Last updated in January 2024.

Given the fast-paced nature of ecommerce and the technical language often used to navigate online commerce, keeping up with the jargon and terminologies in ecommerce and Shopify is crucial to any online merchant.
With the variety of ecommerce platforms, online marketing terms, and customer experience strategies, having a thorough vocabulary of ecommerce at your fingertips will help you navigate the digital landscape of selling products and services online.
This 2024 ecommerce glossary by Ecommerce Pro will provide you with the most basic foundational layer of ecommerce terms to succeed in the ecommerce industry, covering everything from well-known ecommerce solutions like Shopify to essential concepts like online store management, SEO, and customer experiences.

Consult Ecommerce Pro’s glossary of most commonly used terms in ecommerce to expand and refresh your knowledge:


Table of Contents

    Ecommerce Analytics

    • Average Order Value (AOV): The average amount that customers spend per order.
    • Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page.
    • Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for email subscriptions, and more.


    Customer Acquisition

    • Email Marketing: Sending emails to customers to promote or announce products or services.
    • Lead Generation: The process of attracting potential customers.
    • Social Media Marketing: Using social media platforms to reach potential customers and promote products and services.


    Customer Experience

    • Abandoned Cart Recovery: Methods to draw in customers who have abandoned their shopping carts back into your online store, with the desired outcome being that they finish their transaction.
    • Customer Reviews and Ratings: The customers' comments and feedback about their experience with goods and services.
    • Live Chat Support: A customer service feature wherein customers can get immediate answers to questions with real-time messaging/chat.
    • Omnichannel Customer Support: Delivering customer service and support across a variety of communication channels, including over the phone, email, chat, social media, and more.
    • Personalization: Individualizing or personalizing the buying experience, products, or services for each consumer based on their previous action or habits in your online store.
    • Product Recommendations: The strategy involving recommending comparable or complementary products based on a customer's past browsing or purchasing activity, effectively encouraging customers to increase their order value.
    • Return and Refund Policies: Regulations that allow consumers to return items and claim a refund when they are not pleased with their purchase for several valid reasons.
    • Social Proof: Utilizing endorsements from consumers, such as online reviews to establish credibility and trust.


    Customer Retention

    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total amount of money that a customer is expected to spend over their lifetime or throughout their relationship with a brand.
    • Customer Loyalty Programs: A program that rewards and encourages customers for their repeat business and loyalty to a brand.
    • Customer Service: The process of providing support to customers.


    Digital Marketing

    • Affiliate Marketing: Collecting a commission through the promotion and sales of other people's goods or services.
    • Content Marketing: The creation and distribution of useful, informative, or entertaining content that adds value to consumers as well as keeps consumers engaged.
    • Email Marketing: Distributing newsletters or promotional emails to specific subscribers via email.
    • Influencer Marketing: A marketing strategy that involves collaborating with social media users with a large following, using their influence to promote products, improve brand visibility, and reach wider target audiences.
    • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: An online marketing model where advertisers are charged each time their ad is clicked on.
    • Retargeting/Remarketing: The process of targeting users who have recently visited your site and viewed its products with relevant advertisements to bring them back onto the site to complete a desired action, such as completing the purchase.
    • Social Media Marketing (SMM): A strategy involving a brands activity on social media to advertise and market products, interact with potential customers, and increase brand recognition.


    Ecommerce Law and Regulations

    • Consumer Protection Laws: Laws that protect consumers from bad business practices such as fraud, defective products, and dangerous goods and services.
    • Data Privacy Laws: Laws that protect consumer data.
    • Sales Tax Laws: Laws that require businesses to collect sales tax from customers.


    Ecommerce Platforms

    • 3dcart: A platform for online stores offering many intuitive capabilities, such as powerful promotional tools and SEO optimization.
    • Amazon: A multinational technology company with a vast ecommerce marketplace.
    • BigCommerce: An ecommerce platform that lets business owners build online stores and sell their products online. Great for businesses of all sizes.
    • Etsy: An international online marketplace, where people make, sell, buy, and collect unique items that are often handmade and artistic.
    • Magento: A sophisticated ecommerce platform for bigger online brands and businesses (enterprise), with a wide variety of features for merchants.
    • OpenCart: A simple-to-use open-source ecommerce solution enabling companies to launch online stores.
    • PrestaShop: A free, customizable ecommerce platform renowned for its easy-to-use interface and layout.
    • Shopify: A well-known and widely used hosted ecommerce platform that enables merchants to build and run their online businesses.
    • Squarespace: A popular website builder with built-in ecommerce capabilities for building ecommerce sites that are appealing to shoppers.
    • Volusion: A complete ecommerce solution with all the tools that are needed to set up and run an ecommerce website.
    • WooCommerce: An open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress websites. WooCommerce is intended for WordPress-based websites, enabling sites to have ecommerce functionalities.


    Ecommerce Technology

    • Ecommerce Platform: A software system that allows businesses to create and manage online stores.
    • Ecommerce Plugins: Add-ons that extend and customize the functionality of ecommerce platforms, with extensions for everything from design to marketing.


    Ecommerce SEO

    • Ecommerce SEO: The process of optimizing your ecommerce website to improve its ranking in search results for products. Ecommerce SEO may differ from regular website SEO.
    • SEO Audit: A review conducted on your website's SEO to identify areas for weakness and necessary improvements.
    • SEO Consultant (SEO Specialist): A professional or specialist in Search Engine Optimization who helps businesses optimize their websites for search engines.
    • Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page that shows the results of entering a search query on a search engine like Google.
    • Search Engine Spider (Web Crawler): Also known as a web crawler, search engine spiders crawl the web and index websites and their content.
    • Backlink: A link from another website to your website.
    • Keyword: A word or phrase that a user is likely to enter into a search engine to find information about a topic, product, or service.
    • Link Building: The process of acquiring backlinks and internal links to your website.
    • On-Page SEO: The strategic process of optimizing your website's content, like images and copy, using keywords and phrases to improve its ranking in search results.
    • Off-Page SEO: The process of building backlinks to your website.


    Online Store Management

    • Dropshipping: A retail fulfillment approach in which the online store keeps no product inventory. They instead send the customer order and address details to a third-party supplier who then ships the order directly to consumers.
    • Inventory Management: The practice of monitoring and managing a store's inventory or store of goods.
    • Multi-Channel Selling: In addition to the primary online store, the practice of selling goods on numerous other online markets or platforms.
    • Order Fulfillment: The procedures of handling and delivering consumer orders. It involves the picking, packing, and sending of products.
    • Payment Gateways: The solutions and gateways that make it possible for buyers and sellers to make payments online.
    • Product Catalog: A comprehensive inventory or database of all the items offered for sale in an online store.
    • Sales Tax Compliance: The practice of respecting the local tax laws and procedures applied to online sales.
    • Shopping Cart: A type of software that enables visitors of an ecommerce website to pick products they wish to purchase or add to their cart and then proceed to check out.
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A business strategy and software system used for managing customer relations.
    • Analytics and Reporting: The gathering and examination of data to learn more about customer behavior and online store activity.


    Payment Processing

    • Payment Gateway: The services that allow merchants to accept and receive online payments.
    • PCI Compliance (Payment Card Industry): A compliance mandated by credit card companies to help ensure the security of credit card transaction data in the payment industry.


    Website Design and Optimization

    • A/B Testing: The practice of assessing two or more iterations of a web page to see which one converts most effectively and efficiently.
    • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The practice of implementing strategies that boost the average number of visitors who engage in desirable behavior, such as completing a purchase.
    • Page Load Speed: How long it takes for a webpage to load.
    • Responsive Web Design: A design that can adjust to different screen sizes, whether the user is browsing on a desktop, their phone, or laptop.
    • SSL Certificates: Secure Socket Layer certificates encrypt information sent between a website and its users, ensuring a secure connection.
    • User Experience (UX): The practice of improving all aspects of users' interactions with an ecommerce site, promoting a smooth and intuitive experience.
    • Website Security: The measures taken to defend against threats to website security, such as hacking or data breaches on an online store.


    With Ecommerce Pro's comprehensive 2024 ecommerce glossary, you have a valuable resource to consult when navigating the terms used in online commerce. Remember to always stay up-to-date with emerging ecommerce trends and technologies, as it is vital in this ever-changing landscape. Continue to explore, learn more, and always stay dynamic, ready to adapt to the evolving world of selling products and services online.

    To access more valuable resources regarding ecommerce and the latest Shopify news and advice, check out the Ecommerce Pro Blog.

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