E Commerce

E Commerce Glossary 2019

E commerce is the activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet.

E Commerce Glossary is an explanation of all common terms within e commerce, which includes hundreds of terms used


Affiliate an individual or business who promotes the products or services of another for a commission.

Ad Valorem according to the value. For example, an import duty rate of 10% ad valorem means 10% of the value of the goods.

Application Programming Interface (API)  an API is a protocol created to allow separate software solutions to communicate over a relatively simple interface. Developers will often use APIs to connect or integrate systems and services.

Authorization an payment card transaction performed specifically to determine if the payment account has sufficient funds to complete a given transaction.

Authorized Distributor a manufacturer-approved or -designated distributor able to sell products in quantity to commercial customers like Internet retailers.

Authorized Retailer a manufacturer-approved or -designated retailer able to sell products directly to consumers. 


Blog an essential for any E commerce business, a blog is simply an online log of content relevant to your market. 

Bootstrapping in business, bootstrapping is the concept of self-funding a new company, meaning that a business pays its operating expenses either with profits or from its founder’s own investments, rather than accepting external capital.

Bounce Rate an Internet marketing term used to describe the percentage of site visitors that arrive at a single page on a given website and then leave (bounce) from that same page without visiting any other page on the site.

Brick & Click Store a retail outlet or business with at least one physical location and at least one ecommerce enabled website.

Brick & Mortar Store a retail outlet or business with at least one physical location.

Business Structure a company’s legal status or organization. Often refers to incorporation.


CMS Content Management System, a back-end interface that makes editing content more user-friendly, e.g. WordPress.

Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors to a given page that converts into customers.

CTA Call To Action, the heading or phrase on your page encouraging the visitor to take action and click your buy button. CTAs have a proven impact on conversion rates.

CRO Conversion Rate Optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that converts into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.

Canonical URL The canonical meta tag that directs search engines to index the preferred URL for site content that is available from multiple URLs.

Conversion a marketing term that describes when a user or visitor completes some action or achieves some marketing goal. More specifically, conversion is often used to describe when a site visitor converts to a customer, making a purchase.

Cookie a very small file saved on a user’s computer or mobile device for the purpose of storing information related to the user’s interaction with a particular site.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) a software solution specifically devoted to organizing, synchronizing, and automating a business’ customer relationships.  


Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. … Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party

Domain Name the web address of your online store.

Directories sites that list and link to other sites, including online stores, are referred to as directories.

Discount Code aseries of numbers and/or letters that an online shopper may enter at checkout to get a discount or other special offer. Discount codes may also be called coupon codes.

Distributor a distribution business that inventories products from a number of manufacturers and sells to many retailers. Often distributors are able to offer shorter lead times than manufacturers and may sell in smaller quantities. It is common for distributors to charge a premium over a manufacturer-direct price for the service and convenience provided.


E commerce online retail, the process of selling products online and on mobile through shops, party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and other channels.

Evolutionary Algorithms a type of algorithm put to use in generating artificially intelligent E commerce systems.

Exporting the practice of selling items to wholesale or retail customers in another country. 


Fulfilment The process of receiving, packaging and shipping orders for goods. While any company selling products directly to consumers through the mail must deal with fulfillment.

Fraud intentional deception for the purpose of gain. 


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 identifying 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.

Google Keyword Tool a free keyword suggestion tool included in the Google AdWords Platform. The tool uses data from the many searches conducted on the Google search engine to suggest keywords for a given URL and category.

Google Trends a search engine tool that shows how often a particular term or keyword is searched for on Google. Results are shown on a relative scale, making the tool well suited for comparing keywords or phrases. Trends will also show where searches came from and how search volume for a particular keyword has changed over time.


Inventory is the term for the goods available for sale and raw materials used to produce goods available for sale.


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) a markup language specifically created for displaying web pages and applications in web browsers. Like other markup languages, HTML annotates a document, describing its layout and syntax. 


Long Tail is the phrase used to describe an individual, highly specific keywords and search terms, which in volume can add up to a significant amount of traffic.

Landing Page a web page which serves as the entry point for a website or a particular section of a website.

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.

Linking Root Domains in search engine optimization, when site A links to site B one or more times, site A is said to be a linking root domain. Linking root domains — in the plural — are the total number of unique sites that link one or more times to a given website. 

Liquidator a company that purchases closeout products for the purpose of resale. 

Listing Fees Marketplaces and online auction sites, like eBay, may charge a nominal listing fee for posting products.


Margin is 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.

Multi-Channel E commerce is the process of selling goods and services across multiple different channels and devices, including online and on mobile.

Manufacturer a company that makes goods for the purpose of sale.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) the price at which a manufacturer recommends that retailers sell a given product.

Minimum Order Size manufacturers or distributors may require retailers to place orders that meet a minimum value or unit count. This requirement would be the minimum order size. 


Net Profit the difference between a business’ revenue and its costs – all of its costs. Net profit may be thought of as the money left over after every bill is paid.

Niche a distinct market segment.


Outsource hiring third-party providers to handle elements or functions of your business on your behalf, outsourcing is commonplace in E commerce, on everything from web design to logistics and fulfillment.

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.

Overhead the ongoing expenses associated with operating a business.


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.

Payment Gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers.

PageRank Google’s proprietary page ranking system that places emphasis on inbound links as a means of determining how important a given page is. PageRank can be measured on either a ten-point or 100-point scale.

Patent protection for some forms of intellectual property, granting the inventory exclusive right to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years. 

Per-Order Fee When a manufacturer or distributor drop ships an order directly to a customer on retailers behave that manufacturer or distributor may change a per-order fee for processing.

Profit Margin the difference between what a retailer pays for a product and what the retailer’s customer pays for the product. Margin calculations may consider only the cost of the goods sold or may take into account overhead and other variable costs.


Quantitative Metrics in online marketing, quantitative metrics are those measures that may be represented as numbers. Click-through rates, visitor counts, and time-on-site are all examples of quantitative metrics.

Qualitative Metrics in online marketing, qualitative metrics seek to measure the quality of a customer interaction, and may be subjective in nature. A retailer, as an example, may implement a new product review campaign, compare reviews written before and after the campaign, awarding each review a qualitative score, and then use the relative scored to decide if the campaign was successful.


Reseller a company that purchases goods or services for the purpose of resale not consumption. In web economics, a reseller may also be a form of affiliate marketer, promoting a rebranded service.

Retailer a company that sells directly to the end consumer. 


SEO Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) online marketing aimed at increasing a given website’s visibility on a search engine results page (SERP) by both optimizing the website for indexing and purchasing ads or paid inclusions.

SERP – Search engine results page is the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher.

Social Signals are a ranking factor in Google, drawn from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Similar to links, they allow Google to determine which websites people are more likely to be interested in looking at, as one element of the wider ranking equation.

Social Media is a collecting of platforms where businesses can tap into targeted audiences through advertising, or through a comprehensive social media strategy.

Split Testing Testing two separate elements of your E commerce mix to establish which performs better, side-by-side testing to optimize your

Shipping the process of physically moving merchandise form a point of origin, like a retailer’s warehouse, to a destination, like a customer’s home.


Usability the ease and efficiency with which your customers can use and interact with your website, central to the quality of their experience and your conversion rate. Usability now also extends to mobile and tablet devices, and the experience your E commerce store offers across these channels.


Wholesale the stage in the supply chain before retail, wholesale deals in bulk volumes. You may be buying stock wholesale, or selling wholesale to another trading party.

WordPress is a free, open-source blogging platform, used as a basis for creating E commerce stores and a series of other websites.

WP Engine the best hosting solution for those running E commerce stores on WordPress, WooCommerce is robust, fast and scalable to meet the needs of your business as it grows.

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