Your ecommerce glossary has arrived. Part 3: Terms E-H

This is part three 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


EA management suite
An integrated set of modules addressing a range of Enterprise Architecture functions and objectives.

EA service
An Enterprise Archictecture service provides a defined output with a specific value to the recipients by configuring capabilities and deliverables.

Earned media
Any media exposure that a company gains in channels that it does not own, often derived from usage of a company’s product or service, customer experience, or marketing efforts.

Edge computing
A set of technologies that distributes application data and services where they can best optimize outcomes. It includes edge infrastructure and edge analytics software.

eDiscovery technologies
Any tool that provides capabilities to help organizations streamline and operationalize defensible eDiscovery process activities in response to discovery requests triggered by events such as litigation, internal investigations and audits, freedom of information requests, and regulatory action.

eGovernment networks
Interdependent public and private sector entities cooperating in real time over the internet.

Elastic application platform
The automation of application transactions, services, and data, delivering high availability and performance using elastic resources.

A Visa International Debit Card for use in on-line POS devices. Participating merchants must meet electronic requirements and display Electron decals. Issuers have the choice of branding cards Visa Electron or Electron, and are able to coexist with domestic brands e.g. Delta, with the domestic brand taking precedence in the home market.

Electronic benefits transfer (EBT)
The electronic system enabling state government assistance programs to issue benefits to recipients in the form of payment cards, or EBT cards.

Electronic bill payment (ePay)
An alternative to paper checks, where consumers or businesses can use computers, telephones, smartphones, or ATMs to send electronic instructions to their bank or bill-payment provider to withdraw funds from their accounts and pay merchants.

Electronic check acceptance (ECA)
A system used to capture banking information from a paper check and convert it into data that can be processed through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
The transfer of funds between bank accounts (either within the same institution or among multiple institutions) by electronic means rather than conventional paper-based payment methods.

Email marketing
The promotion of products and services to a targeted list of interested audience through email.

Email marketing vendors
Any firm that provides technology to enable the creation of email messages, optimize email content and design, or deploy email messages for marketing purposes.

Emerging technology
The practical application of new, cutting edge technologies in new and mature products, services, and solutions.

Employee experience (EX)
Used to describe an employee’s perceptions of their experiences working within an organization.

Employee-centric design
The alignment of technology with employee behaviors during specific work tasks to drive actions that achieve the outcomes that both the employee and the business desire.

Empowered brand health
A brand’s ability to manage the collective real-time consumer opinions and behaviors that affect a brand’s public perception or performance.

EMV Resource Center
Fraud-reducing technology designed to help protect issuers, merchants and consumers against losses from the use of counterfeit and lost or stolen payment cards at the Point-of-Sale.

The provision of employees and partners with all the resources required to deliver the right experiences.

Scrambling sensitive data through cryptographic methods before data is transmitted for security/antifraud purposes.

End of day
The routine which must be completed on a sales terminal to enable it to be polled, often configured to be performed automatically.

A method or service that can be completed from beginning to end without needing the assistance or support of a third-party. It is used to refer to a vendor who can provide all the supplies, equipment, and knowledge to complete a task in full.

Endpoint security Saas
Third-party hosted endpoint security services and functions, billed on a pay-per-use model, and delivered via a multitenant architecture.

Engagement solutions
A solution engineered to deliver compelling experiences, outstanding performance, and modular integration on any device over any network at internet scale.

Enterprise architecture management suites
The foundation for capturing, managing, and reporting on a firm’s strategic and operational assets in order to provide insights that may influence or guide the strategic direction of the firm.

Enterprise business intelligence platform
Enterprise software that transforms transactional, operations, and master data into signals and actionable insights through reporting, querying, descriptive analytics, data visualization, exploration, and dashboarding functionality.

Enterprise container platform
Software or cloud sercice offering a development environment for container execution, orchestration, and external integration, plus automation tools for infrastructure, security, and development and operations.

Enterprise content delivery networks
Networks used to manage the distribution of web/streaming media content and related services in corporate intranets, used to extend or replace proxy/caches in corporate networks as well as enable scheduled distribution of web content and rich media files to branch-office caches during off-peak hours.

Enterprise content management (ECM)
The tools and software use to information workers find, use, and analyze digital information, from any place, at any time, within the guardrails of corporate policies.

Enterprise data virtualization
The integration of any data in real time or near real time from disparate sources, whether on-premises or cloud, in order to support business transactions, analytics, predictive analytics, and other workloads and patterns.

Enterprise data warehouse
A repository of information used for reporting and analytics, typically including key data management functions, such as concurrency, security, storage, processing, SQL access, and integration.

Enterprise feedback management
Software and processes enabling organizations to centrally collect, analyze, and report on feedback from key customer groups and tailor insights to various internal users.

Enterprise file sync and share
Technologies that allow organizations to share and replicate content across multiple devices, distributing files to employees, customers, or partners outside the enterprise.

Enterprise governance
A set of responsibilities and practices intended to provide strategic direction, ensuring that objectives are achieved, ascertaining that risks are managed appropriately, and verifying that the enterprise’s resources are used responsibly.

Enterprise health clouds
Platforms that provide secure, scalable, and HIPAA-compliant virtual data centers, while leveraging healthcare interoperability frameworks, AI, and big data analytics to unlock siloed data.

Enterprise information management
The tools and processes that are used to capture, consume, and govern the usage of an organization’s structured data and unstructured content.

Enterprise insight platform suites
A set of tools used for data management, analytics, and insight execution components that require some integration and configuration to form a platform.

Enterprise marketing software suite
An integrated portfolio of marketing technology products that support inbound and outbound marketing through analytics, automation, and orchestration of insight-driven customer interactions.

Enterprise preference management
The systematic collection, management, and utilization of explicit customer preferences — about frequency, channel, content, interests, and intent — in outbound communications. These preferences are managed in a centralized repository and collected in a user-facing portal known as a preference center.

Enterprise resource planning
Applications that execute end-to-end business processes supporting a firm’s business, encompassing finance, order management, and procurement, as well as industry-specific functionality and applications if required.

Enterprise service management
The extension of IT service management capabilities to address business-centric use cases; managing service demand and supply through a common platform, portal, and service catalog; and speeding up innovation and workflow automation through PaaS/low-code development tooling.

Enterprise-class companies
Used to describe any company that has at least 1,000 employees and include large enterprises (5,000 to 19,999 employees) and Global 2000 enterprises (20,000 employees and up).

The user attributes that dictate what kind of access a user has to another resource after authentication; also known as fine-grained authorizations.

Software and networking tools used to automate the procurement process by searching for product and service options, initiating a purchase requisition, approving the purchase, and creating a purchase order to send to a supplier.

A suite of software tools used to support sourcing and vendor management professionals in buying goods and services.

ERP hub operations
The means by which a corporate headquarters coordinates and consolidates its processes.

ERP Integration
Enterprise Resource Planning integration provides an enterprise with a series of integrated applications for managing its business operations and automating many back-office functions related to technology, services, human resources, and more.

Software that streamlines sourcing by generating requisitions, proposals, and information.

The descriptive account of life and culture in a particular social system, based on detailed observations of what people actually do.

Electronic Top-Up, used to maintain service with prepaid mobile phones.

Event performance management
Any technology used for managing, automating, and scaling digital and in-person events in order to provide an engaging attendee experience and increase the ROI of sponsorship.

Event-triggered email
A mass email sent to a subscriber list based on a specific event – for example, a birthday, wedding anniversary or joining date.

eWIC/Electronic Women Infants and Children
The government assistance program Electronic Women Infants and Children (eWIC) is now used similarly Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. eWIC replaces the existing paper-based EBT program used by state welfare programs. By converting to these magnetic-stripe programs, new transaction revenue can be obtained.

Experience design (XD)
The defining and refining of customer experience based on company vision and research-based customer understanding.

Experience design provider
A firm that assists companies in improvcing customer experiences and business outcomes by applying expert design practices.

Expiration date
The date appearing on the face of a credit card, after which that card is no longer valid for transactions.

Extended customer management business process and solutions ecosystem
Business processes and technologies that assist in targeting, acquiring, retaining, understanding, and collaborating with customers.

Extended enterprise
An organization at which a single business function is rarelya self-contained workflow within the company’s infrastructure.


Facebook advertising
An advertising strategy that harnesses Facebook users’ available information (age, interests, location, etc.) to target advertisements accordingly, thus filtering out the groups unlikely to purchase their products or services.

Facial recognition
The storage of an image of a face or a set of its characteristics at enrollment time — called an enrollment sample — that compares that stored sample with a live one to authenticate the user.

The capabilities and tools for effecting certain transactions in a situation in which part or all of a card scheme system at the point of sale is unavailable for normal processing.

Fall-back voucher
A multi-part document used to record transaction details when a transaction cannot be performed electronically on a merchant terminal, capturing card information using a card imprinter.

File analytics
Software tools that are used to find and assess unstructured data within files and provide insights into their sensitivity, age, or type.

Finance performance consulting
Services designed to improve the strategic direction and effectiveness of financial operations, including governance, risk management, cost containment, process improvement, technology enablement, and decision-making capability.

Financial institution
Any organization that moves, invests, or lends money, deals in financial instruments, or provides financial services. This includes commercial banks, thrifts, federal and state savings banks, saving and loan associations, and credit unions.

The array of technologies applied to enable banking and financial services functions, often referring to technology companies competing with traditional financial institutions in delivery of services.

First-call resolution
The ability to solving customer problems during the first interaction with that customer.

Floor limit
The monetary level, agreed upon between an acquirer and a merchant, over which authorization must be sought for a single transaction.

Forrester’s consumer energy index
An indication of customers’ desire, readiness, and capability to increase their engagement with brands, based on taking the pulse of their sense of identity, level of trust, appetite for novelty, and perception of efficacy.

The nearly-universal pattern in which readers scan a web page, typically focusing on the first few paragraphs of content from left to right before rerouting their attention completely downward. Shape may change depending on the use and layout of product images, headings and bullet points, which grab readers’ attention.

The dishonest means to perpetrate false or illegal transactions, including account takeovers, identity theft, card counterfeiting, and other illicit schemes.

Fraud score/scoring
A predictive analytics system for payment processors to assign a score, based on various models and transaction data, to assess the risk level of a pending transaction during the authorization process and determine the probability that the transaction is unauthorized or fraudulent, often used to determine if additional verification is required for the transaction to proceed.

The act of blocking a consumer’s access to credit, most often applied in incidents of identity theft when a cardholder wants to prevent an identity thief of opening accounts or making purchases. A freeze may also be applied by a consumer seeking to limit their own spending or to limit potential threats to a family member, such as an elderly parent.

Friendly fraud
A scheme where a cardholder, or someone who gains access to the card, makes a purchase and then enters a chargeback based on a false claim, such as they did not receive the purchased goods or did not initiate the original transaction.

Front-end processor
Front-end processors provide the connections to the card associations, as well as authorization and settlement services.

The logistics of receiving, processing, packaging and shipping orders made in your online store. Sometimes businesses may use third-party service which manage warehousing, stock management, and delivery for a retailer. Usually charged at a set per item price, outsourcing fulfillment can save significantly on the costs of processing stock.

Full-service digital agencies
Any agency that covers three categories of digital services: digital strategy, digital marketing, and digital technology.

The payment to a merchant for the merchant’s submitted deposits.


The use of game dynamics and mechanics into non-game activities to drive a desired, or repeated, behavior.

Also referred to as the “payment gateway,” the platform that processes payments for online purchases, applying to regular brick and mortar stores that process credit card payments. The gateway processes the transfer of data from the user’s bank to the website for the transaction to occur.

Gift cards
A prepaid stored-value card, issued by a bank or retail business, for use as an alternative to cash for the purchase of goods or services, with the monetary value stored on the card itself and not in an external account maintained by the merchant or a financial institution.

Gig economy
A labor scenario dominated by independent contractors and freelancers, as opposed to traditional full-time employees, with the contractor paid for each “gig” or short-term job performed.

Global merchant payment providers
Technology enablers that offer merchants access to a payment network to process payments globally, as well as acquiring, processing, gateway, and security and fraud solutions.

Governance, risk management, and compliance
A set of coordinated functions designed to determine and enforce the boundaries within which an organization seeks to maximize performance.

Grace period
The period of time where a cardholder is allowed to pay the balance of a credit card bill without incurring interest charges, established in the credit card agreement.

Graph databases
A form of optimized database technology that is used to store, manage, and access data to answer complex questions.

Grid computing
A form of computer networking that enables distributed resource management and on-demand services.

Growth hacking
A marketing concept developed by startups, utilizing analytical thinking, traditional marketing, and product engineering to maximize sales growth.


In the payments industry, “hacker” refers to a cybercriminal, often an expert programmer, who gains unauthorized access to systems, networks, and data to commit crimes.

Hadoop/Spark platforms
Distributed computing software and services that store, process, and analyze data to find and use insights to improve customer experiences, create timely business intelligence, optimize business processes, and make decision making smarter and faster.

Hard credit pull
Also known as a “Hard Inquiry,” the verification process performed by a credit card issuer or lender when a consumer applies for some form of credit, for example a credit card or loan application. Conversely, a “Soft Credit Pull” is a credit check performed by a lender without knowledge of the consumer, such as to assess if that individual prequalifies for an offer, or if a credit check is requested by the consumer.

Hard decline
When a customer’s request for a transfer of funds is rejected by the bank, resulting from possible fraud, insufficient credit, or a lost or stolen card. Unlike a soft decline, there are no options other than a different form of payment.

Hardcoded threats
Vendor- or manufacturer-provided technology enabling the illegitimate operation of an item. A hardcoded threat can be electronic in nature, such as a code backdoor, a malicious firmware package, a compromised code library, or an entire technology manufactured negligently in regards to security procedures.

Healthcare analytics
Analysis of complex health data used to gain insights on healthcare customers, individually or in aggregate, to enable actionable insights, automation, and streamlined workflows.

Healthcare unbound
The untethering of healthcare from formal institutions through technology in, on, and around the body.

Heuristic evaluation
A methodology used to identify user experience problems with software, websites, and other channels, in which evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles (the “heuristics”).

High-bandwidth entertainment users
Any online consumer who engage in: viewing video online, downloading video, online action/fantasy gaming, sharing files, and uploading files.

When a final transaction total is uncertain, such as in a hotel stay, a hold is placed on a portion of the cardholder’s credit limit or debit balance to act as collateral. Once the full amount of the transaction is determined, the card is charged and the hold is removed.

Hosted checkout
A third-party service that enables businesses to accept debit and credit payments online.

HR analytics
A set of methodologies, processes, and technologies used to shape raw HR data into meaningful information to support strategic, tactical, and operational decision-making.

Human-factor-friendly security
The act of analyzing and addressing the impact of human factors on security controls in applications, products, or services deployed by an enterprise to its own workforce or to its customers.

Hybrid cloud management
The management of cloud-based infrastructure, middleware, and applications using any combination of public, private, hosted, and virtual private cloud deployment models.

Hybrid cloud management solution
A standalone software solution used to automate cloud applications and infrastructure service delivery, operations, and governance across multiple cloud platforms.

A description of the rapid, simultaneous, and massive growth in adopting new technologies or behaviors.

The packaging of server, storage, and network functions into a modular unit, with the addition of a software layer to discover, pool, and reconfigure assets across multiple units quickly and easily.

Hypertext markup language (HTML)
The universally-used, standardized coding language used to deliver page effects to web browsers.

A software layer that enables the same physical hardware to run multiple operating systems.