By Jeanine Ibrahim
Whether you eat turkey or ham, like your potatoes savory or sweet, drink wine or juice, you can’t deny the holiday season is here -- and with it, comes a whole lot of shopping.
Many of us will do most it online. In fact holiday e-commerce sales are expected to jump 14 percent to $70 billion this year, according to comScore.
A new online trend you'll begin to notice with a growing number of these e-commerce sites is the "not-com" domain name. What this means: The website name, or URL, doesn't end in 'dot-com' (.com) or 'dot-net' (.net). Instead, it could end in a 'dot-life' (.life), 'dot-boutique' (.boutique) or even 'dot-toys' (.toys). These are just a few of the hundreds of new domain options now available, allowing business to add more meaning and memorability to their unique domain names.
Whether it’s a gift for a loved one or a friend -- or hey, maybe even for yourself (no judgement here!) -- we’ve curated a few of our favorite "not-com" websites that offer great gift ideas and deals for this holiday season.
Tech expert Katie Linendoll gives you an insider’s look at the best gadgets to buy this holiday season at Katie.gifts. Divided into categories -- such as "Chic Geek," "For the Kids" and "All Things Star Wars" -- the site also includes a general "Tech Gadgets" section that lists quirky items you might not even know you wanted but will surely need.
There’s an external lens called the Olloclip that attaches to your smartphone to enhance the onslaught of inevitable holiday selfies coming your way; a pair of Yeti pillow slippers to warm and shelter feet from the snowy winter months ahead; and a Halo LED belt that illuminates your waist during a much-needed nighttime run, should you succumb to a late-night leftover binge followed by feelings of guilt.
Looking for a gift for that stylish woman in your life? TheWrap.life offers a variety of head wraps in an assortment of beautiful textiles and prints. The handmade goods come in bright and bold colors and more subdued hues. No matter the design, each wrap is sure to add creativity and an individualized style to any woman who wears them.
For Cyber Monday, it offers shoppers free shipping storewide and discounts on duos of special prints, which will be sold on a limited basis as one package with two head wraps. The fashion brand's founder, Nnenna Stella, encourages shoppers to sign up on the site for even more deals during the holidays. “Those who join our mailing list get first dibs on goods and shopping,” Stella says.
Fathom.clothing is an edgy online clothing company based in New York offering items perfect for the rebellious spirit in your life. Its founder, Dexter Dible, describes his brand as "alternative." He takes pride that all items -- from t-shirts to hoodies to hats -- are printed on high-quality materials that built to last because many other graphic tee companies focus only on designs and not the clothing itself, according to Dible.
“We want our supporters to wear our clothing everyday because it not only shows who they are but it has a comfortable fit,” he says. Dible says his line is targeted toward people who like to forge their own paths and who “do not wish to conform.”
As for the deals, Fathom Clothing will offer discounts throughout the holiday season -- from $5 to $10 off items, as well as deeper discounts on bundles of summer clothing. Dible will also unveil two new designs exclusively for sale during the holidays starting on Cyber Monday.
See Related: Fathom Clothing: We Will Not Obey
If you’re looking to improve the quality of life for a friend, family member or even your lover (which could also improve your life, wink wink), check out BetterBox.life. It’s a site where you can buy a subscription box, or a one-off box, that promises to improve the lives of those who use what resides inside of it.
Each box is based on a theme, from gratitude to slumber to kindness. Users complete 21 days worth of activities, and are aided by a few items inside the box and online instructions sent via email daily. Tasks are kept simple and easy to complete to push users toward feeling more of a box's intended goal on a monthly basis, says its creator, Eric Walrabenstein.
Starting the Friday after Thanksgiving, shoppers who visit the website will receive a 10% off coupon. Walrabenstein also plans to kick off a few other promotions as the season continues, including a free “12 Days of Giving” sequence.
See Related: What's Inside of These Boxes Could Change Your Life
For the caffeine-obsessed in your life, Driftaway.coffee offers a subscription-based service that delivers fresh-roasted coffee beans every two weeks straight to your doorstep. The coffee is customized to your palette based on the first delivery: a tasting kit that features four different options from which to choose.
Husband-and-wife founders Suyog Mody and Anu Menon do all the roasting out of their Brooklyn roasting facility each week, which allows each delivery to be fresher than what you'd get at the local Starbucks. The website offers a various gift subscription options, ranging from two months ($47) to one year ($275).
See Related: Building a Business from the 'Grounds' Up
Finally, there’s Sweggings.clothing. It’s a site that sells sweaters for your legs, aptly called “sweggings.” (Get it? It's a mashup of "sweater" and "leggings.") The theme-based leggings are tied to all types of holidays -- including Christmas, Hanukkah, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July.
So look ahead and give the gift that keeps on giving by hooking up that special someone with a pair of patriotic sweater leggings that'll warm their legs now, and months from now. Keep an eye out as the website's founder says he plans to list both Cyber Monday and holiday deals and discounts.