Glossary of Terms
A Record - A file (or setting) within your Domain Name Server that associates a domain name with an IP address. See also, DNS and IP.
A/B Testing - also known as Split Testing - where customers may see different versions of content for example different advert copy or different landing pages. This can be as specific as different button colours up to an entirely different page. A/B testing is best tested in small or increment changes though.
Abandonment - when a customer does not complete a particular action, for example adding items to an online store’s basket without checking out.
Affiliate Marketing - when an online retailer or company pays a commission to a third party for bringing customers to their site or service.
AOV - Average Order Value (see also ATV) - how much on average a customer spends with you.
ATV - Average Transaction Value (see AOV)
B2B - Business to Business; normally used in relation to selling products or services from one business to another. For example, Business insurance or Co-working spaces.
B2C - Business to Consumer; normally used in regards to selling products directly to consumers. For example, Sainsbury’s or Tescos.
B2B2C - Business to Business to Consumer - for example wholesalers or dropshippers who sell to a business who then resell to a consumer.
Backlinks - An SEO effort to increase a websites rank and authority which (hopefully) leads to an increase in organic traffic.
Bootstrapping - When a company is self-funding, whether through investments from the Founder(s) or from the company's operating profits.
Bounce Rate - When a visitor clicks through to your website and then leaves (bounces) without looking at any other pages on the site. The Bounce Rate is a percentage of those who stay versus those who leave.
Brick and Mortar - a physical location rather than a website.
Buyer Persona - a research based, semi-fictional description of a company’s target audience.
CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost - the cost of acquiring a new customer, regardless of source or medium used.
Canonical - “Can-Ohnical” - A canonical URL is the website address that you want visitors to see. Used to combat duplicated content e.g. product pages, that can be reached via different categories.
Chargeback - When a previously completed transaction is reversed by a Customer. In these scenarios the merchant's bank normally holds the funds until a Chargeback dispute is resolved.
Conversion Funnel - A marketing term to describe the steps and stages a potential customers takes in their journey toward purchase. Commonly, these stages are Awareness, Consideration, Decision and Purchase.
Conversion Rate - Normally defined as a percentage and used to explain the amount of visitors to a website that purchase a product, service, etc.
Cookie - A very small file which is saved on a user’s device by a website. These are used to store the information about a user’s interaction with the site.
CMS - Content Management System
CNAME - Is used to create a website alias. Also known as Canonical URLs which are set within your DNS.
CNP - Card Not Present - a payment classification of online card payments or card payments where the customer is not physically present
CRM - Customer Relationship Management [system].
CRO - Conversion Rate Optimisation - The process of improving the customer experience of a website to increase the number of visitors that convert into customers.
CLV - Customer Lifetime Value - see LTV
CPC - Cost Per Click - the actual or potential cost of PPC adverts on search engines and social media channels such as Facebook Ads.
CSS - Cascading Style Sheet - a set of rules that define a website’s font style, width, size, colour alignment, etc.
CSV - Comma Separated Value - A file type that stores data values which can be opened and manipulated using spreadsheet software such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. See also XLSX.
CTA - Call-to-Action - a message, button, image, etc. that is intended to encourage recipients, visitors and users to take an action. For example a ‘Buy Now’ button.
CTR - Click Through Rate - how many (defined as percentage) of people who saw a paid advert (impressions) and actually clicked through. This is calculated: Impressions (I) divided by Clicks or I / C = CTR
CX - Customer eXperience - see also UX - how a customer experiences an interaction or journey with a company.
Domain Name - The Web Address for your online shop for example www.MyShop.co.uk
DNS - The DNS or Domain Name System converts the Website Address you want into an IP address. Every website has a string of numbers that tells a Browser like Chrome or Firefox where to find it. These coordinates are referred to as an IP (Internet Protocol) address.
eCommerce - the process and practice of selling products or services online.
EV-SSL - Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer - see also SSL - an EV SSL Certificate allows an encrypted link over an insecure network (like the internet) and shows on the users browser as a green padlock next to the company’s registered name. The process is longer and more expensive than a normal SSL Certificate.
Evangelist - a customer who not only loves your company but one who tells everyone they know all the time. Also known as a ‘Raving Fan’ or Brand Advocate.
FireFox - A web browser similar to (and competitor of) Google Chrome or Safari. Firefox is used by roughly 10% to 12% of internet users worldwide. It is more privacy-centric than some other mainstream browsers but also less supported on many websites.
Fulfilment – A third-party service that handles warehousing, stock management and delivery for an eCommerce Shop. The largest Fulfilment service is currently Amazon but there are a multitude of providers worldwide. See also Third-party Logistics.
Google Analytics - This essential software from Google collects and collates your website visitor data in to manageable and understandable graphs and tables. You can also set and track conversions and goals with it as well.
Google Tag Manager - a Google software that allows you to input a piece of code into your website that 'contains' all of your tags for tracking website visitors. Also referred to as GTM.
GP - Gross Profit
Growth Hacking - a ‘buzzword’ defines the innovative use of marketing and marketing channels to raise awareness of their brand/product through creative and analytical thinking.
Heatmapping - Some tools, such as HotJar, Crazy Egg and Lucky Orange track clicks, scrolls and the fold of websites and their visitors. This is used to optimise landing pages to ensure a better conversion rate.
Hosting - or Web Hosting - A service that enables a website to be found on the internet by users. A web host provides space on a server that can be owned or rented by a customer.
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language - A markup and code that tells a browser how to show a website’s font, graphics, colours, links, etc. to a visitor.
IP Address - Internet Protocol Address; each website has a specific set of numbers (or coordinates) that tells a browser where to find it and the information it holds. This IP address and search is handled by your DNS.
Influencer Marketing - Utilising a blog or social media influencers social reach to promote a product or service. This is (as at October 2018) a controversial issue that has had a lot of press mainly centred around the transparency of "Paid Ads" versus organic promotion.
Inventory - Another term for a company's products or stock.
Inventory Management System - a piece of software that tracks inventory levels, orders, deliveries and sales.
Keyword Stuffing - A highly frowned upon (and essentially useless) practice of putting as many keywords as possible within a product title, description or similar. Commonly used on various marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay to attract as much Visitor traffic as possible. Google has confirmed that Keyword Stuffing will reduce a website's likelihood of showing in search results and keyword stuffed adverts will be disallowed. It's just not worth it people.
Landing Page - A landing page is a page within your website or blog that visitors to your site first see upon clicking through. They may land on this page from social media, an advert or through a search engine result. These pages should be highly specific to the intended use, for example, a landing page for an advert should directly relate to the keywords used for improved Google Ad Quality scores and to reduce visitor bounce rates.
Landing Page Optimisation - The process of refining a company’s website to enable better conversion rates, sales, message, etc.
Longtail - Usually used in reference to Keywords for SEO/PPC. A longtail keyword is a string of words that a customer may use on search engines to find specific products, services or information. From a merchant perspective, utilising longtail keywords allows you to target niche searches and market sectors.
LTV - Lifetime Value of a Customer (see also CLV) = the amount of return you receive from a customer throughout their relationship with your business.
mCommerce - a generally out of use term that refers to mobile centric online commerce. For example, Google's Play Store or specific apps like Depop. See also Mobile Website.
Merchant Account - in essence a bank account that holds credit/debit card funds following a purchase.
Merchant Acquiring Bank - a bank or financial institution that processes credit or debit card payments on behalf of a merchant.
Meta Tag - also known as Meta Description - in HTML this is a 160 character snippet used to summarise a web page's content. Search engines may use these snippets in search results to let visitors know what a page is about before they click on it.
Micro-Influencer - A blog or social media account that has less than 10,000 followers. See also Influencer Marketing.
Mobile Website - a practice that detects a user is on a mobile and redirects them to another URL which is normally ‘m.website.co.uk’ rather than ‘www.website.co.uk’.
Moz - An American SaaS company that sells Marketing and Website Analytics software. Widely referred to as one of the most influential authorities on Search Engine Optimisation.
MX Record - An MX record or Mail Exchange record set within your DNS identifies the server (or servers) that deal with your email.
Net Profit - The 'bottom line' of your Profit and Loss sheet.
Omni-Channel - Also called Multi-Channel. This refers to the process of selling online through as many channels (sites) as possible. For example, through a website, Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shop, Google Shopping Feed, Amazon Store, eBay account, etc, etc. There is a variety of Omni-channel software on the market that can assist in making this type of wide-spread selling easier to manage such as ChannelGrabber.
Operating Profit - The OPM or EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) takes into account our Gross Profit and other costs involved in the journey of running a business.
Open Rate - The amount of people, expressed as a percentage, who open an email sent to them from a company. A commonly used term within marketing.
Open-Source - Software whose original source code is open to the public to copy and then use or amend as needed. Examples include the Linux Operating System or Firefox browser.
Organic - In the terms of search engines, organic results are unpaid results for a particular keyword or phrase. The gold dust of search engine optimisation and online selling.
Outsourcing - When someone utilises a Freelancer, Contractor or Company to provide a service that cannot be done in house. For example you could outsource blog writing to a freelance copywriter or marketing implementation to a specialist marketing company.
Page Title - Also known as a Title Tag - usually under 70 characters (to comply with Google’s wishes). This shows up on search result pages and also on bookmark lists and window/tab headers.
Payment Processor - A company instructed by a merchant to handle credit card transactions for merchant acquiring banks.
Payment Gateway - A service that reads credit card details and then sends the customer’s information to the merchant acquiring bank for processing. This flowchart shows the process.
PPC - Pay Per Click - the use of search engine or social media to promote services, products or companies via paid adverts.
POS - Point Of Sale - a till system for retail, normally including a screen, debit/credit card facility and a cash drawer.
Quality Score - Usually used in reference to Pay Per Click Adverts. One aspect of Ad Quality Score is your landing page. If your landing page has nothing to do with your advert or vice versa then Google will reduce your Ad Quality score, you will have higher bounce rates (people leaving your site) and your Ad Rank will go down, meaning that your advert may not be shown at all.
Responsive Design - A way to build and allow a website to fluidly respond to a devices size and dimensions. Unlike a mobile design, this type of website will move and adjust elements on the page to fight the specific device being used.
ROI - Return on Investment - the money you receive back after spending for example on marketing campaigns.
ROAS - Return on Advert Spend - the money you receive back after specifically spending on AdWords, Social Media Paid Ads, magazine adverts, etc.
SaaS - Software-as-a-Service - an application or software that is hosted by a company and supplied to customers via the cloud normally on a subscription basis.
SEM - Search Engine Marketing - see also PPC - utilising search engines to market and/or increase visibility of a product or service.
SEO - Search Engine Optimisation - the practice of making a website as search engine friendly as possible to increase the websites organic ranking/position in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Normally on a per keyword basis.
SERP - Search Engine Results Page - what a user sees when using a search engine to find something. For example, Google result pages.
ShowRooming - Where a customer will visit a Brick and Mortar shop to see and feel a product before purchasing it online (where it’s normally cheaper).
Social Commerce - Originally a Yahoo definition of using social media/commerce to promote or sell products online.
Social Proof - As with a product recommendation from a friend or family member, social proof mitigates a perceived risk to buying a product. Think Amazon reviews as an example. Social proof is a very powerful tool for online selling.
Split Testing - See A/B Testing.
SPF Record - Set within your DNS, the SPF is an email authentication system that verifies an email comes from an authorised mail server. This helps identify spammers and phishing emails by labelling them as junk.
SSL - Secure Sockets Layer - a protocol on networks to secure connections over insecure networks (e.g. the internet). Any eCommerce site that uses a self-hosted checkout will need an SSL Certificate as more browsers are warning users about insecure sites. Secure sites display a locked padlock in the address bar, insecure sites will have "Not Secure" in place of the locked padlock (as of Chrome Update 69).
Third Party Logistics - Also known as 3PL - an outsourced company who look after the logistics of moving stock, whether that’s for delivery to customers or between shops.
UGC - User Generated Content - Images, blogs or other content that is produced by a user or customer that a company can use to promote themselves. This is the epitome of Social Proof. Not to be confused with Influencer Marketing where a company (normally) pays an influencer to promote a product or service.
UX - User eXperience - See also CX - how a user interacts with an application, website, device, etc. This experience makes up a part of the user’s overriding customer experience (CX).
Vertical - A B2B term that refers to groups of similar businesses within an industry. For example, Vertical Advertising are adverts catered to a specific industry sector whereas Horizontal Advertising would encompass many industry types and sometimes the General Public.
WebRooming - When a customer will find a product online and then go to a physical shop to purchase it. See also ShowRooming.
Wholesale - A Company or Service that allows others to buy products in bulk for a cheaper rate.
XLSX - A File Format used by Microsoft Excel since 2007.
301 Redirect - a permanent redirect from one page to another. Used in eCommerce when a product is no longer made and a merchant wishes to redirect a user to a similar or newer version of a product.
302 Redirect - a temporary redirect from one page to another. This can be used when a product is temporarily out of stock to redirect a customer to a similar product.
404 Error - an error that shows when a page no longer exists.