Ecommerce Glossary

Last Updated
October 10, 2023

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A/B Testing

A method of comparing two versions of a webpage to see which one performs better in terms of conversions.

AOV (Average Order Value)

The average value of each order placed with a business.

API (Application Programming Interface)

A set of rules and protocols for building and interacting with software applications.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

The process of re-engaging customers who have left items in their shopping cart but haven’t completed the purchase.


Designing a website to be usable by people with disabilities.

Address Verification Service (AVS)

A service that verifies the address of a person claiming to own a credit card.

Affiliate Marketing

A marketing arrangement where an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

Application Programming Interface (API)

See API above.


The process of identifying the marketing channels that contribute to sales or conversions.


An automated email or message sent to users after they take a specific action, like signing up for a newsletter.

B2B (Business to Business)

Transactions between businesses, rather than between a business and individual consumers.

B2C (Business to Consumer)

Transactions between a business and individual consumers.


An order for an item that is temporarily out of stock.

Black Friday

The day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, known for promotional sales.


Starting and growing a business without external investment.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who navigate away from a website after viewing only one page.

Brick and Mortar Store

A physical store as opposed to an online one.


Offering multiple products for sale as one combined package.

Buyer Persona

A semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer based on market research.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

The cost incurred to acquire a new customer.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

The cost incurred for each customer or user acquired.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

The cost paid for each click in a pay-per-click marketing campaign.

CPM (Cost Per Mille)

The cost per 1,000 impressions of an advertisement.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Software that helps manage interactions with customers and potential customers.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

A stylesheet language used for describing the look and formatting of a document written in HTML.

Call to Action (CTA)

A prompt that encourages the user to take some action.

Cart Abandonment

When a customer leaves a shopping cart with items in it without completing the purchase.


The return of funds to a customer by reversing a payment transaction.

Checkout Process

The steps a customer must go through to complete a purchase online.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number who view the page, ad, or email.

Cloud-Based Ecommerce Platform

An e-commerce platform that operates on cloud servers.

Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE)

A website that compares prices of products from different retailers.

Content Management System (CMS)

Software that allows users to create, edit, and manage digital content.


The action of a user completing a desired goal on a website.

Conversion Funnel

The journey a user takes through a website or app, designed to convert the user into a customer.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of users who take a desired action.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

The practice of increasing the percentage of users who perform a desired action on a website.


A small piece of data stored on a user’s computer by a web browser.

Cross Selling

The practice of selling an additional product or service to an existing customer.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The total worth of a customer to a business over the entire lifetime of the relationship.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

See CRM above.

Customer Segmentation

Dividing a customer base into groups of individuals with similar characteristics.

Customer Acquisition

The process of gaining new customers.

Customer Journey

The complete experience that customers go through when interacting with a company and brand.

Customer Profile

A detailed description of a customer based on collected data.

Customer Retention

The activities companies use to keep customers returning to purchase.

Customer Reviews

Feedback and ratings given by customers.

DAM System

Digital Asset Management system, for storing and managing digital assets like images and videos.

Data Mining

The process of discovering patterns in large data sets.

Delivery Integration

The process of integrating a company’s delivery process with its e-commerce platform.


Selling directly to the end customer without using intermediaries.

Discount Code

A series of letters and/or numbers that allow you to get a discount on something.

Domain Name

The address where internet users can access a website.


A retail model where the seller doesn’t keep products in stock but transfers orders to a manufacturer or wholesaler.

Dwell Time

The amount of time a user spends looking at a webpage after they’ve clicked a link on a SERP.

Dynamic Pricing

Changing prices based on market demand, competitor prices, and other external factors in real time.

E-commerce Platform

Software that allows businesses to launch, host, and manage their online store.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

Software for business process management that allows an organisation to use integrated applications to manage the business.


The buying and selling of goods and services over the internet.

Email Marketing

The use of email to promote products and/or services.


The process of converting data into code to prevent unauthorised access.

Faceted Navigation

A system that allows shoppers to apply multiple filters of varying dimensions to a list of products.

Flash Sale

A sale that offers extremely discounted prices for a short period of time.


The process of receiving, packaging, and shipping orders for goods.

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)

A service provided by Amazon that provides storage, packaging, and shipping assistance to sellers.


The practice of delivering content to a user based on their geographic location.

Google Analytics

A service that provides statistics and analytical tools for SEO and marketing purposes.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

The standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser.

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)

The secure version of HTTP, used for securing data transfer over the internet.

Headless Commerce

An e-commerce solution where the front-end is decoupled from the back-end, allowing for more flexibility in content delivery.

Inbound Marketing

A marketing method that focuses on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful.

Interactive Product Visualisation

3D imaging technology that allows customers to see products from multiple angles.

Inventory Management

The supervision of non-capitalised assets, or inventory, and stock items.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.


A particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a web page.

Keyword Research

The act of finding and analysing terms people enter into search engines.

Landing Page

A standalone web page created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign.

Lead Generation

The process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads.


The overall management of the way resources are obtained, stored, and moved to locations where they are required.

Long-Tail Keyword

A keyword phrase that contains at least three words and is more specific than a single keyword.


The difference between the cost of producing a product and the price it is sold for.


Online platforms where goods and services are bought and sold, often by multiple third parties.

Mega Menus

Large dropdown menus that are usually organised into groups of navigation options.

Merchant Account

An account that allows businesses to accept payments by payment cards, typically debit or credit cards.

Mobile Commerce

The buying and selling of goods and services through mobile devices.

Multichannel Retailing

Selling products through multiple channels, like a physical store, online store, or mobile app.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A metric used to measure customer loyalty.

New Retail

A model that integrates online and offline shopping experiences.


A multichannel approach that provides customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether shopping online or in a physical store.

On-Site Navigation

The user experience of moving around an online platform.

Online Marketplace

A type of e-commerce website where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties.

Online Store Builder

A platform that lets you create your own online store without coding skills.

Online Value Proposition (OVP)

The value that a business promises to deliver to encourage a visitor to perform a desired action.

Organic Traffic

Visitors who arrive at a website as a result of unpaid search results.

PCI Compliance

Adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which are security standards for organisations that handle branded credit cards.

PIM System

Product Information Management system, a tool for managing all the data, content, and other material needed to market and sell products.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

A model of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

Payment Gateway

A technology used to process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions.


Tailoring the online shopping experience to individual customers based on their browsing and buying history.

Point of Sale (POS)

The time and place where a transaction is completed.

Print on Demand

A process where a book or other product is not printed until an order has been received.

Product Feed

A digital file such as XML, CSV, or Google Spreadsheets that contains a list of products and attributes.

Product OVP

The unique value proposition of a product, which explains why it’s different and better than competitors’ products.

Product Attributes

Characteristics that define a product, such as size, colour, weight, etc.

Product Description

A detailed account of the product’s features and benefits.

Product Details Page

The webpage where a product’s details are displayed.

Product Discovery

The process consumers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.

Product Filters

Features that allow you to sort products based on attributes like price, popularity, etc.

Product Listings Page

A page featuring multiple products available for purchase.

Product Option

Different variations or versions of a product, like size or colour.

Product Variant

A specific variation of a product.

Real-Time Carrier Shipping

A feature that allows e-commerce sites to automatically offer customers shipping quotes based on actual rates from carriers.

Recommendation Engine

A system that suggests products, services, or information to users based on analysis of data.


The practice of targeting users with ads for products they have previously looked at but didn’t buy.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

The practice of using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

The page displayed by search engines in response to a query.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)

A unique code for each distinct product or service that can be purchased.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

A protocol for securing the data transfer between a user’s browser and the website they are visiting.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Software that is provided over the internet, often for a subscription fee.

Sales Channel

A means of distributing a product to the end-user, which can be online or offline.

Sales Funnel

A series of steps that leads a customer towards a decision to purchase.


A psychological principle that makes people more likely to buy something based on the idea that they may miss out.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The practice of increasing the visibility of a website in search engine results.


The process of dividing a larger market into smaller pieces based on shared characteristics.

Service OVP

The unique value proposition of a service, explaining why it’s different and better than competitors’ services.

Shopping Cart

An online basket where users place items they intend to purchase.


A list of pages of a website available to crawlers or users.

Social Commerce

The use of social networks to conduct e-commerce transactions.

Social Proof

The concept where people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation.

Split Testing

See A/B Testing.

Subscription Model

A business model where a customer pays a recurring price at regular intervals for access to a product or service.

Supply Chain

The network of all the companies involved in creating and selling a product.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

Outsourced logistics services that cover warehousing, transportation, and order fulfillment.

Transaction Fee

A fee that is paid for the act of transacting.

Universal Product Code (UPC)

A barcode symbology used for tracking products.


The practice of encouraging customers to purchase a higher-end product or add-on.


Creating a sense of immediacy to encourage customers to make a purchase.

User Experience (UX)

The overall experience of a person using a product, especially in terms of how easy it is to use.

User Interface (UI)

The space where interactions between humans and machines occur.

Vertical Marketplaces

Online marketplaces that cater to a specific industry or niche.

Visual Search

Searching and shopping using images and videos as queries instead of text.

Voice Search

Using voice command to find information online or navigate through a website.


A person or company that sells goods in large quantities to retailers.

Wish List

A list of desired but often realistically unobtainable items or occurrences.