If you’re new to selling online, ecommerce terms can be difficult to understand without expert insight. Although the world of ecommerce may seem overwhelming at first, it’s easy to catch up when you have an understanding of commonly used ecommerce lingo.
We’ll start with the basics: what is an ecommerce website and why learning these terms will be helpful to you?
An ecommerce website, or ecommerce store, is a site that enables customers to make purchases online. An ecommerce website typically enables customers to search or browse products, add them to the “cart”, proceed to the “checkout” and make their payment online, with the expectation of receiving their purchases in the mail, or picking them up from a local store.
Anyone who already sells online or wishes to start selling online would benefit from learning about ecommerce. According to Nasdaq, 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040. Gaining an understanding of key ecommerce terms is a great place to start your journey towards online success.
We have the ultimate list to help you learn. This ecommerce dictionary will enable you to quickly and easily learn all the ecommerce terms that are important to your business.
Some you may know, some you may never have heard of before. Take a look at the list below to brush up your knowledge of key ecommerce terms or learn something new.
Artificial intelligence is a term used to describe technology that enables computers to complete tasks that usually require human intelligence. Artificial intelligence can be used in ecommerce to improve user experience, for example to create a personalized user experience and display more relevant recommended products.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Ecommerce
B2B ecommerce describes a business selling to another business online. Many businesses sell to other businesses, rather than to consumers. If you own an online store that sells parts for aerospace, the oil and gas industry, packaging, or countless other products for business use, you run a B2B ecommerce company.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Ecommerce
B2C refers to “business to consumer.” If you’ve ever bought a new pair of jeans, your favorite tub of ice cream or a video game you’ve been longing for online, then you have made a B2C ecommerce purchase. If you’re a retailer that owns a website where individuals can make purchases, you have a B2C ecommerce store.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit organization that grades businesses based on their trustworthiness.
Many ecommerce websites feature a blog section where they publish articles that provide entertainment and insight to readers. For example, a site selling cookery products or groceries could post recipes or cooking tips. A clothing online store could start a fashion blog. Choosing to share information via a blog can boost keywords and improve search engine optimization (SEO).
A customer “bounces” when he or she lands on a website, but leaves without taking further action. The bounce rate is the percentage of visits that resulted in a bounce. You can calculate your site’s bounce rate by dividing the number of single-page visits to your site by the total number of sessions.
Brick and Mortar Store
This ecommerce term refers to a physical store, as opposed to an online store. Brick and mortar stores and ecommerce stores can go hand in hand. If you already own a brick and mortar store, ecommerce can help you expand and reach new customers.
A call-to-action (CTA) is wording or button text that is designed to encourage a user to take a specific action. Examples of call-to-action text include: “Shop now”, “Buy now”, and “Download your free copy today.”
In ecommerce, a category page refers to a page that displays products or subcategories within the category.
Like brick and mortar stores, ecommerce websites have a checkout process too. After a customer adds a product to the ecommerce cart, they are taken through the checkout process, where they will be able to add payment and shipping information and finalize the transaction.
CMS stands for Content Management System. Store owners can manage their website content and products easily, without programming knowledge, using a CMS.
Any written, visual, audio and visual media is considered content. Content plays an important role in ecommerce, to engage users and create a brand identity.
Conversion is an important ecommerce term describing when a customer makes a purchase on your online store. For websites that sell services, a user filling out a form may be considered a conversion. Purchases are also called macro conversions and are prefaced by micro conversions such as newsletters signups.
This ecommerce term refers to the process a user goes through to make a conversion. This process may include landing on your ecommerce website, viewing product pages, adding items to the cart, and checkout, which is the final step in the conversion funnel.
The rate at which your ecommerce store customers convert. To calculate the conversion rate, divide the number of transactions on your website by the number of unique visitors over a specific period of time. If 100 users visit your website in a single month and make 10 transactions, you can calculate the conversion rate by dividing 10 by 100.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are used by businesses to manage customer data and prospect data. A good CRM can be beneficial to your sales team, customer service team, and help you keep customer data organized.
Your domain name is your website address. The domain name will typically be found within every URL (Uniform Resource Locator) on your website, and the domain name alone should take the user to the homepage. The domain name for this website is roccommerce.com.
Duplicate content is a term used to refer to content that has been copied from another website, or another page on the same website. Unique content is important for SEO as it tells search engines what your website is about and that you have valuable information to share.
Describes the process of selling to customers via an online platform, where they can complete their transaction.
An ecommerce platform will enable you to manage your ecommerce store. ROC Commerce is an example of an ecommerce platform or a software application that is able to integrate with other software you use to ensure everything works together seamlessly.
A website enabling customers to make purchases online. The terms “ecommerce website” and “ecommerce store” may be used interchangeably.
Any marketing tactic that helps promote your ecommerce store. This could include optimizing your product descriptions for SEO, using social media to promote your site, sending out email campaigns, and more.
Email marketing is a marketing tactic, where businesses send emails to their customers, or potential customers, to market their products or services. It is likely that you receive regular emails or newsletters from your favorite stores. Email marketing campaigns do not typically take the same form as regular emails that you send to your coworkers. Email marketing campaigns should feature images, CTAs, and enable readers to click through to your website to view featured products. Email marketing campaigns can be created and made using an email marketing platform.
This ecommerce term refers to the steps taken by the ecommerce store once a user makes a purchase. This includes packing the product and shipping it out to the customer.
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is used to manage Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Within Google Ads, store owners can bid on keywords, write ad copy, set budget caps and track how successful ads are. Site owners can also manage paid display and video campaigns from Google Ads.
Google Analytics is a tool created by Google to help website owners to better understand how well their website is performing. Within Google Analytics, you can see how much traffic is coming to your site, check bounce rates and conversion rates, and see improvements and declines in terms of transactions, revenue and more.
Headless ecommerce describes when an ecommerce store is built using separate software for pages and for commerce.
The homepage is the page a user will initially land on when they enter your domain name into the URL bar. The homepage is an important landing page for your ecommerce store, where users should be able to easily navigate to the product or service pages they need.
Many websites feature a large image at the top of the homepage. This image may be referred to as the homepage banner or hero image. Banners can also be used on any page throughout your site as you see fit.
If you have an ecommerce store or website of any kind it will need to be hosted. Hosting makes your website available online. Your web hosting provider will store the files that make up your website on their web server, which will allow your site to be accessible online.
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is a programming language commonly used to create web pages.
HTTP / HTTPS / SSL
Almost every web address or URL begins with either HTTP or HTTPS. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, whereas HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. The additional letter S tells the user that the site they are visiting has an SSL certificate and is therefore secure.
SEO and digital marketing professionals target keywords to enable web pages to rank higher on search engine results pages. They are chosen based on search volume and difficulty with page content tailored to them for SEO benefit.
The first page a user lands on when they access your site is a landing page. This does not necessarily have to be the homepage. Many site owners create landing pages for email and ad campaigns with content marketed to target recipients. Category pages, product pages and many others can be used as landing pages to target new users.
Use live chat to boost customer service. Users are typically able to communicate with a human or a machine to receive immediate answers instead of calling customer service or going to a physical location.
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that can improve with use, as the machine gathers data to help it improve its performance. Machine learning can be used to benefit ecommerce stores. Chatbots, dynamic pricing, and recommended products can all use machine learning to offer an exceptional customer experience.
Mobile Commerce, also known as “mcommerce”, refers to ecommerce activity on a mobile device, like a smartphone. Users should be able to browse for products and complete purchases on their mobile device as seamlessly as they would on a desktop computer.
The term “navigation” or “main navigation” is used to refer to the menu or bar typically found at the top of each page that site visitors can use to find the products or information they are looking for.
Omnichannel essentially means all channels. Offering a seamless customer experience across all channels is an easy way to describe omnichannel ecommerce. In-store customers and users on desktop and mobile devices will all receive a uniform sales, service and support experience.
An ecommerce website where multiple sellers can sell their products or services online is referred to as an online marketplace. Commonly used marketplaces include Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Payment gateways are used by ecommerce stores to enable customers to complete transactions by making payments for purchases online. Brick and mortar stores also use payment gateways to enable credit and debit card transactions.
Personas represent target customers. Personas are fictional characters derived from information that you already know about your users. Details may include customer age range, profession, interests and more.
PIM stands for Product Information Management. These systems can help you centralize product data and make better use of it. A PIM system can be used to create a product catalog and ensure that accurate data is available for use in sales and marketing.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) refers to paid search engine results found at the top of the search engine results page. When you click on these paid results, the advertiser is charged for that click. PPC is a great way to drive traffic to your site and increase conversion.
An example of a paid ad on a Google search engine results page.
Product Detail Page
A product detail page will display when a user clicks on a product they are interested in to learn more about it (for example from a category page or email campaign). Each product should have its own page, description and unique URL.
Product pages, email campaigns and cart pages often feature recommended products. They are often personalized and suggested based on a user’s past or current interest in products on a site.
This ecommerce term refers to the amount of money made by the ecommerce store, in any given period of time, based on ecommerce transactions.
Code is added to pages of a website to tell search engines what the page is for and what information is on the page. This is known as schema markup. Schema markup includes site navigation schema markup, local business schema markup, product schema and offer schema.
Search Bar / Site Search
Most websites benefit from enabling users to search for products with a search bar and internal site search functionality. An internal search bar is usually found at the top of each page, near the main navigation. It will help users look for different topics or products in a matter of seconds.
On the ROC Commerce site, users can click the magnifying glass icon and a search bar will appear.
Search Engine Results Page
When a user types a search term and hits enter, this displays a search engine results page. A search engine results page is the page that displays to a user immediately after typing in a search term and hitting enter. Items that appear in the search results list relate to the user’s requested information.
See “PPC”. The acronym SEM is also used to refer to paid search results and stands for “Search Engine Marketing”.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO specialists use various tactics to help web pages rank higher on search engine results pages, with the goal to increase traffic to the site and boost conversions.
When users find a product they wish to purchase they should be able to click a button that enables them to add it to their virtual shopping cart. Once they have finished shopping, users progress to the cart page to review their selections before proceeding to checkout. Shopping cart software is necessary for this process but is often built into an ecommerce platform.
A sitemap is a file that helps search engines understand the structure of your site and where content can be found on it.
Site Speed / Page Load Time
Site speed or page load time refers to how quickly pages on your website load when a user lands on your site. Insufficient site speed can cause high bounce and abandonment rates.
A good ecommerce platform will enable you to integrate your site with other systems and software. What is integration? It is the process of connecting various systems and enabling them to work together.
Digital marketers and ecommerce store owners often keep track of the amount of users that come to their site. Traffic is reported as the number of visits or sessions a site sees in any given period of time.
When a purchase is made on an ecommerce site, it is called a transaction. A transaction is completed when a product is ordered, payment is made and the product is received by the customer.
The process of upselling refers to an ecommerce store using functionality to suggest additional or similar (usually higher-priced) products to a customer who is already browsing, making a purchase or showing interest in items on the site.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A URL is an address to a specific web page. The domain name is a URL that takes the user to the homepage. However, URLs can take a user to any page on the website. Each web page should have its own unique URL.
User Experience / Customer Experience
The terms “user experience” and “customer experience” refer to the overall experience of using a website. Factors include how easy the site is to use, site speed, attractiveness of the site design and more.
When a new website is built, a developer will first create a wireframe. This ecommerce term has the same meaning as the terms “screen blueprint”, or “page schematic”. A wireframe can enable you to visualize the layout of the website and determine where elements should be placed.
Build or Improve Your Ecommerce Site
Thank you for reading our list of ecommerce terms. All online retailers can benefit from the terms listed in this ecommerce dictionary and should use them for reference. ROC Commerce already has the terminology tools you need to improve or begin your own user journey. To get started with building a new ecommerce site or to improve your existing ecommerce store, request a ROC Commerce demo today!