Speak e-Commerce and enter: A glossary of key terms – Part 1

January 9, 2023
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9 min read
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Here to help

Navigating the world of e-commerce can be overwhelming, specially when you’re faced with a sea of confusing terms and acronyms. Whether you have an online store, are considering starting one, or are already a pro in the world of e-commerce, chances are you’ve come across terms and acronyms that make you go OMG WTF. That's why we bring you the first installment of our eCommerce glossary series. We'll share the most important terms and definitions in e-commerce along with practical tips on how to apply them. You'll be able to improve your online presence, increase sales, and feel confident when reading articles and whitepapers on the subject. 

No worries. Whether you're a seasoned e-commerce veteran or just starting out, we've got you covered. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into this first installment of eCommerce glossary of key terms.

1 e-commerce

The first term in our eCommerce glossary is, well, eCommerce, or E-commerce, or electronic commerce. This refers to the intersection of commerce and technology. In other words, to commercial transactions conducted over the Internet. In other words, it’s buying and selling products and services through websites or online platforms. This includes online stores, marketplaces, and mobile apps that make buying and selling products or services online easy and convenient. 

With e-commerce, you can reach a global audience without worrying about borders or business hours. In other words, you can have a store that's open 24/7, accessible from anywhere in the world. 

2 Omnichannel 

This one sounds like the name of a superhero. And it kind of is. Having to start over from scratch or re-fill out a form whenever you switch devices or channels to make a purchase is very frustrating. Enter Omnichannel. 

The Latin prefix "omni" means "everything," and Omnichannel refers to a sales strategy that allows consumers to interact with a brand across multiple channels: website, social media, email, physical stores and more. The superpower of Omnichannel is that it allows channels to talk to each other. That is, a customer can start shopping online and finishing in a physical store or research a product on the phone and then buy it from the computer – all while maintaining the same shopping cart and customer experience. 

Omni-channel allows your company to connect and have a conversation with your customers across all channels, from online chat to email or text message, and offer them a seamless and consistent shopping experience on any device or platform, with impeccable customer service to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty

With Omnichannel, you’ll never lose track of your customers and you’ll be able to offer them a coherent, customized and seamless shopping experience, helping to build loyalty and increase conversión rates. What’s a conversión rate, you ask? Read on.

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is a metric that tells you how good your website is at converting visitors into leads or customers. It's the percentage of people who take a desired action, like buying a product or signing up for your mailing list. It's a simple calculation: the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors. A low conversion rate can indicate a problem with the user experience or marketing strategy.

More than a number, it’s an opportunity. It’s also a key performance indicator (this is called KPI and we’ll cover it in another post) for any e-commerce site. It lets you measure the success of your marketing strategy and figure out what changes you need to make. For example, if customers are abandoning their carts or not filling out your contact form, you can look for ways to improve the shopping experience or simplify the form text.

By optimizing your conversion rate, you'll increase your marketing efficiency and boost the profitability of your online business.

4. UX/UI

UX/UI is the perfect match made in e-commerce heaven. UX stands for User Experience, while UI stands for User Interface. Together, they form a powerful duo that can make or break your e-commerce website

UI (User Interface) refers to the way a user interacts with a digital product or service. It includes elements such as typography, colors, images and layout of elements. It is responsible for the clarity and accessibility of a digital product, and should be designed with the target audience in mind.

On the other hand, UX (user experience) refers to the total experience that a user has when interacting with that product or service, that is, how they feel when doing so, from browsing your website to receiving the product at home and post-sales service. It is the sum of all the interactions a customer has with your brand.

It’s like when you go on a first date and want to make a good impression so they’ll want to see you again. UI is the outfit you wear. It must look good and be functional. UX is the conversation you have. It must be engaging, intuitive, and not creepy.

UI is a crucial aspect of UX, as an attractive and intuitive interface retains users and enhances their experience. It is important to have an attractive and user-friendly interface. It is also important to provide a satisfying user experience. 

In the context of e-commerce, this dynamic duo can make the difference between a satisfying experience and a frustrating one for customers. UI/UX optimization is essential to increase conversion rates, improve customer satisfaction and strengthen customers’ relationship with the brand – e-commercely ever after!

5 SEO 

This is such a broad term that we will devote a special section of the glossary to address it. For now, here's a summary.

Imagine you’re throwing a party at home. If directions are confusing and the way to your house isn't well marked, people won't be able to find you. That’s where SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, comes into play.

It is the process of improving a website's visibility in organic search results. This involves optimizing technical factors, like the site structure, and content factors, like using the right keywords and creating quality content. With SEO, you make sure your website is dressed up and ready to impress Google.

SEO is like dressing your website in its best attire to impress Google, through a combination of techniques and strategies that help search engines understand what you have on your site and how it is relevant to users. SEO optimization is important to increase organic traffic and improve online visibility so no one misses your products, your services, or your party.

6 PPC

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. It is an advertising model in which advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ads. It's as if you rent a space for a live concert, but only pay if the audience dances to your songs.

The advantage of PPC advertising is that it is highly targeted and results-based. With PPC, companies can show their ads to engaged and relevant audiences at the exact moment they are searching for what the company is offering. The beauty of the model lies in its ability to reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time. 

Your company can use PPC to show ads to people who searched for products similar to what you offer. This way, you ensure that your message reaches people who are genuinely interested in your products, which increases reach and the likelihood of conversion. The key is knowing your audience to make sure your ads are shown to the right people and fine-tuning your strategy through ad measurement and optimization to get the best return on your budget.

8 CMS 

A Content Management System is software that allows you to create, manage and publish content online without having to be a programming expert. Some examples of popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Weebly.

CMS is the perfect solution for those who want to have full control over their website. With a CMS, you can update your pages, post to your blog, add and manage products, process orders, manage payments, and track business statistics and trends efficiently and easily. Say goodbye to relying on a developer for every little change you want on your site.

With a CMS, you can simplify and automate many of your e-commerce processes. This gives you more time to focus on other tasks, like serving customers or developing new products. 

9 ERP 

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, is a software system that acts as the brain of your business. It integrates and organizes all the key processes of your business in one place. It’s like having your own Jarvis. 

It coordinates departments, from finance to production and sales, to inventory and human resources. An ERP system lets you access all your business information in one place, instead of having to use different systems for each task. Some popular ERP systems include Sap, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics.

Using an ERP for your e-commerce initiative gives you a real-time overview of business-critical information. This, in turn, can help you make better decisions, reduce mistakes and streamline your business processes.

10 API

The acronym may sound like the name of a friendly alien, but it is something even more astounding. It stands for Application Programming Interface and refers to a set of tools and protocols that allow different applications to communicate with each other. Think of an API as an intermediary or universal translator for applications.

For example, to offer different payment options, you can integrate an API from a payment provider to process transactions. Without having to write all the code from scratch, that is. Or maybe you want to display shipping and pricing options on the checkout page of your online store. All you need to do is integrate a shipping API, et voilà. In both cases, the API allows different applications to work together efficiently to provide a smooth and satisfying shopping experience.

Want to have a team of applications that work together and do amazing things? API is the key! It is the bridge that allows you to share information and functions in a seamless and organized way. 

API integration in e-commerce increases customer satisfaction by improving the user experience, but it also optimizes efficiency. By automating and streamlining processes, it allows companies to save valuable time and resources, which translates into greater profitability. 

11 LOGISTICS

The last term in our eCommerce glossary is logistics. In this context, it refers to planning, implementing and controlling the efficiency of the flow of goods, services and information from origin to delivery. 

When a customer makes an online purchase, logistics is the behind-the-scenes magic that ensures they receive the product in an efficient and timely manner. This involves planning transportation, optimizing the route, managing inventory, and coordinating delivery. Think of it as a carefully choreographed dance, in which each movement is precisely timed and executed for a seamless performance.

From the moment a customer clicks "buy", to the moment they open the package, a well-orchestrated logistics strategy is essential for a positive shopping experience and increased sales. 

So much so that in a future installment we’ll delve deeper into the world of e-commerce logistics, exploring key terms that drive this critical component of online business. 

We hope this dive into the depths of terminology will help you feel like a fish in the eCommerce water. Stay tuned for more essential concepts that will help you boost your sales and improve your online presence. If you have any questions or would like us to cover a specific term, just let us know

Tagged: ecommerce · glossary · marketing
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