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Company spotlight – GMO Registry

Hiro Tsukahara

Hiro Tsukahara

“Your domain is a powerful marketing tool which you must make the most of. Using an intuitive and easy to remember domain such as .shop helps you to turn your web address into a valuable piece of real estate that promotes your business and wins customers.” – Hiro Tsukahara, CEO, GMO Registry

Founder: Hiro Tsukahara
Date founded: July 28, 2009
Headquartered: Tokyo, Japan
Employees: 5,500+

Customers: Potential or existing online webshop owners

What does your company do and what is your USP?

GMO Registry is a domain registry which operates .shop, the world’s number one ecommerce domain that powers 740,000+ individuals and businesses in over 200 countries. The .shop domain was launched in September 2016 and allows businesses to stand out with an easily identifiable website presence. As the word shop, which is widely understood even in non-English-speaking countries, implies, the .shop domain helps websites to easily self-identify as an online shop. This helps to make it the obvious and natural choice for both domestic and cross-border ecommerce, enabling retailers to better stand out from an ever-expanding crowd of competitors around the world.

While the service is useful for all types of retailers, it offers particular advantages for smaller businesses new to the market or wanting to have a more visible presence on marketplaces. These small sellers on marketplaces undoubtedly feel limited by the dedicated URL provided to them by Amazon and Etsy when they are looking to stake out a strong brand identity. These URLs are usually formed of long, unwieldy strings of words and characters that don’t lend themselves to their promotional efforts. With a .shop domain these sellers can make it possible to turn their web address into a valuable piece of real estate.

How do you deliver on this USP?

Retailers can start registering a .shop domain for their new online webshop through our partners such as 123-reg, IONOS, or GoDaddy, or one of our other partners visible on Here customers can purchase domain names along with products such as hosting.

Retailers or sellers who are already selling their products on marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy and would like to use .shop as a redirect, can simply just log into their account and select the new .shop domain they’d like to redirect to their online marketplace.

How are you helping retailers/ sellers to get online?

.shop powers 740,000+ customers and their businesses from over 200 countries by providing safe, intuitive, and easy-to-remember domain names, all of which are key ingredients in succeeding online.

The .shop domain can also help offline stores get a more visible online presence, particularly important when you consider that more than half of consumers use the web to research before buying. So even retailers not strictly selling online can use the .shop domain to gain greater visibility.

Why are such services particularly relevant at this time?

We now live in a completely different world due to COVID-19, which has led to the further digitalisation of businesses. It may have sufficed for locally targeted restaurants and shops to have a website with a phone number and address a year ago, but today, businesses need ecommerce functionality on top of simple websites to be able to sell or accept orders online. This is especially important to be able to carry on doing business during lockdown. As a result, choosing the right domain name that fits and represents your business has become even more important. Consumers need to be able to quickly and easily see that retailers offer ecommerce functionality. Having a .shop domain allows them to see that instantly. It also helps to maximise keyword opportunities for both brand and products.

How would you describe your vision?

Our vision is to power online shops of all sizes and verticals around the world and to build the global home of ecommerce – a space where you know goods and services are sold.

Which retailers do you work with?

We work with retailers of all sizes, from Amazon to a mom-and-pop shop that operates and targets its local community. Other customers include the likes of eBay, Apple and Nike. All these brands and retailers recognise the benefits of having a .shop domain in order to tell their customers they are open for business, and are currently using .shop as a redirect to their website.

Many of these retailers use .shop not only as a start to their own online shop or as redirect to their existing online marketplaces, but also for so much more As the word shop is universally understood, it is often used to expand businesses cross-border. On top of that, since a .shop domain instantly shows you are selling products, many corporate businesses use .shop besides their .uk or .com name to show they also have an ecommerce offer.

How would you describe your growth, what have been the main points in your expansion and what has been key to your success?

Since we registered the domain name in 2016, .shop has outpaced the growth of the domain industry, consistently growing in single-digit percentage year-over-year. Our expansion and success are thanks to the partners around the world that help us deliver .shop to the users, and the nexus between the word shop and the ecommerce industry, which has grown in double digits every year during the last decade.

What do you see as challenges for retailers in coming months and how can you help them deal with those challenges?

The immediate challenge for retailers today is COVID-19. As we speak, many countries in Europe are locking down cities, and in some cases entire countries, again, while most parts of the US are experiencing record high cases, adding more voices every day for another lockdown. In order to overcome this difficulty, businesses need to get online or add ecommerce functionality to their websites, and start selling or accepting orders online, whether for delivery or pickup. To this extent, .shop offers the perfect domain for retailers, as the domain intuitively suggests that it’s a place where goods and services are sold.

What targets are you aiming to achieve in the next five years?

Our target is to become the default ecommerce domain for online shops to come, and to power existing online shops by providing a domain that will help them to be easily found on the internet.


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