Your ecommerce glossary has arrived. Part 1: Terms A-B

This is part one of your definitive guide for ecommerce industry terminology and jargon in one handy location.

No matter how long you’ve spent in marketing or ecommerce, there will come a time when you’re hit with an acronym or a neologism that you just don’t know. Or maybe you just want to explore the wide world of online sales, where it seems that a new technology, technique, or tool of the trade is introduced every day.

Then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created one of the most comprehensive ecommerce glossaries on the planet (we’ll leave the actual record-keeping to the people at Guinness) – that covers all the terminology you need to know about the ever-changing world online marketing. Explore everything from A/B Testing to Multitenancy. We’ve collated and defined the list of terms based on our experience in the industry. We’ve cross checked the definition against a number of payments and ecommerce glossaries for accuracy, but the definitions are our own.

Quick links: 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z


301 Redirect
Used to change the URL of a page as it is shown within search engine results, this status code is used to communicate that a page has permanently moved within a site’s architecture. The SEO value of the old page is transferred to the new one.

3D printing
A new manufacturing technique that fabricates physical objects using three-dimensional digital models. Layers of the object are printed sequentially in a process known as additive manufacturing


A/B testing
The use of two slightly different iterations of a webpage, product, or call-to-action in order to test a marketing hypothesis and improve conversion rate and performance. Users are randomly delivered option A or option B, and their behavior is measured, with the better performing option being retained and later tested against a new hypothesis.

Abandon Rate
The number of carts that have unpurchased items, measured against the number of total cars.

Abandoned Cart
An ecommerce shopping cart that contains items that were added to a consumer’s cart though not ultimately purchased. Typically, a cart is considered to be abandoned within 30 minutes after a visitor leaves the site withough purchasing the in-cart items.

Abandoned Revenue
The total value of all of the products in all abandoned carts over a specific time period.

Abandonment Rate
The ratio of abandoned shopping carts to the number of completed orders, this metric is determined by dividing the number of abandoned carts by the total carts.

Account Number
A credit cardholder’s unique sequence of numbers, used to identify the issuing bank or credit union, the type of financial-transaction card, as well as a specific user account.

Account-based marketing
The combined efforts of both marketing and sales teams to pursue and grow relationships with specific customer accounts, with the goal of developing long-term, revenue-driven customer relationships.

Refers to the financial institution that has contracted with a merchant to collect funds, settle transactions, and provide protections for goods that have been settled using credit or debit cards.

A bank or financial institution’s set of procedures whereby it processes credit or debit card transactions on behalf of a merchant, thus enabling the acceptance of card payment for the purchase of goods or services.

The marketing, application processing, and contractual agreements used to recruit and retain new customers, i.e. cardholders for issuers and merchants for acquirers.

Actionable intelligence
The findings from data, testing, or surveys that can be integrated and used to make predictions about current business practices.

Ad Click Rate
Also known as clickthrough, the number of web users who click onto an online ad, based on all those users who have seen the ad. For example, if 5 out of 100 internet users who see an advertisement click onto it, then the ad click rate would be 5%.

Adaptive brand marketing
A reactive and flexible marketing practice, in which a brand responds to immediate changes in the retail environment, in order to maximize return on brand equity.

Adaptive enterprise
Corporations or agencies that synchronize their offerings in response to continually shifting customer, competitive, and technology trends.

Adaptive intelligence
The use of real-time data in order to better match supply and demand at all times, deriving contextually appropriate, authoritative knowledge that helps maximize business value.

Additive manufacturing
The process of fabricating physical products using 3D-printing machines where an object is creating in sequential layers. Typically this manufacturing method is used to create tooling, castings, and end-use parts from various materials, such as polymers, metals, and composites.

Address Verification Service (AVS)
A means of preventing fraudulent payments by ensuring the billing address provided by a customer matches the data on file with the issuing bank.

Ad tech
A technological toolkit used to manage the online advertising. Ad Tech assists in search, display, video, mobile and social, with functions for targeting, design, bid management, analytics, optimization and automation of digital advertising, typically across channels.

Advanced analytics
The application of statistical and/or machine learning algorithms in order to discover new business insights, evaluate current processes, and optimize models.

Advanced attribution
The use of data to measure the value of each interactive advertisement in driving desired outcomes or conversions.

Advocate marketing
Encoraging customers, employees, or partners to evangelize or act on behalf of a company without the expectation of mutual benefit, harnessed through the strategic use of marketing strategy, budget, and resources.

Age of the customer
A business cycle that stretches 20-years in the life of a business, this heuristic is used to help enterprises themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.

An online service, or application, that collects and presents thematically organized content, making it available to click on or view for users.

Agile business intelligence
A practice designed to allow large organizations to be more flexible and responsible in an ever-changing business environment, including customer, business, and regulatory changes.

Agile CMS
A content management system that is used for collaboratively curating, creating, and publishing content across channels and campaigns. Through iterative development and deployment processes reach and distribution is optimized. deployment processes.

Agile co-creation
A software development practice that encourages collaboration between engineers and the client, using pooled domain knowledge to act quickly and efficiently. The process incorporates key performance indicators (KPIs) such as minimally viable product (MVP) and Agile sprints.

Agile commerce
A technique used by retailers and ecommerce solutions to allow businesses to pool the strengths and resources of their people, processes, and technology to serve customers across all touchpoints.

Agile governance
An organizational principal that designs a company’s structures and processes to diffuse decision making throughout the organization, without overextending resources but ensuring business priorities are met.

Agile O2O
The process whereby traditional offline businesses are brought online, using a technologically-enabled set of systems, processes, and skills. Designed to fully integrate the online and offline businesses, creating a consistent user experience across multiple channels and ecosystems.

Agile workforce enablement
An understanding of workforce experiences built on virtual and cloud technology, combined with updated processes and enhanced self-service method deeper understanding of workforce experiences built on virtual and cloud technology and combined with updated processes, in order to transform employee engagement and enable work style flexibility.

The use of artificial intelligence and/or machine learning to operations data in order to make correlations and provide prescriptive and predictive answers in real time.

A carefully delineated set of instructions used to solve a problem or perform a computation, optimized for a specific outcome.

Alternative Payments/Local Payments
Used as an alternative to credit card transactions (e.g., debit cards, prepaid or stored-value cards, direct debit, bank transfers, mobile payments, checks, cash, money orders), these are forms of payment that remove card associations,

Always addressable customer
Refers to consumers who own and use at least three internet connected devices multiple times per day from multiple physical locations, at least one of which is “on the go.”

Always-on social marketing processes
The constant state of readiness to respond to unpredictable events in the marketplace, whether customer or industry initiated.

Ambient data governance
The set of practices and strategies used to infuse smart data governance into everyday consumer interactions. A strategy to infuse data governance into everyday data interaction and intelligently adapt data to personal intent.

Antiphishing solutions
The prevention of phishing attacks using technology to detect malicious emails, as well as educating end-users on phishing techniques.

AP eInvoicing
Matching the data from an electronic invoice with a purchase order, contract, and receipt; a workflow to approve unmatched invoices; provides cash forecasting, discount management, and financing; and the support of dynamic discounting.

Association for Payment and Clearing Services. The United Kingdom-based organization responsible for matters relating to money transmission and payment clearing activities.

API management solution
Establishing direct connections within and between various applications, used to help manage and secure digital business relationships.

API strategy and delivery service provider
An organization that assists enterprises in the design, establishment, and maturation of their organizational competency and strategy for APIs.

Application cloud testing
Leveraging the cloud’s elastic scalability, breadth of services, and universal accessibility to test the functionality and security of applications where they are built and run.

Application delivery network
The provisions of application availability, security, visibility, and acceleration through a set of network infrastructures,

Application elasticity
The process of automatic infrastructure resource allocation to accommodate varied workloads and priorities while maintaining availability and performance.

Application interfaces
Used to enable enable integration between business applications, these services are available off the shelf though frequently custom built in-house or by systems integrators.

Application modernization
The transformation of application assets to adapt and optimize them to migrate to, or more readily integrate with, more modern digital software and cloud architectures or to retire them outright.

Application threat modeling
A means of detecting potential design flaws that have security consequences through the analysis of an application’s architecture.

AR eInvoicing
A form of electronic billing used to monitor and present electronic invoices to customers, as well as track the status of presented invoices.

Artificial intelligence
The attempt to mimic human cognition using machines that are capable of learning and problem solving without direct programming.

Artificial intelligence consultancies
Agencies and contractors that offer expertise to deliver on artificial intelligence capabilities.

Attack surface
The totality of all the attack vulnerabilities within an environment or system.

“Average Transaction Value” or ticket value.

Augmented intelligence
The integration of artificial intelligence in a human’s work practice in order to improve ability, efficiency, and skill.

Augmented reality
The use of contextual digital information, overlaid on the physical world, in order to provide users with more information, assist them in their work, or create semi-virtual worlds.

The series of processes wherein a credit card user’s identity is verified, typically through the provision of secret information, such as a PIN, to complete a transaction..

Authentication management solutions
A suite of software and tools that provide improved user security, reduced data breacghes, and better password policies.

The process of approved, referring, or declining a credit or debit card transaction for a specified amount.

Authorization call
A form of payment authorization made from a point-of-sale to obtain approval for a transaction.

Authorization code
The one time use code generated by a card issuer, or on behalf of a card issuer, when an authorization request is approved.

Average cart value
The metric determined by the items that have been added and removed during a consumer’s single visit, excluding any persistent cart items.

Average order value (AOV))
Average Order Value = Total Sales Revenue / Total Number of Orders Taken, used to determine average value your customer spends.

Average ticket
The average transaction size for any particular merchant account. Also called Average Selling Price (ASP).

Average time on site
The pro-rated amount of seconds a visitor spends on a website over the course of a specified time frame.


B2B digital ecosystem
A distributed, adaptive, and open platform network of suppliers, distributors, and business customers which has properties of self-organization, scalability, and sustainability, and that collaborates to meet rising customer needs.

B2B ecommerce
The business to business sale of products by manufacturers directly to businesses and by wholesalers and distributors indirectly to businesses.

B2B marketing agencies
Service providers that help increase the overall exposure of the company and its products, generate demand for offerings, enable sellers and partners, and deepen business relationships with target audiences.

B2B marketing automation
A set of automated tools and processes that help generate new business opportunities, improve potential buyers’ propensity to purchase, manage customer loyalty, and increase alignment between marketing activity and revenue.

B2B marketing performance management
A managerial methodology that increases marketing’s value to the organization by governing the goal setting, monitoring, and continuous optimization of marketing’s contribution to revenue and other priority business goals.

EBPP, also known as bill pay services, is a management solution that oversees the digital delivery of B2C bills and billing related communications as well as facilitating electronic bill payment services.

Back office conversion
The paper-to-digital check conversion occuring in the merchant’s “back office”. Consumers must be notified that BOC will occur by posting at the point of sale or other check receiving locations.

Bank Automated Clearing System. This is the network by which funds are electronically transferred from one bank account to another.

Bank routing number
The routing number is the first nine digits that appear across the bottom of a personal checks. Used to identify the financial institution that issued the check.

Banking Day
Also known as a “business day.” Any day other than Saturday, Sunday, or a national holiday.

Banking platform
The core application that is used to manage most, if not all of a bank’s business.

Banking window
The time period allocated to merchants with on-line terminals in which they may perform their End of Day reconciliation with the host system.

Bare-metal cloud services
Infrastructure as a Service solutions that provide physical infrastructure not including virtualization, provisioned via the same type of cloud interface with the common characteristics of virtual machine based cloud offerings.

Basis point
One one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%). Generally referred to as basis points (bps).

A tranche of credit card transactions that are submitted at the same time for settlement to the merchant’s bank.

Behavioral biometrics
The use of users’ device interactions and behavioral patterns in order to continuously authenticate and augment verification of identities across digital channels.

Behavioral targeting
The practice of offering specifically tailored user content based on a user’s past behavior and interactions.

Below the fold
A relic of newspaper terminology, this refers to the part of a Web page one can only view by scrolling down, believed to receive less user attention. The first part of a Web page a viewer initially sees is “above the fold”.

The establishment of a performance or output standard against which future performance can be measured.

BI governance
The techniques and rules used to manage, monitor, and adjust BI usage to maximize BI value and effectiveness.

Big data
The use of technology to analyze wide swathes of available data in order to reach insights into current and future business practices.

Big data fabric
The practice whereby a platform technology such as Hadoop and Apache Spark processes disparate big data sources to deliver a unified, trusted, and comprehensive view of customer and business data.

Big data integration
The integration of data from disparate big data sources including Hadoop, NoSQL, internet of things (IoT), cloud, data warehouses, files, and databases.

Big data NoSQL
A database management system that allows for the simple storage, processing, and accessing of any type of data.

Big data search and knowledge discovery solutions
A suite of tools used to enable the extraction of information and insights from repositories of unstructured and structured data over several multiple sources, such as file systems, databases, streams, APIs, other platforms, and applications.

Big data warehouse
An architecture of data storage that encompasses data repositories and platforms that supports a broad variety of analytics running on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment.

Billing address
The physical address to which a customer’s credit card statement is mailed.

A Business Intelligence Solution Center offers a flexible and agile organization structure for the governance of successful BI solutions.

An interconnected series of databases that are linked using cryptography, with the goal of providing a decentralized, tamper-evident, and reliable tool to ensure transaction integrity, irrefutability, and non-repudiation.

When a visitor does not view more than one page on a website in a given 30- minute session, that visitor is considered to have “bounced”.

Bounce rate
The percentage of total users who visit only one page on your website before closing the browser window or going to another website.

BPM governance
Business Process Management governance decision-making process that establishes structure and responsibilites that enable the program’s execution.

Brand experience
The totality of the impressions, beliefs, and expectations that a customer has of a brand, based on direct interactions, messaging, and peer conversation.

Brand resilience
A company’s ability to maintain, and uphold the integrity of its brand promise, even in the face of damaging interactions, events, or circumstances.

Branded content
Content developed by a brand, retailer, or corporation that also adds consumer value, designed to build brand consideration and affinity.

Brick and mortar
Refers to the physical presence of a company or business, typically a retail store.

An integrated retail strategy utilizing both online (clicks) and physical stores (bricks).

A software application such as Google Chrome or Safari that is used to access, search and explore websites.

Browser isolation technology
A cross-platform, software-less capability used in cybersecurity to physically isolate a user’s browser away from the network.

Bug bounty programs
The process whereby vetted security researchers are incentivized by payments to discover and report security flaws within an application, platform, or infrastructure.

Bundling (or product bundling)
The sale or subscription to several related products or services as a one-package solution, often at a reduced price.

Business agility
A set of digital business practices designed to optimize an enterprise’s ability to embrace market, organizational, and operational changes as a matter of routine.

Business architecture
The bridge between an enterprise’s business model and strategy, this is an organized and repeatable approach to describing operating models in order to support a wide variety of organizational change purposes, from cost reduction and restructuring to process change and transformation.

Business capability implementation
The sum capabilities of an organization’s people, processes, technology, and physical and digital resources that fulfill the definition of a business capability or division.

Business change management
A set of tools and techniques used to help manage human resources in order to achieve a required business outcome.

Business designer
A company or firm that assists companies in applying expert design practices, creating strategies and business models to overhaul digital environments from end to end.

Business development
The exploration of new business opportunities in expanding markets, products, services, and business models, typically through a combination of market research, ideation, customer validation, portfolio optimization, product or service development, and financial and resource management, including partnerships.

Business drivers
The external forces that drive a company to evaluate and hone CRM strategies and practicesa, driven by evolving customer, competitor, and technology trends.

Business intelligence
The transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information through a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies — supported by organizational structures, roles, and responsibilities.

Business networks
The enablement of business partners to share data and collaborate in real time on a single cloud platform based on trust relationship models rather than by mapping and exchanging B2B data.

Business process management
The use of various methods to improve and transform end-to-end cross-functional business processes.

Business process outsourcing
The use of a third-party supplier to perform a specific business function. Typically outsourced functions include human resources, accounts receivable, and call centers.

Business resilience
An enterprise’s ability to thrive in the face of unpredictable events and circumstances without deteriorating customer experience or sacrificing the long-term viability of the company.

Business satisfaction
The degree to which a customer believes a business’s service meets expectations.

Business service management
Dynamically linking business-focused IT services to an underlying IT infrastructure.

Business technology
The total suite of echnology, systems, and processes to attract, serve, and retain customers.

Business technology resiliency
A measure of business technology’s ability to absorb the impact of an unexpected occurrence and not disrupt business operations.

Business to Business (B2B)
The sale of services or goods to another business rather than a consumer.

Business to Consumer (B2C)
The sale of services or goods directly from a business to the consumer.

Business-wide networking fabrics
The set of network components used to interconnect users, data, and applications throughout the entire business.

Buy-to-Detail Rate
A metric used by Google Analytics, determined by the number of products purchased per number of product-detail views. Buy-to-Detail Rate = Total Unique Purchases of a product / Product Detail Pageviews.