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A new era in domaining?

Labeled as discuss in General Domain Discussion, started by twiki, Jan 3, 2021

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  1. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    At the beginning of 2021, after selling one domain I've never expect to sell one year ago, I stopped for a bit to reflect.

    Where all this market turmoil has brought us... and where it does take us next.

    This my take of the next few years in domaining; what I think is happening already. And I believe it takes us to a whole new level.

    First off, domain sales have been going great through the pandemic. Maybe a little lower here and there, but hey - part of the market having gone bust (certain industries), the others have risen up to the challenge and covered the difference in sales pretty nicely. So we're doing good.

    There is increased pressure on drops and auctions (for good names, of course). I cannot hand reg drops that were really available 1 year ago. The number of buyers has significantly increased, and DropCatch is going rampant. Domain sales are going good, but domain purchases? Through the roof. I think registrars, who anyway get the cherry on the cake, will have an ever larger cake and even eat it, in the next few years.

    Pandemic has changed everything. Everyone is going digital. I also have an brick and mortar as well, which does retail of physical goods, but with an online inbound channel. This business has changed, and it tells me quite a lot about the current situation. Guess what, instead of going bust (brick and mortar, right?) our sales have almost doubled through the pandemic. Solely because of the online presence, having good domains, strong branding and that's about it.

    Basically what happened is that many of our smaller competitors with shops and stuff have closed due to limitations, OR the clients aren't coming to them anymore and buy mostly online and they aren't prepared to pack and ship like that. So this situation has changed the market a lot. Even the paid ads are cheaper as people don't advertise anymore for their closed shop.

    ( Note. The bar has risen a lot, and whoever was not prepared has gone bust. We have started preparing in January 2020 while the pandemic was not even on the continent yet. That's how you do these things.)

    Back to domains - my prediction is that demand will continue to increase and that the increase will accelerate. Right now the number of potential buyers of domains has maybe doubled or tripled already; many being forced to quickly alter course towards online. But on the other hand, many of the smaller ones indeed have low cash. (They'd really give you $100 for that valuable domain, yeah). But there is also lack of domain education at play.

    So there will be a fight next (I already feel it) between the demand and the pricing pressure, some buyers aiming for lower price - but at the same time many of them already competing for a limited resource such as .coms, single word ngTLD's or other valuables.

    No worries though: This market will settle by itself. And this process will not bring the overall prices down (as some might believe), but the opposite. Because the real good domains are not in the hands of newbies who don't know what they are doing. So buyers will finally begin to understand better the value of a domain. Finally.

    Without that good name, you're a nobody in the online world. You are not getting observed. You lose money.

    That 1k or 3k domain price you have been complaining about, is absolutely nothing in comparison with your other business expenses and turnover. You pay that much for one low income worker, just for one month, right? And this is a ONE TIME pay for something that will bring a ton of revenue for so many years. I believe the pressure to get online will begin to put things where they need to be. It is your best, and most valuable, and most ROI-efficient investment your business will ever make. (Side note, I bought my brand domains including the .com and all other tlds, years before even having that solid business running; because later would be way too late. I came prepared.)

    On the other hand I also see the lower end of the market, small buyers, domainer wannabes trying to make a buck through this pandemic. And it's a good thing, even though unfortunately just few of them really make positive income from this.

    But it brings more opportunities to the market, including more awareness, and creates scarcity as more domains will already be regged; and the result is, our good ones will get to be even more valuable. If someone cannot find an acceptable domain for their business available to hand reg, their only last avenue is to buy one. So it all finally brings the buck to the market.

    Some have predicted .coms will fall. They haven't, and won't.

    ngTLDs are on the rise, that's good but guess what, the sellers appear to know enough not to make them dirt cheap, so this keeps the coms still very interesting. And on the other hand, the buyer pressure is so high that even with all the new TLDs, .coms will continue to rise. Have some short, valuable 1-2 and maybe even 3-word coms that don't sell yet? Keep them, renew them - you will sell them for good cash next year or the other. This is only going up. Just like bitcoin in crypto, .coms will still be the core of the market.

    The pandemic is, in my opinion, here to stay for a while. The new market is here to stay for even more. This is the birth of a new era, and we have to grasp it well.

    The shift to online, digital work, collaboration and online education has been dramatic. New businesses will rise to the challenge and they will be hungry for valuable domains. So be prepared to feed them with your domain treats, in return for valuable cash.

    What is your take on the near future? Your comments are appreciated, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Samer

    Samer Top Contributor VIP

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    “ngTLDs are on the rise, that's good but guess what, the sellers appear to know enough not to make them dirt cheap, so this keeps the coms still very interesting.“

    Yes, Only part disagree with; Should say;
    “ngTLD cheap if dont want be taken serious.

    Samer
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  3. korganian

    korganian Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for taking the time to write such an interesting and very well written post. I really enjoyed it and agree fully with every point you made.
     
  4. gericsb

    gericsb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Excellent post twiki....

    I was thinking about something along the same lines. The pandemic has driven and will drive commerce online.

    I believe digital assets, online shopping, education and collaboration are some key areas, as well.

    Digital currency, gaming, fantasy sports, online sports betting is slowly getting legalized in more and more states.

    New technologies will be developed to support these businesses...

    New terms will become part of the vernacular and create new domain registration opportunities....

    Great post and idea for a thread.
     
  5. HotKey

    HotKey Made in Canada VIP

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    Congrats on your success last year- good to read your insight. And you're right, the appreciation of digital real estate ownership will only rise, particularly driven by the confines of the pandemic. Even so, without the pandemic I think the world has become too populous for most to enjoy or work in a reality setting, thus the drive towards digital.

    Great point about the pandemic driving awareness and thus bringing new opportunities to investors. My only concern is that people continue to flock to social media or mega stores such as Amazon or Twitter to drive their product. Working towards our benefit though is the amount of censorship and control on some of those platforms, thus hopefully having folks realize they truly do not own what they have unless under the banner of their own domain.

    You seem well-grounded and your input is always based on factual experience rather than theory, so much appreciated. Have found your posts very educational.

    A couple points from my perspective, and a bit of devil's advocate;

    • not so sure about this being a "new era" in domaining, I feel as it is more of a shift of positive perspective towards domains than something that is new. There are up and coming methods of connecting online content that really are new, eg handshake/crypto domains, that would be a new era once adopted.

    • recognizing the value in good domain names seems second-hand to us, as domainers, however this comment:
    the reality is is that a domain name, easy to remember or forget, is not absolutely necessary for the business to get noticed. Sadly, there's a ton of folks that are doing just fine with a really crappy domain. The name of your restaurant doesn't determine the quality of your food, the name is merely an afterthought or at best a personal connection of sorts. Our passion for domains as investors is not always felt the same in this regard.

    Not everyone wishes nor has the means to go Amazonian or Googlonian. Catch-22 though, read further down.

    But I get the gist. It would be totally awesome to see everyone not "settling" for a name, and mirroring the quality product they offer in an equally awesome domain name.

    • the thing is, just because you were success via a bricks-and-mortar locations doesn't mean an online shift equates the same results. It wasn't the domain name that did them in, it was lack of foot traffic. And to turn foot traffic into virtual traffic may be a totally different business model. re:
    What I'm worried about is this lack of personality via touch and see might make things worse for us, as domainers, as folks just won't be bothered with setting up online shop for themselves and allow the established Big Guys to sell for them via sub-stores (subdomains, vanity names off the main urls, etc..).

    Some good spinach here Twiki- thank you very much for the encouragement.

    **
    This is getting old, Samer. Same could be said for a cheap domain in any extension.
     
  6. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The pandemic proved just how resilient quality domains are.

    More and more people are being forced online to compete. This trend is not likely to change.

    Brad
     
  7. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    It's a trend that will take quite some time, I guess. Many are still resisting (mom and pops with no online experience as a quick example) but end of the day they will be forced to do it. But it takes time to adapt and create a functional business model in this line. So it's not immediate but at least part of it will be visible soon, and increase over time.

    Domains are the online equivalent of real estate. There will always be scarcity, so this field will always be very resilient indeed.
     
  8. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I found an article on Reddit, simply read the non-paywall version:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/comments/kp02yk/why_markets_boomed_in_a_year_of_human_misery/

    Provides good insight as to where the money went (and came from). Also perhaps it can spawn in our mind some lucrative ideas regarding investing in domains catering to niches that are likely to flourish this year.

    Furthermore, analysis and reflection at a beginning of a new year is something that I'd heavily recommend. We need time to analyze where we are heading in order to be in control of things and not have the boat take us in the wrong direction by surprise.

    Funny that the ability to predict the future by its early signs is quite paramount in any business, but even more so in domaining. Vision and thorough analysis - success factors at play that we can (have to) rely on.

    Finally, the explosion of domains in the domain market will only go up. Internet in general and domains in particular seem to follow the universe's randomness (entropy) principle, in which entropy increases over time but also accelerates fast. There's an one way journey from simple to complex, know those passionate about science, and like the universe expanding so is the entropy.

    And domaining business reflects this very well. We have to learn each day and we might discover new things each other day - something I enjoy a lot in domaining, being able to learn a lot and discovering new things, then making a profit out of that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  9. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Thank you for your kind comment,

    As to the new era, I do believe we are on the brink of such a change - we're transitioning to the "online first" world in my opinion. A shift in culture and online education triggered by the pandemic. (Edit: was ongoing anyway, but much accelerated now.)

    Its effects on domaining are easy to figure out right now. But I also hope to see the long-awaited mindset change in the general business public, as to what the real value of a quality domain is; and how this can tremendously impact our future sales and profits that have been, in my opinion, lagging behind; with only top domains being able to score some decent prices.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  10. karmaco

    karmaco Top Contributor VIP

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    Personally I don’t know a serious business that wasn’t doing at least half their income online before the pandemic. This is nothing new. The shift to online has been a necessity for quite some time. Some businesses its the only thing keeping them going because people don’t do b&m like they used to. At least not here in the states. And that was pre pandemic.

    The need for online hasn’t changed. Whats changed is the way people are working and learning. More from home than before. More needing a new course of action or extra income. Schooling has gone full blast online— that is a huge change. But shopping online for whatever you need has only increased year after year.

    I think,as always, the people with the very best of names will continue to prosper. Everyone else, no way to know yet if 2021 is going to be better for domainers as a whole or worse.

    The competition is up but has always been fierce on better names. I think for every burst of newbs thinking this is an easy way to riches there is a larger pool dropping out of this every year or greatly downsizing.

    Best to be cautiously optimistic because all you can count on with domaining is that it’s unpredictable even in the best of times not everyone is getting the same results.
     
  11. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Good and grounded comment. I'm also recommending cautious optimism as this is the sane kind, not the hype.

    However I disagree that the bulk of the market is already half online. My data shows otherwise. Tech and finance, yes - these are MOSTLY online. Commerce vs e-commerce, still room to improve; situation is far better in the US but not so much in Europe, where I live and where ecomm is still lagging behind, hence my own little success this year due to being in that front.

    Many classic businesses, if not most, are still relying on foot traffic. This is 2021 and foot traffic or close access to physical premises is no longer possible. I know because I have domains for such industries and while they sell, most owners are still dragging their feet and not so happy of going online. So there is still a lot to grow in those areas.

    I'm thinking shops selling various goods; various services; materials, DIY and industrial; even foods are in so many cases not sold online; various crafts and arts; electrical; etc. While you'd think most of these are online already, or getting half of their revenue from online, I can tell you that they are not. Not yet.

    But all this is about to change now. As I said, online-first; in almost all industries where physical presence of the client in the shop (e.g. barber) is not necessary (anything that can be shipped or delivered remotely). And there is still a long way to go in all these areas despite progress being made every day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  12. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (33% DM) Gold Account

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    Twiki....you sound a lot like me except you're way more articulate. Covid has seen me flip-flop over the last three years back and forth from mostly .coms, to mostly ngTLDs back to .coms and now an 80/20 ratio of ngTLDs to .coms.

    And speaking of articulate, i noticed that Articulation.online is available and I may just add it to my portfolio since speech therapy is done easier "online" than in person.

    Before the pandemic i liked the extension .online for how I believed the "end user" might perceive it.

    Twiki...you could certainly become a domain analyst imo. Thus if I were you i'd register DomainAnalyst.online. Good Luck and thanks for your analysis(y)
     
  13. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Thank you! :xf.smile:

    Nah, I'm not going to be a domain analyst. I'm just a guy who pays attention. And draws some conclusions, correct or not of course.

    Being articulate: Maybe, but I'm no native English speaker and often I am horrified about the mistakes I make in writing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  14. alcy

    alcy Top Contributor VIP

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    imo overall not much changed for domains since pandemic. and if it does change assuming pandemic persists then it will take few years to notice ...that said if it does change I think it will be better for domains.
     
  15. Freshnam

    Freshnam Restricted (50-70%) Gold Account

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    people want the .coms but you can sell the non .coms it just takes more time you get better names better results you just need the right buyers a person not knowing a single thing about domains would prefer a better name then a .com and will put up big money the key is patience and the right outlet create a 1 page landing page and logo to show them how a site would look like your sales will drastically increase
     
  16. du6262

    du6262 Established Member

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    • Although newTLD is on the rise.But the fact is that people still like.com and so do end users

    • I also encourage to try NEWTLD
     
  17. Freshnam

    Freshnam Restricted (50-70%) Gold Account

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    its also about demand and the fact is .com is king with the most registered domains in the world
     
  18. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TheDomains Staff TLDInvestors.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Spot on
     
  19. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I'm gonna expand the discussion here just a bit as it is worth doing.

    All I was trying to convey here was the resilience of the online-based business model. Another advantage we had was not being dependent on a particular location. As the firm grew, being able to change location as to adapt to our new volume and space needs was very important. If we were dependent on foot traffic, this was not possible. So yeah, the non-dependence of foot traffic is a primary benefit of online presence.

    But I can't stress enough how important the domain name is. Our domain names are very short (5 letters the shortest) but still we have difficulty with certain clients that won't understand the spelling easily via a phone call - some are relayed the number from a friend for example. If it was a long or less understandable name, they will end up elsewhere and perhaps give up trying.

    Furthermore, many clients forget thinks over years. Recurring and returning customers are vital for most businesses, as it was for us. They don't remember the phone numbers, or the person they talked to, or the email or whatever - but they do remember the domains cause they have been chosen for that. So a quick search does it . Often I am surprised how many would still misspell the domain but due to good presence Google does us the benefit of correcting that and directing them to us.

    What is indeed important to note here is that this is just an example, not a template. Each business is different.

    The online model is a completely different one indeed. I have already mentioned that there will be pains of switching to this model. It's not the same, requires very different skill sets (Google - FB ads? posts? etc) and many will not be able to adapt to it. BUT for each owner that cannot move online and chooses to close, a gap in the market remains, that will be filled by a new business that has spotted the need and decided to fill that gap. It's a natural process. Overall we will see a serious / accelerated shift in this direction.

    Could it work via a bad domain name? Yeah, it could - but it's a pity as you lose a LOT. Most likely those returning customers that are so important. Someone mentioning your domain to another potential customer but they being unable to type and reach it. Not strengthening your brand because of the same issues = money lost in ineffective advertising.

    So yeah, again, domain name quality really matters. And it's something the whole business world (or almost) needs to understand and care about, for their own sake.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  20. DigitalRoar

    DigitalRoar Investor & Creator VIP

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    The pandemic really helped some people realize the importance of having an online presence. Already seeing more interest in my names :)
     
  21. gericsb

    gericsb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What do you mean by 'seeing more interest in your names?

    Traffic? Clicks? Offers? Inquiries?

    I am just curious as to HOW folks gauge the interest level..as I am just getting back into domaining after a long absence.

    Thanks!
     
  22. DigitalRoar

    DigitalRoar Investor & Creator VIP

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    Inquiries/offers
     
  23. gericsb

    gericsb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks added. DigitalRoar

    😁
     
  24. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (33% DM) Gold Account

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    Curiously you talk about transitioning your business from Bricks and Mortar to an online model, and the importance of a good name. However, you don't mention anything about your domains "extension". While you never want to give up a good .com extension, it's my opinion that if you're moving to an "online" model the new .online extension might become as memorable as anything else you could do for your customers.
    Obviously I'm bias, but if the name of your business is TwikiGifts.com, wouldn't it make sense to inform your customers that you're transitioning to be TwikiGifts.online? Does this make sense? Common sense?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  25. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    This is off-topic I'm afraid. .online tld is not the discussion here.
     

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