“Their first big expense was $1.3 million, plus some of the equity in the company, to buy the Coupons.com domain name.”
I’m always encouraged when I read stories about business success that begins with the purchase of a .COM domain name. COUPONS.COM went public raising $168 million dollars and valuing the company at $2.2 billion. The story is a cut-out example of big businesses built on the benefits of natural Internet traffic produced from a generic domain name. Big companies like BODYBUILDING.COM and WAYFAIR.COM were built in the same way, using memorable, generic domain names like STROLLERS.COM and LUGGAGE.COM to build their businesses. Type either domain name in and see where it leads you – they own hundreds of generic .com domain names and forward them to their central Wayfair branded pages.
Of course, all of these companies built their businesses with more than just a domain name. They were smart, focused, and were good at running their businesses. Coupons.com ignored the craziness going on during the Internet boom of the early 2000s and spent that time just building a business. It certainly has paid off today.
According to their website, Coupons.com operates a promotion platform that connects brands and retailers with consumers through Web, mobile and social channels. The company is transforming the multi-billion dollar promotions industry into the digital world.
Over 2,000 brands from more than 700 consumer packaged goods companies, or CPGs, and many of the leading grocery, drug and mass merchandise retailers, use their platform to reach consumers at the critical moments when they are deciding what to buy and where to shop.
They deliver digital coupons to consumers, including printable coupons, save-to-card coupon and coupon codes for e-commerce. They also sell advertising for their online and mobile properties. They have built out the largest network of retailers and publishers, spanning more than 58,000 store locations in North America and approximately 30,000 third-party websites.
Their main site, Coupons.com, receives more than 17 million unique visitors a month on average, and millions of consumers use their popular Coupons.com and Grocery iQ mobile apps. Coupons generated revenue from over 1.3 billion transactions in 2013.
Domain names do matter. Obviously, .COM domains are best because they are so well known and they tend to bring in the largest amount of inexpensive Internet traffic anywhere. But there are exceptions and hundreds of very successful large businesses have been built on other-than-dot-com domain names. In many countries, country-code domain names such as CO.UK and .CN are the places where the largest businesses reside.