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How to name your store
The ultimate step-by-step guide by branding experts and startup specialists! Learn proven methods on how to create unique and creative shop name ideas, and find a wealth of inspiration through the 20+ store name ideas listed below!
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There’s almost nothing you can’t buy in a store in 2021. Transactions take place through various channels of distribution and across a wide range of different industries. Physical or in-store retail is still the dominant channel in this market, but other forms of non-store retailing are catching up.
E-commerce or online retailing is gaining popularity by the year. Most retailers operate an omnichannel model, which integrates offline and online selling methods. The global retail market generated sales of around 25 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019. This number is expected to grow to close to 27 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. (https://www.statista.com/topics/5922/retail-market-worldwide/)
While this data clearly demonstrates the profitability of the retail industry, it also means there’s a lot of competition from established shops. With so many established stores, you have to create something special to compete in the market.
First impressions are extremely important since you often get only one chance to capture the attention of potential buyers. That’s why It’s vitally important you take your time when opening a store.
One of the first things buyers see is your store name. It’s extremely important you find a catchy store name that buyers notice and remember. We already established that e-commerce is one of the most important retail channels. Having a web store is a must in 2021. .
But getting a domain name for your store that’s available is harder every year. There are more than 150 million registered .com domains, and finding one that’s still available is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
This goes to show how important it is to spend enough time brainstorming ideas when starting your store.
Now, taking the time to develop a strategy for creating unique store name ideas is no easy feat. So, we developed our store name generator to make the whole process easier for you.
In this article, we’ll show you how to approach naming your store and how to use our generator to find the perfect name that will stand out in the retail market.
20 Interesting Shop Name Ideas to Use When Naming Your Store
I’m going to help you generate the perfect name for your store. We’ll start with a few examples of catchy shop names that you can use for inspiration when starting your brainstorming process.
I suggest you use our store name generator to help you speed up the process. I’ll share actionable tips and tricks you can use to create the best name for your store.
Are you ready to get started? These are twenty catchy name ideas that can be used for a store.
- The Authentic Corner
- Brilliant Boutique
- More In Your Pockets
- Fuller Shelf
- Shopper’s Delight
- Get More
- Smart Store
- Studio Belle
- Shop & Smile
- Magnolia Market
- RedFox Shop
Best Store Names Right Now
To help you brainstorm potential shop names, let’s take a look at three successful stores and break down why and how they’ve chosen to name their shop and why it works for them. Hopefully, this inspires you and helps you create your own store name ideas list.
AliExpress currently ranks as one of the biggest online stores. The store is named after the umbrella company called Alibaba. That name comes from 1001 Nights in Arabian literature. The character outwitted thieves and got their treasures. In a sense, AliExpress is an online treasure chest.
The Map House
The Map House is a name that dives right into the niche. The name has a bit of an old feel to it, and that’s absolutely intentional. The Map House sells antique maps, some of the products being incredibly important and expensive. Relevant and niche, the name does precisely what a good store name should accomplish.
LIberty – A State of Mind
This is a women’s fashion and lifestyle store. The name is indicative of the store’s intrinsic mission. The aim is to create spaces where people are free and have a chance to explore their inner needs and aesthetic desires.
As we see, there are different ways we can create memorable store names. Some are simple and straightforward, while others rely on uniqueness to differentiate themselves. We’ll look at some actionable steps we can take to create modern and catchy store name ideas.
10 Things to Keep In Mind When Naming Your Store
This section includes 10 actionable tips that will help you create the perfect names for a store. In this example, I’m creating a name for a store that conveys innovative, effective, and simple values for its users. I also want to differentiate the shop from other stores in the market. Here’s how I created these store names.
#1) Analyze Your Existing Competitors
Before we start brainstorming name ideas, we need to know our market and other shops that are similar to ours. This is an essential step that a lot of people overlook when they start thinking about their store name ideas.
Start by listing down ten or twenty existing shops that are similar to yours. Think of the stores you will compete against in the market.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when analyzing your existing competitors:
- Can you find any trends and words that often appear in their store names?
- Do they use similar name types?
- Do any names stand out for being very different?
#2) Position Your Store
There are two basic options you have when positioning your store:
– You can make your store fit in the market.
– You can make your store stand out in the market.
If you want to fit it, you should copy the name styles of existing shops. You can even use the same words other companies use.
Just make sure you’re creating names that are different enough and won’t get you into legal trouble.
If you want to stand out in the market, focus on using unique words and name styles. Make sure your name is different from other shops in the market.
This is the approach I recommend for all new stores. People remember things that are different and stand out. This is the easiest way to position your store for success in the retail industry.
#3) Look for Inspiration Elsewhere
We already analyzed the names of other shops in the market. Now it’s time to move beyond that. You can turn to different markets and niches for inspiration. Pick a niche or market that’s different than yours.
Let’s, for example, pick gardening. Look at the names people use in this industry.
You will probably notice a lot of companies use words like “seed”, “grow”, “green”, “bloom”… Can any of these words be used for your store?
Of course. The word “seed” can represent growth and prosperity. The word “bloom” can serve a similar purpose. The words “green” and “grow” can easily be used to describe sustainability. These are just examples. You can turn to any market or niche for inspiration. Don’t spend all your time going through the names in your niche.
#4) Understand Different Name Types
I won’t bore you with details or make this theory too complicated. But it’s important we understand the basics of naming theory. There are four main types of names:
- Descriptive (literal) names – These names describe what the brand does or its functions. This also includes acronyms, initials, founder names, and geographical names. (ex. AliExpress, Cartmax, etc.)
- Invented (made-up) names – These names don’t have any real meaning. They are either completely made-up or come from foreign languages. (ex. Transacta, Vendira, etc.)
- Experiential names – These names describe the experience of shopping in the store. They basically show what people get when they shop at your store. (ex. Fuller Shelf, Shop & Smile, etc.)
- Evocative names – These names represent the stores in a metaphorical instead of literal way. They represent what the store stands for instead of what it does. (ex. RedFox Shop, Magnolia Market, etc.)
We won’t go any further. This is enough to give you a basic understanding of different name types.
#5) Go Beyond Descriptive Names
We learned about different name types in the previous point. We saw that descriptive names are the simplest names out there. While there’s nothing wrong with them, they can’t help your store stand out in a crowded market.
I suggest we move beyond simple descriptive names when opening our own store. Descriptive names are great when we want to blend in. But we already learned that this isn’t the best approach for new brands, especially in competitive markets like retail.
Instead, think of unique words, phrases, and metaphors that could be used to represent your store. This will help you stand out from your competitors.
#6) Brainstorm Your Name Ideas
It is now time to start brainstorming what words could fit into your store name ideas. Your goal here is to create a list of words or names that come to mind when thinking about your shop.
In my name ideas, I used words like “commerce”, “cart”, and “smart”, you can see that while these words can be related to classic retail, they also suggest that you can expect a modern, creative outlook from this store.
If you’re stuck on words to use, try our store name generator. Here are my store name ideas after brainstorming:
The Authentic Corner, Brilliant Boutique, Cartmax, More In Your Pockets, DollarSmart, Megaplex, Fuller Shelf, Shopper’s Delight, Get More, Organicum, Shopperia, Smart Store, Studio Belle, eFarms, Vendira, Shop & Smile, Freshcommerce, Magnolia Market, RedFox Shop, Transacta
#7) Shortlist Your Ideas
Once you’ve developed a list of possible store name suggestions, analyze your ideas. Remove any names that could be hard to remember, spell or speak aloud.
Keep names that are brandable, sound great, are memorable, and communicate your store values to your target audience.
Here’s a quick checklist you can run your ideas through to help shorten your list of names:
- Is the name simple and easy to remember?
- Is the name easy to read and say aloud?
- Is the name different from competitors?
- Does the name convey a relevant meaning?
- Does the name avoid overused words or cliches?
#8) Get Some Feedback
You should now have a list of 3-6 great store name suggestions, and you can start gathering feedback. Ask potential customers or people working in the industry for feedback (your target audience).
Avoid feedback from family and friends. They are more likely to praise all your ideas, and they aren’t your customer.
Be sure to ask questions like:
- What first comes to mind when you hear the name?
- How would you spell it?
With your customer feedback, you can start objectively analyzing the store names you picked. Ask yourself – Are these ideas still relevant? Do they still represent my shop?
#9) Check If It’s Available
At this point, it’s good to have at least three great store names on your list in case any of your names are already taken.
You can start by doing a quick Business Name Search online to see if your name is available within your country/state. While doing so, it’s also good to make sure that the name is available for Trademark registration. It’s good to make sure you can legally use the names you created. This can save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Make sure you also check domain availability for your shop. You will need a URL address to create a website and an online shop.
You can use our store name generator for this step. It shows available domains for all store names it generates.
#10) Develop Your Brand
This is the last thing you need to do before opening your store. The name on its own isn’t enough to help you dominate the retail market. You have to create exciting visual cues that go with the name.
How will the name look in the logo? Which tagline will you use for your shop? What colors represent the emotions of your store?
Make sure you create a cohesive brand where all elements work together. I suggest you get help from a professional graphic designer for this step.
Should I Think About the Difference Between a Shop and a Store When Creating The Names?
Let’s answer this by first looking at what a store is a what a shop is. There’s a difference between these two terms in British and American English. We’ll start with American English.
In American English, the word “store” is used for a building or a part of a building where goods are sold. The word “shop” is used to describe a very small store that just has one type of goods. For example, antique shops.
In British English, we use the word “shop” to describe what Americans call a “store”. We only use the word “store” for very large shops in British English.
In both British and American English, we use the term “department store” for very large shops that have separate departments selling different types of goods.
As we see the difference between shop and store depends on where you are. This also dictates which world to use for your name. In reality, both these words work. It’s up to you to decide which one you’ll use.
I would use the word “shop” for smaller shops and niche-specific shops. This is definitely the right approach if you only sell one type of good.
You can use the word “store” if you want to be positioned as a big brand. Or if you sell different goods and want to show this in your name.
At the end of the day, both words describe a place where customers can purchase different goods. The line between the two gets even more blurred when we analyze them from the perspective of online stores.
Pick the one that works best for you and sounds better with other words in your name.
The Top Creative Shop Names Right Now
We listed actionable steps to help you create interesting shop names. But coming up with creative names is hard. That’s why we’ll list a few very creative names of real shops to inspire you and give you direction.
The website that helps people save money on purchases with collective shopping was created as a blend of words “group” and “coupon”. These two words accurately describe what the shop does but uses a unique word that sounds hip and creative.
The largest freelancing website in the world is basically a shop where you can purchase creative talents. The name was created as a response to the word “work” itself, which can sometimes sound like a “downer”. The name indicates that the platform offers different kinds of work.
One of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world was named by the founder Jack Ma. He asked a random waitress in San Francisco if she knows about Ali Baba, the mythical figure. And she knew about the “open sesame” story. He then asked more random people and everyone knew who Ali Baba was. This is when he knew he hit the right metaphor.
Etsy is an online marketplace where crafters and artists make their income. You can buy handmade and vintage items in the shop. The true origin of the word “Etsy” is a mystery known only to the founders. They even encourage their employees to make up a story if someone asks them where the name Etsy comes from.
The company was initially called shoesite.com, but rebranded shortly after their launch. The word Zappos is a catchy variation of the Spanish word for shoes: “Zapatos.” They intentionally didn’t call it “zapatos” because their vision was much larger than just becoming the largest online shoe retailer.
Different shops thrive on different types of names. You will have the best chance of coming with creative store names if you follow the steps we listed in this article and if you use our store name generator that can help you create different store names in a second.
Stylish Names for Shops
Let’s look at examples of stores that use stylish names. What are stylish names? These are the names that now only sound hip and modern, they also look appealing. These are the names people love saying and recommending to their friends. These are the shops with the most stylish names:
Amazon has not always been called Amazon. The two names Jeff Bezos considered were Cadabra.com and Relentless.com. After that, Bezos scanned the dictionary until he found the word amazon – the world’s largest river. This went hand in hand with his vision to create the world’s largest online bookstore.
Zalando is one of Europe’s largest e-commerce companies selling fashion items. The store used the name “Ifansho” initially but later changed toe name to Zalando, which was inspired by the Italian word “zalare”, which means “making fun”. This matches the shop’s playful nature.
Ocado is a British online supermarket. The name “Ocado” is “a made-up word, intended to evoke fresh fruit”. Neil Taylor, an Interbrand consultant, stated that the name was a variant on the avocado fruit. The name evokes the emotions the shop wants to be known for.
These three examples show that finding a stylish name is both hard but doable. You need to have the right strategy. We equipped you with everything you need to know to create your own stylish name ideas for your shop. We suggest you use our store name generator to speed up the process.
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