An e-commerce glossary of terms

An e-commerce glossary of terms

Any industry comes with its own unique language and acronyms so we thought it might be appreciated if we put together a brief glossary of common terms and words that you may come across in the world of websites, Shopify and e-commerce.

We have purposely kept the definitions simple to be used as a quick, easy point of reference.


Above the scroll - taken from the term 'above the fold' used in print media, this terms is used to describe the portion of a webpage that is visible before the user needs to scroll down.

A/B testing - also referred to as split testing, allows you to compare the performance of two different options to see which delivers the best results.

Abandoned Cart Recovery - the process of re-engaging customers who have left items in their cart but not checked out.

Accessibility - making sure your website can be used by as many people as possible regardless of a disabililty or impairment.

Affiliate marketing - is a performance-based marketing strategy where creators, influencers, and entrepreneurs earn money by promoting a product or service for a retailer.

AI - Artifical Intelligence - technology that enables computers and machines to simulate human intelligence and problem-solving capabilities.

Anchor text - the visible, clickable text of a link.

AOV - Average Order Value for each order placed.

API - short for Application Programming Interface - where software programmes communicate and intereact with each other.

ATC - Add To Cart, often used to define a specific button on a website e.g the ATC button.

ATC rate - Add To Cart rate - a metric showing the frequency of items getting added to carts compared to the number of unique visits or page views on the website.

Attribution - the process used to identify which marketing channels contribute to conversions/sales.

Autoresponder - the onscreen message or email that appears once a particular action is completed, such as signing up to a newsletter.

AVS - Address Verification Service a security measure used to check credit cards details.


B2B - Business to Business.

B2C - Business to Consumer.

Backend - the hidden part of a website that visitors can't see where content, applications, structure is accessed.

Backlink - great for SEO, backlinks are links from other sites back to yours.

Back Order - is an out of stock product that is expected to be delivered by a certain date once it is back in stock.

Bandwidth - a measure - either in bps (bits per second) or kbs (kilobits per second) of the maximum amount of data transfer across a given path.

BFCM - Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Breadcrumb - a navigational aid that shows users where they are on a website and the path they have taken to get there.

Bricks and Mortar - the term used when referring to a physical shop/store.

Browser - an application that allows you to access content on the internet - i.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox.

Bounce Rate - defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a website without taking an action i.e. land on a page and then leave.

Bundles - a sales tactic of selling multiple products as a single entity.


Cache - is an area of computer memory in which information that is often in use can be stored temporarily and got to quickly.

Chatbot - software or interface that mimics human conversation through text or voice interactions.

Cookiestext files sent to a user’s browser related to how the customer interacts with the website.

CTA - Call To Action - the instruction on what you want the user to next - Buy Now, Sign up etc.

CTR - Click Through Rate.

CMS - Content Management System.

Conversion - the point at which a recipient of a piece of marketing takes a desired action.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management - software to manage interactions with customers.

CRO - Conversion Rate Optimisation - the process of increasing the percentage of conversions.

Customer Aquisition - the process of bringing in new clients/customers to your business.

Customer Retention - the process of retaining/keeping clients/customers in your business.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets - a programming language.


DAM - Digital Asset Management - software and systems used to store, organise, manage and retrieve digital assets.

Domain Namethe text that a user types into a browser window to reach a particular website i.e.

DNS Record - Domain Name System/Service/Server - a set of instructions used to connect domain names with internet protocol (IP) addresses within DNS servers.

Dropshipping - a form of retail business in which the seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand.


Embedded - integrating external content into another website or page.

Encryption - is a way to scramble data so that only authorized parties can unscramble it.


Favicon - tiny, customisable icons displayed in the web address bar.

Flash Sale - a sale that offers discounts for a short period.

Fulfilment - the process of storing inventory, picking and packing products and shipping online orders to customers. 

FBA - Fulfilment By Amazon. 


Geo-Targeting - The process of delivering specific content to users based on their geographic location.

Google Analytics web analytics tool you can use to track and analyse the performance of your website. You can access a wide range of data and reports on website traffic and website visitor behaviour.


Hosting - the process where a web hosting provider stores and maintains website files and applications on a server to make its customers' websites accessible on the internet.

HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language - the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser.

HTTPS- Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure -  a protocol that secures communication and data transfer between a user's web browser and a website.

Hyperlink - text or images that are highlighted in someway linking users to another webpage or website.


Iframe - Inline Frame - used to display one or more webpages within a webpage.

Inventory - the amount of products held in stock.

IP Address - An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a network address for your computer, so the internet knows where to send your emails and data.


Javascript - a scripting language for creating dynamic web page content.


Keyword - words or phrases that users type into a search engine to find relevant content for their query.


Landing Page - the page that is displayed after clicking on a link.

Longtail Keyword - a keyword phrase made up of at least three words.


Metadata/MetatagsHTML snippets used in web development to describe the content on a web page (for SEO). Meta tags don't appear on the pages but instead exist within the website's source code.


Navigation - the structure that allows visitors to move around a website.


Open source - software that is available for anyone to inspect, modify and enhance.


Page Rank - measuring where a page is ranked on a search engine. The closer to the number one spot, the higher the ranking.

Page View - the number of views a specific webpage gets over a specified period of time.

Payment Gateway - the platform that processes payments for online purchases.

PDP - Product Detail Page (the product page)

PLP - Product Listing Page (the collection page in Shopify terms)

Pixel - one of the small dots or squares that make an image on a computer screen.

Plug-in - software extentions that increase the capability of a website - in Shopify terms - Apps.

PPC - Pay Per Click - a form of paid marketing to increase traffic to your site.


Resolution - refers to the physical number of pixels displayed on a screen.


Script - a relatively short and simple set of instructions that typically automate an otherwise manual process.

SEM - Search Engine Marketing - the process of using paid advertisements.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - the process of enhancing websites to improve their ranking/listing with search engines.

SERP- Search Engine Results Page - the page that a search engine shows when a search term is entered

SKU - Stock Keeping Unit - a unique reference code for a product.

SSL - Secure Sockets Layer - a protocol for securing the data transfer between a user and a website that they are visiting.

Subscriptions - a business model to provide a convenient solution for customers to receive items at set intervals, so they don’t have to reorder everytime.

Supply Chain - the steps involved in getting a finished product or service to a customer.


Template - a collection of sections that are configured to give your website a consistent design and feel.

Traffic - referring to website traffic - measured in terms of visits/sessions.

Transaction fee - usually refers to the fee paid per transaction to the payment processing provider.

3PL - Third Party Logistics (an external provider who can help fulfil orders or hold/manage stock)


User Experience (UX) - how a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service.

User Interface (UI) - the point of contact between humans and computers.

UPC - Universal Product Codea scannable barcode found on product packaging that contains a unique identification number.

Upselling - a tactic used to encourage customers to add-on or purchase more.


Wholesale - the sale of goods/merchandise to retailers typically to be sold on.

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