Glossary of Terms

The Ecommerce Jargon Buster

Ecommerce is an industry of buzzwords, complex terms and seemingly cryptic acronyms. DMP or DSP? Multichannel or omnichannel? JS or BS? It’s no wonder that people find the terminology chaotic and confusing. But rather than complain about the jargon, we’ve collated this handy guide to tackle the issue head on.

301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to the other. For example, if your previous website was www.ecommercewebsite.com and you wanted to change it to www.ecommercewebsite2.com, you could implement a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. This would mean that whoever types in your old URL (or clicks on a leftover link to your old URL), would automatically arrive at your new URL.

404 Error

A 404 Error is an HTTP status code that means that the webpage you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. This happens because either the page has been removed or moved and the URL was not changed accordingly, or that you typed in the URL incorrectly.

A/B Testing

A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is an experimental approach used to compare two versions of an element of your strategy, for example landing pages – called A and B. Once you have developed two versions of a page, you show one version to a sample group, and the other to a different sample group. You can then track the performance of both versions, evaluate this performance and then use the better version. A/B tests are best performed when only one variable is changed, as changing more than one variable makes it more difficult to isolate a cause.

Abandonment

Abandonment is when a prospective customer leaves your site and disengages with the user journey. You can have sparkling product pages, a seamless user journey, and a lean, mean checkout process. But in spite of all of this, more often than not, potential customers will fail to complete their purchase. Abandonment rates vary from sector to sector but sits at an average of approximately 70%.

Ad Blocking

An ‘Ad blocker’ is a catchall term for any kind of software that removes or hides ads from a webpage before they are loaded by the web browser.

Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is defined as the deliberate practice of attempting to serve ads that have no potential to be viewed by a human user. It is a critical issue facing the digital marketing community today.

Ad Frequency

In advertising, frequency refers to the average number of times a user is exposed to an advertising message before a response is made and before exposure is considered wasteful.

Ad Network

An ad network is a company that matches advertisers to websites looking to host advertisements. They act as the broker between both suppliers; the sites with content that can host ads, and the buyers/advertisers.

Ad Placement

An ad placement is a specific group of locations on a website where an ad can appear. This can be segmented to several levels from a whole site down to individual ad slots of a page.

Ad Server

An ad server is a technology tool that is responsible for making decisions about which ads will be served, and then serves the advertisement on to the particular website. It can also track users’ activity on advertisements, such as clicks, and provide reporting on ad performance.

Ad Verification

Ad verification is a process which attempts to verify that a campaign has been executed according to the agency or advertiser’s choices and exclusions. The IAB calls ad verification good practice for ‘providing assurance to marketers and their agency partners about the execution of Internet advertising campaigns.’

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a company rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought to them through the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

Algorithm

An algorithm is a set of rules established for making a calculation. In an eCommerce context, algorithms are commonly used to determine the listings shown via search engines and for automated methods of ad trading and delivery.

Analytics

Analytics is a term used to describe the process of drawing insight and recognising meaningful patterns from data. Many people use specific platforms to learn more about their websites, such as with Google Analytics. Platforms like this can tell us the amount of traffic, the bounce rate, where the visitors are coming from, amongst many other things.

Anchor Text

The anchor text is the words that form a text-based hyperlink in web content. It should accurately reflect the content readers will find if they click on the hyperlink.

AOV or Average Order Value

The AOV is the average spend per customer.

API or Application Programming Interface

An API is a set of programming instructions and standards that you can use to facilitate integration and interaction between different applications or websites. For example, if you wanted to integrate an Instagram feed into your website, you’d do that through an API. An API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.

Attribution

Attribution is the process of allocating credit between the channels that a customer comes in to contact with on their journey to conversion. For example, a user could have followed a link to social media from an email, and then converted on Twitter. So attribution would be divided between email and social media. Attribution is the process of identifying the user actions that contribute and lead to the conversion, and assigning a value to each of these events.

Attribution Modelling

Attribution modelling refers to the science of determining the value of each customer touch point leading to a conversion and building strategy around these insights. Whilst attribution is about finding out what is happening along each marketing channel, attribution modelling is about taking this further by tracking, analysing and modifying strategy with the aim of boosting campaign ROI.

B2B or Business to Business

B2B is a form of commercial transaction which stands for business to business, and is a process for selling products or services to other businesses.

B2C or Business to Consumer

B2C is a form of commercial transaction which stands for business to consumer, and is a process for selling products or services directly to consumers.

Banner Ad

A banner ad is a visual online advertisement that has been designed to advertise a particular service or product, to be placed onto a set section of a site. This banner ad will link to the associated advertiser’s webpage.

Basket Bookmarking or Product Bookmarking

Basket bookmarking is an app that offers to send the customer’s basket directly to their inbox for later consideration, much like a bookmark. A customer browsing your site who has items in their basket moves to leave the page. At this moment of departure, an overlay is fired asking them to enter their email address so that they can return to their basket at a later date. After entering their email address, they are then sent an email containing a helpful link straight back to their basket, encouraging them to re-engage with the abandoned item/s.

Behavioural Modelling

Behavioural modelling refers to the process companies take to build up a profile of information about their audiences. This could, for example, relate to a user’s inferred age group, purchase interests and general online activity. Effective behavioural modelling allows companies to serve the most relevant and personalised ads possible.

Big Data

Big data is a buzzword that is thrown around too much in eCommerce circles, but it essentially refers to the huge volume of data that is now available to us. This is thanks to the rise in online traffic, and the subsequent growth in understanding and analysis of the data.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the figurative starting date for the festive online shopping period. It originated in the US as a day for bricks and mortar retailers to have a flash sale, but has now become a huge global eCommerce event and institution within the online world.

Blacklist

In the context of advertising, a blacklist is a list of web sites that an advertiser has not permitted their ads to be placed on. It is the opposite of whitelisting.

Bricks and Mortar

A Bricks and Mortar company is another term for a traditional retailer, the opposite of an ‘e-tailer’, or ‘clicks-and-mortar’ retailer.

Browser

A browser is an application that an online user can use to view the web. Some common examples are Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customer base. A detailed persona can help you to learn where to focus your optimisation efforts and how to give consumers the best customer experience possible. As a result, you can attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.

CAC or Customer Acquisition Cost

The Customer Acquisition Cost refers to the price a company pays to acquire a new customer. In its simplest form, it can be worked out by dividing the total costs associated with acquisition by the total of new customers, within a specific time period.

Cache

Cache is a copy of a web page that is stored by either a search engine or browser.

CAGR or Compound Annual Growth Rate

The CAGR is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time (longer than one year). The CAGR is not a true return rate, but acts rather as a representational figure to help businesses chart their growth.

CAN-SPAM

CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.” It’s an American law that was passed in 2003 to establish rules for commercial email and commercial messages. Essentially, it gives email recipients the right to have a company stop email them. It also outlines the possible penalties for those who break the law.

Canonical URL

A canonical URL is an authoritatively correct URL for a resource. And canonicalisation is the process of choosing the best URL when there are several options. For example, you might have the following URLs that allow access to your homepage: www.eComjargonbusting.com, eComjargonbusting.com and eComjargonbusting.com/index.html. All of these URLs point to your homepage, but technically speaking, all of them are different. A web server sees these three unique URLs as three unique pages; however this can cause complications with duplicate content. By canonicalising your URL, you make sure that search engines are indexing the correct page.

CASL or Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

CASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” It’s a Canadian law passed in 2013 that relates to the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that can be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.

CEM or Customer Experience Management

CEM is the collection of processes and strategy a company uses to track, oversee and organise every interaction between a customer and the organisation across the entire customer lifecycle. This structured attention to each customer helps the company provide the best user journey possible for customers.

Churn Rate

Churn rate is a metric that measures how many customers a company retains and at what value. To calculate the churn rate, you take the number of customers lost during a specific time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that same time frame. For example, if you had 1000 customers as of January 1st but only 900 by the end of the year, the customer churn rate would be 10%: (1000-900)/1000 = 100/1000 = 10%.

Closed-Loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing is all about ‘closing the loop’ between the data that marketing collects (generally within a marketing automation system) and the data that the sales team collects (general within a CRM). The process allows marketers to analyse the success of their contribution to the business pipeline and adapt strategy accordingly to help drive the greatest ROI. A common example of this type of analysis is looking at what the best and worst lead sources are.

CMS or Content Management System

A CMS is a computer application that allows webmasters to publish, edit and organise content from a central interface. It is known as the ‘back end’ of a website and works as a way to manage workflow and structure published content. There are a diverse range of systems for all tastes, such as WordPress and Drupal.

Contextualisation

Contextualisation refers to the adaptation of marketing campaigns to different users – depending on the context to them viewing the content – based on things like the time of day, proximity and even the current weather. The aim is to deliver more specific, targeted messaging.

Conversion

A conversion refers to whatever constitutes a ‘goal’ on your website. For a retailer, it could be a sale, for a publisher it could be a subscription, for a charity it could mean a donation. In basic terms, it is the end goal of your individual site.

Conversion Funnel

This phrase is another way of referring to the user journey, from a customer’s first contact with a company to the final conversion. The metaphor of a funnel is used to describe the decrease in numbers that occurs at each step of the process.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take the desired action or complete the ‘goal’ on your site. It is the ratio of how many users convert into buyers when they visit your website, versus how many total site visitors you have. So if 5 site visitors out of 100 convert on your site, your conversion rate would be 5%.

Cookie

A cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. In basic terms, its purpose is to remember information about you. Cookies serve many functions, but their most common purpose is to store login information for a specific site.

CPA or Cost Per Acquisition

The CPA measures how much it costs in advertising to convert one person from a visitor into a client for a company. It is often written as a percentage amount and is the commission generated on a sale, for example a 10% CPA would generate a £1 commission on a £10 sale. CPA is also a popular pricing model in affiliate and display marketing. Merchants only pay for traffic that generated an action such as views, leads, or sales.

CPC or Cost Per Click

CPC, sometimes referred to as PPC (or Pay Per Click), means that advertisers pay each time a user clicks on the ad. CPC advertising works well when advertisers want visitors to their sites, but it’s a less accurate measurement for advertisers looking to build brand awareness.

CPL or Cost Per Lead

The CPL refers to the amount if costs marketing to acquire a lead. This factors heavily into CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost – and is a very important metric for marketers to track.

CPM or Cost Per Mille

CPM means that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers (mille is the Latin word for thousand).

CRM or Customer Relationship Management

CRM is the name for any system or model used to manage a company’s interactions with its current or future clients or customers. This technology system is used to organise, automate and synchronise all of the customer-related areas within your company, such as marketing, customer service and technical support.

CRO or Conversion Rate Optimisation

CRO is the process of working to improve your conversion rate. There are many ways to do this, but in general terms it’s about understanding your customers better, providing them with a better experience, simplifying the user journey and optimising your site to its maximum potential.

Cross-device Advertising

Cross-device advertising refers to the deployment of a digital advertising campaign on multiple screens and devices, whilst taking into account individual cross-device user behaviour.

Cross-selling

Cross-selling is a strategy used to offer products that are different – but possibly related – to the product the customer already has (or is buying). For example, if a customer wants a TV, you could suggest they purchase an Xbox or a Playstation as well.

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a web design language. In recent years it has been used to replace and simplify HTML-based development methods for formatting websites.

CTA or Call-to-Action

A CTA is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response. It normally incorporates an imperative verb, for example, ‘complete your order’, ‘call now’ or ‘finish your sign-up now’.

CTR or Click-Through Rate

CTR is a useful metric in display advertising that measures the ratio of total impressions to clicks. In calculating your CTR, you can identify how many people are visiting your site. As an example, if your ad gets 10 clicks and 2,000 impressions, the Click-Through Rate is 0.5%.

CX or Customer Experience

Customer experience broadly refers to how customers interact with your brand. It is the umbrella that encompasses all channels and products within the same branding. Typically, it relates to how users feel about customer service, advertising, brand reputation, product delivery and much more.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is an online shopping day in late November, reserved solely for online merchants. It is a red letter day in the eCommerce calendar and the biggest event for online sales in Western markets. It’s an occasion for flash sales, discounts and urgency driven transactions through time-sensitive deals and limited stock offers.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is a type of online advertising that comes in several forms, including banner ads and rich media. Unlike text-based ads, display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to communicate an advertising message.

DMP or Data Management Platform

In basic terms, a DMP is like a data warehouse. It acts as a piece of software that houses and sorts through information, and manages it in a way that is useful for marketers, publishers and any other involved parties. DMPs are most often used to manage cookie IDs and to generate audience segments, which are subsequently used to target specific users with online ads. Essentially they help to gain a better understanding of customer information. A DMP might sound a lot like a DSP. The difference is that a DMP is used to store and analyse data, whilst a DSP is used to actually buy advertising based on that information.

DNS or Domain Name System

A DNS turns an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which computers use to identify websites, into a user-friendly domain name. For example, the IP address 012.345.678.9 might translate to www.ecommmerceisthebest.com. The domain name is clearly a lot easier to remember and understand than the IP address, and can be personalised to indicate the content featured on the site.

DSP or Demand-Side Platform

A DSP is a piece of software used to purchase advertising in an automated fashion. DSPs are most often used by advertisers and agencies to help them buy display, video, mobile and search ads. Buyers of digital ad inventory can manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers online. Any transaction that is completed solely through electronic measures can be considered eCommerce. It is subdivided into three categories: business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and consumer to consumer or (C2C).

Entrepreneur

This is a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.
In simple terms, entrepreneurs are those who identify a need—any need—and fill it, independent of product, service, industry or market.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content provides value to readers no matter when they reach it. Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality and a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide. Ve Interactive’s Resources Section is an example of evergreen content, with regularly updated eBooks, case studies and benchmark reports.

Exit Intent

Exit intent refers to the process of a visitor wanting to abandon a site. Exit intent technology works by monitoring the mouse movements of website visitors and detecting when they are likely to leave the website without carrying out the desired action. These movements could include a visitor’s mouse movement towards the close or back button, the mouse freezing for a long time period or a specific mouse pathway.

Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand. When done well, this strategy works as a way to build a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in an engaging and memorable experience.

Form

The form refers to the place where your site visitor supplies information in exchange for your offer. It’s best practice to only ask for the information you need to reduce abandonment and customer frustration.

Free Shipping Day

On this online shopping day, participating merchants and retailers offer free shipping on in-stock items, guaranteeing the delivery of orders by Christmas Eve. With shipping costs being the outright number one reason for cart abandonment, Free Shipping Day is a great sweetener to drive conversions.

Frequency Capping

A frequency cap is a limit you can put on the amount of ads that will be served to the user. It’s imperative to use frequency caps with your digital display campaigns so that you don’t spam or irritate online users and attach negative connotations to your brand.

FTP or File Transfer Protocol

FTP is an open protocol standard that is used a means of sending files from one computer to another. It uses ports for communications and also uses encryption to protect the information being received and sent.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving where communities come together to show the world why it’s good to give. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering your time or just spreading the word at the start of the Christmas shopping season, Giving Tuesday is a call to action for everyone who wants to give something back.

Green Monday

This online shopping day is essentially Cyber Monday 2.0. Green Monday marks another surge in online sales as all those disorganised gifters rush to purchase the perfect present, without incurring the additional shipping charges that will begin to be tacked on if ordering closer to Christmas.

Grey Thursday

Grey Thursday is the day before Black Friday. It acts as a soft launch for online merchants to showcase their deals and whet the appetite ahead of the next day’s purchasing frenzy. It’s a great opportunity to prep your client base and any other visitors to your site on upcoming deals.

Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is a term used by many people to mean many things. But in its simplest form, it is a marketing technique developed by technology start-ups who use creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products, gain exposure and, ultimately, grow.

HTML or Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is the basic language that is used to write web pages. On a more in-depth level, it is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a web browser page. The markup tells the web browser how to display a web page’s words and images for the user.

Impressions

An impression is the single instance of an online advertisement being displayed on a web page. It’s important to remember that the amount of impressions is not the amount of views an ad receives, but the amount of times that an advertisement has been shown.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, (the opposite of outbound marketing where the customers reach a site through various paid and natural search engine marketing efforts). Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, aiming to make the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website through the production of interesting content.

Incremental Revenue or Incremental Growth

Incremental revenue is a term that has a variety of meanings depending on the context. In its most basic form, it simply means the increased revenue from a specified increase in sales. In marketing and planning terms, it is the process of making more money from the same customer or transaction.

Infographic

An infographic is a graphic-led visual piece of content can relay complex concepts in a simple and compelling way.

Information Architecture

Information architecture is the term used to describe the structure of a system, i.e. the way information is grouped, the navigation methods and terminology used within the system. An effective information architecture enables users to move logically through a system, confident that they are getting closer to the information they require.

Inventory

In the context of advertising, inventory refers to the placements that a publisher has available to sell for advertisers to display their ads on.

IP Address or Internet Protocol Address

An IP address is the numerical internet address assigned to each computer on a network so that it can be distinguished from other computers. It is expressed as four groups of numbers separated by dots.

ISP or Internet Service Provider

An ISP is a company that allows customers and businesses access to the internet, usually for a fee. The most common ways to connect to an ISP are by using a phone line (dial-up) or broadband connection.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a scripting language that enables web authors and programmers to easily design webpages and implement features on websites.

KPI or Key Performance Indicator

A KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company or individual is achieving key business objectives. It’s an actionable scorecard that keeps a company’s strategy on track.

Landing Page

This is the page that you want users to arrive on once they have clicked on a link or advert to your site. Landing pages are not necessarily homepages, but a specially designed page, usually with a strong Call-to-Action.

Lead

A lead is a person or company who has shown interest in a product or service in some way. It could be that they filled out a form, for example, subscribed to a newsletter, or exchanged their details in return for a content offer.

Lead Nurturing

Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing”, lead nurturing refers to the practice of creating a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that aim to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and steadily push it further along the sales funnel.

Long-tail Keyword

A long-tail keyword is a search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, plus one or two additional words that refine the search term. For example, a head term could be ‘email’, whilst the related long-tail keywords could be; email campaign tips, email engagement advice or email campaign examples. Long-tail keywords are more specific than head terms, meaning that visitors who reach your site through these are more qualified and likely to convert.

Lookalike Modelling

Lookalike modelling is a methodology used by advertisers to define the target users they want to reach on ad exchanges. Lookalike models are used to build larger audiences from smaller segments to create reach for advertisers.

LTV or Lifetime Value / CLTV or Customer Lifetime Value

The Lifetime Value is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the complete future relationship with a customer. It is an estimation of all the value a business will derive from their entire relationship with a customer.

Meta Description

This is the short description of a webpage that is visible to search bots, though you will see snippets of it when a page appears in search results or is shared on social media. It essentially describes a webpage as a summary to search engines and plays a significant role in SEO rankings.

Microsite

A microsite is a site that falls somewhere between a landing page and a standard website. Marketers create microsites to supplement their main website as a way to create a new and exciting user experience.

Mobile Commerce or Mcommerce

Mcommerce is the buying and selling of products and services online by businesses and consumers, occurring specifically on a mobile device.

MQL or Marketing Qualified Lead

An MQL is a user who has engaged with a company enough (decided by the marketing team) to qualify as a prospective lead worthy of follow-up from the Sales team. This threshold is normally decided by the Marketing team. This engagement is often registered when a user demonstrates interest in the company’s content – for example, filling out a web form, downloading an eBook, or signing up to a newsletter.

MRR or Monthly Recurring Revenue

The MRR represents the amount of income that a business can count on receiving each month. In other words, it’s predictable revenue, and a consistent number you can use to track all of your recurring revenue over time, in monthly increments. To calculate your monthly recurring revenue, you simply multiply your total number of paying users by the average revenue per user.

Multi-channel

Multi-channel marketing is the practice of interacting with customers using a combination of indirect and direct communication channels. These channels could be print ad, a retail location, a website, a promotional event, a products package or word of mouth, for example. Multi-channel marketing is about choice, and offering customers a variety of platforms where they can engage with your company.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the site on which it is placed. Native ads match the visual design of the page they are on, and they look and feel like natural content to the online user.

NPS or Net Promoter Score

The NPS is a customer satisfaction metric that measures on a scale of 0-1 the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. It is determined through a simple survey that is designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business. To calculate your NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (‘detractors’, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (‘promoters’, or 9-10).

Omni-channel

Omni-channel marketing is about smoothly supporting the integration and consistency of the multi-channel journey. A good way to think about the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel is to remember that ‘multi’ means ‘many’, and ‘omni’ means ‘all.’ Where multi-channel is about offering the user options, omni-channel is a more aspirational form of marketing that is about adapting to provide the best user journey possible.

Open Exchange

An open exchange is a real-time auction environment that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell inventory. It is open to all media buyers (who represent advertisers) and works as a bidding process, with the highest bidder winning the ad space.

Open Rate (Email)

The email open rate is the amount of people on an email list who open (or view) a particular email campaign. The open rate is normally expressed as a percentage. If, for example, you had an open rate of 20%, this would mean that of every 10 emails delivered to the inbox, 2 were actually opened.

Performance Marketing

This is a marketing model in which a brand post-pays a publisher or media partner for an action as determined by the brand – be it click-through, percentage of sales, or any other desirable action. This type of marketing is popular among advertisers because it allows ROI measurement and in some cases almost risk-free marketing investment.

Personalisation

Personalisation is a strategy all about appealing to customers as individuals. This could mean personalising to a single user, to a certain type of behaviour, to preferences a user has indicated, or a certain type of customer.

PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor

PHP is an advanced web development scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. PHP files end in .php and can contain elements of text, HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Pixel

In advertising terms, a pixel is a piece of code that is used to track user behaviour on a website. It is unnoticeable to site visitors and does not affect site performance.

Placement Call

A placement call is the communication that is made to an ad exchange to initiate an impression auction when an ad placement is loaded.

Plugin

A plugin is something that can be added to your website or browser to give it additional functionality. As an example, you might add a social plugin to your blog that shows your Twitter feed in real time.

PMP or Private Market Place

A PMP – sometimes referred to as a private exchange – is a closed digital environment where premium publishers agree a higher cost for their media with a selected group of advertisers. These advertisers then get to bid on the inventory before it reaches an open exchange, where other advertisers can get involved.

PPC or Pay Per Click

PPC advertising is a business model whereby a company that has placed an advert on a website pays a sum of money to the host website when a user clicks on the ad. The company literally pays ‘per click’.

PR or PageRank

A website’s PR is decided by Google and is used to inform where specific web pages appear in search engine results pages. Each website has a PageRank between 0 and 10, with 0 as the least authoritative and 10 as the most.

Programmatic Advertising

It’s been around a while in the consumer space, but programmatic advertising refers to the crunching of numerous sources of data to present the right ad, at the right time, to the right person.

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves human negotiations and manual orders. The process uses machines to buy ads, allowing online advertisers to spend more time being creative and less time reading spreadsheets. Programmatic buying automates all of the menial procedures that used to take them a lot of time.

Prospecting

Prospecting is when you target new, prospective customers that share characteristics of your website’s current customer base. It’s about finding new customers relatively high up in the funnel wherever they might be on the web. There is an element of guesswork and risk to this strategy as you can’t be sure whether users will ‘bite’, but it can be extremely effective. For example, let’s say you are an online knitwear retailer that specialises in winter accessories. Targeting consumers whose user journeys included searching for woolly hats or knitted scarves would be extremely beneficial. Prospecting is performed by harnessing current consumer data to target potential consumers that would hopefully be interested in the same product/service.

Pure Play

Within an eCommerce context, a pure play is a company that solely has an Internet presence (such as eBay or Amazon), in contrast to ‘bricks and clicks’ companies, that have a physical store as well as an online site.

QR Code or Quick Response Code

A QR code is a specific matrix barcode or two-dimensional code, which is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and smartphones. Through these devices, you can link directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and much more. The codes are used as an advertising and marketing tool and represent a novel way for marketers to promote their brands.

Re-engagement

Re-engagement is an approach designed to stop candidates dropping out of the conversion “funnel”, and could be in the form of onsite engagement panels offering help, follow-up emails or offers of live chat.

Responsive Design

Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible page layouts that look good on every device. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and adapt the layout accordingly.

Retargeting

Retargeting is an effective technique for stimulating sales from these consumers who visit your website, but don’t convert. Let’s say a user was looking at leg warmers on your dance clothing site, put a few pairs in their cart, but then sadly got distracted and abandoned. A few days later, this same user is reading their favourite blog and sees ads from the very same dance clothing site they were shopping on. These ads can even include items that the consumer thought about buying. ‘How did they do that?’ questions the user. This experience is a perfect example of retargeting. The eCommerce site is able to remind the consumer of what they’re missing by intelligently retargeting them with relevant campaigns. Retargeting is a focused activity to either nudge people down the final part of the funnel after a visit or cross-sell and upsell. All an eCommerce website needs to do is place a JavaScript tag in the footer of their website. This code creates a list of people that visit your site by placing anonymous retargeting ‘cookies’ in their browser. This list allows the retargeting vendor to display retargeting ads to your potential customers as they visit other sites across the internet. You can also decide when the cookie will expire so as not to annoy your visitors.

Retargeting Tuesday

The premise of Retargeting Tuesday is to reinforce the two more established preceding days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) by retargeting customers who have shown interest in your offering but ultimately abandoned your site before converting.

Rich Media

Rich Media is advertising that contains perceptual or interactive elements more elaborate than the normal banner ad. Rich Media ads are generally more challenging to create and to serve but many consider them more effective than ordinary banner ads.

RSS or Really Simple Syndication / RDF Site Summary

RSS is a method of providing website content such as news stories or software updates in a standard XML format. It allows you to collate content from one site and display it on another. Websites such as The Wall Street Journal provide news stories to various RSS directories that distribute them over the Internet.

RTB or Real-time Bidding

Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions, often facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms. A typical transaction starts when a user visits a website. This triggers a bid request that can include various pieces of data such as the user’s demographic information, browsing history, location, and the type of page being loaded. The request goes from the publisher to an ad exchange, which submits it and the user data to advertisers who automatically submit bids to place their ads in real. Advertisers bid on each ad impression as it is served, and set maximum bids and budgets for an advertising campaign. The impression goes to the highest bidder and their ad is then served on the page. This process is repeated for every available ad slot on the page. Despite the complex process, these transactions normally happen within 100 milliseconds from the moment the ad exchange received the request.

SaaS or Software as a Service

Software as a service, often shorted to ‘SaaS’, is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is centrally hosted and licensed on a subscription basis.

Scalability

This term refers to how well eCommerce tools or software systems can adapt to increased demands. For example, a scalable software system would be one that can start with just a few initial elements but can easily expand its capability to thousands. The level of scalability is a very important feature because it allows you to know whether you can invest in a system with the confidence that you won’t outgrow it.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing

SEM is a type SEMof marketing associated with the researching, submitting and positioning of a website within search engines to achieve maximum visibility and increase the share of paid and/or organic traffic referrals from search engines.

Semantic Targeting

Semantic targeting – sometimes called semantic advertising – refers to the delivery of targeted advertising on sites, determined by the meaning of webpage text. It is an evolved type of contextual advertising that helps online publishers and advertisers to place the most effective ads possible.

Sender Score

A sender score is an email marketing term that refers to the reputation of every outgoing mail server IP address on a scale from 0-100.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a marketing strategy that aims to make a website more visible by improving its rankings in search engines.

SERP or Search Engine Results Page

This is the name given to the page that’s displayed by search engines after an online user has searched for a specific keyword/s.

Showrooming

Showrooming refers to when a customer examines merchandise in a traditional bricks and mortar retail store or other offline setting, before buying it online.

Site map or Sitemap

A site map is a model of a website’s content, designed to help users and search engines navigate the site. A site map can be a hierarchical list of pages organised by topic, an organisation chart, or an XML document that provides instructions to search engines.

SLA or Service Level Agreement

A service-level agreement (SLA) forms part of a standardised service contract (verbal or written), where particular aspects of a service are officially defined and the responsibilities of each party are outlined.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is an eCommerce day that encourages customers to support their local small businesses. Whilst the idea behind this campaign was originally related to bricks and mortar, companies have successfully translated the premise to the online world.

Smarketing

Small Business Saturday is an eCommerce day that encourages customers to support their local small businesses. Whilst the idea behind this campaign was originally related to bricks and mortar, companies have successfully translated the premise to the online world.

SMB or Small to Medium Business

An SMB is usually defined as a company that has between 10 and 500 employees.

Social Commerce

Social commerce is a subset of eCommerce that involves using social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. Shopping has always been social by nature, so the combination of engaged social media platforms and smartphone-using shoppers has streamlined and facilitated this process.

Split Testing

See A/B testing.

SQL or Sales Qualified Lead

An SQL is a prospective customer that has been researched and effectively vetted, first through a company’s marketing department and then by its sales team, as ready for the next stage in the sales process. An SQL has shown a level of intent to buy a company’s products or services, and has met the organisation’s lead qualification criteria that determines whether a buyer is a right fit.

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer

SSL is the security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remains private. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites for protecting online transactions with their customers.

SSP or Supply-Side Platform

A supply-side platform is a piece of software used to sell advertising in an automated way. SSPs are mainly used by online publishers to help them sell display, video and mobile ads. It works in a similar way to a demand-side platform, with the difference being that DSPs are most often used by advertisers and agencies, whilst SSPs relate to publishers.

Super Saturday

Super Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas Day. The shopping day acts as a major driver of revenue for retailers being that it occurs on the last full weekend ahead of Christmas. Super Saturday lives up to its name, as it offers consumers major one-day sales in an effort to accumulate more revenue during the holiday season.

Throwback Thursday

In eCommerce terms, Throwback Thursday is traditionally the day when the majority of impulse buys purchased by customers over the Cyber Weekend (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), are returned to retailers.

UI or User Interface

User experience is all about how people interact with your product/service, for example, their experience navigating your website, app or software. It’s to do with the design of the interface, its usability, information architecture, navigation, comprehension and more. Overall, UX forms an integral aspect within the CX landscape.

Upselling

Upselling is a strategy used to offer a more expensive version of a product/service that the customer already has (or is buying), or to add extra features or add-ons to that product/service. For example, if a customer wants to buy a 30” TV, you could suggest instead they buy a 32” TV or add an extended warranty to their basket.

URL or Uniform Resource Locator

A URL or Uniform Resource Locator (previously Universal Resource Locator), is the address of a specific webpage or file on the Internet. It cannot have spaces or certain other characters and uses forward slashes to denote different directories.

UX or User Experience

User experience is all about how people interact with your product/service, for example, their experience navigating your website, app or software. It’s to do with the design of the interface, its usability, information architecture, navigation, comprehension and more. Overall, UX forms an integral aspect within the CX landscape.

Viewability

Viewability is an online advertising metric that aims to track the impressions that can actually be seen by users. If, for example, an ad is loaded at the bottom of a webpage but a user doesn’t scroll down far enough to see it, that impression is not deemed viewable. The industry is steadily accepting the importance of viewability, with the IAB outlining the ‘shifting currency from served impressions to viewable impressions’ as the way to gain greater accountability in digital media.

Whitelist

In the context of advertising, a whitelist is a list of websites that an advertiser has permitted their ads to be placed on. It is the opposite of blacklisting.

WOM or Word of Mouth

WOM or Word of Mouth refers to the passing of information from person to person.

 

XML or Extensible Markup Language

XML is a system for defining, validating, storing and sharing document formats. XML uses tags to distinguish document structures, and attributes to encode extra document information. It works in a similar way to HTML, but while HTML is used to display information, XML merely stores it.

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