From A to 3

We’ve all had that moment; listening to someone talk in acronyms and words we kind-of-maybe understand but probably should look up later just to be 100% sure.

Hi, yes that was us as well at one point.

The letters, gobbledegook phrases and expectation to automatically be up to date with the latest eCommerce jargon can get you down and internally eye-roll ‘whatever’ at the person earnestly discussing their CTR from their latest PPC campaign. This sort of language can feel gratuitous at the best of times and mind-bendingly confusing at the worst.

But as the old saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’ and understanding what things mean in ‘eCommerce speak’ is only going to help you in the long run as your business grows. Which is why we’ve put together this straight-talking glossary of the most used eCommerce words and terms.

As it’s an industry that evolves at a break-neck pace, this post will be regularly refreshed with new entries announced on our social media channels.

 

ABANDONMENT

When a shopper leaves your site without completing a desired action. It’s a word most often used in conjunction with ‘shopping cart’. ‘Shopping cart abandonment’ is when a customer has put a product in their basket to buy, but then ducked out for whatever reason. Abandonment can cover any action not taken by the customer, like skipping signing up to a mailing list or not completing a feedback form.

 

ANALYTICS

Essentially a collection of data and analysis of activity and users in relation to a website. You’ve probably heard of analytics in the form of ‘Google Analytics’, ‘Facebook Analytics’ or ‘PushCommerce Analytics’; tools that help shed some light on how visitors behave during the time they spend on a site, where they come from, if pop-ups cause them to exit browsing and any weak or strong points on a shop owner’s website.

This kind of information can then inform business direction, tweaks for optimisation or guide what types of content you’re putting out.  

 

BOUNCE RATE

The number of browsers that come across a site page and bounce off (exit) before visiting further pages.

Keeping an eye on your bounce rate will inform you how effective a page is at enticing shoppers to continue clicking around. If a page has a higher bounce rate than other pages on your site then there could be something there that is putting users off, causing them to immediately leave.

 

BRICKS AND MORTAR

A business that has a physical location. Think high street shops.

 

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (B2B)

Used in eCommerce and marketing, B2B describes transactions or communications from one business to another business. For example, PushCommerce is a business providing a service to other businesses.

 

BUSINESS TO CONSUMER (B2C)

The same as above but replace the second ‘business’ with a consumer. So services and goods are being delivered from a business to an end customer.

 

CALL TO ACTION (CTA)

Again in the worlds of marketing and eCommerce, a call to action gives the user a clear instruction to carry out. For example, ‘Sign up here’ or ‘Visit our website’.

A well thought out call to action increases the number of completion of the specified action. The chances of a call to action’s effectiveness can be swayed by colour, size, placement of where it sits and language. A lot of people test the success of these variables until they find something that works for them.

 

CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR)

Click through rate (CTR) is usually talked about when gaging the results of an advertising campaign. It refers to the number of visitors that click through a link to go through to another webpage.

Again, it’s a great indicator to look at the success of a hyperlink placement. You can see if a certain link gets more clicks than another and determine what are the elements that are making that link clickable.

 

COOKIES

Unfortunately, not of the delicious chocolatey variety.

Cookies are a tiny scrap of text-based data that get generated by a website which is then saved on a visitor’s web browser. You’ve probably noticed a lot of Cookie Policy pop-ups on sites your frequent recently due to the legal updates around sharing cookie policy to customers.

The cookie’s role is for the web browser to remember that a user has browsed this site before and can be used to recall setting preferences, login details or not to display the cookie pop-up again.

 

CONVERSION RATE

A cousin of click-through rate, conversion rate relates to the number of visitors who carry out the desired action laid out by the shop owner. It doesn’t always refer to people visiting your site and being turned into customers – it could be that someone has signed up for your newsletter because you’ve asked them to. Keeping an eye on conversion rates can measure the effectiveness of changes to your store, or signify if something right (or wrong) is happening on your site.

 

CROSS-SELLING

You know when you buy something (online or offline) and the website or sales assistant suggests purchasing a shoe brush to go with your nice new shiny boots to keep them clean – that is cross-selling. It’s the practice of recommending a related service or product to a shopper on the basis of what they have an interest in.

 

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)

A dedicated software that analyses and manages contact had with customers (emails, direct mailers, flyers etc.)

 

DRAG N’ DROP

Does what it says on the tin. Use your mouse to drag and drop content blocks to design your PushCommerse eCommerce store.

 

DROP-SHIPPING

When you’re providing products to a buyer that will be delivered directly from the manufacturer, so you’re not holding any physical stock.

 

eCOMMERCE

Stands for electronic commerce and basically means commerce (buying and selling) but online.

 

FOLLOWERS  

The term used when referring to users ‘following’ your profile on social media platforms.

 

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is a text language for displaying web pages. A bit dull unless you’re into it.

 

KEYWORDS

Keywords are words or phrases that your customer would use to find your products by search engines or your website. They should be the most common things that spring to mind that someone would use to find your shop or products. E.g Knitted tea cosy shop or wool tea cosy (if that’s what you’re selling). Keywords are usually in relation to SEO or product titles/descriptions.

 

LANDING PAGE

A page on your website that acts as a point of entry to the rest of your slice of internet. E.g A page dedicated to seasonal gifts put together solely for that purpose.

 

MOBILE COMMERCE (MCOMMERCE)

mCommerce is the when people buy and sell stuff on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets usually but also any handheld wireless device). Unless you want to come across as sounding technical, it doesn’t really matter if you use eCommerce when talking about people shopping and selling on mobile devices.

 

MULTICHANNEL

When you are selling your wares through multiple channels (eBay, Etsy, Facebook, own website, physical shop – the list can go on).

 

OPEN RATE

If you are sending customers emails, then the open rate is the term used for the number of recipients who opened an email. Understanding your open rate will help monitor how well an email marketing campaign is going.

 

OPTIMISE

Same meaning when it’s used in everyday parlance – you tweak aspects of something to make sure it’s performing at its best to increase the number of conversions.  

 

ORGANIC

In the world of eCommerce and social media, organic means unpaid for or natural – kind of like when you pick up an organic bunch of bananas, they would’ve been grown without any outside assistance. Same for traffic to your website, organic traffic would refer to people finding it naturally without a paid ad to direct them there.

 

PAY PER CLICK (PPC)

A type of online advertising that drives traffic to a website. The advertiser (you in this case) pays the publisher (Google is the obvious choice here) each time one of your adverts is clicked.

 

PRODUCT TITLE 

An attention-grabbing headline that describes an overview of a product. Like, Black Studded Skirt or Green-coloured Light Garden Shears.

 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

A snappy block of text that accompanies your item is called a product description. It should be short enough for the eye to scan over but detailed enough to get across its benefit and features. We have an in-depth guide to the secret of writing product descriptions that sell on our blog.

 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)

A practice that strives to influence the ranking position when a website appears in search engines. The higher the site is amongst the results, the more likely searchers will click on the first lot of websites that they see.

 

STOCK KEEPING UNIT (SKU)

An ID code assigned to a product or service which is set by you as the merchant for inventory management or identification.

 

TRAFFIC

Traffic is the same in eCommerce as it is when commonly used. It’s talking about the number of people who visit a website, page or social channel.

 

UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE (UPC)

(Also known as GTIN Global Trade Item Numbers). Basically it’s a universal bar code. The lines represent 12 numbers set by the manufacturer. The UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, and all bar code records are kept by GS1.

 

UPSELLING

Similar to cross-selling, upselling is when you’re offering the customer an opportunity to purchase a related product that is more expensive. Usually, the pricier item has all the features of the original product but with a higher quality of specifications.

 

301 REDIRECT

301 Redirect points visitors from an old URL to a new URL. This is relevant for sites that have relocated and want to redirect existing visitors to their shiny new URL.

 

Remember, we’ll be updating this post as often as we can with new entries. Keep an eye out on our social platforms.