+100 Essential Ecommerce Terms You Need to Know
As ecommerce continues to grow in importance, navigating the complex labyrinth of industry-specific jargon can seem daunting. That’s why we have created this handy glossary of essential ecommerce terms. We’ve curated this guide from our hands-on experience working with ecommerce clients day in, day out.
So, whether you’re a budding entrepreneur gearing up to launch your new online store, an experienced ebusiness manager seeking to keep up with the ever-evolving ecommerce vernacular, or a digital marketing assistant keen on mastering the industry specifics, our glossary aims to be your educational companion; and we’ll make sure to be adding to it on a regular basis. It’s more than just a guide; consider it a trusty sidekick on your exciting journey of ecommerce exploration.
For ease of navigation and relevance, we have organised the terms into associated or related categories. Click on the links to skip to that section:
Table of Contents
1. Ecommerce General Terms
|Short for electronic commerce, it refers to the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet, encompassing activities such as online shopping and online banking.
|Business to Business (B2B)
|This refers to businesses selling products or services directly to other businesses, rather than to consumers.
|Business to Consumer (B2C)
|This involves businesses selling products or services directly to consumers, typically through an online store or marketplace. Also referred to as Direct to Consumer (D2C).
|It’s where a business sells its product or service in partnership with another business to an end consumer.
|Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
|This is when consumers sell directly to other consumers, typically facilitated by online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Etsy.
|Mobile Commerce (mCommerce)
|Shopping online through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
|An ecommerce site where multiple sellers can list and sell their products. A popular example is Amazon, eBay, Catch, or Temu.
|A software tool that allows online shoppers to gather and keep track of their desired items before proceeding to checkout for purchase.
|The process through which an online customer completes their purchase, including entering shipping information, selecting a payment method, and confirming the order.
|An ecommerce model where the seller doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, when a product is sold, the item is purchased from a third party and shipped directly to the customer.
|A retail approach that integrates various shopping channels (online website, physical store, mobile app, social media, etc.) to provide a seamless, unified customer experience.
2. Ecommerce Page Names
|This is the initial or main web page of an ecommerce site. It serves as the virtual “front door” of your online store and often provides an overview of what your brand offers in terms of products or services.
|Category Display Page (CDP)
|A CDP is a page on an ecommerce site where a subset of products grouped by a specific category is displayed. For example, on a clothing website, there might be a CDP for “shirts” showcasing all available shirts.
|Category Display List (CDL)
|A CDL is a listing of various product categories available on an ecommerce site. It helps visitors to navigate through different sections of the site like ‘Electronics’, ‘Home & Kitchen’, ‘Fashion’, and so on.
|Product Display List (PDL)
|A PDL is a page or section on an ecommerce site that displays a list of products, typically within a specific category or matching a specified criteria. It provides brief details of each product such as image, name, price, and maybe a short description.
|Product Display Page (PDP)
|A PDP is the page on an ecommerce site where a specific product is showcased. The PDP typically includes extensive details about the product, including images, description, price, customer reviews, and “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” options.
|Shopping Cart Page
|This page displays the products that a customer has selected to purchase. It usually includes the product details, quantity selected, price, and total cost, with options to proceed to checkout or continue shopping.
|Here, customers finalise their purchase. It typically includes sections for billing and shipping information, order summary, and payment processing.
|This page allows customers to create a new account or log into an existing one. Registration usually requires information such as name, email, and password, and offers benefits like saving shipping addresses and order history.
|My Account Page
|For registered users, this page provides a summary of account-related information, such as order history, saved shipping addresses, payment methods, wish list, and personal information.
|Search Results Page
|This page displays the products or categories that match a customer’s search query. It typically includes options to refine the search, such as filtering by price, brand, or category.
|Contact Us Page
|This page provides information on how customers can get in touch with the business. It may include a form to submit queries, along with information like phone numbers, email addresses, and physical store locations.
|Short for “Frequently Asked Questions”, this page provides answers to common customer queries, including shipping and return policies, payment options, account setup, etc.
|This page informs customers about how their data is collected, used, and protected by the company.
|Returns & Refunds Page
|Here, companies outline their policies regarding product returns, exchanges, and refunds, so customers know what to expect if they’re not satisfied with their purchase.
|Terms & Conditions Page
|This page outlines the rules and guidelines for using the website. It generally includes information on copyright, trademarks, and disclaimers about the information provided on the website.
|About Us Page
|This page tells the story of the company or brand. It may include information about the company’s history, mission, team, and achievements, helping to build trust with customers.
|Blog or News Page
|Many ecommerce websites feature a blog or news section, where they share content related to their products, industry trends, company news, and other topics of interest to their customers.
|Sale or Deals Page
|This page is where the ecommerce site highlights any ongoing sales, special offers, or deals. These can be seasonal sales, clearance sales, or flash sales.
|Gift Cards Page
|If the ecommerce store offers gift cards, this page provides information about how to purchase and use them.
|Store Locator Page
|For businesses that have physical stores in addition to their ecommerce site, a store locator page provides the addresses, store opening hours and contact information for these locations, often with a map view.
|For registered users, this page lists the products they have marked for future purchase. It’s a way for customers to save items they’re interested in but not yet ready to buy.
|Product Reviews Page
|Some ecommerce sites dedicate a page to showcase reviews and ratings of their products from customers, helping to build trust and provide real-life feedback about their offerings.
|Size Guide Page
|For ecommerce stores that sell clothes or other size-variant products, this page provides detailed sizing charts and measurement instructions to help customers choose the right size.
|Order Tracking Page
|Post-purchase, customers can visit this page to track the progress of their delivery using a tracking number provided by the ecommerce site.
|Newsletter Subscription Page
|This page allows customers to subscribe to the brand’s newsletter to receive regular updates, promotional offers, and other news directly to their email inbox.
3. Ecommerce Product Management
|This term refers to the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describe the core entities of an ecommerce business such as products, customers, suppliers, and locations. In the realm of product management, master data ensures that all product information, like descriptions, SKUs, and prices, is accurately and consistently represented across different sales channels, contributing to a seamless shopping experience for the customer.
|Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
|A unique identifier for each product in your inventory, which helps track stock levels, sales, and orders.
|This is the text on a product page that explains what the product is, its features, how it’s used, and any other information that might help the customer make a purchase decision.
|High-quality visuals of the products you sell. They’re crucial as they help customers get a clear idea of what they’re buying since they can’t physically see or touch the product.
|These are characteristics that help define a product, such as colour, size, weight, and material. These attributes help customers decide which product to purchase and can be filtered on category or search result pages.
|Different versions of the same product. For instance, a t-shirt could have variants like different colors or sizes.
|Tags are labels added to products to help categorise and organise them in the backend of your ecommerce site. They can also improve site navigation and search functionality.
|A digital file that contains a list of all your products and their attributes (such as price, SKU, product descriptions). It’s used to display your products on ecommerce marketplaces or advertising platforms.
|The use of multimedia elements like images, videos, interactive graphics, and other engaging material within a website. It’s often used on product pages to provide an immersive, detailed view of products. This could include 360-degree views, product videos, user-generated content, interactive size guides, and more, all designed to enhance the customer experience and influence purchase decisions.
|The process of combining data from different sources, such as inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), and sales, to provide a unified view. This enables better decision-making, improves customer experience, and streamlines operations, by ensuring consistent, up-to-date information across all platforms and systems.
|The process of keeping track of all the goods your business has in stock. It’s essential to know what you have, what’s sold, and when to order more.
|This status is used when a product is no longer available in the inventory and cannot be purchased until more stock is available.
|A backorder allows customers to purchase a product that is currently out of stock, with the understanding that it will ship when it’s available again.
|These are products that the ecommerce store has decided to stop selling permanently. They’re usually removed from the online storefront, or clearly marked as “discontinued”.
4. Ecommerce Sales & Conversion
|The action you want visitors to take on your website. For an ecommerce site, this is typically making a purchase, but could also include signing up for a newsletter or creating an account.
|The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action on your site. For example, if 100 people visit your site and 2 people make a purchase, your conversion rate is 2%.
|Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
|This is a system for increasing the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action on a webpage, such as making a purchase. CRO involves the use of analytics and user feedback to improve your online store’s performance, enhancing the shopping experience to convert more of your site’s visitors into customers.
|A/B Testing or Split Testing
|A method of comparing two versions of a webpage or other user experience to see which performs better. It involves showing the two variants (A and B) to similar visitors at the same time, and then using statistical analysis to determine which version drove more conversions or sales.
|The path a customer takes from first learning about your brand or product to making an online purchase. It’s often described as a funnel because many potential customers drop off at each stage of the process.
|Call to Action (CTA)
|A prompt on your website that tells users what action to take, often written as a command, like “Buy Now” or “Sign Up”.
|The percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate issues with your site’s navigation, content, or design.
|The steps a customer goes through to complete a purchase, from selecting a product to confirming payment. A smooth checkout flow is crucial for conversion.
|When a customer adds products to their online shopping cart, but leaves the site without completing the purchase on the checkout page.
|The number of items that a customer adds to their online shopping cart during a single visit to a website. Increasing the average basket size is a common strategy for boosting revenue, often achieved through tactics like cross-selling, upselling, or offering bundle deals.
|Encouraging customers to buy a related or complementary product, based on what they have in their shopping cart or viewing. For example, recommending a phone case when a customer is buying a smartphone.
|Encouraging customers to purchase a more expensive, upgraded, or premium version of the item they’re considering or adding extras to increase the sale value.
|Exit Intent Pop-Up
|A website pop-up displayed when a visitor is about to leave your site. It typically offers a discount or special offer to entice the visitor to stay and make a purchase.
5. Payment & Security
|A tool that processes debit, credit card or other payments by transferring information between a payment portal (like a website or mobile phone) and the bank.
|Payment Services Provider (PSP)
|A company that offers businesses a range of payment processing services, enabling them to accept different types of electronic payments including credit cards, bank transfers, and other online payment solutions. PSPs handle the transactions between buyers, sellers, and respective banks.
|A set of security standards (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) designed to ensure that all businesses that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
|A special kind of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments in multiple ways, typically debit or credit cards. The bank that provides the merchant account is called the Merchant Acquirer.
|Any personally identifiable information associated with a person who has a credit or debit card. Safeguarding cardholder data is crucial to comply with PCI standards and maintain customer trust.
|A payment method that allows customers to purchase items and receive them immediately but spread the cost over a period of time, typically in fixed instalments. It’s a form of credit, with some providers offering interest-free periods.
|A reversal of a credit card payment that comes directly from the bank. This typically happens when a customer disputes a charge on their card.
|Tools and systems used to identify fraudulent transactions and protect businesses against credit card fraud.
|A system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites. It simplifies the purchase process, particularly on mobile devices. Examples include Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
|These are charges that online sellers have to pay every time a customer makes a purchase from their online store. The fee is usually a percentage of the total purchase price and is often charged by the payment gateway or payment service provider handling the transaction. This can include credit card processing fees and fees for services like PayPal or Stripe.
6. Digital Marketing & SEO
|Involves the use of platforms and technologies to promote an online store’s products or services. It encompasses a range of techniques like search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and more. The goal is to reach, engage, and convert customers online, driving traffic to the ecommerce store and boosting sales.
|Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
|The practice of enhancing your website to improve its visibility in the organic (non-paid) search results on search engines like Google. Better visibility means more potential customers can find you.
|Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
|A broader term that includes both SEO and PPC. It refers to any activities that help your website get more visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
|A type of digital advertising where you pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad. These ads are often displayed at the top of search engine results, above the organic listings.
|A word or phrase that people type into search engines when they’re looking for something. Keywords are crucial in SEO as they help your website appear in relevant search results.
|A brief summary of a webpage that appears in search engine results. It doesn’t directly impact SEO, but a compelling meta description can attract more clicks.
|When another website links to your site. These are valuable for SEO as they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and reputable.
|A standalone webpage that a visitor reaches after clicking on an ad or a search engine result. It’s often designed to prompt a specific action, like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
|A marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable free content (like blog posts, videos, or ebooks) to attract and engage a target audience.
|Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
|The page that displays the results when you search for something on a search engine. Your SEO efforts aim to get your website as high on the SERP as possible.
7. Shipping & Fulfilment
|The process of storing, packing, and shipping products to customers after they’ve placed an order on your ecommerce store.
|Pick and Pack
|The process of storing, packing, and shipping products to customers after they’ve placed an order on your ecommerce store.
|A fulfilment method where a store sells a product, but a third-party supplier stores, packs, and ships the product on behalf of the store.
|Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
|A company that stores and ships products on behalf of other businesses. They allow ecommerce businesses to outsource warehousing and shipping, so the businesses can focus on other aspects.
|A company that transports goods from one place to another. In Australia, some common shipping carriers include Australia Post, StarTrack, Fastway Couriers, and CouriersPlease.
|A unique code provided by shipping carriers that allows customers to follow the journey of their package until delivery.
|A delivery strategy where the retailer absorbs the shipping costs, allowing customers to avoid paying for shipping.
|Flat Rate Shipping
|A shipping pricing model where a single rate is charged for shipping a package, regardless of weight, shape, or size.
|Same Day Delivery
|A shipping option where orders are delivered to the customer on the same day the purchase is made. It’s a service that can enhance customer satisfaction and potentially increase sales, but requires efficient inventory management and logistics to implement effectively.
|A policy set by the ecommerce store that outlines the conditions under which customers can return or exchange purchased products.
|The process that covers everything from the moment a customer places an order, to the order being fulfilled and delivered. It includes tracking the order’s progress, managing the inventory, coordinating with shipping carriers, handling returns, and providing customer service throughout the process. Effective order management is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and operational efficiency in an ecommerce business.
|Order Fulfilment Time
|The amount of time it takes from when a customer places an order to when the product is dispatched.
|A document attached to a package, which provides essential information for its delivery. This typically includes the sender’s address, the recipient’s address, package weight, tracking number, and a barcode for scanning. It’s crucial for ensuring the correct and timely delivery of an order.
8. Customer Service & Retention
|The assistance and advice provided by a business to people who buy or use its products or services. This could range from answering queries to resolving ordering problems.
|The strategies and actions companies use to prevent customers from switching to competitors and to encourage repeat business.
|Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
|A system that helps businesses manage and analyse customer interactions and data. A CRM can improve business relationships, customer retention, and sales growth.
|Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
|A metric that measures how products, services, and overall experience meet or surpass customer expectations.
|Net Promoter Score (NPS)
|A measure of how willing a customer is to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It’s an index that ranges from -100 to 100 and can gauge a customer’s overall satisfaction and loyalty to the brand.
|A service that allows customers to communicate in real-time with customer service agents through a website.
|An artificial intelligence software that can simulate a conversation with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, or mobile apps.
|Customer Loyalty Program
|A rewards program offered by a company to customers who make frequent purchases. These programs encourage repeat business and can enhance customer loyalty.
|Customer Churn Rate
|The percentage of customers who stop doing business with a company during a given time period. Lower churn rates are desirable as they indicate higher customer retention.
|Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) or Lifetime Value (LTV)
|The total amount of money a customer is projected to spend or has currently spent over the duration of their relationship with the business. This helps determine how much money to invest in acquiring or retaining this customer.
9. Analytics & Reporting
|The systematic computational analysis of data. This typically involves the analysis of data from website visitors and customers to improve the online shopping experience and boost sales.
|Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
|A type of performance measurement. KPIs are used by businesses to evaluate their success at reaching targets. KPIs could include metrics like sales, conversion rate, or customer acquisition cost.
|A free tool from Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It provides valuable insights that can help you shape the success strategy of your ecommerce business. The latest version is GA4.
|Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
|The percentage of shoppers who add items to their online shopping cart but leave the website before completing the purchase.
|Click-Through Rate (CTR)
|The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page or email. It’s often used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign.
|Average Order Value (AOV)
|The average amount of money each customer spends per transaction on your ecommerce site. Increasing AOV is a way to drive higher revenues without acquiring new customers.
|This is where your website’s visitors are coming from. It could be direct visitors (those who type your URL), search visitors (those who find you through a search engine), or referral visitors (those who come via a link on another site).
|A method of understanding and visualising the steps your customers take from first learning about your product to completing a desired action (like making a purchase). This analysis can help identify potential obstacles that are causing customers to drop off.
|Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
|This metric represents the cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. It’s a crucial measurement for determining the return on investment for different marketing strategies.
|Return On Investment (ROI)
|A measurement of the profitability of an investment. In ecommerce, this could relate to the returns from marketing spend, inventory investment, and more.
|The total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
|These are individuals who have visited your site at least once within the reporting period. Each visitor is only counted once during the period.
|Customer Retention Rate
|This metric indicates the percentage of customers a company has retained over a certain period of time.
|Revenue By Traffic Source
|A metric that shows which channels (organic, paid, social, referral, direct, etc.) bring the most revenue, helping you understand where to focus your marketing efforts.
|Cart Conversion Rate
|The percentage of users who add products to their cart and then go on to make a purchase.
|This metric shows which products are frequently bought together. It helps in planning promotional campaigns or suggesting items to customers.
|New vs Returning Customers
|These metrics give insights into customer loyalty. Returning customers can indicate success in customer retention, while new customers could signify effective acquisition campaigns.
|Social Media Traffic
|The number of users who arrive at your site through social media channels. This metric can indicate the success of your social media marketing strategies.
10. Legal & Compliance
|A statement that discloses how a business gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer’s data. In Australia, privacy policies are mandated by the Privacy Act 1988.
|Terms of Service (ToS)
|Legal agreements between a company offering a product or service and a person who wants to use that product or service. In ecommerce, these terms outline the rules one must agree to follow in order to use the website or make a purchase.
|Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
|This is a comprehensive set of laws designed to safeguard Australian consumers by preventing businesses from engaging in deceptive or unfair practices. Enforced and regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the ACL provides broad protections and rights to consumers while setting forth fair trading laws businesses must abide by.
|General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
|GDPR is an EU law on data protection and privacy. Even Australian ecommerce sites must comply if they sell to EU citizens.
|Legal protection given to creators of original work, such as text, images, music, and more. In ecommerce, copyright often pertains to product images, descriptions, and website content.
|Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
|A digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. It’s essential for protecting sensitive information, like credit card details, on ecommerce sites.
|The process of resolving disputes between parties. In ecommerce, this often refers to resolving issues between buyers and sellers, such as refunds, returns, or product complaints.
|The rules an ecommerce store communicates to customers about how they handle returns. In Australia, businesses must comply with regulations around consumer rights to repair, replacement, or refund.
|Intellectual Property (IP)
|Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. In ecommerce, protecting your IP – such as your brand name, logo, and unique products – is critical.
|Data Breach Notification
|Under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in Australia, businesses are required to notify individuals and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) when a data breach is likely to result in serious harm to individuals whose personal information is involved. For ecommerce, this is especially relevant as businesses often handle sensitive customer data such as delivery addresses, payment information, and personally identifiable information.
Congratulations! You made it to the end of the list. Hopefully, you have learnt a few new ecommerce terms and will be able to use them confidently in your work. Keep an eye out on the list, maybe favourite the page so you can come back to it easily, as we will be regularly adding to the list.
At the Digital Mavens, we are your ecommerce experts. Our ecommerce services include everything from building to UX/UI design, to platform migrations and software integrations, as well as support optimising your ecommerce site performance.
So if you want to have a chat about your ecommerce site, we’d love to hear from you. Why don’t you book in a session with our Chief Maven, Kingston.