Glossary of Ecommerce Terms

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It’s sometimes impossible to have a conversation on a subject without some jargon creeping in.

Here is glossary of ecommerce terms you might find handy.

Auto Responder

An automatic email that is sent to a customer or newsletter subscriber when they perform an action. This could either be a link being clicked or a basket being abandoned.

Basket Abandonment

When a visitor leaves your website during the checkout phase they are said to have abandoned their basket. If a user is logged in when this occurs it is possible to track this activity and automatically email them to ask if anything went wrong or if there is anything you can do to help them with their product selection. (See Auto responder)

Bounce Rate

Usually shown as a percentage, bounce rate shows how many people have entered your website and left without visiting any other pages.

Examining this figure will give you an idea as to the quality of your website visitors.

A high bounce rate will generally mean that your landing page is not providing your visitors with relevant content.

CMS (Content Management System)

A system that allows the website owner with little to no technical expertise to make changes to their website. The user will usually log in to an admin section of the website where they will be able to make text and image changes using a basic word processor interface.

Conversions

A conversion is the completion of a pre-defined goal. It could either be a customer completing a transaction on your e-commerce website or simply filling and submitting your online contact form.

It is also possible to combine conversion tracking with ‘funnels’. Goal funnels allow you to track the steps a customer takes before reaching the goal.

Eshot

Simply another name for email newsletters sent out using an email marketing system.

Landing Page

A landing page is single web page that is used to provide content that is highly relevant to the advertisement or link that a visitor clicks on.  For example, if you sell dresses and have a PPC advert promoting a green spotted dress you would ensure that when a visitor clicked on the link they would arrive at the page with the green spotted dress as opposed to the home page. Constructing well thought out landing pages can lower website bounce rate.

Organic results

These appear on search engine results pages and are generated by the search provider’s own algorithm. Organic listings have the benefit of being free (if you discount the cost of ‘getting to the top’) and are also accepted as a more trusted result by the searcher. Organic results generally have a higher click through rate than paid advertising.

Payment Gateway

Payment gateways provide ecommerce retailers the ability to authorise transactions. They protect customer credit card information by encrypting information as it passes from the customer to the retailer and the retailer to the payment processor.

PCI DSS Compliance (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

A set of requirements defined by the major debit and credit cards that ensure retailers meet a minimum standard of information security. Compliance checks can be carried out by an external assessor or by self-assessment depending on the volume of transactions.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Advertisements that only cost you money when someone clicks on them. Most likely to be seen at the top and right hand side of the Google search engine results pages.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

These are the results that are displayed when you search for a keyword using a search engine.

SSL Certificate (Secure Socket Layer)

SSL itself is a technology used to encrypt data as is passes through the internet. It is comprised of two keys which are unique to each other. One key encrypts information while the second key decrypts the information when it arrives at its destination. A third party company provides these keys along with a certificate which proves their authenticity. The certificate can be viewed by customers using your ecommerce shop.

URL rewriting

This is a technique used to improve the readability of a web address and also improve search engine rankings. By default, an online shop will generate long URLs which often contain peculiar numbers and symbols which not only look untidy but also give no clue as to where the link will lead. Using URL rewriting we can make a web address go from this:

http://www.ansellandclarke.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1&

to this:

http://www.ansellandclarke.co.uk/ecommerce_experts

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