eCommerce Glossary - Technical Terms
In the world where the eCommerce technical language seems to be in a constant morphing state, it makes it all the more important for digital marketers to stay abreast of the definition and changes of various terminologies.
Android: Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Android Studio: The official integrated development environment (IDE) for Andriod plateform development. (See also SDK)
Apple store: The App Store is a digital distribution platform for mobile apps on iOS, developed and maintained by Apple Inc. The service allows users to browse and download applications that are developed with Apple's iOS SDK.
AVS (Address Verfication Service): A process that credit card processors implement to verify that the billing address of your customers match the address in their credit card statement.
Authentication: often referred to as Identification and Authentication, determining and validating user identity.
Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC): is a broad category of technologies used to collect information from an individual, object, image or sound without manual data entry. AIDC systems are used to manage inventory, delivery, assets, security and documents. Sectors that use AIDC systems include distribution, manufacturing, transportation, medicine, government and retail, among many others.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface): A standard way for web servers to interface with executable programs installed on a server that generate web pages dynamically. Such programs are known as CGI scripts or simply CGIs; they are usually written in a scripting language, but can be written in any programming language.
Cloud service: A cloud service is any resource that is provided over the Internet. The most common cloud service resources are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Commerce Order Management: The application that coordinates your consumer's experience across all sales and fulfillment channels, gathering information from each and orchestrating optimal rules and processes for each individual order.
Content management (CM): The administration of digital content throughout its lifecycle, from creation to permanent storage or deletion. The content involved may be images, video, audio and multimedia as well as text. The usual stages in digital content management are: Creation. Editing.
Content Management System (CMS): A computer application that allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining content from a central interface. Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. (See also DAM, ECM)
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): A style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language.
Decrypt: The process of converting encrypted data or text back to plain data or text.
Digital Asset Management (DAM): A process for organizing, storing and retrieving rich media and managing digital rights and permissions. It consists of management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloging, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets. Rich media assets include photos, music, videos, animations, podcasts and other multimedia content. (See also Enterprise Content Management)
Digital asset management (DAM) software: A software that catalogs and maintains repositories of media files such as photos, audio files, and video files. By applying metadata taxonomies to assets, they become easy to group, search, and distribute.
Dimensions: are the kinds of things you would see in the rows of a Google Analytics report. For example, language is a dimension — you can even see a whole report with rows and rows of language preferences. Browser preference is a dimension. Campaign is a dimension. “Page” (aka request URI) is a dimension. You can find all those things as the titles of rows in Google Analytics reports.
Dot (.) Net Framework: The .NET framework is a software development framework from Microsoft. It provides a controlled programming environment where software can be developed, installed and executed on Windows-based operating systems.
Drop Shipping: A supply chain management (or a retail fulfillment) method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfer customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
Eclipse: A responsive multipurpose Magento theme which is fully customizable and suitable for any kind of Magento store on any device.
eCommerce platform: An online retail platform is a series of software technologies that allows interested merchants to build and host a digital storefront soliciting a specific set of products or services.
eCommerce Tracking: Ecommerce tracking allows you to measure the number of transactions and revenue that your website generates. On a typical ecommerce site, once a user clicks the "purchase" button in the browser, the user's purchase information is sent to the web server, which carries out the transaction. If successful, the server redirects the user to a "Thank You" or receipt page with transaction details and a receipt of the purchase. You can use the analytics.js library to send the ecommerce data from the "Thank You" page to Google Analytics.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer): A method of crediting or debiting an account through electronic means. Eliminating the need for paper, such as a check or withdrawal slip.
Encryption: The process of scrambling a message to ensure data secrecy. The message is encoded using an electronic key, which makes it unintelligible to anyone except to the holders of the other half of the key. There are two main types of encryption methods, private key and public key encryption.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM): A formalized means of organizing and storing an organization's documents, and other content, that relate to the organization's processes. The term encompasses strategies, methods, and tools used throughout the lifecycle of the content.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free Web analytics program that provides data and information about Website traffic and efficiency.
Hosted: A hosted or 'managed' e-commerce solution is hosted on a server that you don't have access to. (See also Self-Hosted)
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): The formatting or document description language use to create World Wide Web pages.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol): Allows for the exchange of HTML documents over the World Wide Web.
HTTP proxy server: A server that forwards client requests using the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) over the World Wide Web.
IDE (Integrated Development Environment): A software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Most modern IDEs have intelligent code completion. Some IDEs contain a compiler, interpreter, or both, such as NetBeans and Eclipse.
in-app purchase: With some apps, you can buy additional content or services within the app. Here are some examples of in-app purchases: A sword that gives you more power in a game. A key that unlocks more features of a free app. Virtual currency that can be used for purchases.
iOS (aka Apple iOS): an operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple Inc.
IP Address: A unique number that is assigned to any device connected to the Internet.
ISO (Independent Sales Organization): An organization that performs merchant solicitation, sales or service on behalf of financial institutions and/or processors.
Java: A programming language expressly designed for use in the distributed environment of the Internet. It was designed to have the "look and feel" of the C++ language, but it is simpler to use than C++ and enforces an object-oriented programming model.
Magento: An open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. The software was originally developed by Varien Inc., a US private company headquartered in Culver City, California, with assistance from volunteers.
M-commerce (mobile commerce): The buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cellular telephone and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Known as next-generation e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access the Internet without needing to find a place to plug in.
MySQL: An open source relational database management system. Information in aMySQL database is stored in the form of related tables. MySQL databases are typically used for web application development (often accessed using PHP).
Offline capture: A payment capture method used by merchants who ship an order one or more days after they receive it. The payment is captured when the merchant ships the order and sends a post-authorization message to the payment processor.
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 capture: A payment capture method used by merchants who ship an order on the same day that they receive it. The payment is captured when the credit card is authorized.
Open source: Refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, i.e., open.
Order Management System (OMS): An electronic system developed to execute securities orders in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Brokers and dealers use OMSs when filling orders for various types of securities and are able to track the progress of each order throughout the system.
PaaS (Platform as a Service): A cloud computing model that delivers applications over the internet.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor): Server-side HTML embedded scripting language. It provides web developers with a full suite of tools for building dynamic websites: native APIs to Apache.
Plugin (aka add-on or extension): A software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. Well-known browser plug-ins include the Adobe Flash Player, the QuickTime Player, and the Java plug-in.
Product Information Management (PIM): Managing the information required to market and sell products through distribution channels. A central set of product data can be used to feed information to media such as web sites, print catalogs, ERP systems, and electronic data feeds to trading partners.
Rapid deployment solutions (RDS): Pre-configured applications that allow companies to deploy software in weeks or months for a set price.
SaaS (Software as a Service): A software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. It is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software". SaaS is one of 3 main categories of cloud computing - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
SDK (software development kit aka "devkit"): is typically a set of software development tools that allows the creation of applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar development platform.
Self-hosted: Self hosting is the act of having your website totally under your control. This can include you managing all whole aspects of it, from setting up the web server to installing software, to simply managing your weblog software like WordPress. (See also Hosted)
Self-hosted eCommerce solution: is hosted on servers that you procure through a provider. It means that you (or your web agency) need to source, set up and managing the hardware infrastructure and operating system that your e-commerce website runs on.
SKU: This is referred to as a stock keeping unit which is a specific number designating one specific product.
Snippet: A programming term for a small region of re-usable source code, machine code, or text. Ordinarily, these are formally defined operative units to incorporate into larger programming modules.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): A suite of computer communication protocols that connect networks and allows them to communicate with each other. TCP verifies data transmission between a client and a server. IP moves the data to the appropriate node on a network. TCP/IP is the primary transmission protocol used on the Internet.
User Opt-out: Methods that individuals can avoid receiving unsolicited product or service information. This ability is usually associated with direct marketing campaigns such as, e-mail marketing, or direct mail.
Web storefront: An electronic store on the Internet that provides information about the store, its products, and safe method of payment for online purchases.
WooCommerce: eCommerce plugins available for WordPress, with the majority of them being free to use.
Wordpress: WordPress is free, open source publishing software that can be installed locally on a web server and viewed on a proprietary web site or hosted in the cloud and viewed on the WordPress web site.
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not." ~ Yoggi Berra