Ecommerce Glossary

Address Verification System (AVS)
Process used by a credit card processor or other party to verify that a customer's billing address matches that of their credit card statement.

A person, organization, or establishment that drives traffic to a merchant's web site for a percentage of successful sales transactions.

A limit on the number of a specific product a customer can purchase over a designated time period.

Application Service Provider (ASP)
A business that provides remote access to a software application over the internet.

A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to a product.

The process of verifying that a credit card has sufficient funds available to cover the amount of transaction. The amount authorized is reserved against the available balance of a customer's credit card.

Batch Processing
To process a grouping of orders all at once. Such processing might include capturing funds and creating shipping labels.

Business to Business E-Commerce (B2B)
The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet between two businesses. A b2b system is password protected to ensure sensitive price information is not made available to the public. A distributor might use a B2B e-commerce system to purchase goods from a manufacturer.

Business to Consumer E-Commerce (B2C)
The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet between a merchant and a consumer.

Card Verification Value (CVV)
A three-digit number printed in the signature space on the back of most credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. On American Express Cards it is a four digit code. The CVV is designed to reduce credit card fraud by ensuring that the customer has the credit card in their possession.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
In the retail world, the total cost to purchase a finished product. In the manufacturing world, the total cost associated with purchasing raw materials and manufacturing finished products.

Domain Name
A name that it used to identify a web site. The domain name for Nexternal Solutions is

Domain Name System (DNS)
An Internet service that translates domain names in IP addresses. Used to resolve domain names to specific host computers

To transfer files from a server or host computer to one's own computer.

A scenario by which a customer places an order with via a retailer only to have the purchased goods sent directly from another location.

The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet.

Email Service Provider (ESP)
A company that offers software to help advertisers send bulk emails to customers.

The manipulation of data to prevent accurate interpretation by all but those for whom the data is intended.

An online newsletter.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A protocol used for uploading or downloading files over the Internet. Webmasters often use FTP to upload web pages to their web hosting server.

A system configured to control access to or from a network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software or a combination of both. A firewall examines each network packet to determine whether to forward it toward its destination.

To carry out the processing of an order including picking, packing, and shipping of product.

Gateway or Payment Gateway
A business or software that enables e-commerce systems to communicate with a merchant's Merchant Account Provider to enable online credit card processing.

The quantity of goods and materials on hand waiting to be sold.

A detailed list of goods shipped with a detailed account of all costs including product prices, shipping cost, and sales tax.

IP Address
An identifier for a computer on the Internet. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address. A web hosting server may have one or many IP addresses.

Merchant Account Provider
A bank or other institution that provides accounts to merchants wishing to process online credit card transactions.

Order Confirmation
An email to a customer confirming the placement of an order.

Order Management System
Software that enables online merchants to process, track, and organize orders.

Packing Slip
A document, usually included with a package, that displays the contents of the package. A packing slip does not include financial or account information.

Pay Per Click Marketing
A form of advertising by which the marketer pays an organization every time his advertisement is clicked.

Privacy Policy
A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding its customer's information.

Purchase Order (PO)
a commercial document used to request someone to supply something in return for payment and providing specifications and quantities. A purchase order usually has an associated purchase order number used to identify the purchase order.

A Request for Information to either a database application or search engine.

Return Policy
A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding the return of products by customers.

Search Engine Optimization
The process of increasing a web sites ranking in the search engine results pages. Search Engine Optimization includes modifying on page factors (content) and off page factors such as linking strategies.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
A protocol used to transmit documents over the internet in an encrypted format. An SSL connection will use the https protocol where as typical web pages are transmitted via an http protocol.

Security Certificate
Information stored on a web server that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection with another computer. Security Certificates contain information regarding ownership, issuer, a unique serial number or other unique identification, and valid dates.

Shipping Carrier
A company used to transport packages. Common carriers include UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS.

Shopping Cart
A specific area of an online store that displays the current contents of an order in process.

Shopping Cart Software
Software used to display an online catalog and capture order information. Companies that offer shopping cart software include Nexternal, ProStores, Miva, osCommerce, CubeCart, X-Cart, ShopFactory, Zen Cart, CRE Loaded,and Yahoo Store.

A program used to fetch files from the internet for the purpose of indexing in search engines. Also called a web crawler, a spider follows links on web pages to find additional pages to index.

Stock-keeping Unit (SKU)
A unique identifier of a product. The SKU is used to track inventory and may or may not be shown to customers when shopping online

The net amount of an order. The cumulative price of an order's products. The subtotal excludes discounts, sales tax, and shipping charges.

Turnkey Application
A software program ready for immediate use. A turnkey e-commerce solution allows merchants to go live with their online store in a matter of hours.

To transfer files from one's own computer to a server or host computer.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
An address of a file located on the internet. A URL is composed of three parts 1) A protocol 2) A domain name and 3) a file name.

A person that visits a web site.

Web Analytics
The study of user activity on a web site or web application to understand how well it fulfils its objectives.

Web Host
A business that provides web hosting services.

An individual that creates or manages a web site.