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A glossary of terms to know for international eCommerce

eCommerce offers businesses more opportunities to reach more customers around the globe. But, there's more to it than just accommodating other countries' currencies. So before you take your business cross-border, check out this list of international eCommerce terms to become familiar with.

  • Address Verification Service (AVS) — a process of validating the identity of the cardholder by their billing address.
  • affiliate — a type of relationship between two companies in which one sells the other’s products on their own website and is paid commission on sales. Also known as a commercial partner.
  • average time on site — the amount of time a visitor spends on a site while browsing the web.
  • B2B (business to business) — a transaction between two businesses, such as between a wholesaler and a retailer.
  • B2C (business to consumer) — a transaction between a business and the consumer, or end-user of the product.
  • billing currency — the currency in which a card issuer bills a cardholder for transactions.  
  • bounce rate — the rate at which consumers viewing a site navigate away from the site without visiting other pages on the original site.  
  • brick-and-click — when a business has a physical location as well as an eCommerce site which allows customers to shop across both channels, e.g. purchase online and pick up instore, or purchase instore and return and reorder online.
  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) — the cost of acquiring potential customers, including expenses for marketing, research, and customer incentives.
  • cart abandonment — this happens when a consumer has placed items in their online shopping cart, but leaves the site without completing the purchase.
  • chargebacks — a reversal of  funds to a customer that could be due to valid concerns about the purchase or fraudulent activity.
  • churn rate — the percentage of customer or subscribers that stop doing business with a company. Also known as the attrition rate. 
  • click-through rate — the number of clicks on a link in an email, on a webpage, or on an online advertisement compared to the number of views of the email, webpage, or ad.
  • CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) — a prediction of how much an eCommerce business expects to make from the lifetime relationship with a customer.
  • CMS (Content Management System) — a software solution that allows multiple users to easily create, edit, and publish content online. Examples include WordPress and Drupal.
  • conversion rate — the rate at which consumers visiting an eCommerce site convert into paying customers, e.g. if 100,000 consumers view a site, and 4,000 make a purchase, the conversion rate is 4%.
  • cookies —  a small amount of data that a web browser or server generates and is stored on the user’s own computer for future use.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)— a system for organizing and analyzing customer contacts, purchases, customer service and technical support touches, and other relevant information across all channels (e.g. website, instore, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing, and social media) for the purpose of improving customer relationships.
  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) — the process of improving a website’s experience to induce visitors to complete the desired goal, e.g. complete checkout.
  • cross-border fees — fees associated with payment transactions that span country borders.
  • cross-selling — the practice of suggesting and selling additional products or service to customers who have already made a purchase, e.g. “Customers who bought this item also bought this one…” Also known as upselling.
  • CTA (Call-To-Action) — Words or phrases to encourage a viewer to take action, e.g. Buy now, Click here, Get started. On an eCommerce site, a CTA is generally accompanied by a button that allows the user to complete the action.
  • digital commerce — the infrastructure comprising eCommerce, including analytics from mobile search engines, mobile apps, social platforms, and other online aspects.  
  • discount code — computer generated letters and/or numbers used to activate special offers or discounts on an eCommerce site. Usually available by email or advertisements and entered by the customer in their shopping card or checkout page. Also known as a coupon code or promo code
  • domicile — the geographical region where a merchant is located.
  • dropshipping — an eCommerce fulfillment strategy in which goods are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the end-user, rather than being stored by the eCommerce business prior to delivery.
  • dynamic currency conversion — the process in which the amount of a payment card transaction is converted by a merchant or ATM to the currency of the payment card's country of issue at the point of sale.  
  • eCommerce hosting — provides eCommerce businesses with the tools, services, and functionality to set-up, manage, and conduct their business online. Most often includes a web server to host the site, an email server and support, technical support, and other features.
  • engagement rate — a measurement of the percentage of website viewers that engage with a piece of content or advertisement based on factors like comments, likes, or shares.
  • evergreen content — refers to online content that remains relevant and fresh, no matter how long it is posted.
  • event-triggered email — an automated email message sent to a company’s subscribers following a particular event such as a birthday date or registration anniversary date.
  • foreign currency — a currency other than the local currency.
  • Google Analytics — a free service from Google that allows businesses to track web traffic and other statistics related to SEO and marketing.   
  • keyword — phrases or words that describe online content to trigger online search results.
  • listing fee — the fee that online auction and trading sites charge for listing products from other vendors.
  • local payments — payment types that are offered in a specific geographic location (most commonly within a region or country) that are not accepted outside of that region. For example, Interac is a local payment type specific to Canada; iDEAL is local to the Netherlands.
  • mCommerce — mobile commerce using a wireless handheld device like a smartphone or tablet, to buy and sell services online.
  • microsite — a web page that sits outside a company’s primary website, most often used for marketing purposes to highlight a specific campaign.
  • mobile marketing — personalized marketing that reaches consumers on their mobile device via websites, emails, SMS text, mobile apps, and social media.
  • mobile optimization — the practice of improving a business’ website for mobile devices to ensure a positive user experience.
  • multi-currency — the ability for a merchant to offer goods and services to cardholders in different currencies.  
  • native advertising — online advertising in the form of editorial content rather than traditional banner ads. Infographics and blogs are examples of native advertising.
  • on-page optimization — the practice of optimizing web content internally to improve a page’s search engine ranking. Includes meta descriptions, title tags, HTML code, and keyword placement.
  • off-page optimization —  the practice of optimizing web content externally to improve a page’s search engine ranking. This includes establishing backlinks, or incoming links, to the page from reputable sites as well as other social networking practices.
  • omni-channel management — the practice of ensuring a consistent shopping experience for the consumer across all points of sale, instore and online, via the website or a mobile app.
  • open rate — the percentage of people that open a particular email in a marketing campaign, e.g. if 1000 emails were sent, and 200 were opened, the open rate would be 20%.  
  • order fulfillment —  the steps an eCommerce company must to process an order from placement through delivery.
  • pageviews — used in web analytics, a pageview is when a visitor visits a business’ page on their website. More pageviews equate to more visits to that particular page.
  • partial shipment — when only part of an order is shipped at a time.
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing — an online advertising model in which the advertiser is charged only when the ad is clicked and the prospect is directed to the advertiser’s site. Also known as CPC  (Cost-Per-Click).
  • responsive design — refers to website design that is customized to the viewer based on their browser platforms, for easier viewing and usability.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — marketing that focuses on driving traffic and increasing awareness from organic search results on search engines. Includes various types of searches such as image search, video search, local search, and more.
  • SERP (search engine results page) — a webpage displaying a listing of results from a user’s search via keywords. Each listing includes a linked web page title, the URL, a short description of the page, and sometimes links to key pages of the site.
  • time lag – in eCommerce, the time between a user’s visits before they complete a multi-channel conversion, e.g. between their first interaction with the business and their conversion to being a purchasing customer.
  • top of the funnel — the first stage of the buying process that marks when a consumer first interacts with a company.
  • unique user — an individual that has visited a website during a specified period of time or received specific content like emails or ads. Tracking unique users allows marketers to determine how many consumers view their content.
  • web analytics — A tool that tracks site visits, keywords, searches, and more to help eCommerce businesses assess and improve the effectiveness of their website. Also known as digital analytics. Google Analytics is one example.

Now that you have an idea of some of the terms that apply to international eCommerce, you can start looking at your options for expanding your business globally. For additional information and guidance, contact your trusted payments partner or Worldpay.