I’ve written several posts over the past few months about the reseller-friendly choices we’ve made in our products, our pricing and our policies.
ccTLDs provides another great example.
There are a few approaches that a registrar could be tempted to take on ccTLDs…
You could essentially avoid them. Offering a wide selection of ccTLDs means integrating with a wildly diverse set of registries around the world. They speak different languages and code in different languages. They have different legal constraints and policies. A registrar could satisfy a reasonable percent of the market by offering gTLDs and a few of the simplest ccTLDs and calling it a day.
You could seek to differentiate yourself by offering every ccTLD in the world. Build an awesome list of “trophy TLDs”. Spend months integrating with registries that have a few hundred domain names under management, potentially sacrificing your core services along the way. Hang a bunch of international flags around the office.
You could embrace ccTLDs as an opportunity to pump up your profit margin. The industry tends to compare registrars by gTLD prices. The registry fees on gTLDs are well known. A registrar could bring in resellers by reducing gTLD prices and then make up for it on the ccTLDs.
Needless to say, OpenSRS has a chosen a different path.
We survey our resellers regularly and watch the global trends closely to determine which ccTLDs could help our resellers grow their businesses. That criteria has shaped our current list of 23 ccTLDs, including 11 out of the top 15. It inspired us to add .au in September and is driving us to consider some exciting possible additions in 2011.
We maintain a high standard of reliability and usability across all our products. So, we do not add a ccTLD if we don’t think it offers the sort of experience our resellers expect and deserve. And we weigh seriously whether launching new ccTLDs (or any new products, for that matter) will in any way compromise our maintenance and support on existing products.
And, as the chart indicates, we offer competitive prices, allowing our resellers plenty of room for their own margin. (In fact, this chart would look even better if we brought our .uk price down a bit. So we’re working on that.)
A product offering shaped by reseller demand, focused on reseller satisfaction and priced for reseller profit.
That’s our reseller friendly approach to ccTLDs.