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E-commerce Terms You Need to Know

From techincal web terms to prominent platforms, we’ve got you covered.


301 Redirect: A permanent redirection from one URL to another. This is key to keeping the search rankings for your page even when you want to change the URL itself. 


A/B or Split Testing: A randomized experiment with two variants, A and B, to see which performs better. Mostly used to test web pages, page elements, etc.


Abandonment: When someone visits your website without making any desired action. Can also refer to cart abandonment: when a customer adds items to their cart and then abandons them without purchasing. 


Address Verification Service: A process used by credit card companies to assure that the billing address matches the address associated with the credit card statement.


Affiliate: An inter-company relationship where one company sells another merchant’s products on their own website. An affiliate can earn commission if they successfully sell the merchant’s product. 


Affiliate Marketing: A marketing exchange where a business pays commission to an affiliate for each conversion made due to the affiliate’s marketing efforts. This is often done through social media marketing and affiliate links.


Amazon Marketplace: An e-commerce platform owned and operated by Amazon. It allows third parties to sell new or used products on an online marketplace alongside Amazon’s regular offerings.


Application Programming Interface: API is a set of protocols, specifications, and instructions allowing two types of software to interact and exchange with one another. It allows developers to use a set of commands to perform operations rather than having to work all code from scratch.


Attribution Model: The set of rules that determines how credit for sales is assigned to different conversion paths throughout the model. 


Average Order Value: Average total spend each time a customer places an order on your webpage. 


Average Time on Site: Refers to the average amount of time a visitor to your webpage spends while browsing. This data is reported through a website analytics report. 



Blog: An informal conversational style of reporting information or discussion through diary-style text entries. 


Bottom of the Funnel: The transaction or purchasing phase of the online buying process. At this stage, the customer has already researched and decided to become a “New Customer”.


Bounce Rate: Refers to the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the website without visiting other pages on the website before doing so. Measures the effectiveness of the website in engaging the visitor. 


Branding: Features that distinguish one seller’s goods or services from another seller’s. Learn how we can help with brand design and identity.


Brick-and-click store: Any business with a brick and mortar location as well as an online e-commerce store. Customers can enjoy an in person shopping experience as well as an online shopping experience. 


Business Blogging: Posting about subject matters that relate to your business in a blog style format. Helps to communicate better with customers, suppliers, etc. and to build brand identity.


Business to Business: A situation where one business makes a transaction with another business. This typically occurs when one business is sourcing materials for production from a different company.


Business to Consumer: Process of selling products directly to a consumer and therefore bypassing a third party seller such as wholesalers or retailers. 


Buyer Persona: A semi-fictional representation of the persona of your target market. The persona reveals insight into a buyer’s behaviors, interests, concerns, etc. 



Call to Action: Words or phrases that prompt a visitor or viewer to take immediate action. This includes things like telling customers to “Buy Now”, “Sign Up Now” or “Click Here”.


Cart Abandonment Rate: Refers to the ratio of total shopping carts versus the number of completed checkouts. This statistic helps you see at what rate customers are initiating the buying process without successfully checking out.


Chargeback: Created in order to help protect cardholders from potential fraud. A process in which funds are charged back or sent back to the customer. This happens when customers feel they have been scammed or raise valid concerns about their purchase. 


Churn Rate: Percentage of customers that stop purchasing or subscribing to the company. Basically the revenue or customers that are lost during a given time period. 


Click-through Rate: The percentage of customers that visit a site through a specific link compared to the total site visitors. It is most commonly used to measure the success of a certain email or advertisement campaign. 


Cohort Analysis: A process aimed at analyzing customer behavior by grouping them based on similar attributes. The behavior of these customers is then tracked over a period of time to see how it evolves. The goal is to identify the relationship between the cohort’s behavior and attributes.


Content Management System: A back-end software that allows you to create, edit, maintain, and publish materials on a website. Allows you to publish on a website without knowing how to code and program. Example: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla


Content Optimization System: A software system that focuses on optimizing content and creating a customizable web experience for customers.


Content/Editorial Calendar: A tool used by businesses to organize and control publication across multiple platforms such as social media platforms, email, etc. in a visual manner. Learn more about how we can help with content creation.


Conversion: The process of an anonymous website visitor becoming a purchasing customer. Or the process of getting a customer to follow a call to action and perform whatever activity you desire them to (sign up, register, join, etc.).


Conversion Funnel: Refers to the series of events that occur during the customer’s journey of purchasing a product. It is a funnel because at every stage the amount of customers participating drops off. 


Conversion Path: An approach that involves converting website visitors into known leads. A typical conversion path starts with a customer visits a website and browses to ultimately decide whether to purchase or abandon. 


Conversion Rate: A percentage of customers that convert on the site. In other words, what percentage of the website visitors actually make a purchase. 


Conversion Rate Optimization: Efforts to enhance the user experience in order to improve the likelihood of a customer converting. This involves many different factors including webpage experience and site speed.  Learn more about how we can help with conversion rate optimization.


Copywriting: The process of writing and crafting words across a variety of media within your business. Learn more about how we can help with copywriting.


Cross-selling: The practice of selling additional products or tools to customers who have already purchased something else. These products are marketed as add on or complimentary products to what you are already purchasing. 


Crowdsourcing: The process of gathering information from an external source to achieve a goal. It can be to obtain new ideas, opinions, or information. 


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): A style sheet format used to format web pages and documents written in markup language. 


Customer Acquisition Cost: The cost associated with finding and acquiring new customers for your business. This relates to expenses in areas such as marketing, incentives, research, etc. 


Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): The total value a customer is worth to a business over the course of their relationship with one another. 


Customer Relationship Management: The combination of practices that companies use to analyze and track their customer interactions throughout the customer’s lifecycle. The goal behind these systems is to better manage and grow the customer relationship. 



Digital Commerce: E-commerce infrastructure today includes different elements such as apps, search engines, social media platforms which together make up digital commerce. Digital commerce is a broad term that encompasses all elements of online business transactions and commerce. 


Digital Marketing: A component of marketing that uses the internet and online tools to promote products and services. Learn more about how we can help with digital marketing.


Discount Code: A discount code given out in the form of a coupon or promo to give a discount to customers when purchasing. The code normally consists of numbers or letters and is input during the checkout process. 



Domain Name: The unique name that locates an organization or entity on the Internet. The domain name represents the address you put into the search bar to arrive at the website. 


Dropshipping: A type of e-commerce arrangement where the products are shipped directly from the manufacturer rather than from the retailer themselves. 


Ebook: A digital version of a printed book. 


E-commerce: Commercial transactions that are conducted over the internet. 


Email Marketing: Method of exchanging digital commercial messages with an audience, typically customers or potential customers.  Learn more about how we can help with email marketing.


Engagement Rate: The percentage of viewers who came to a site, noticed an ad, and engaged with it. The engagement rate is mostly influenced when users like, comment, or share the advertisement they see. 


Event-Triggered Email: An automated email that is sent out when a specific event occurs. For example, a welcome email after someone signs up on your site, is an event-triggered email. 


Evergreen Content: Content that is useful and timeless. Examples of content that is considered evergreen include “How To” guides about topics that will be useful for years to come.


Facebook Business Manager: A tool that allows you to manage and organize multiple facebook pages, assets, and ad accounts. 


Fulfillment: The process and steps a company takes to fulfill and process orders once they have been placed.


Google Ads: An online advertising platform where advertisers bid to display different advertisements to users. It can place ads across different web pages, mobile apps, videos, etc. Learn more about how we can help with Google Ads.


Google Analytics: A free analytics tool offered by Google that allows you to sync your website and track data that may be useful for marketing and SEO purposes. 


Google Webmaster Tools: A platform that website users can use to monitor how their website is interacting with Google. This tool integrates with Google Analytics and Google Ads. 


Growth Hacking: A subfield of marketing focused on the rapid growth of a company. It involves rapid experimentation in an effort to identify the most effective way to grow quickly and gain exposure. 


Hashtag (#): A way to “tag” content with certain keywords that categorizes the accompanying text and allows it to be more easily discoverable on social media platforms and throughout the internet. 


HTML: Stands for Hypertext Markup Language which refers to a standardized system for achieving web page design on World Wide Web pages.


Inbound Link: A link on a third party website that links to your webpage. These links are vital for SEO and Google rankings. 


Inbound Marketing: A strategic approach aimed at creating valuable content for your target audience that will draw them in and inspire long-term customer relationships.


Infographics: Graphic representation of data, information, or knowledge. The goal of infographics is to make information easily understandable and more memorable.


Instagram: A free online photo sharing platform owned by Facebook. Instagram has grown to include many new features such as 

e-commerce integration, video marketing, and more. 


Inventory: The stock of goods or materials in your business. This is the amount of product you have on hand at that moment. Learn more about how we can help with inventory planning.


Javascript: A computer programming language often used in web development. 


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Types of performance measurements. They evaluate the success of an organization or the activities the organization is engaged in. Examples of KPIs include revenue, conversion rate, average order value, etc.


Keyword: Words or phrases that can be searched in order to locate a certain type of content.


Keyword Stuffing: An SEO technique that is considered webspam in which keywords are loaded into a webpage in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines. 


Klaviyo: A marketing automation platform that can support almost any email marketing campaign for your e-commerce business. Learn more about how we can help with email marketing.


Landing Page: The first web page of a website that visitors arrive at after clicking the link.


Lead: A marketing classification used to describe potential customers and clients that express interest in the business. Learn more about how we can help with lead generation.


Lead Nurturing: The process of steadily fostering relationships with leads who have yet to purchase anything. The goal is to keep them engaged as they consider investing in the business. 


Linkedin: The largest online business and employment platform that registered members to network and share work-related information. 


Long Tail Keyword: A type of keyword phrase that is typically longer and more specific than generic keywords. They range from three to five words and are mostly targeted at smaller groups rather than the masses.


Margin: The difference between what a retailer and a customer pay for a product or service.


Marketing: The activities of a company aimed at advertising and selling products to customers. The goal is to deliver value to customers and meet the needs of the target market. 


Marketing Automation: The use of software to automate repetitive elements of the marketing process to more effectively market across channels.


Merchant Account: A type of business bank account that allows business to conduct purchases and payments through debit and credit cards. The merchant account acts as a middleman between the swipe of the card and the deposit of funds into the business account. 


Middle of the Funnel: Where you establish extended engagement and further trust with your already existing customers. 


Mobile Commerce: The use of wireless handheld devices in online shopping and selling. This includes cell phones, tablets, PDAs, etc.


Mobile Marketing: A form of marketing that uses mobile technology in order to reach a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and/or mobile devices. 


Mobile Optimization: Assuring that your mobile site visitors have a seamless and positive experience interacting with your webpage. 


Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): AKA Predictable Revenue, total revenue generated in a month by active subscriptions. 


Multi-Channel E-commerce: The practice of using more than one sales channel in order to sell your products. This way you can diversify your reliance on one sales channel such as your online store.


Native Advertising: AKA Sponsored Content, is material in an online publication that resembles the publications content but is paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote their product. 


Net Promoter Score (NPS): A metric that measures a customer’s willingness to promote and share about your brand’s products and services. This helps determine a company’s brand loyalty. 


News Feed: A service where viewers get a consistent transmission of news and information. 


No-Follow Link: A setting on a web page hyperlink that instructs search engines to not use the link for page ranking calculations. 


Off-Page Optimization: All actions taken externally from the website to improve page rankings and search engine rankings.


Omni-Channel Management: Giving the user a seamless shopping experience across devices and platforms (in store, online, desktop, mobile, etc.).


On-Page Optimization: All actions taken within the website to improve page positioning and rankings.


Open Rate: Percentage rate of users on your mailing list who open your content whether that be an email or SMS message.


Order Fulfillment: Refers to the process of getting an item to a customer starting from the point of sale and ending with the actual delivery of the item to the customer.


Outsource: The act of obtaining outside work or resource, especially in place of an internal source.


Pageviews: An aspect of web analytics that tracks the amount of viewers to a webpage. 


Pages Per Session: A ratio of the website’s page views divided by the total number of sessions that have taken place.


Pay-per-click: A form of advertising where a company that has placed an advertisement on a webpage pays a sum of money each time the advertisement is clicked on. 

Payment Service Provider: A third party that partners with banks and businesses offer retailers the ability to accept and facilitate business transactions.


PayPal: An American multinational financial technology company that operates an online payment system as an alternative to paper cash and checks.


Point-of-sale System: The hardware and software that allow your business to make sales with customers (whether online or in person).


Product Recommendation Systems: A filtering system that aims to predict and show products that the customer is most interested in.


QR Code: A machine readable barcode that often stores URLs or directs the user to information through a smartphone. 


Qualified Lead: A potential customer who has expressed interest in the product or service and passes a set of qualifications.


Recurring Transaction: A commercial transaction in which the customer has given the business permission to charge them on a prearranged basis for goods or services.


Responsive Design: A design philosophy that allows for different types of viewer experiences depending on the different browser platforms. 


Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Refers to the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spent on a campaign. This is an important indicator (KPI) for online and mobile marketing. 


Return on Investment (ROI): Measures the gain or loss generated from an investment in the business. The formula for ROI is ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100


Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A marketing discipline aimed at generating traffic from organic search engine results. Learn more about how we can help with SEO.


Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The web page that shows the search engine results in response to what keywords the user searches. 


Service Level Agreement: An official contract signed by the provider and customer. Includes agreed upon terms and conditions about the services expected to be provided by the provider to the customer. 


Shipping: The transport of items using vehicles, plans, boats, etc. in order to deliver them from point A to point B.


Shopify: A Canadian multinational e-commerce platform that helps businesses run an online store. 


Shopping Cart: A physical or online basket where customers can add products they would like to purchase before checking out. 


Social Impressions: A number that represents the amount of times a piece of content has been seen. Increased impressions typically lead to increased engagement and community size.


Social Media: A collection of websites and applications that allow users to interact and share content with one another. Examples include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok. Learn more about how we can help with social media.


Social Proof: A psychological and social phenomenon that people will copy the actions of others in order to emulate behavior in certain situations. 


Social Reach: Refers to the number of unique users who have come across a particular piece of content on social media. 


SMS Marketing: A form of marketing in which businesses send short messages to customers via SMS that contain reminders, promotions, updates, etc. Learn more about how we can help with SMS marketing.


Stock Keeping Unit (SKU): A distinct type of item for sale, purchased, or tracked within inventory. The SKU helps to distinguish between different products on hand.


Third-Party Payment Processor: An online payment portal that acts as a third party in the transaction. For example, you purchase something on your credit card, which is then run through the PayPal system before payment is made to the retailer. 


Top of the Funnel: The very first stage of the purchasing process. Any touchpoint that begins an interaction or relationship with a customer. 


Traffic: Refers to the amount of web users that visit your page or website. 


Transaction: An occasion that involves the exchange of money to buy or sell something. 


Trend: Something that is the topic of many posts and conversations at one point in time (usually within a small window of time). 


Turnkey: A software or finished product that is delivered or installed in its completed form or ready to use. 


Unique Users: An individual who has seen your content during a window of time, the amount of unique users determines how many people have viewed your content. 


Upselling: The technique of getting a customer to add an additional or more expensive product or service when they are shopping. 


User Experience: The overall experience a user has when interacting with your business (whether online, through a purchase, or in your store).


User Interface: A space where interactions between humans and machines occur. Often designed in such a way to encourage interaction between users and the webpage or application.


Video Production: The process of creating video content for a video. Learn how we can help with video production.


Viral Content: Media material that spreads rapidly online whether it be an article, photo, or video. Typically something that is very engaging or interesting for viewers. 


Void: A type of transaction that is canceled by a merchant or vendor before it is completed.


Web Analytics: A set of data that measures a website’s effectiveness and performance in regards to engaging viewers. 


Wholesale: The selling of goods in large quantities to be sold by others. 


WooCommerce: An open source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. This plugin adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress website so that you may have an online store.


WordPress: A free and open source content management system that allows you to build and maintain a webpage without knowledge of coding. Learn how we can help with web design and development.


XML Sitemap: A textual representation of a website’s layout or content pages. It allows search engines to better understand and “crawl” your website structure.