42 Ecommerce Terms Every Marketer Needs to Know

We know the ecommerce world changes rapidly, and it can be tough to keep up.

After all, this is the same industry that has seen upwards of $150 billion in growth over the past five years. But even with that exponential progress, consumers are still underutilizing ecommerce websites, with just 9 percent of U.S. retail sales in 2017 coming from online stores. Clearly, the potential is still there for brands to capitalize on a massive opportunity in online advertising.

Yes, there are a million moving parts to juggle, not to mention the stamina and creative aplomb it takes to pull off successful B2C marketing campaigns and grow your online business. But whether you’re new to ecommerce, or just strapped for time, it’s important to keep track of all the latest technologies and terms everyone’s talking about, from search engine optimization to PPC to AdWords.

Even though we may bandy ecommerce terms back and forth like they’re common knowledge, in the ever-changing world of online business, these definitions are constantly taking on new meanings and nuances.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce this comprehensive glossary of terms and definitions for your ecommerce website, aka your next campaign’s best friend. Think of it as your one-stop shop for all things related to marketing your online store, providing clarity to certain trendy ecommerce terms, and expounding on others with longer, hyperlinked deep dives when appropriate.

So bookmark this web page, and get ready to nerd out on all of the ecommerce terms you could ever need to know.

The Glossary

1. At-risk customers – Buyers who haven’t engaged with your online store—whether it’s ignoring your emails, not visiting your site, or making another purchase—in more than 30 days; the catalyst for starting an at-risk campaign

2. Average order value (AOV) – Tracks the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order; calculated by dividing the total number of sales revenue by the total number of order

3. B2C CRM – Unifies customer data from across channels and devices in a single sources of truth, and then empowers marketers to execute and measure data-driven campaigns

4. Behavioral marketingBehavioral marketing targets site visitors based on how they behave online, allowing marketers to create a complete picture of each one—including where they are in the customer journey, their individual actions, and their preferred channel of communication—and meet their needs in the right way at the right time

5. Browse abandonment – When customers show an interest in an item by visiting the product web page more than once, but then don’t make a purchase or add it to their cart; the catalyst for starting a browse abandonment campaign

Casper cart abandonment email

This cart abandonment email from Casper is both persuasive and low-pressure—a win-win! 

6. Cart abandonment – When customers show purchase intent by adding an item to their shopping cart, but don’t end up completing that purchase; the catalyst for starting a cart abandonment campaign

7. Channel centricity – Places channel outreach at the center of your marketing strategy, focusing on individual channels you can use to market your products

8. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) – Items that are used regularly and will need to be replaced when they run out such as makeup, laundry detergent, coffee, or toilet paper.

9. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) – The process of tweaking the copy, design, and layout of your site, all with the goal of increasing conversions

10. Cross-selling – A sales technique used to sell a related or complementary product to a customer in order to get them to spend more and drive up CLTV

11. Customer acquisition cost (CoCA) – The overall cost it takes for you to acquire a customer. This metric is crucial to marketers as it also influences overall profitability.

12. Customer centricity – Places your customers (not the channel) at the center of your marketing strategy; focuses on understanding the customer’s behavior and personal preferences first

13. Customer lifetime value (CLTV) – The amount of revenue a customer is projected to bring in over the course of their relationship with your company; determines how much you should spend to acquire a new customer, or customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Learn more about CLTV

14. Customer relationship management (CRM) – Software that centralizes your customer data to organize and automate customer relationships across the business

15. Digitally native vertical brand (DNVB) – A brand that is started online without a brick-and-mortar presence such as Allbirds, Casper, and M. Gemi. Eventually, these companies typically expand to open a physical retail space.

16. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) – Using ecommerce platforms to sell products directly to buyers, eliminating the need to sell through traditional brick-and-mortar stores

17. Dynamic content – Content that changes based on customer behavior, such as changing products featured in a triggered email (whether it’s best-selling products or top-viewed products), or giving automated product recommendations; used to create a personalized experience that’s customized to each buyer

18. Email service provider (ESP) – Software used by companies to manage their email marketing efforts

19. Event-triggered campaign – Campaigns that are triggered the moment customers take a specific action; includes campaigns like welcome emails, cart abandonment, and other behaviorally triggered events

20. Frequency of purchase – The average number of times a customer makes a purchase from your company over a set period of time

Spotify creates hyper-personalized messaging that incentivizes users to check out the service’s features.

21. Hyper-personalization – Goes beyond basic personalization to compile behavioral data across multiple channels, tailoring specific products and content to customers

22. Identity resolution – The ability to stitch together customer data into a single source of truth to fully understand how buyers interact with your brand across devices, browsers, and platforms

23. Identity stitching – The process of unifying customer interactions across channels and devices within a single, accurate customer profile to better understand how users shop

24. IP warming – The practice of gradually increasing your email send volume over time on a dedicated IP to establish credibility with ISPs; helps establish a strong sender reputation, ensuring your emails successfully reach your engaged users and aren’t flagged as spam

25. Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – A measurement that defines how a business is doing, which differs as the business sets these themselves.

26. Lookalike modeling – Identifies key characteristics of your target audience and model a larger audience with similar attributes to discover new opportunities for engagement

27. Marketing attribution – Determines which marketing touchpoints across your brand drive meaningful customer engagements and purchases that lead to revenue

28. Marketplace – A business that doesn’t create products, but helps buyers find products they love from third parties

29. Multi-channel marketing – When businesses interact with customers across a host of channels, providing a less integrated (and more impersonal) customer experience than omnichannel marketing

30. Omnichannel marketing – Unifies your sales and marketing messaging to create a single integrated experience of your brand across channels

31. Point of sale (POS) system – Manages your business transactions by processing your customers’ payment

32. Replenishment campaign – An automated campaigns that reminds customers to reorder a product when they’ve run out

33. Retailer – A business that sells products from other brands, either in-store or online

34. Segmentation – The process of dividing users into smaller groups with similar characteristics and behaviors for easier targeting and more personalized marketing

35. Single customer view – Creates one definitive profile for each customer that contains all of their interactions with your brand, including everything they’ve ever browsed or purchased, their total lifetime value, average order value, demographic details, and more

36. Social gamification – Any type of interactive media that encourages your audience to play a game or win points, thus increasing their retention of and stake in your product

37. Split testing (or A/B testing) – A model for comparing two versions of a product, website, or marketing message to discover which converts better and is more effective

38. Upselling – A sales technique used to offer customers the chance to upgrade at a higher price, effectively maximizing the value of their purchase

39. User-generated content (UGC) – Any type of content that’s created or submitted by your audience; consumers promoting a brand, rather than a brand promoting itself

40. Web/mobile push notifications – Notifications that marketers can use to deliver call-to-action campaigns precisely when customers need them, creating urgency and encouraging real-time engagement

Who wouldn’t feel welcomed to Headspace thanks to this friendly illustration, approachable copy, and clear CTA?

41. Welcome campaigns – Usually triggered when a buyer makes a first purchase or creates an account; helps introduce and familiarize customers with your B2C brand

42. Winback campaigns – Similar to at-risk campaigns, except these customers are completely cold—for example, it may have been three months or more since they last interacted with your online store

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