On Wednesday, we learned that Amazon would be sunsetting Quidsi brands, including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com and others. Recode, Wall St. Journal, and CNBC published articles sharing this news. I was an infrequent customer of Diapers.com, and I was a fan of the company’s usage of exact match domain names for its brands.
In my article last week, I shared a few thoughts on the news, and I thought I would share some additional thoughts today. You are welcome to give your insight about the news. I am also interested in hearing your ideas about how Amazon will use Quidsi’s great exact match domain names, which hold considerable value.
5 Thoughts about Amazon shutting Quidsi:
- This is the second business that operates websites on individual exact match .com domain names (EMDs) to shut down their exact match domain brands in recent memory. In 2011, CSN Stores, which operated businesses on EMDs like Luggage.com, Cookware.com, Strollers.com, and many more, rebranded as Wayfair.com. It seems that some of the domain names forward to Wayfair.com and others do not seem to resolve for some reason. The CSN change was about branding under one umbrella though.
- Although shutting down the Quidsi brands seems like a bit of a knock on EMDs, one should realize that if it weren’t for these exact match domain names, the businesses may not have taken off and may not have even been bought by Amazon for hundreds of millions of dollars. People knew what they were getting when they visited Diapers.com and Soap.com. It shows that exact match brands can be powerful.
- If another entity was operating these businesses, they may have chosen to keep the brands afloat. Amazon doesn’t need to keep them running, especially in these low margin (and super competitive) categories, and the company can feed traffic into its existing website instead of competing.
- One downside of an exact match product .com brand like Diapers.com is that it can get pigeonholed into being an expert at one thing. Diapers.com sold a ton of baby stuff – not just diapers. Perhaps the branding wasn’t broad enough.
- The markets in which Quidsi operates seem like they are lower margin. Quidsi and Amazon were very likely fighting over the same customers and the competition was hurting the company’s bottom line.
I regularly referenced Diapers.com when discussing how an exact match domain name can become a brand, and it is unfortunate that I won’t be able to use this consumer brand as a reference point any longer. The Quidsi story was great, and this seems like a sad ending for its brands (although the people who sold Quidsi for hundreds of millions are probably doing alright!).