Your ecommerce glossary has arrived. Part 4: Terms I-M

This is part four 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


I&O agility
An ability to manage continuous and rapid change to ensure the transformation toward long-term technology management from a strategic perspective.

I&O complexity
A period of change in organizational framework during which a company tries to manage a new technological environment using outdated methods and processes.

IAM for IoT
A series of existing and new technologies that allow creators and users to control the life cycle, governance, and authentication of internet devices.

Identity resolution
The process of merging identifiers across available devices with behavioral, transactional, and contextual information into a clear and addressable consumer profile for actionable marketing analysis.

In-App payments
The purchase of consumer goods or services from a mobile application.

Inclusive design
Designing experiences that are efficient, simple, and positive for all customers in a target market by considering its variations across age, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc.

Independent sales organization (ISO)
An independent credit-card processing company in merchant services.

Compiling, analyzing and storing information from online sites, in which a search engine bot used will store the requested data into an index in order to more efficiently answer search queries.

Industrial IoT software solutions
Software that connects to smart devices in industrial and manufacturing environments to fuse data and control into operational business processes.

Individuals who have social media clout and influence in a specific topic or category and are not customers or employees of the brand.

Information archiving
Technologies that migrate digital data and information from initial sources into an archive, keeping the files for a specified period of time. This process may be specialized for one specific type of data (like social media posts), or broadened to include multiple content types.

Information fabric 3.0
Integrating data in real time (or close to real time) from separate data sources into cohesive data services that support transactions, analytics, and other workloads.

Information governance
A comprehensive way of using and managing information to meet business objectives, focusing on the quality of content and data, optimizing its value, and making sure that security and privacy requirements are met.

Information life-cycle management
This can be anything from archiving to content management tools and solutions for regulatory compliance, focused either on hardware awareness or on creating rich metadata.

Information workers
Employees who use a computer, tablet, or smartphone to connect to the internet for an hour or more per day for work purposes.

In-memory data grids
Software that uses chip-based random access memory (RAM) distributed across multiple buds to enhance performance, scale data access, and compute.

In-memory data platform
Low-latency access and high-performance processing of large amounts of data, achieved by distributing the data across DRAM, flash, and SSD.

In-memory database
A database that stores all or most critical data on either a single or distributed server. It supports multiple kinds of workloads including transactional, operational, and analytical, running on-premises or in the cloud.

Insight PaaS
An integrated set of data management, analytics, and insight application components, offered as a platform that the company does not own or control.

Insight solutions
Solutions that consolidate technologies to build applications that handle and analyze data, test and apply the discovered insights into action, and collect feedback to help improvement.

Insights services
Services that merge internal and external data sources and advanced analytics to plan actionable insights that clients subscribe to and apply to the necessary business use cases.

Insights-driven businesses
Businesses that gather and apply data and analytics at every sensible opportunity to make their products and customer experiences unique.

In-store search
The search function available on the front-end of your website that allows your shoppers to quickly find items available in your online store.

Technologies that enable insurance firms to win, serve, and retain customers by regularly providing new customer value and enhancing operational agility.

Integrated business planning
An application that coordinates executive alignment across sales, operations, and finance to synch up company assets and product availability while keeping track of customer demand and supply constraints.

Integrated business services
A business operating model in which small, multi-skilled teams are tasked with creating and implementing consistent value through fluctuating work that spans across existing processes, technologies, and organizations.

Integration strategy and delivery service provider
A consulting firm or systems integrator that, in addition to delivering solutions that employ integration products, is organized to assist technology user enterprises to design, establish, and mature their organizational competency and strategy for leveraging multiple styles of integration.

Integration technology
Technology built to develop, maintain, test, deploy, and govern interfaces between applications, machines, and/or databases.

Intelligent content services
Smart, content-focused software services that heighten the relationship between people and computing systems by understanding content, recognizing context, and processing the user’s information requests.

Intelligent payment routing
The process of routing a payment transaction to the acquiring bank most likely to approve a transaction, based on specific criteria, designed to minimize the convenience of declines.

Interactive voice response (IVR)
The ability of a computer to interact with a consumer using voice commands and keypad buttons. In payments, IVR is the basis for menu systems that enable the identification, segmentation, and routing of callers to the correct customer support agent.

The systems operated by MasterCard and Visa for authorization and settlement of fees, as well as other information related to bank card activities.

Interchange fee
The fees paid by the acquiring bank of a credit card to the issuing bank to make up for transaction-related costs.

Interchange network
Electronic networks managed by American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa that handle the exchange of data within card transactions.

Internal cloud
An optimized system with a self-service developer deployment, hosted within the safety of one’s own data center.

Internet finance
Financial innovation started by internet companies that use digital technologies like big data, cloud computing, instant messaging, and social media to develop faster, better, and cheaper ways of serving consumers than traditional financial services.

Internet of Things (IoT)
The interconnection of smart devices via the Internet.

Invalid impressions
Ad impressions on computers that do not come from real people.

A retailer’s current allotment of products for sale.

Technology that allows finance companies to provide their consumers with end-to-end payment automation.

IoT device OS
An operating system that runs on different IoT devices, manages device hardware and software resources, and provides common IoT services.

IoT software platforms
Software that connects to and manages smart devices in order to integrate operational data and control into various business and customer processes.

IoT-enabled cold chain monitoring
Monitoring and controlling variable conditions for perishable food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and similar products when they are in storage or transit.

IP billing
Software that communications service providers use to charge customers for IP-based services.

IP management exchange (IPMX)
An in-network service, operated by a neutral provider that monitors the quality of service and performance management within different carrier networks.

A solution that delivers assembled data and event integration capabilities (like batch- and message-based transport, data transformation and connectivity), in which the core engine executes exclusively in the cloud.

Issuer/Issuing Bank
A financial institution, that offers a credit or debit card directly to consumers and is responsible for the use of the card. The issuer is also accountable for billing and collecting payments on the card. The cardholder then repays the financial institution based on the terms of a predetermined agreement.

IT financial management
Using traditional accounting and more modern techniques to ensure an effective, business-focused delivery of IT services.

Identification Verification Certificate.

Interactive voice response.

People who use computers to do their jobs (information workers).


Distributing applications without using an app store after installing unsupported software.

Joint Credit
Issuing credit to two or more people based on the parties’ combined income, credit histories, and personal assets. Parties involved are equally responsible for repaying accumulated debt.

Journey management
Journey mapping, visioning, and orchestration embarked on in order to improve customer experiences and business results throughout the customer life cycle.

Journey map
A comprehensive visual representation of a journey that may be hypothetical (if based on assumptions) or evidence-based (if based on research).


Keyword stuffing
An unethical SEO method of overloading a webpage with as many keywords as possible in an attempt to increase the site’s ranking in search engines.

Know Your Customer (KYC)
The research that companies must perform to identify their clients and find out the information that’s important to know in order to do business with them. KYC policies ideally prevent identity theft, fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing.

Knowledge management solutions
Software that creates, publishes, and maintains curated content, which allows employees to answer internal and customer-facing questions, and lets customers find answers via the internet.


L2RM business system
Integrated tools and process automation practices that help B2B marketers improve revenue performance. Ideally the system attracts and qualifies potential consumers, creates new business opportunities, and increases a buyers’ likelihood to purchase, while coordinating marketing, sales, and service throughout the customer life cycle.

Landing page
A single webpage accessed through a link. It prompts visitors to follow a call-to-action such as signing up as an email subscriber or joining a membership.

Lead management automation
Software and tools and processes meant to generate new business opportunities, manage an increase in business inquiries, improve potential buyers’ likelihood of purchasing, and enhance the alignment between marketing activity and sales results.

Lead nurturing
A long-term partnership with influencers and decision-makers aimed at a prospective customer. Relevant and helpful information is given to the potential customer through integrated channels in exchange for a strong relationship that results in more efficient sales cycles, higher close rates, and larger deals.

Lead-to-revenue management
A business system comprised of integrated goals, processes, and metrics that drive efficient customer engagement throughout the customer life cycle from awareness to advocacy.

Lean software
Building, delivering, and running software that values simplicity and efficiency of results above all. It avoids features and methods not essential to fulfilling its business purpose and avoids becoming too complex. It can be combined with other softwares when large systems require more features.

Learning applications
Training materials delivered electronically.

Liability shift
In place since January 1st 2005, this states that merchants must process a Chip & PIN transaction, or else be held liable for any fraud committed.

Life insurance policy administration systems
A record system that supports the administration of life and annuity products throughout the customer life cycle. It supports both individual and group life insurance policies.

Listing fee
A fee charged by some online auction websites that allows sellers to solicit their products or services online.

Local service agreement
A contract that modifies a global or master service agreement to address the specific needs of a region or country.

Location intelligence
Collecting and managing consumer location information, enriching it with other data sources, and analyzing for relevant insights in order to optimize actions, decisions, and customer experiences.

Location intelligence platform
A cohesive set of location data management, analytics, execution software, and data products to enable enterprises to synchronize and optimize customer experiences, business decisions, and future actions.

Location-predictive marketing
Predicting a person’s future locations and consumer needs based on their past locations and consumer needs.

Low-code development platforms
Products and/or cloud services for app development that employ visual techniques instead of programming and are available to customers at little to no cost initially; costs rise in proportion to the eventual business value of the platforms.

Low-code platforms
Platforms that deliver apps rapidly with very little hand-coding needed and quick setup and deployment.

Loyalty management
The back-end conducting of loyalty initiatives and programs.

Loyalty marketing
A discipline used to sustain a relationship between a brand and a customer by highlighting achievable benefits like convenience, cost, and customization that will come from long-term loyalty. Loyalty marketing often involves loyalty cards, discount clubs or other programs that are designed to encourage and reward repeat purchases over time.

Loyalty marketing vendors
Vendors that help marketers build and execute strategies, including the factors involved in successful loyalty programs, that build and deepen relationships with existing customers.

Loyalty strategy development
The research, planning, and creation of loyalty initiatives and programs.


M2M technologies
Machine-to-machine technologies that collect and transfer information without needing humans to intervene.

Machine Learning
In the payments industry, this refers to developing high-performance computing that used in data analytics that enhances transactions processing.

A domestic and international debit card system launched in 1993.

Magnetic information character recognition (MICR)
Imprinted banking numbers like routing and account number that appear at the bottom of a check.

Magnetic stripe
A stripe of magnetically encoded customer account information on a bank card.

Managed hosting
A technology delivery mechanism that usually involves supplying server framework on a client’s behalf in the supplier’s data center.

Managed security service providers
Third-party operations that consistently and remotely manage and observe security technologies for their customers.

Managed service providers
Third-party operations that remotely manage technology for customers in any of these four areas: telecommunications, hardware infrastructure, applications, and security.

Margins (Also known as profit margins)
Illustrating the difference between how much a retailer bought a product for and how much the retailer earned by selling that same product.

Market and competitive intelligence solution
A technology that enables users to search for and analyze different information sources about market competitors with AI-powered collection, curation, and tagging of data and information gathered from internal and external sources.

Marketing dashboard
A visual application used to gather, measure, observe, and distribute KPIs related to marketing activity.

Marketing measurement and optimization solutions
Solutions that aggregate data about marketing performance factors, strategically assign business value to each part of the marketing mix, and/or provide tools to optimize marketing performance with business impact in the conceptualizing and execution of marketing activities.

Marketing mix modeling
Using statistical analysis to predict the effect that paid, owned, and earned marketing tactics have on key metrics like business revenue and optimize marketing tactics accordingly.

Marketing operating system
The organizational infrastructure that ties marketing systems, processes, and outcomes to the expectations of diverse customer segments.

The merging of marketing and technology. Most everyone involved with digital marketing is dealing with martech, since it’s technology-based by nature. This is often used to describe major marketing efforts and tools that harness technology to achieve goals.

Mass customization
A customer’s ability to tailor a product’s appearance, features, or content to their own preferences to create an individualized product.

Master data management
The ability to create a unique reference of shared company data, such as customer, product, supplier, employee, and organizational data.

Master service agreement
The contractual document that outlines all major terms and conditions that will act as the basis for future agreements. An MSA in place ensures that all future contract negotiations are confined to engagement-specific terms and objectives.

MCC or SIC Codes
A four-digit code that merchants are assigned by credit card companies for tracking purposes.

Media agencies
Managing media investments via audience understanding, channel scheming, vendor negotiation and buying, and continuous measurement and optimization to provide the most effective omnichannel customer engagement.

Media buying
Syncing digital advertising across channels so that it is symbiotic and relevant to the customer’s stage in their life cycle.

A finance institution that is a member of Visa USA and/or MasterCard International. They’re able to issue cards to cardholders and accept merchant drafts.

Merchandising revenue
The revenue number displayed on a Merchandising Report includes item-level discounts but not shipping, taxes, or order-level discounts.

A distributor that agrees to accept credit cards, debit cards, or both, when properly presented.

Merchant account provider
An online bank account that allows merchants to accept debit and credit payments. The account will hold the merchant’s money temporarily until it’s transferred to their actual bank account.

Merchant acquirer
A financial institution that processes a payment transaction (like credit or debit card payments) on behalf of a merchant. The Acquirer enables businesses to accept credit card payments for the purchase of goods and services.

Merchant advance
The ability of merchants to turn future credit card sales into cash. A fixed percentage is deducted through credit card processing receipts for repayment.

Merchant agreement
The contract between merchant and acquirer that details the terms related to the processing of payment transactions.

Merchant bank
This refers to a bank that typically provides business loans, underwriting, and other financial services to enterprises. Merchant banks do not provide banking services to consumers.

Merchant identification number
A number that identifies a merchant to the merchant processor for accounting and billing uses.

Merchant service provider (MSP)
A third party that helps a merchant process payments. An MSP may also assist in managing a merchant account with a card association or a card network.

Merchant-funded loyalty
Loyalty rewards programs sponsored by card issuers that provide rewards and incentives for cardholders, at no cost to the issuer. Merchants introduce their products and services as rewards to new groups of customer in the hopes of converting them to recurring customers.

Messaging app
A one-to-one or one-to-few communication technology optimized for mobile.

MICR number method
A check authorization process that uses the bank routing number, checking account number and check number encoded along the bottom of a physical check.

When people reflexively turn to a device increasingly a mobile phone, to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.

A piece of code or an application that does one thing proficiently.

Microservices strategy and delivery service provider
A consulting firm or systems integrator that assists technology user companies in the creation and establishing of organizational competency and strategy for microservices.

Video that is no more than 15 seconds in length.

Mixed reality (MR)
The virtual combination of digital information and real life imagery using holographic objects and anchoring points.

Mobile advertising spending
Online advertising spending that is directed toward mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Mobile and tablet commerce
The purchase of goods and services on a smartphone or tablet.

Mobile app gap
When there’s a demand for applications on a mobile device that are not available.

Mobile containerization
A secure container or workspace provided for business applications to operate within while remaining isolated from the non-containerized applications running simultaneously on the device.

Mobile front-end testing
The examination of various components of a mobile application’s user interface and local functionality.

Mobile image capture
Using a mobile device’s camera to collect information from a physical object, like a driver’s license or check, and the digitalizing this information with the mobile device.

Mobile intelligence
The ability to gather and analyze mobile customer data to gain an overarching understanding of the customer experience that prompts the execution and optimization of mobile moments.

Mobile messaging
Text or multimedia communication between two parties via a mobile phone device.

Mobile mind shift
The expectation that consumers can get what they want in rapidly in moments of need thanks to mobile speed and agility.

Mobile moment
A specific instance in which someone uses a mobile device to achieve their needs and wants in the given moment.

Mobile payments
The use of a mobile device to pay for goods or services.

Mobile search advertising spending
Ad spend on paid-for ads accessed through mobile search.

Mobile traders
Those who have bought or sold stocks, bonds, or mutual funds through mobile channels in the past three months.

Mobile video ads
Advertisements that feature video content and are found in the mobile web or app space.

Mobile wallets
Also known as an eWallet or Digital Wallet, mobile wallets are software application used in to facilitate electronic payments through a smartphone for online transactions or payments at physical stores. They’re linked to a bank card or directly to a bank account.

Modern sales enablement
An enterprise function that helps necessary selling systems work in an efficient, effective, and cohesive way to increase revenue, minimize sales costs, and deliver a buyer experience that is as meaningful as possible.

Modern service delivery
A life cycle that can rapidly deliver and make changes through a software delivery pipeline, allowing organizations to gain, serve, and win the loyalty of customers.

Net-new values created to serve emerging customer needs, create the supply needed for customer demand, or create novel capabilities that dramatically empower users.

MOTO (Mail Order Telephone Order)
A merchant takes mail order or bank card details over the telephone to complete a transaction.

Multichannel capture
Software that scans, categorizes, processes, and archives digital images and electronic documents.

Multichannel routing
The variety of channels for customer support including telephone, online chat, and email.

Multidimensional view of the customer
A profile of a customer that uses all available information about them (physical information, social network usage, geolocation, and internet habits) to deliver personalized and contextualized products, services, and experiences.

The merging of services from internal and external providers who share the same overall business goal.

Technologies that let multiple consumers share the same applications and compute resources securely, reliably, and with consistent performance.