eCommerce Glossary

A

above the fold The web page content that is immediately visible in the browser window; section of a page that is displayed without the need to scroll.
Admin panel Administrative panel; back office; private section of store where orders, catalog, content, and configurations are managed.
alt text The text that is displayed in place of an image when the user is unable to view the image.
anchor text The visible text that is anchored to another page or page section; the literal text of a hyperlink.
API Application Program Interface: A software interface that lets third-party applications read and write to a system using programming language constructs or statements.
attribute A characteristic or property of a product; anything that describes a product. Examples of product attributes include color, size, weight, and price.
authorization To give a service permission to perform certain actions or to access resources.
average inventory cost Product price, less coupons or discounts, plus freight and applicable taxes. The average is determined by adding the beginning cost of inventory each month, plus the ending cost of inventory for the last month of the period.

B

banner Promotional graphics displayed either horizontally on the top of a web page or vertically on the left or right margins. Website advertisements are often displayed as banners.
B2B Business to Business: A type of business transaction between two business entities that are not the final consumers of the goods or services.
B2C Business to Consumer: Business transactions between a business entity and a consumer.
batch processing To perform a task or make a change to multiple items all at once, without manual repetition.
bounce rate The percentage of visitors to your site that leave without viewing any other pages.
brand A unique identity that defines a particular product or group of products.
breadcrumb A navigation aid that helps the user to keep track of their location within your store.
brick and mortar A retail business with a permanent physical location,as opposed to being entirely virtual.
broken link A hyperlink that fails to send the user to its intended web page.

C

canonical URL The canonical meta tag redirects search engines to the correct URL, when seemingly duplicate content is encountered on the server.
capture The process of converting the authorized amount into a billable transaction. Transactions cannot be captured until authorized, and authorizations cannot be captured until the goods or services have been shipped.
cardholder A person who opens a credit card account and is authorized to make purchases.
category A set of products that share particular characteristics or attributes.
checkout process The process of gathering the payment and shipping information that is necessary to complete the purchase of items in the shopping cart. In the final step, the customer reviews and places the order.
CMS Content Management System: A software system that is used to create, edit, and maintain content on a website.
conversion A marketing term that indicates a goal has been reached. If the goal is to sell a product, conversion is reached when a visitor to your site becomes a buyer.
conversion rate The percentage of visitors who are converted into buyers.
cookie

A cookie is a small text file that is saved on the computer of a person visiting a website, and used as a temporary holding place for information related to the person’s activity on the site. Cookies are typically used to analyze website traffic and visitor behavior, personalize content, manage shopping carts, and deliver targeted advertising.

Those operating websites in the EU are required by law to obtain consent from each visitor before using cookies to store information related to the individual’s use of the site.

CSV Comma Separated Values: A type of file used to store data values which are separated from each other by commas.
CVM Card Verification Method: A way to verify the identity of the customer by confirming a 3-digit or 4-digit credit card security code with the payment processor.
credit memo A document issued by the merchant to a customer to write off an outstanding balance because of overcharge, rebate, or return of goods.
CSS Cascading Style Sheets: A style sheet language that controls the appearance of HTML documents; a way to control the appearance of text, graphics, lists, links, and all other elements on a web page.

D

domain The address of a website on the web; what the customer types in their browser address bar to access the store.
double opt-in The process for subscribing email recipients by requiring them to take a secondary step to confirm that they want to receive emails.
dynamic content A web page that displays different content depending on the user request.

F

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions.
favicon Short for favorites icon; a 16x16 or 32x32 pixel icon associated with a website; is displayed in the browser address bar and next to the site name in a bookmark list.
FOB Freight On Board: A shipping term indicating who is responsible for paying transportation charges.
fulfillment The process of managing customer shipments.

G

gateway A transaction bridge between a customer and a payment processing service that is used to transfer money between the customer and the merchant.
gross margin The difference between the cost and price of a product.

H

home page The first home page a visitor sees when they access your website URL. Considered the most important page on your website according to search engine indexers.
HTML HyperText Markup Language: A standard for tagging and structuring text, images, videos, and other media on a web page.

I

invoice A document that provides a detailed description of a purchase, including products purchased, quantity, price, shipping cost, sales tax, and total.

J

JavaScript A scripting language used with HTML to produce dynamic effects and interactions on web pages.

K

keyword A term or phrase used in a search to filter for content that is of significant importance to that term or phrase

L

landing page A page on your site where a visitor arrives after clicking a link or advertisement.
link juice The value and authority transferred from one web page to another via hyperlinks (or links). Link juice affects a website’s page rank, a factor used to rank a search engine results page.
locale A set of configurations that defines the user’s language, country, tax rate, and other settings.
login The process of signing into an online account.

M

markdown The amount subtracted from the original price of a product.
markup A percentage added to the cost of an item to determine the retail price.
merchant account An account with a bank or financial institution that makes it possible to accept credit card transactions.
meta tags Information in a web page that is not displayed on the page itself, but is used by search engines to determine the page title, description, and page keywords.

N

navigation The primary group of web page links that a customer uses to navigate around the website; the navigation links to the most important categories or pages on an online store.

O

opt-in / opt-out The process by which a person grants, or denies permission to have their personal information used for marketing activities such as email campaigns and newsletter subscriptions.

As a rule, merchants may contact existing customers, provided that the message is related to a service or product previously purchased, and that the customer has the ability to opt-out of future mailings.

In the EU, explicit opt-in permission is required from each website visitor before cookie technology is enabled.

P

packing slip A document that is usually included in a shipped package that describes the contents. Packing slips do not include financial or account information.
payment gateway A service that charges your customers’ credit cards and sends the funds to your merchant account, for deposit into your business bank account.
PCI Payment Card Industry: Refers to debit and credit cards and their associated businesses.
purchase order (PO) A written sales contract between a buyer and seller that describes the merchandise or service to be purchased from a vendor.
privacy policy A document that explains the merchant’s policies for handling customer information.

R

redirect A method used to alert browsers and search engines that a page has been moved.

301 Redirect: Permanent change

302 Redirect: Temporary change

relative link A hyperlink that includes only the address of the linked page that is relative to the linking page, rather than the full URL.
return policy A document that explains the merchant’s rules regarding the return of products by customers.
robots.txt A file placed on a website that tells search engine crawlers which pages not to index.
RSS feed Really Simple Syndication: A technology that creates web content syndication and allows web users to subscribe to product feeds, websites, and blogs.

S

SaaS Software as a Service: A software delivery model where the vendor provides the software and hosting environment, and customers pay for the service by subscription or per use.
security certificate Information that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.
SEO Search Engine Optimization: The process of improving a website’s search engine rankings in order to increase valued visitors.
settlement Settlement occurs when the acquiring bank and the issuer exchange funds and the proceeds are deposited into the merchant account.
shipping carrier A company that transports packages. Common carriers include UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS.
shopping cart A grouping of products that the customer wishes to purchase at the end of their shopping session.
sitemap A page that provides search engines with an efficient, alternate route through your site.
SKU Stock Keeping Unit: A number or code assigned to a product to identify the product, options, price, and manufacturer.
splash page A promotional page with a product or advertisement; normally displayed before the home page.
SSL certificate A validation and security mechanism that identifies the merchant and encrypts credit card and other sensitive information.
static content Content that does not change frequently. See also dynamic content.
static block A fixed content block that can be displayed on various content pages in a store.

T

theme A package that contains graphics and appearance information, and customizes the look and feel of the store.
transactional email A notification email sent to the customer when a transaction is processed.

U

URL Uniform Resource Locator: The unique address of a page on the internet.
usability Refers to the degree to which a product or service is easy to use by its customers.

W

WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get: An editor that displays formatted text as it will appear in its final published form.

X

XML Extensible Markup Language: A markup format derived from SGML that it used to format information for publication and distribution.

Discussion:

RSS: New Article posts

Explore the Knowledge Base