losing out on a small number of potential visitors by not registering in these gTLDs, but at least there is no damaging or infringing content to worry about. However, it is important to note, it is still possible for third parties to send emails (such as phishing scams) from these domain names, which is why consumers should always scrutinize emails coming from unfamiliar addresses.

Why Brands Should Consider Using New gTLDs for their Black Friday Marketing and Holiday Marketing Campaigns

A simple solution for brands is to register important trademarks in .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS and have the page point to the brand’s existing shopping homepage. This takes minimal effort on brands’ part, may boost Black Friday marketing and holiday marketing traffic to a brands’ online content, and keeps the domain names out of the hands of potential scammers. A number of top retailers, including Costco, Target, and Macy’s have taken this approach.

Amazon’s Black Friday Marketing Technique

If brands want an example of how to utilize these registrations, they should look right to the top of the list: Amazon, the reigning king of online retail, is the only brand to have its .BLACKFRIDAY and .CHRISTMAS registrations redirect to seasonal content.

By directing visitors to these specific gTLDs to content that is fresh and relevant, Amazon is succeeding in two ways: protecting itself against third-party registrants and adding potential shoppers.

While it is unlikely that hordes of visitors are typing Amazon.BLACKFRIDAY into their browsers, even by adding some traffic, Amazon is driving potential sales. The company is also establishing itself as a first mover in a way that has no negative consequences for its brand.

There is still plenty of time for brands to follow Amazon’s lead by registering one of the mostly available .BLACKFRIDAY or .CHRISTMAS names and putting up simple, relevant content. It’s an easy fix to curtail cybersquatting and increase traffic. Can you think of a better holiday gift for online retailers?

Josh Bourne
How New gTLDs Are Playing a Role in Black Friday Marketing and Holiday Marketing in 2014

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