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eCommerce Glossary



This happens when a shopper adds items to their cart then leaves the site without making a purchase. Sending abandoned cart emails can help retailers win back this business.

A/B Testing

Also known as split testing, this is a method of comparing two versions of a piece of content (a webpage, an email subject line, etc.) to determine which one performs better.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based marketing in which a retailer or brand rewards one or more affiliates for each new visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts, whether on social media or through other channels.


Average Order Value is the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on your site. To calculate AOV, divide your total revenue by number of orders.


The application programming interface is a set of subroutine definitions, communication protocols, and tools for building software. An API allows a customer to complete a certain action without leaving a retailer’s website.

Article 11

This legislation from the European Commission has actually been renumbered as Article 15. It allows a publisher to publish content on behalf of the author and to take legal action directly against people who republish it, without having to get a copyright assignment or even involve the author at all. Read more about this legislation and its implications.

Average Time on Site

Average time on site is the amount of time in minutes or seconds that visitors have spent on a site in one session divided by the total number of sessions. Creating compelling, personalized content can improve average time on site.


Buy Online Pick-Up in Store (also known as BOPUS) allows customers to place orders online and then pick them up in a brick-and-mortar store, rather than having it delivered to their home.

Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of visitors to a site who navigate away after viewing only one page, or single-page site sessions divided by all sessions.

Brand Equity

Brand equity is the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a product or service.

Brick and click

This business model refers to companies that operate both an online and offline store and integrates both into their retail strategy.

Brick and Mortar

This refers to a retailer’s physical store locations.

Browser cache

This refers to a temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages.


Customer acquisition cost is calculated by dividing all the costs spent on acquiring new customers by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent.

Cart Abandonment Rate

This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts created. The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment.

Category Page

A category page on an eCommerce site serves as an index page where users can navigate to child pages. For example, an ‘Accessories’ category page might lead users to subcategories like Jewelry, Scarves, Bags, and Sunglasses, and Hats.


A content delivery network is a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide quick delivery of Internet content.


A chargeback is a demand by a credit card provider to make good the loss on a fraudulent or disputed transaction.


A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users on a site. Chatbots can help reduce the workload of a customer service team by answering frequently asked customer questions or directing shoppers to certain product pages.

Churn Rate

This metric is the percentage of customers or subscribers who cancel or do not renew their subscriptions during a given time period. Reducing churn rate is critical to increasing Customer Lifetime Value and reducing Customer Acquisition Costs.


Also referred to as LTV (Lifetime Value), Customer Lifetime Value represents the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend on a business during their lifetime.


A content management system is a software application or set of programs that are used to create and manage digital content.


A conversion is when a person takes a desired action, such as filling out a form or completing a purchase on an eCommerce site.

Conversion Path

This describes the steps taken by a user towards completing the desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to receive marketing emails.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal, out of the total number of visitors.


A site cookie is a small text file created by a site that is stored in the user’s computer either temporarily for that session or permanently on the hard disk. Cookies allow retailers to recognize customers and keep track of their preferences.


Customer relationship management technology manages a company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers in one system.


Conversion rate optimization is the process of increasing the percentage of site visitors who take a desired action.


This sales technique encourages shoppers to purchase a product that is related to what is already in their cart. For example, if a customer is purchasing a pair of sneakers, suggesting a pair of socks to go with them would be a cross-sell.


Corporate social responsibility is the idea of retailers and brands voluntarily including environmental, social, and economic criteria in their regulations. Learn how to build CSR into company culture.


Cascading style sheets are used to format the layout of Web pages and can be used to define text styles, table sizes, and other aspects of web pages.


A call to action encourages customers to take a certain action—signing up for a newsletter, following a brand on social media, or making a purchase, for example.


Click-through rate is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.


The Customer Experience, or CX, is all the interactions that a customer has with a brand, including every individual touchpoint from engaging with a brand on social media to returning a product purchased online.


A Distributed Denial of Service attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple compromised computer systems.

Discount Code

A discount code or coupon/promo code allows customers to apply a discount to their online order at checkout.


Domain Name System is the Internet’s system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses.


A domain is the root address for a website or web page.


Dropshipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep the products it sells in stock. Rather, when a store sells the product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.

eCommerce Platform

An eCommerce platform is a software technology solution that allows retailers to build online storefronts and sell their products.


Virid’s eCRO is more than Conversion Rate Optimization; it’s eCommerce Revenue Optimization. This comprehensive service helps you maximize sales, by applying Virid’s 20 years of technical and UX experience to your current eCommerce site.

Engagement Rate

This metric measures the level of engagement that a piece of content is receiving from an audience. Engagement is defined as how much people interact with the content, through user comments, shares, likes, and more.


Enterprise resource planning is the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications.

Error 404 Page

This means the page a visitor is trying to reach could not be found on the server. It is a client-side error that means either the page has been removed, or that the URL was typed incorrectly. For more information on error pages, check out the following blog.

Flash Sale

A flash sale is a discount or promotion offered by a retailer for only a short period of time. It poses unique requirements to the eCommerce platform the site is built on.


Fulfillment is the process of receiving, packaging, and shipping orders for products.


The EU General Data Protection Regulation is designed to protect the data and privacy of EU citizens, and has already affected the way US retailers do business online.

Google AdWords

AdWords is an advertising service from Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. Businesses can set a budget and run PPC campaigns.

Google Analytics

This is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google Analytics can provide retailers with insights that drive business strategy.

Hamburger Navigation

This refers to the button with 3 horizontal lines that when tapped/clicked expands a navigation menu on a website, most commonly used on mobile versions of websites to save space. It is frequently found in the top right or left side of a mobile site’s header.


Hypertext Markup Language is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on web pages.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure encrypts and decrypts user page requests as well as the pages that are returned by the Web server. With HTTPS, a web browser checks the site’s security certificate and verifies that it was issued by a legitimate certificate authority.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the strategy of identifying individuals that create high-impact contact for a retailer’s target audience and building relationships with these individuals to promote a brand’s products. Download the free comprehensive guide to eCommerce influencer marketing.

IP Address

This address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.


These are words or phrases describing your product that can be matched to what people are searching for to direct them to your site.

Keyword Ranking

This metric measures search engine rankings for targeted keywords. The higher a retailer ranks, the more likely they are to receive traffic from those keywords.


Created by the eCommerce experts at Virid, marketAgility is an eCommerce platform that offers features like powerful product merchandising, enhanced products SEO, and flexible media management. marketAgility webpages load 10-20x faster than the industry average and are #1 in website availability. Schedule a walkthrough of the tool here.


Merchandising is the activity of displaying, allocating, and assorting products or offers on a website with the goal of driving sales.

Mobile Commerce

Also known as m-commerce, this is the buying and selling of goods and services through devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Mobile First

A mobile first approach to eCommerce includes designing the online customer experience for mobile devices first and then working your way up. Mobile shopping-related searches have increased 120% in the least year, causing more retailers to embrace a mobile first philosophy.


Omnichannel is a multi-channel sales approach that provides customers with an integrated experience across the online store, brick and mortar, and mobile. Learn how to achieve true omnichannel commerce.

Online Marketplace

An online marketplace is an eCommerce site where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties and facilitates shopping from many different sources. The operator of the marketplace does not own any inventory, but rather the represent other people’s inventory and facilitate transactions.

Organic Traffic

As opposed to paid traffic, organic traffic is defined as visitors who find a site through search engines and are not referred by any other website.

Page Rank

This is the value assigned to a web page as a measure of its popularity or importance, and it is used to determine the order in which search engine results are presented.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic is the visits to a site driven by paid advertising such as a Google AdWords campaign.

PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is an information security standard for organizations that handle credit cards. Achieving PCI compliance means conforming to these regulations.


The point of sale is the time and place where a transaction is completed.

PPC Marketing

Pay-Per-Click marketing involves driving traffic to websites, where the advertiser only pays when the ad is clicked.


A Post-Purchase Email is an email sent by a brand after a customer makes a purchase. A PPE can help build customer loyalty, increase repeat purchases, and bring customers back to your site to leave a review or explore other products.

QR Code

A Quick Response code is a machine-readable matrix barcode that contains information about the item to which it is attached.

Radio Button

Radio buttons refer to the HTML input elements in the shape of a circle, or “button”, that are used when users can select one and only one option from a list. Radio buttons cannot be unselected by clicking/tapping, they will only be unselected when an alternate option is selected. Radio buttons offer the same functionality as HTML select elements (often called “drop down” or “pull down” menus), but radio buttons are better for shorter lists of options.

Responsive Design

Responsive web design is an approach to web design that considers how different pages will render on a variety of devices and screen sizes that account for accessibility and device capabilities.


Revere is a ratings and reviews platform built by the experts at Virid. Revere allows retailers to leverage the power of user-generated content to guide purchasing decisions, increase engagement, sales, and trust in their brand. Schedule a demo of the platform here.


Reviews are pieces of user-generated content that are left by customers on product pages in order to provide feedback on the product.


Software as a service is a method of software delivery where software is accessed online via a subscription.

Schema.org Markup

Schema is microdata that retailers can add to HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in search engine results pages.


Search Engine Optimization is a marketing practice focused on growing organic search engine results. SEO includes both the technical and creative aspects of marketing to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.


Search Engine Results Pages are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a search.

Shopping Cart

On an eCommerce site, this refers to the piece of software that allows visitors to make a purchase.

Site Audit

A site audit provides a comprehensive look at the performance of an eCommerce site and identifies areas of improvement in UX, SEO, CX, and more.


A service-level agreement is a commitment between a service provider and a client.

Social Proof

Social proof is also known as social influence. It is the psychological and social phenomenon where people copy the actions of others in order to be similar or accepted.

Tech Stack

The technology stack refers to the holistic view of an online retailer’s technologies, including eCommerce platform, email service providers, payment card processors, and more.

Third Party Payment Processor

This is a company appointed by a retailer who can handle transactions from various channels such as credit cards and debit cards.

User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content is any form of content created by users of a specific platform. Reviews, consumer-uploaded product photos, and social media posts are all forms of UGC.


A user interface is the space where humans and machines interact.


This sales technique encourages shoppers to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or add-ons, in addition to what is already in their cart. For example, if a customer is purchasing a sweater, showing them recommendations of more expensive sweaters or outerwear would be an appropriate upsell.


User Experience design is the process of designing products that are useful, simple to use, and delight customers. UX design also includes enhancing the customer experience when engaging with a certain product.


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are created with the goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments.

Web Hosting

Web hosting allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. All marketAgility sites are hosted on Microsoft Azure.

XML Sitemap

Sitemaps is a protocol that allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling. A Sitemap is an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file that lists the URLs for a site.