eCommerce Glossary - Marketing Terms

Below is a basic list of e-commerce jargon associated with e-commerce and e-business.


  • A/B Testing (aka Split Testing): A method for figuring out the best online promotional and marketing strategies for your business. It can be used to test everything from website copy to sales emails to search ads. For example, present two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. You compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let's call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins! (See also Multivariate Testing)

  • Abandonment: Instances when a shop visitor leaves without completing a favorable action. It can be used to describe anything from failing to sign up to a mailing list to the popular abandoning a shopping cart. (See also Shopping cart abandonment)

  • Affiliate: An individual or business who promotes the products or services of another for a commission. eCommerce sites run affiliate programs to encourage other website owners to refer traffic, paying a commission on each sale through a given affiliate link.

  • Affiliate Marketing: A concept of performance-based marketing where you, the online store merchant, partner with online publishers to promote and endorse your products so they can send visitors towards your website. These online publishers get paid for every website visitor or every sale generated from their promotion.

  • Amazon Marketplace: The largest 3rd party ecommerce platform, choosing to sell on the Amazon Marketplace can help significantly boost volume through your store. Amazon charge fees on every sale through the Marketplace, and also offer Fulfilment By Amazon, where they handle the fulfilment process for your business at extra cost.

  • Analytics: The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data. It can collect information from a wide range of activity including basic data such as the number of visitors to a particular page to more in depth observations such as the amount of visitors that exit after seeing a pop up. (See also eCommerce Tracking)

  • AOV (Average Order Value): An eCommerce metric that measures the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time. Average Order Value = Total Sales Revenue / Total Number of Orders Taken.

  • Assisted Conversions: A Google Analytics report that summarizes how important each marketing channel is in a consumer’s conversion journey – this report enables you to see which channels are responsible in generating leads to visit your website initially, nurturing leads and finalizing a sale.

  • Attribution Model: In Google Analytics, you want to find out which channels (Direct, Organic Search, Referral, Email, Paid Search, Other Advertising, Social and Display) you can attribute the sales to. Here are the default attribution models: Last Interaction model, Last Non-Direct Click model, Last AdWords Click model, First Interaction model, Linear model, Time Decay model, Position Based model.

  • Authorization: The process where your customer’s credit card issuer gives permission and allows the payment transaction to proceed.

  • Average Time on Site: The average amount of seconds your visitor spends on your website within a specified time frame. (See also Abandonment)


  • B2B (Business to Business): (aka e-biz) An online commerce transaction where your online store sells products or services to other businesses.

  • B2B2C (Business to business to consumer): An emerging e-commerce model that combines Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) for a complete product or service transaction. B2B2C is a collaboration process that, in theory, creates mutually beneficial service and product delivery channels.

  • B2C (Business to Consumer): An online commerce transaction where the buying and selling of products and services occur between an online merchant and an end-consumer.

  • B2E (Business to Employees): Uses an intra-business network which allows companies to provide products and/or services to their employees. Typically, companies use B2E networks to automate employee-related corporate processes.

  • B2G (Business to Government): The concept that businesses and government agencies can use central Web sites to exchange information and do business with each other more efficiently than they usually can off the Web.

  • Big Data: Extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.

  • Blog: An essential for any eCommerce business, a blog is simply an online log of content relevant to your market. These should be bolted on to your eCommerce site, and most platforms you choose to run your site will have an in-built blogging function, so you can attract both traffic and links to your store.

  • Bounce rate: The number of visitors that landed on a page and exit (bounce) without going to other pages on the website.

  • Bundling (or Product Bundling): A marketing concept where the business offers several related products or services and sells them as one package solution, often at a reduced price.

  • Buy-to-Detail Rate: A Google Analytics metric; number of products purchased per number of product-detail views. Buy-to-Detail Rate = Total Unique Purchases of a product / Product Detail Page views. (See also Card-to-Detail Rate)

  • Buyers persona (aka Customer persona): A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating yourbuyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.


  • C2B (Consumer to Business): A business model where the end consumers create products and services which are consumed by businesses and organizations.

  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer): A business model that facilitates the transaction of products or services between customers

  • Card-to-Detail Rate: A Google Analytics metric; number of products added per number of product-detail views. Cart-to-Detail-Rate = Total Times A Product Is Added to Cart / Product Detail Pag eviews

  • Cart abandonment rate: (aka Shopping cart abandonment rate) An online shopping metric which shows the ratio of number of abandoned shopping carts to the number of completed orders. An abandoned shopping cart is when a user places products on his virtual shopping cart but does not complete the order.

  • Chargeback: A card processing concept wherein a previously completed transaction is reversed. Because a customer disputes the charge on his credit card, the merchant’s bank takes back the entire value of transaction from the merchant’s account.

  • Catalog Marketing: Catalog marketing is a specialized branch of direct marketing. It is a sales technique used by businesses to group many items together in a printed piece or an online store, hoping to sell at least one item to the recipient. Consumers buy directly from thecatalog sender by phone, return envelope or online using information in the catalog.

  • CMS (Content Management System): A back-end interface that makes editing content more user-friendly, e.g. WordPress.

  • Cohort Analysis: A segmentation technique wherein you create a unique group of visitors that share a common characteristic within a certain period of time. It’s used to understand visitor behavior. (See also Multi-touch Attribution Analysis)

  • Consumer buying behavior: Consumer buying behavior is the sum total of a consumer's attitudes, preferences, intentions, and decisions regarding the consumer's behavior in the marketplace when purchasing a product or service.

  • Conversation: An online marketing concept where you transform an online store visitor into a paying customer.

  • Conversation Funnel: A Google Analytics metric which shows the series of events that your visitors follow to finally achieve conversion. It’s called a funnel because in each event, a percentage of visitors leave your website so at the end of the funnel where the sale happens, there are fewer users than there were at the beginning.

  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors to a given page that convert into customers.

  • CTA (Call To Action): An advertising and marketing concept where you give an instruction to your target audience to persuade them to take immediate action. Examples are “visit now”, “learn more now”, “subscribe now”, and “get access now”, among others.

  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): The process of tweaking design, layout and text on your site to delivered a measured, consistent hike in conversion rate.

  • Cross-selling: A marketing tactic where sellers present additional products that can complement, enhance or improve the main product they are selling (for example, mobile phone cover for a mobile phone purchase)

  • Customer behavior: the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.

  • Customer behavior modeling: Ways to identify behaviors among customers in order to predict how similar customers will behave under similar circumstances.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The predicted and anticipated monetary value that a customer can generate during his entire relationship (lifetime) with your online store; measures customers’ profitability.


  • Discount code (aka Coupon or Promo code): A series of numbers or letters that online shoppers can enter at checkout to give them access to otherwise hidden special offers or discounts.

  • Discount rate: The fee that you, the online store merchant, pay to your third-party payment processor for processing credit card payments of your customer. Usually, the fee is in the form of a small percentage of each processed order.

  • Domain Name: The web address of your online store, for example

  • Drop-shipping: A type of eCommerce arrangement where the manufacturer or distributor ships directly to your customers, often in generic packaging. This means you don’t hold stock, but expect to pay a greater cost per item sold.


  • EAN (European Article Numbers or International Article Numbers) : A unique code used to identify a product on an inventory label. EAN standard is the thirteen-digit EAN-13, a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC-A) standard developed in 1970 by George J. Laurer.

  • eCommerce: Online retail, the process of selling products online and on mobile through shops, 3rd party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and other channels.

  • eCommerce Tracking: A feature allows business to measure the number of transactions and revenue that online store generates.

  • Email marketing: An online marketing concept where you promote your products and services to your targeted list of interested audience through email.

  • Event-triggered email: An email you send to a list of email subscribers based on a specific event – for example, sending a special offer email during a subscriber’s birthday, wedding anniversary or joining date.

  • Evolutionary Algorithms: A type of algorithm put to use in generating artificially intelligent ecommerce systems, evolutionary algorithms test variables, find a winner and reset on loop, optimising the sales funnel to drive gradual, consistent improvements in conversion performance.


  • Fulfillment: A third-party service which looks after warehousing, stock management and delivery. Usually charged at a set per item price, outsourcing fulfillment can save significantly on the costs of processing stock.


  • Gateway (aka Payment gateway): An eCommerce service provider that communicates with the merchant’s Merchant Account Provider to authorize and process credit card payments online.

  • Google Analytics: The industry standard for analytics, Google Analytics is a free tool you can link up with your website, enabling you to track traffic through your site and their interactions with you funnels and goals. Google Analytics provides invaluable insights about your website, which can be used as a basis for identify growth hacks.

  • Google Webmaster Tools: the main channel of communicating with Google as a website owner, Google Webmaster Tools gives feedback about your website and your Google rankings, from Google, so you can tweak and optimize your website performance for better results.

  • Growth Hacking: A marketing concept developed by startups which utilize analytical thinking, traditional marketing and product engineering to sell products, advertise services and gain exposure for a company.


  • Inventory: The retailer’s current quantity of products on hand, waiting to be sold.


  • Keyword stuffing: A SEO technique wherein you overload your webpage with as many keywords as possible in order to try and increase your site’s ranking in search engines.


  • Landing Page: a landing page is a page your customers will land on, either from paid traffic or search traffic, designed to maximise the chances of conversion on a desired action. In some cases, a landing page will be used to capture email addresses, or will simply pitch a product directly to the website visitor.

  • Listing fee: Some online auction websites charge this fee so sellers can list and post their products or services online.

  • Logistics: logistics is the process of getting your stock in and out, turning around the stuff you buy into the stuff you sell to your customers. Logistics proves an increasing challenge as your business scales, and many ecommerce businesses choose to outsource their logistics function.

  • Long Tail: Long tail is the phrase used to describe individual, highly specific keywords and search terms, which in volume can add up to a significant amount of traffic. Think of Amazon – millions of product pages each attracting even just a handful of visitors every month can soon add up into substantial traffic flows and sales.


  • Margin (aka Profit margin): The profit percentage of a sale, after the cost of goods and expenses have been factored in. Margin percentage is an essential metric in establishing the level of profitability in a given sale or product line.

  • Merchant Account Provider: A type of online bank account that allows merchants to accept debit and credit payments. The merchant account will temporarily hold the merchant’s money until it’s transferred to their actual bank account.

  • Mobile Commerce (mCommerce): The use of wireless electronic mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones and tablets to buy and sell products and services online. Average person checks his or her phone 150 times a day.

  • Multi-Channel eCommerce: The process of selling goods and services across multiple different channels and devices, including online and on mobile.

  • Multivariate Testing: A technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations. n multivariate test, you identify a few key areas/sections of a page and then create variations for those sections specifically (as opposed to creating variations of whole page in an A/B split test). So for example, in multivariate test you can choose to create different variations for 2 different sections: headline and image. A multivariate testing software will combine all these section specific variations to generate unique versions of page to be tested and then simply split traffic among those versions. (See also A/B Testing)


  • Olark: An industry leading IM chat support client with analytics functions, useful in increasing conversion rates and providing more comprehensive support to customers and leads on a real-time basis.

  • OmniChannel: A multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.

  • Online shopping (aka e-tail from "electronic retail" or e-shopping): A form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser.

  • Open rate: An email marketing term which means the number of email subscribers who open the email you sent to them.

  • Outsource: A business concept which involves contracting services to third-party organizations in an attempt to reduce overhead costs.


  • Partial shipment: A type of shipment where The online store merchant ships only some of the products in a single order. In this distribution process, the full order will be completed in multiple deliveries.

  • Path Length: A Google Analytics report, this summarizes how long (in interactions) it took your website visitors to finally become customers.

  • Payment Gateway: See Gateway.

  • Payment Service Provider: An ecommerce service which allows online stores to accept and process various payment methods such as credit cards, direct debit, bank transfers and real-time online banking.

  • Paypal: Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. PayPal is one of the world's largest Internet payment companies.

  • PCI Compliance (Payment Card Industry compliance): A set of requirements that ensures a safe and secure environment for every business which stores, processes or transmits credit card information.

  • Point-of-Sale (POS): A software which enables the online store to accept transactions, manage inventory, add products, process payments and send receipts digitally.

  • PPC (Pay per click): A type of online advertising where you bid per click on highly targeted traffic, paying online for each click through to your website, rather than paying for impressions or some other metric.

  • Purchasing behavior: See Consumer buying behavior.


  • Recurring payment: A type of transaction wherein a customer authorizes an online store to automatically charge his credit card for regular delivery of products or services.


  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): An online marketing process of improving an online store’s website content to make it easier for search engine bots to index the website and hopefully enhance its ranking in search engine results.

  • SERP (Search Engine Results Page): A search engine results page is the page displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query.

  • Shipping: Physically transferring a product from the seller’s warehouse to the customer’s delivery address.

  • Shipping and Handling: A charge for the cost of having something wrapped and then posted to you.

  • Shopping cart: A virtual representation of a shopping cart which lists the items that the customer has “picked up” from the online store.

  • Shopping cart abandonment: (aka Cart abandonment) When shoppers put items in their online shopping carts, but then leave before completing the purchase — is the bane of the online retail industry.

  • SKU (Stock-keeping Unit): An online store’s unique alphanumeric identification code for each product or service that can be bought. An SKU is the smallest unit of product or service and is unique to a company. A product may have different SKUs if sold by different companies. See also UPC and EAN.

  • Social media marketing (SMM): is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.

  • Split Testing: A way of comparing multiple versions of a web page (homepage or landing page) to find out which one converts visitors best. When the test is run, traffic to the page is split among the different versions and their performance is tracked.


  • Time Lag: A Google Analytics report, this summarizes how long (in days) it took your website visitors to finally become customers.

  • Third-party payment processor: An external servHelps merchants accept and process online payments even without their own merchant accounts. An example of this is Paypal.

  • Traffic (aka Web traffic): The amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site.

  • Traffic sources: In Web analytics, including Google Analytics, traffic sources is a report that provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your Web site, for example direct traffic (clicks from bookmarks or visitors who know your URL) or Web search engines.

  • Turnkey: A custom-designed software product that’s already built and can be sold as complete and ready to operate.


  • Unique visitors: refers to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit. Visits refers to the number of times a site is visited, no matter how many visitors make up those visits.

  • Usability: Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.

  • UPC (Universal Product Code): The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, in European and other countries for tracking trade items in stores. A UPC is affixed to a product wherever it is sold in the retail market place.

  • Up-selling: A sales technique where you offer your customers the chance to purchase upgrades (better features, better specifications, more volume) or to get the more expensive version of what they’re buying so you can maximize the value of their purchase (higher price).


  • Void: A type of transaction that cancels a transaction that has not been completed yet.


  • Web analytics: A set of strategic methodologies to collect, measure, analyze and report website data in order to determine the behavior of website visitors and optimize the website itself.

  • Website visitor tracking (WVT): The analysis of visitor behaviour on a website.

  • White label branding (sometimes called “white labeling”): A manufacturing and marketing practice in which a product or service is produced by one company and then rebranded by another company to make it appear to be their own.

  • WordPress: WordPress is open-source software, a business can use and modify the source code in any way to fit eCommerce requirements.

"If you have a business website, make it stickier; redo the merchandising often and try new things until you hit the right homepage. Then try and beat that." -Lynda Resnick, Entrepreneur

#eCommerce #GrowthHacking #RetailBusiness #Glossary

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