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The A-Z of eCommerce

- January 28, 2021 6 MIN READ

Online sales have boomed in Australia during the pandemic. As restrictions ease and we move towards COVID-normal, this trend will likely continue. Our straightforward English guide to eCommerce busts through the jargon to explain the terms you need to know to make the most of this shopping craze.

Our eCommerce jargon buster



When a customer buys one of your products online, they will need to submit a payment method to complete the purchase. To confirm the customer has enough funds in their account or available on a credit card and that the ID details they have submitted are correct an ‘authorisation’ will be performed. If successful, the transaction goes through.


Bricks and Clicks

Some businesses have both a physical-premises and an online store. This concept is commonly called bricks and clicks.

B2B and B2C

B2B refers to a business that sells direct to other businesses or has a business as its target customer, while B2C is a business that sells to consumers.


Call to Action (CTA)

Your call to action or CTA is the instruction you give to your customers to act. In eCommerce, it could be as simple as a ‘Buy Now’ button or a directive to “add to Cart.


The checkout process is the series of steps a customer must follow to purchase items in their online shopping cart. Seamless and frictionless checkouts are the best for user experience.

Conversion Rate

The number of visitors to your eCommerce store that convert into a paying customer is commonly known as your Conversion Rate. By measuring how many of your visitors convert to customers and where and how they interact with your store, you can tweak your campaigns or your store itself to help boost sales.

Conversion Funnel

The Conversion Funnel describes the series of events that occur during the customer’s journey of buying goods online. From initiating the purchase to the navigation process and ultimately to converting into a sale.


Cookies are small text files stored in a web user’s internet browser. Cookies keep track of where you have been online. Cookies allow a browser to remember that you have visited a particular website before. Website owners can use cookies to customise your experience.


Cross-Selling involves encouraging customers to buy related or complementary products. For example, an eCommerce retailer could suggest ‘customers who bought this, also liked…’.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV is how much profit your eCommerce business could make from a lifetime relationship with a customer.


Discount Code

Otherwise known as a coupon code, promo codes or voucher codes. Codes are generated by a seller and can be used by customers to activate discounts or special offers on an eCommerce site.


Dropshipping allows you to purchase an item from a supplier as someone places an order with your store. The beauty of building a drop shipping business is it removes the back end inventory management. It also means your business doesn’t have to keep physical stock on hand.



eBay is one of the leading online shopping channels in the world. Whether you’re selling one product or hundreds, registering as a seller on eBay allows you to get your business and products in front of millions of potential customers. Selling on eBay is one of the simplest ways to get your products and brand noticed online.


Email Marketing

When setting up your online store, it’s an excellent idea to also include an option during the checkout process for people to subscribe to your mailing list.  Doing this will allow you to market any new products to these customers down the track. Repeat customers are a hugely valuable asset of a successful business. Being able to access existing customers via email lets you build brand loyalty and awareness.



In eCommerce terms, a fulfilled order is a  completed order. It is picked, packed and sent to the buyer. Some businesses fulfil orders themselves, and others use a third-party fulfilment service which would also look after warehousing, stock management and delivery.


Google Keywords

If you’re planning on advertising your product or services, then you need to make sure you use SEO to ensure they appear in Google search results. Google Keywords or phrases describe your product or service and help determine where your ads will appear. Keywords are used to help match your ads to people and will determine where your ads appear on Google.



HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a language that structures a web page or application. It can adjust syntax, font, layout, images or links throughout the page.



Inventory is the amount of tangible goods, products or services you offer your customers. These goods can be either raw materials, goods that are in production or finished products. In eCommerce, it usually refers to a finished product.



JavaScript is a coding language that makes web pages dynamic and interactive.



You already know about the importance of Google Keywords for any ads you place online. However, keywords are equally crucial for your eCommerce site. Make sure you add keywords in the backend of your website to make it possible for customers to find you via search engines.


Landing Page

Tadaaa! The landing page is the first page your customers will land on when they visit your eCommerce store. You should design your landing page to ensure maximum chance of a conversion.


In eCommerce, logistics is the process of shipping your order to your customers or transporting inventory to a merchant. The bigger your product range and the more customers you have, the more complex your logistics. As your business scales, it may be worthwhile considering third party fulfilment to manage your logistics.



Margin is the amount of profit you make from a sale after deducting the cost of goods and any expenses.  You must know your margins to be able to see if a product will be profitable.


Just like eCommerce, mCommerce or Mobile Commerce refers to the buying and selling of products on a mobile phone or smart device.

Multi-Channel eCommerce

Multi-channel eCommerce refers to the process of selling your products or services via more than one channel. For example, you might sell via your physical store, via an online store or social media (social selling).



Do you operate in a niche market? This means you have a product that appeals to a distinct customer segment. Niche products can be high in demand.



Sometimes small business owners need to outsource work. That means they contract a third party to complete tasks for them. This could be anything from a digital agency to conduct their marketing campaigns to a web designer to build their eCommerce store or a logistics or fulfilment company to ensure the delivery of products.

Open Rate

Remember those emails you are sending? Open rate relates to them.  Open rate is an email marketing metric that measures the percentage of recipients that open your email. You can use open rate to track the success of an email marketing campaign.


Pay per click (PPC)

Pay Per Click is a form of advertising where the cost is measured by the number of people that click on an ad rather than the number of times an ad is served. Google Adwords is a good example of a PPC network.

Payment Gateway

The payment gateway is a merchant service that authorises credit card payments for online stores.

Point of Sale (POS)

In a physical store, this would be when the customer pays at the till or via Tap n Go or an EFTPOS machine. Online it is when they complete their purchase at Checkout.



A reseller is a business or merchant who buys products or services intending to sell them on to other consumers for a profit. Often resellers purchase directly from a manufacturer and then sell on to customers.


A retailer is a business or company that sells to the consumer directly.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of setting out your website content in s search engine friendly way. SEO includes but is not limited to ensuring relevant keywords are tagged in articles; link building, such as including relevant links to existing content on your site and getting backlinks from other authoritative sites. SEO will allow your site to achieve the best possible ranking within relevant Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

SERP is the page(s) that lists all the results from a search query within a search engine.

Social Media

Social media is a collection of platforms where businesses can tap into targeted audiences through advertising, or through a comprehensive social media strategy.

Shopping Cart

It is a piece of software that integrates with your eCommerce store to allow customers to complete a purchase.  Selected products appear as an order in the shopping cart.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping Cart Abandonment is when a customer leaves a sale during the checkout process, affectively abandoning the product.


Stock Keeping Unit also known as SKU, is a unique scannable barcode consisting of numbers and/or letters to identify a product or service. It helps sellers keep track of inventory.



The number of visitors/customers coming to your eCommerce store.


It is an agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange goods, services or financial instruments.



If you’ve ever visited a fast food outlet, it’s likely you’ve been upsold. Upselling is a sales technique where a seller encourages the customer to purchase more items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. Would you like fries with that?



When a product, video, article or image goes viral, it means it is spreading rapidly online via links or social channels. It is content that appeals to users who then share it.



The sale of products, often in large (bulk) quantities, to retailers or other merchants.


A free, open-source platform, often used as a basis for the backend (CMS) of a website.


XML Sitemap

An XML Sitemap is a hierarchical model of website’s content pages. The list is provided with links to sections of the website and is organised by topic in an XML format (Extensible Markup Language – language that can be read by both humans and machines). An XML sitemap acts as a roadmap for search engines so that they know what content is available on a site and where to find it.


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