Forget t.co, QR codes have become the world’s preferred url shortener. You would have to be blind to not notice the surge in QR codes in use in today’s advertising. From “for sale” signs on homes to products on the shelves, they presently provide the easiest way to get users to a source of information. So how will this impact domains and their value?
To say that this will not have an effect on domains is naive. The purpose of domains was to create a memorable alternative to ip addresses that were merely a series of numbers with little distinction from one to another. QR codes provide this same use. By taking a photo or scan this lets the user get to a site or information without having to type or recall a web address. Unless the user plans on coming back then 99% of the time the user doesn’t care or even check where the QR code sent them. Presently a QR code can present simple text or if it wants to present more graphic detail, has to send them to the web. In the future I see apps that will incorporate an entire company’s inventory that will be completely stored on a phone. You’ll have the Target app on your phone, scan a product, and everything will be brought up about that product from within your phone’s memory. No sending you to an outside source. As memory gets cheaper and smaller, it will be easy to store large amounts of data on your smart phone to make recall almost instant.
In my opinion domains will continue to be less valuable to the “in house shopper”. Defining the shopper as a person that is actually at the store. Checkout will be in the store and information will be provided in a way that either doesn’t involve the web or masks it through shortcuts. In my opinion, not a big deal because it never had. Nothing lost. If anything, right now they are driving users to the web and we have a chance to get their attention. At home,at work, or on the move, domains will continue to dominate.
Domains are the sign for your store. They are the name of your company. You want people to come back? You basically have three ways to get them back at this time. They are going to remember your domain name and type it, they will find you through a search engine or link, or they will be led through a QR code. Those are the three things to concentrate on and the quality of your domain can impact all three. A quality domain in a QR code has a better chance of having the user remember but i do feel most hardly look. The positive, the larger the purchase the better chance you have of them bookmarking the link and coming back to do more research when they come home. Once online, QR codes have no value. You are better off just putting a link. Their purpose is to create links on hard copy items such as printed material. Only an issue for the printing company that was making product info banners and signs. That leaves SEO.
While SEO is vitally important, you are still relying on others to lead customers to your business. Other than buying links and ads, you are the mercy of the Google and any changes they want to make on your ranking. Your domain however, is your choice. Presently it serves two purposes, one to help you rank higher on the search engines by including keywords in your domain and just as important, be memorable so users can recall the name easily and come back. This was the original purpose of domains as explained earlier, to make it better than ip addresses. For these two reasons many domains are more valuable than they’ve ever been.
Noticed how I say some. The key is that people will remember. As we introduce these new tlds it has become clear that some have risen above others. Which ones really depend on where you live. In Germany the hyphenated .de is extremely popular while in the US the hyphen is not used often and when it is, it is often forgotten by the user. Without going into too much detail the key is memorable and defining. I personally think the best for is dot com. Other domains will do the job but when I invest, I prefer to invest in dot coms.
In short, pun intended, links, apps, QR codes, and any newly invented thing that takes a user straight to a site or info will devalue domains in time. Devalue does not mean less value than today. It means less value than they could be. Can you imagine how expensive dot coms would be without other tlds? Other tlds have devalued dot coms. QR codes will continue to drive users to the web. It may not be all users but it will be billions. That can’t be all bad can it?