E-commerce Glossary

The world of e-commerce has a language all of its own. Dive into our e-commerce glossary to distinguish the CRDs from the CROs and separate those SERPs from the SaaS. Can’t find the term you’re looking for? Drop us a line and we’ll add it in.

Click Through Rate

E-commerce metric | CTR or Click-through rate is a ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. It's a useful metric to measure if your keywords and ads, and free product listings, are performing well.

A/B Testing
Split/Bucket Testing

A/B or, 'Split' testing, is when companies show different versions of the same web page to different website visitors at the same time. The goal with A/B testing is to find out which version is the best at causing visitors to take action like buying a product or clicking to view more.

Average Order Value

AOV is an important e-commerce metric, it is the average amount each customer spends with you in a single order and you calculate it by dividing your revenue by the total number of orders placed. Increasing AOV by only a small percentage can seriously increase your overall revenue. Many brands increase their AOV by upselling, cross-selling or offering free shipping if the customer spends over X.

Page Missing

This is a short way of saying "this webpage can't be found". This can happen if you visit a web address that doesn't exist like trying to find a product a company no longer sells.

Third-Party Logisitics

A 3PL is an outsourcing service for businesses. They help companies with the operational logistics of their supply chain like transport, warehousing, pick and pack, inventory, forecasting and fufillment.

Web Accessibility

Web accessibility is all about designing and developing websites, tools and technologies so that people with disabilities can use them with ease. To find out more on web accessibility and how to make sure your Shopify is compliant click here: https://wemakewebsites.com/blog/ada-and-shopify-what-you-need-to-know/

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is where machines such as computer systems mimic human tasks using algorithms, data and actions to make predictions. You can use AI in e-commerce to personalize your website for each of your customers such as predicting a customer's size based on previous purchases or showing them products that might interest them. Some of the best E-commerce technology agencies using AI are Nosto and Klevu.

Application Program Interface

Application Programming Interface or API is a piece of software that allows you to ask an application to do something and get a response all on the same webpage. Have you ever used PayPal to pay for something directly through an e-commerce store? Well, you're using API!

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality or AR is software that adds digital content onto a live camera feed, making digital content look like it's part of the physical world around you. This could be anything but in E-commerce terms this allows your customers to preview products or experience services in their own environment and on their own time, before purchasing.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform that provides services like cloud storage, databases, analytics, networking, developer tools, management tools, security and enterprise applications to hundreds of thousands of businesses across the world. These services help businesses move faster and scale with lower IT costs.


B2C is business-to-consumer selling. It's when a business sells its products (or services) to the end-users or consumers. B2C has become incredibly popular with the increase in online retail and e-commerce.


B2B' means business to business selling. It's when a business sells its services or products to another business. Sometimes a B2B company can also sell to consumers (B2C), like Apple who sells its services and products to other businesses but also to customers in stores and online.

Bounce Rate

E-commerce metric | A bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits to your website. 'Bounces' happen when someone visits your website and leaves without visiting a second page or interacting with the page they land on.

Buy Now Pay Later

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) agreements are a way for customers to buy goods on credit and pay for them later. This might be through regular interest-free installments or after an interest-free period (they're a great way to increase AOV). Buy Now Pay Later providers include Klarna, Clearpay and Laybuy. These companies offer a range of payment options, take a look at our article on BNPL solutions on Shopify: https://wemakewebsites.com/blog/buy-now-pay-later-shopify/

Customer Aquisition Cost

E-commerce metric | CAC is the cost of convincing a potential customer to buy a product or service. This could be advertising costs, cost of your marketing team, cost of your sales team, creative costs or technical costs. It's used to determine how much money can be extracted from customers and the costs of extracting it to understand profitability.

Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003

The CAN-SPAM Act was passed in the USA in 2003 and focuses on anti-spam laws for email and SMS. It means that companies are required to have an unsubscribe option and their business address at the bottom of any marketing emails sent within the USA.

California Consumer Privacy Act

Law | The California Consumer Privacy Act 2018 (also known as AB-375) protects and provides privacy rights to consumers' personal data. It says it in the name, this law concerns Californian consumers and protects them only when they're in the state. Find out how CCPA could affect you or your Shopify store here: https://wemakewebsites.com/blog/ccpa-gdpr/

Click and Collect

This is a snappy way of saying - ordering and paying for a product online that you collect yourself from a physical shop.

Customer Lifetime Value

E-commerce metric | Customer lifetime value (CLV) indicates the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer throughout their customer 'lifetime'. The longer a customer continues to purchase from a company, the greater their lifetime value becomes. It's an important metric as it costs a business less to keep existing customers than it does to get new ones, so increasing the value of your existing customers is a great way to drive growth.

Category landing page

Webpage | A category landing page is usually the first page a person visits due to a specific search they've performed in a search engine like Google. The content on your landing pages is key to piquing the interest of a visitor and encouraging them to continue exploring your site or perhaps purchase.

Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is an application that is used to manage web content, allowing multiple contributors to create, edit and publish content, essentially helping you to build a website without needing to know or write the back-end coding!

Cost Per Thousand Impressions

E-commerce metric | Cost per thousand (CPM), or cost per mile, is used to indicate how much it costs to have 1000 views of your ad or content on one webpage. So, if a website publisher charged $2 CPM that means they're charging $2 for every 1000 views you receive.


Cookies are a simple computer file made of text that, when you accept cookies, is sent from a website to the user's computer and stored on their web browser in case they return to that website again! The information stored by cookies let websites remember you, your website logins, shopping carts, previous history and more so they can personalise your experience and make it more convenient.

Conversion Rate

E-commerce metric | Conversion rate is the percentage of customers or website users completing an action on your website, this might be making a purchase, signing up to your mailing list or any other action you want visitors to your site to make. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of times an action is completed by the total number of website visitors which can be done for you on your analytics platform.

Client Requirements Document

A client requirements document does what it says on the tin, it outlines any project requirements a client might have including a vision, mission and objectives for the project. What's important to consider here is that although a client requirements document is written it doesn't always result in the development of a project.

Customer Relationship Management

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is a central place where businesses can store customer and prospective customer data, track customer interactions and share this information within their business. It allows them to manage relationships with customers, helping the business to grow.

Conversion Rate Optimisation

E-commerce metric | Conversion rate optimization (CRO) means continually optimizing your website to increase the percentage of users who perform a desired action on your website. Desired actions can include purchasing a product, clicking ‘add to cart’, signing up for a service, filling out a form, or clicking on a link. To find out how you can improve your conversion rate have a look at our blog: https://wemakewebsites.com/blog/how-to-improve-conversion-rate/

Cascading Style Sheets - programme language

CCS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a type of coding or language that's used to make great-looking websites! CSS helps you present your web pages in the best way including incorporating different colors, layouts, and fonts.

Comma Separated Value

A CSV (comma-separated values) file is a simple text file where information is separated by commas. CSV files are most commonly used in spreadsheets and databases. For example, you might have a list of customer details, if you export them as a CSV. file, you'd get a file containing text like this: Name, Email, Phone Number, Address. Bob Smith, bob@example.com, 123-456-7890, 123 Fake Street.

Call To Action

CTA or Call to Actions are used on websites, social media and other digital platforms to grab the attention of potential leads or to convert existing leads into customers. Their purpose is to get the visitor to take a specific action. These come in all shapes and sizes but the most common CTAs you might see are buttons like "Add to cart" or "Click to find out more".

Customer Experience

Customer Experience (CX) is exactly that, it's how a customer feels about their experience with a business. It involves every way a customer interacts with a company - including the marketing materials they see before they become a customer, the sales experience, the quality of the product or service itself, and the customer service they receive post-purchase.

Direct to Consumer

DTC or Direct to Consumer is an e-commerce strategy that allows manufacturers to sell directly to the end-consumer through an online channel. It can get confusing between BTC and DTC as they're both selling to a consumer so let's put it in real terms - If you're a business and you sell to a consumer through a platform like Amazon, Etsy, or ASOS that's BTC, but if you decided to cut out the 'middleman' and create your own e-commerce site you could sell directly to the consumer, and that's what DTC is all about!

Distributed Denial-of-Service

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is a type of malicious cyber-attack by hackers or cybercriminals to make an online service or network resource inaccessible for its intended users. It works by flooding a site with thousands or millions of requests from multiple IP addresses which overwhelms the site or server causing it to crash.

Delivery Duty Paid / Delivery Duty Unpaid

Delivered duty paid (DDP) is a delivery agreement in which the seller of a product holds all of the responsibility of transporting goods to a buyer. This includes paying for shipping costs, export and import duties, insurance, and any other expenses incurred during shipping to the buyers chosen location.


E-commerce metric | Email deliverability is a metric used to measure the number of emails that reach your intended recipients' inboxes without issues like bounces, spam, and bulking.


The Discovery Phase of a project is the first step in the project development process. Discovery is where the client, project team and key stakeholders flesh out the purpose, value proposition, business goals, web design strategy and expectations of a project.

Digital Marketing Agency

Digital Marketing is any form of marketing that uses things such as online video, display ads and social media posts, that appear on your computer, phone, tablet, or other devices to promote a business. A big part of digital marketing is measuring the impact and effectiveness of digital campaigns using metrics and analytics.

Doman Name System

The Domain Name System (DNS) translates domains that we use to search for a website, like nytimes.com or epsn.com, into IP addresses that browsers and devices recognize more easily so they can take you to the right page.

Digitally Native Vertical Brands

Digitally Native Vertical Brand (DNVB) is a brand that was born online and that sells and ships its own products, controlling its entire customer experience from the factory to the consumer.


A desktop is a digital version, on your computer, of a physical desktop, holding objects like documents, resources, writing and drawing tools and apps, project folders, calendars and phonebooks all in one place.

Electronic Point of Sale

Rather than manually inputting prices at a till, EPOS is an electronic way to let customers pay for goods or services, whether that's in a physical store or on an online checkout. Shopify POS integrates with a merchants' online store and allows you to get up and running in retail very quickly.


Dropshipping is a form of retail business where a store or seller accepts customer orders but doesn't keep products sold 'in stock'. Instead, in a form of supply chain management, it transfers the orders and their shipment details to either the manufacturer, a wholesaler, another retailer, or a fulfillment house, which then ships the goods directly to the customer.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a piece of software that you might use to manage your business's day-to-day planning, including your accounting, project management, risk management, compliance and supply chain - it keeps it all under one roof so it's easy to keep on top of your business.

HyperText Markup Language

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a type of computer language that is used to create most web pages and online applications that we use. "Hypertext" refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page might contain, like if you wanted to link the word "Google" in some copy on your website to the actual webpage Google. "Markup language" refers to the way tags are used to create the page layout and elements within the page - it's what makes a page look aesthetically pleasing.

Email Service Provider

In its simplest form, an ESP is a service that allows brands to send marketing communications to their mailing list in bulk. But it also offers more sophisticated features like allowing brands to send automated emails, segment their mailing list into groups and design emails without the need for HTML coding.

Frequently Asked Questions

An FAQs page is a page on your website made up of answers to questions that are commonly asked by your customers and allows them to find out key information about your product or brand without having to leave your site. It also helps you reach new customers, if they're searching a common FAQs question on a search engine they're likely to find your website.

File Transfer Protocol

An FTP is a file transfer protocol, and just like the name suggests it's a way of securely transferring files between computers. It works by using an 'FTP server'. If you send files using FTP, they're uploaded to the FTP server from a personal computer. When you're downloading files, they're transferred from the server to your personal computer - simples!

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

Fast Moving Consumer Goods are products that sell quickly, are priced low and are consumed rapidly. They're typically products that have a low shelf life and are perishable goods like packaged foods and soft drinks.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It tells you all the data you need to understand how your website is performing, where your page visitors are located, what pages they click on the most and so much more.

General Data Protection Regulation

Law | GDPR, or, The General Data Protection Regulation act 2018 is a legal framework that sets guidelines for organizations, groups, or individuals who collect and process personal information from people who live in the European Union (EU) - but this impacts companies globally. Regardless of whether they're based in the EU, If an organization is targetting or collecting data from people in the EU they're subject to fines if they violate the privacy and security standards set in the act.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Law | HIPAA is a federal law that establishes national standards in the US to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge. It also gives patients the rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.


E-commerce metric | 'Impressions' is a metric that measures how many times your content is shown to someone, regardless of whether it was engaged with or not.

There are three types of impressions:

  • Organic - where your followers or website visitors see your content.
  • Paid - where you pay a media company like google, Facebook, or Linkedin to display your content to a target audience.
  • Viral - where your followers or website visitors engage with your content like commenting or sharing so their friends or followers see it adding to the number of views.
Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that are fitted with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of collecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Take your smart speaker for example, the physical object - the speaker - was fitted with technologies and now we can ask Alexa what the weather is or what's in our calendar for the day!

Integration Platform as a Service

iPaaS is a platform that connects otherwise disjointed systems and shares data between them to deliver a unified solution. Think of your project management tool, it might be a separate piece of software from your content management tool but you need to be able to communicate and share data across both of them quickly and easily, enter iPaaS. With iPaaS, consumers can access all their data in just one place and set rules regarding how that data is accessed and organized.

IP Address
Internet Protocol Address

An IP address is a unique address for every device on the internet or a local network. They're the identifier that allows information to be sent between devices on a network; they contain location information and make devices accessible for communication.

Internet Service Provider

An ISP or internet service provider does what it says on the tin. It's a company that provides people or businesses access to the internet for a fee, like your BT or Sky.

Key Performance Indicator

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measure of performance over time for a specific objective. KPIs provide targets for teams to shoot for, company milestones to work towards, and insights that help make better decisions.

Non-Fungible Token

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are unique digital assets that a customer can purchase which represents their ownership of a real item such as art, music, video clips, and more.

Lifestyle Brand

Lifestyle brands are brands that use techniques to figure out what their customers want to achieve and tailor their brand to this. Take M&S for example, to most, doing your weekly shop at M&S is luxurious and you associate it with wealth, M&S doesn't just appeal to the wealthy it targets everyday customers who want to feel luxurious and wealthy.

Monthly Recurring Revenue

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is all the recurring revenue generated by your business from all the active subscriptions in a particular month. It's a metric usually used among subscription and Software as a Service companies, like Netflix.

Net Promoter Score

Metric | As with most metrics, there's ALOT more detail behind the definition, but to sum it up in a digestible way - A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a market research metric that is used to understand the likelihood that a customer would recommend a company, product, or a service to a friend or colleague.

Product Listing Page

Webpage | A Product Listing Page (PLP) is a webpage that lists products based on a search query or specific category. This is really important for E-commerce sites as it funnels visitors to product detail pages and brings them closer to purchasing.

All channels

Omnichannel, or you might see it as omnichannel, is when brands use various channels to interact with consumers and give them an excellent experience. Think of when you purchase a product online, and the brand gives you the option to collect the item in-store - that's omnichannel.

Order Management System

An OMS is a tool or platform that automates the entire order process for your business, handling all the functions involved in fulfilling a customer order by tracking sales, orders, inventory, and fulfillment.

Point of Sale

POS or Point Of Sale is the place where a customer pays for a product or service. This can be in a physical store at a till or virtually on a website or app at the online checkout.

Payment Card Industry

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of standards for companies that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information to ensure they do this securely to reduce credit card fraud and protect customers.

Product Detail Page

Webpage | A product detail page does exaclty what it says on the tin - its a page on an e-commerce site that details a specific product including size, colour, price, shipping information, reviews, and other relevant information customers may want to know before making a purchase.

Product Information Management

Product information management (PIM) is a unified solution that organizations can use to collect and manage the information required to market and sell products through various sales channels such as e-commerce websites and social media platforms.

Stock-Keeping Unit

A SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique number for each product a business has in stock, used to internally track inventory. SKUs have information like price, color, style, brand, gender, type, and size which should be placed in order from the most needed information to the least.

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a technique in digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site.


A proposal, not the down-on-one-knee type, is a written offer of products or services from the seller to the potential customer. It's usually most commonly used in business-to-business interactions and determines whether or not a sale goes ahead - so quality is important.

Page View

A Page View is just what you think it is, it's how many times a page has been viewed, whether that's loaded once on a browser or reloaded multiple times - it's a common metric used to measure the success of a webpage.

QR Code

QR stands for Quick Response - you might see it commonly as 'QR code' which are barcodes that can be read by a digital device like the camera on your phone. QR codes can track data, send you to a website or point you to an app to download and as it says in the name they do this - quickly.


A Redirect is a link put in place to ensure all traffic heading to a given URL is 'redirected' to a different one from thereon. Redirects can be implemented if a webpage becomes redundant, for example, or if your site were to move to a new domain.

Request For Proposal

A request for proposal or RFP is quite simply when a potential client or customer requests a written document from a seller outlining the product or service they sell. It also details, how they'll address the client's challenge, what a typical project will look like and other details that the client might ask for before committing to a sale.

Return On Ad Spend

ROAS or, Return On Ad Spend is a metric used to measure how effective a digital advertising campaign is - essentially are you getting your money's worth? It helps businesses understand what ads are working, and which ones aren't so they can adjust their ad spend on the ones that are working.

Software as a Services

SaaS or, Software as a Service is a cloud-based service that allows organizations to access applications via the internet rather than having to download the software to a computer - think google suite, all of your applications are online and automatically update for you.

Return On Investment

ROI, or, Return On Investment is a financial metric that's used to determine if you're going to get your money's worth from an investment. It's a ratio that compares the gain or loss from an investment relative to its cost so you can decide whether or not to go ahead.

RSS Feed
Really Simple Syndication

RSS or Really Simple Syndication is a medium that enables people to keep track of website updates through a single platform, like a personalized news feed with all the content you're interested in. Instead of checking your favorite sites to see if there are any new posts, you can set up an RSS reader to do it for you - this also helps website authors push notifications to their visitors updating them on new content.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is a digital marketing strategy that's used to increase the visibility of a website on a search engine results page through paid adverts so more people can find and visit the site - sure no one clicks to the second page of Google do they?

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is all about improving your website by 'optimizing' it - that means writing high-quality content regularly or adding keywords that search engines, like Google, love so they display your website towards the top of the page when someone searches for something relevant to your site.

Search Engine Results Page

Search Engine Results Page is exactly what you're thinking it is - it's the page that shows up when you search for something on Google. This page includes all organic search results and usually has paid search and pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

Service Level Agreement

A Service Level Agreement, or, SLA is a part of a contract, between a service provider and customer, which defines exactly what services will be provided and the required level or standard for those services, including any penalties if the services are not met.

Statement of Work

A Statement of Work or, SOW, lays out a project's requirements. It defines the scope of work being provided, project deliverables, timelines, work location, and payment terms and conditions. Which both the agency, seller or supplier and client agree to before starting any project, giving the chance to define any finer details.

Secure Sockets Layer

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a security technology that makes sure data passed between servers and web browsers is private. This means that when you're purchasing something online and putting in details like your card number, address and any other payment details no one besides you and the website can see or access what you type.

Search Results Page

A Search Results Page is the page that comes up when you write a question, query, keyword, or phrase into a search bar on a site - usually on the left or top of the page.

Time and Materials

A Time & Materials contract (T&M) is a contract between a service provider and a client. A T&M contract charges clients for time spent on work and materials used. It's typically used for long-term projects that are subject to change and when the project scope is not known so you have the flexibility to increase or decrease charges throughout the project lifetime.

User Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is any form of content that's created by individual people (not brands) and published to an online or social network. This could be anything from text, posts, images, videos to customer reviews of a product or experience.

User Interface

User Interface (UI) is the point at which human users interact with a computer, website or application. The goal of UI is to make the user's experience easy and intuitive, requiring minimum effort on the user's part to receive the maximum desired outcome. This is done by creating visually pleasing and intuitive digital environments, using a blend of psychology to understand the customers' wants and needs, design for visual creativity and technology to make customer interaction with a website easier.

Unique Selling Point

A USP or Unique Selling Point is the thing that makes your product or service unique, and what makes customers want to buy it. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Well, it's what marketers or salespeople use to make your product, service, and business stand out from competitors and convince customers or clients to work with you, it tells them what's great about you that no one else has or isn't doing as well.

Uniform Resource Locator

A URL is essentially a web address and every web page has a unique one. The address acts as a set of directions that sends your browser to a specific page online. It incorporates the domain name, along with other detailed information like a specific blog or product page, to create a complete address.

User Experience

User Experience (UX) is what a user experiences when interacting with your product, website, or service including perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. It's what keeps your customers on your website, coming back to purchase or raving to their friends about you so it's pretty important! Take a look at our article on the hierarchy of UX needs here: https://wemakewebsites.com/blog/hierarchy-e-commerce-ux/

Warehouse Management System

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application that helps control and manage the day-to-day operations in a warehouse. It can guide inventory receiving and put-away, optimize picking and shipping of orders and advise on inventory replenishment.

Value Added Tax

VAT is a tax charged on top of the cost of products or services that people and businesses buy. It's an indirect tax, which means that businesses collect it on behalf of the government.

We Make Websites

That's us! We're the Shopify Plus Agency for International brands. With over a decade of Shopify experience, we design, develop and optimize some of the world's biggest brand's e-commerce sites. Find out more about what we do and who we've worked with here: https://wemakewebsites.com/

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or 3-dimensional image where people can interact in a seemingly real and physical way using technology such as goggles, screens, or gloves.

Web Application Meets Bricks and Mortar

Web application meets brick and mortar (WAMBAM) or sometimes known as 'Bricks and Clicks' is a business model where businesses that primarily sell in a physical store, use online tools to expand their customer reach. This is usually done by offering them a choice of purchasing products either online through a website or app, or physically, in one of their stores.