Although William Shakespeare asserted “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” for brand owners, names can make or break their business.
As businesses grow and establish market share, their names become even more important.
Owners research and carefully select their business names before registering, setting up websites, and creating marketing collateral to attract new customers. But sometimes, it becomes appropriate or even necessary to change your brand name.
For ecommerce merchants, changing your Shopify store name as part of a rebranding or expansion, or because it causes confusion, can seem like a daunting task.
This article will walk through:
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First, let’s talk about the difference between your Shopify store name and your Shopify URL.
Your store's name on Shopify is made up of two elements.
The first is what’s visible to your customers on the front end. When you initially set up your Shopify store, you need to enter your store's name.
The second is the domain name or URL, which ends with “.com” or "myshopify.com" unless you pay for a custom domain. The domain name or store URL is automatically generated when you start your store.
For example, if your store is named Barb’s Burgers, your domain name could be www.barbs-burgers.myshopify.com. If you bought a custom domain, it could be shortened to www.barbsburgers.com.
Established merchants don’t change their Shopify store names on a whim.
The process of registering your business, marketing to potential customers, and building your brand is complicated and often lengthy. Changing your name could undo years of hard work.
However, there are some good reasons for altering your Shopify store name, such as a rebrand, or to better position your store.
One of the most common reasons for a change to any business is a rebrand.
Rebrands can be as simple as an updated logo, or as comprehensive as a whole new name, look, and feel for the store.
A rebrand may constitute a change of name if the current one no longer fits the business's goals and objectives or its trajectory. For example, if your brand implies you sell something that you’ve pivoted from, and is therefore misleading.
Rebrands may also take place at the time of an expansion. For example, if your name implies you are limited to a certain product, but you’ve since expanded your catalog.
These are excellent opportunities to customize your store to fit your new brand at every step.
Go through the buyer experience yourself and test out different touchpoints to ensure you’ve updated your logo, colors, voice and tone, and brand mentions throughout.
If your store's name is Sick Soles by Ashley, but you've grown from offering only shoes to selling a variety of clothing and accessories, your shop’s name no longer fits your product offering.
Stores may be renamed when their offering has grown or expanded so the new moniker better represents the business and its products.
In some cases, a Shopify store's renaming comes as a result of new ownership. It's no surprise new owners want to add their own flair to a store’s previous design.
Acquisitions can be a straightforward "changing of hands" where a store's ownership is transferred from Merchant A to Merchant B, or it can be a part of an acquisition and merger, where Merchant A sells Store A to Merchant B, who integrates it with Store B.
#cta-paragraph-pb#This can be a complicated process. Learn more about buying an existing Shopify store in our post about Shopify Exchange.
If a shop has a similar name to another online domain, that Shopify store may experience a high bounce rate as a result of traffic arriving only to discover they're in the wrong place.
Similarly, if your store name implies you sell only sneakers, but you also sell fitness equipment, sporting goods, and apparel, your name could very well be misleading to potential customers.
You want your store to have a clear name so shoppers know exactly where they are heading.
Changing your Shopify store name (the name your website visitors see) is fairly straightforward:
You’ll find the Settings link in the bottom left corner of the page. Click it and you’ll go to the settings page.
In Store Details > Basic information, you will be able to update your store name, your company’s legal name, and your industry.
In the “Store name” field, you’ll enter your new name. Here, you can also update your industry and legal company name, if you want.
Click Save either at the bottom of the page or in the upper right corner.
Changing up your store name only takes three quick steps, but if you’re doing a more extensive overhaul, you’ll want to update your URL to match.
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Once you’ve updated your store's name on the front end, it's a good practice to update your URL or domain as well.
Having the same store name and URL makes it easier for customers to remember your website, increases brand continuity, and reduces confusion.
Changing your domain during a name change is also a great opportunity to move away from the generic free Shopify domains and start using something short, sweet, and memorable.
To switch to a custom domain, you’ll first need to buy a domain through Shopify, connect your domain to Shopify, or transfer your domain to Shopify.
You can see these options in your settings, under the Domains tab.
Of the three, the simplest option is to buy a domain through Shopify.
Type in the store URL you want, and Shopify will show you the related prices. Then, click Buy to finalize your purchase and start using your new URL.
If you already own your own domain and want to continue using it, you can connect your domain to Shopify and verify your connection.
Finally, if you already own your domain through a third party, but want to move it over to Shopify, you can also transfer your domain to Shopify.
This is one of the more complicated options, since it involves transferring ownership of the domain itself. You’ll need to first confirm your domain is eligible for transfer before you can verify it in Shopify.
Once you have a domain connected to your Shopify store, you can update your Shopify URL as follows.
You’ll find the Domains section further down in the list of Settings options.
Within the Primary domain section, you’ll see your current domain. Click Change primary domain to switch to your new domain.
Here, you’ll see your new or transferred domain. Click the radio button next to it and click the Save button.
With that, you’ve updated your domain and store name to match your updated brand. But, you’ll want to make sure that your changes haven’t negatively affected how shoppers find you on Google.
Let’s dig into how you can avoid any negative SEO from changing your store name.
Changing your Shopify store name and domain will affect your search engine optimization (SEO).
When done right, the alteration can have a positive impact on your business, but there are still steps to be taken to ensure it doesn’t hurt your SEO.
As a savvy merchant, you’ve previously invested in SEO to support the growth of your store.
The good news is that change can be great for your business, and there are ways to mitigate the impact of a name change while also maximizing your SEO efforts moving forward.
To mitigate any negative impacts to your SEO, take the following steps.
If you change your Shopify store’s domain and your customers are unaware, they will try to visit your old domain.
Set up 301 redirects to send anyone who visits your old website to your new one.
If there’s no URL redirect, customers will land on an error page, which is frustrating for them and bad news for you.
Setting up URL redirects will seamlessly guide customers who try to visit your previous domain to your new one.
A 301 redirect is a permanent relocation of your URL.
This form of redirect is used when a page is no longer relevant, useful, or the page has been removed. Using a 301 redirect will not harm your SEO performance or reduce page rank metrics associated with your page URL.
Think of all of the ways customers arrive on your store's domain.
They click through from your social media profiles, your newsletter, sponsored ads, blog posts, and perhaps even your other store domains (if applicable).
Update your URL in your profile, linktr.ee links, and your "about" sections of any and all social media profiles. You may even need to update your @username too.
Remember, your previous URLs will have redirects set up for any older posts that include links to your storefront or products.
For those that might not, where applicable, you can update URLs by selecting "Edit" on your posts.
Oh, and don't forget to post about your updated store name and URL!
Of course, your future newsletters will include updated links to product pages and your store, but don't forget to update "hidden" URLs such as those embedded in your headers and footers.
Depending on what other changes you made, you may need to redesign other elements of your newsletter template to reflect your new store name as well.
Make sure you edit the URL on any ad campaigns you're running to ensure the customer experience is as seamless as possible.
If not possible, end those campaigns and relaunch using your new URL.
If you run a company blog, it's important to update your URLs here too.
If you don’t run your own blog, but you’ve worked with social media influencers on blog posts in the past, request they be updated with your new URL.
Most influencers will be glad to make this change, as broken links on their sites do them no favors.
If you have other domains you manage or have posted guest posts with partner blogs, reach out and try to update those backlinks with your new URL.
Even with redirects set up, updating your URLs in all places can speed up load times, and direct links help with SEO.
When your customers search for your previous store name, you don't want them to come up empty-handed.
Instead, having a webpage that populates in search results and browsers to announce "MyOldSite is now MyNewSite!" ensures customers still find you and your SEO doesn’t take a hit.
Retargeting is a great strategy, especially as you transition to your new store name and URL.
Using your own store's web traffic data, you can target previous shoppers with sponsored ads for your new domain and storefront to recapture their attention (and, hopefully, their sales revenue).
You can run retargeting campaigns with the help of Google Ads, Meta (Facebook + Instagram), LinkedIn ads, Twitter cards, and a variety of other retargeting platforms.
This is also a great way to get the word out about your new shop name.
Your customers should be the first to hear about your store's name and URL change.
Reach out through your newsletter with a clear announcement (and maybe consider a special deal to celebrate this new chapter).
Communicate the new store name, URL, and any other changes you should highlight, such as new product lines or types.
You can also notify your audience on your social media platforms or your blog.
These posts should be dedicated to the name change and can even include the "why" behind it to give your audience a sneak peek into the goings-on within your business.
Changing your Shopify store name and domain can help you differentiate your store from the competition.
It can also deliver a meaningful message about who your brand is to help you better connect with your customers.
Handle your name and domain change properly by taking steps to protect your SEO and communicating these changes to your audience. This way, you’ll seamlessly update your store and grow your business.
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Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B eCommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Pipe17, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr, Skubana, and Hubstaff.