Most industries will have their fair share of technical terms, acronyms and jargon, and ecommerce marketing is up there with an incredibly long list.
Getting to know all of the ecommerce terms out there can be like learning a different language, but whether you’re new to ecommerce or a seasoned marketer it’s important to understand what each of them means.
Knowing the lingo will help when it comes to setting up and managing successful ecommerce sites and marketing campaigns, whether you do the work yourself or you’re working with a digital marketing expert.
Here is a list of the most essential ecommerce marketing terms every marketer should know:
A/B testing, also known as split testing, refers to an experimentation process where two variations of one web page are created to determine which one will perform the best with visitors. This term can also apply to testing ad copy and creative and email designs, subject lines and send times.
Above the fold
This refers to the upper area of a web page you can see on your screen when you land on it before you scroll down. This is where you want to position your most attention-grabbing content.
This is a marketing agreement made between an online retailer and an external website or social account, where the external website promotes a product and earns a commission from every sale they make through their affiliate link.
Application programming interface (API)
An API enables two or more platforms to communicate with each other. For example, an API will enable an ecommerce website to access features or data from another application or operating system like PayPal. Meaning they can ‘talk’ to each other, without the need for custom code.
Average order value (AOV)
Average order value (AOV) is the average amount of money spent each time a customer places an order on a website or mobile app. To calculate the average order value, divide total revenue by the number of orders.
Bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors who enter a site and leave without taking further action (such as clicking to view another page). It is calculated by dividing the total amount of one-page visits by the total amount of overall visits to the webpage or website during a certain time frame.
Bundles or bundling is where you sell multiple products as a package deal, usually products from the same category or that complement each other. The bundle is normally priced lower than if the items were to be sold individually so the customers get a good deal and the seller gets to increase their average order value.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal or typical customers based on market research and data from your actual customers. Creating a buyer persona will help you to understand your customers better, their goals, buying habits, etc so you can relate to them in your marketing.
A call-to-action is messaging in the form of an instruction on a web page or in an email designed to encourage an immediate response. For example, “call now”, “find out more” and “order yours today”.
Cart abandonment rate
The cart or basket abandonment rate is the percentage of shoppers who add items to their cart but don’t proceed to the checkout to complete their order.
The checkout process refers to the series of steps a customer follows when completing a purchase online, from clicking ‘checkout’ or ‘buy now’ all the way through to the order confirmation page. The ideal checkout process will have a smooth and frictionless user experience.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is the percentage of visitors to a web page, email or ad who click on the link provided for that particular piece of content.
The conversion funnel describes the different stages of the buyer journey leading up to a purchase. The metaphoric funnel refers to the gradual decline in potential customers as they’re guided through the buyer journey.
The conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who have completed the desired goal out of the total number of website visitors. For example requesting a quote, adding to cart or signing up to an email.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization is the process of increasing the percentage of conversions from a website or app. The CRO process can include strategies like A/B testing, customer surveys, or copy and design optimisation.
Cross-selling is a sales tactic that involves recommending related or additional products to the customer in addition to the original items they intend to purchase. Items can be displayed on individual product pages or in the checkout area with the aim to increase the order value.
Customer acquisition involves attracting new customers to your website. For ecommerce companies, it’s about creating opportunities in the sales channels and aligning new prospects with the buyer journey.
A customer journey is the series or path of interactions an individual user has with your brand. It can include both onsite interactions, where a website user is navigating through your site, and off-site interactions like engaging with a social media post or speaking to the customer service teams.
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value is the estimated amount of money a customer is expected to spend with your business over the lifetime of their average business relationship.
Customer retention is the process or strategy used to ensure your existing customers return to buy again. For example, special offers for first-time buyers, listening and acting on customer feedback, and delivering great customer service.
Customer reviews are an evaluation of their experience with a product or service they have purchased from your business.
Sharing positive reviews on websites or social channels is a great way to onboard new customers, and any negative feedback can be learnt from to make future improvements to your business.
A DAM system or digital asset management system is an organizational tool or functionality where you can store, organize, find and share an entire digital content catalogue from one place.
Delivery integration is when your ecommerce platform is integrated with a delivery partner like DPD or Royal Mail, allowing customers to receive real-time updates on their delivery progress.
Direct-to-consumer is where an ecommerce brand sells its products directly to the end user, without any third-party retailers and wholesalers.
Discount codes are a unique set of letters or numbers offered to customers as a purchasing incentive which, when added during the checkout process, will reduce the price of your order. Using specific codes for different marketing campaigns is a great way to track conversion.
Drop shipping is a retail fulfilment method where online retailers take a customer order through their ecommerce store and pass it over to a third-party supplier, who then fulfils the order and ships it on the seller’s behalf.
Faceted navigation, sometimes known as faceted search or filters, is a type of navigation found on category pages of sites that have multiple listings. Its purpose is to help users easily find what they’re looking for through filters based on the listings attributes.
Headless commerce is a more flexible approach to e-commerce website development that separates the front end and the back end of the site allowing them to function more independently providing a more agile and flexible experience.
Inventory or ‘stock’ are the physical products that an ecommerce retailer holds ready to be sold to the customers.
Interactive product visualisation
Interactive product visualisations refer to 3D or AI functionality that allows customers to interact with products on a website for a more detailed and real-life experience. For example, Ikea has its own kitchen planning tool which allows you to visualise your chosen kitchen units in your actual kitchen space.
A landing page on an ecommerce site is a standalone webpage that has been specifically designed as part of a marketing campaign for potential customers to click through to from an email, search engine, or PPC campaign.
Ecommerce marketplaces are an online platform, like Etsy, where third-party retailers can sell their products. Transactions are processed through the marketplace platform and order fulfilment is carried out by the retailers.
A mega menu is a type of expandable menu that can display a wide range of product categories without the need for scrolling.
Online value proposition (OVP)
An online value proposition is a statement that explains the benefit your products or services provide and why your brand offering is better than your competitors.
On-site navigation refers to the links a customer must click through in order to find what they’re looking for on your ecommerce website. On-site navigation can include menus, links or search functionality.
A payment gateway is the technology that allows an ecommerce store to transfer secure payment information from a customer’s bank account to the merchant.
Being PCI compliant means adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, to ensure that consumer card data is protected.
Product information management (PIM) systems allow you to store and manage lots of complex product information in one central place, helping you to streamline the process of updating product data across multiple sales and marketing channels.
Product attributes are a set of features or characteristics that help to describe an item or product. They can be a mix of objective and subjective details that will help a potential customer in their buying journey.
A product description is the body of copy that describes a product and its features and benefits. Good product descriptions will focus on their ideal buyer needs.
Product details page
A product details page or product page is a page that details all the information a potential customer might need to know before making a purchase. It will include a product overview, detailed description, photos or video, delivery information and the price with a clear call-to-action.
Product filters help to reduce a large product range into smaller categories allowing the user to search depending on their product preferences to quickly find what they’re looking for.
Product listings page
A product listings page, sometimes known as a category page, lists multiple products within the same category.
PPC (Pay per click)
PPC stands for pay-per-click, which is a form of digital advertising, either on social media channels or search engines where the advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads gets clicked on.
Scarcity is a sales tactic based on the threat of missing out on something. For example, showing low stock levels on product pages or putting deadlines on offers.
Segmentation refers to organising customers into groups based on different characteristics and traits, such as demographics, behaviours or psychographics.
An ecommerce shopping cart is the area on the site that displays what the customer intends to order. It also includes the functionality to begin the checkout process.
A sitemap is a file of information about the pages, videos, and other files on your website, and the relationships between them, which helps search engines like Google to crawl your site more efficiently.
Social commerce refers to selling products directly through a third-party social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram.
Social proof in ecommerce refers to customer reviews, testimonials or social media content that can be used to influence others to buy your products. This is based on the theory that the more people doing or saying the same thing, the greater the likelihood someone else will follow suit.
SSL stands for ‘secure sockets layer’ and signifies that a secure connection has been made and that all transmitted data on the site is encrypted, providing greater online security. You’ll know if a website has an SSL certificate by the padlock symbol in their url.
User experience (UX)
User experience or UX refers to the overall experience a person has while using a product such as a website or computer application, in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
An e-commerce wishlist allows users to save a selection of items in a user account that they can come back to and purchase at a later date. Having wishlist functionality can help to lower cart abandonment as it doesn’t require shoppers to add anything to their cart or basket.
If you know any other ecommerce marketing terms that are not on this list, let us know and we’ll update it.