10 Common eCommerce Terms & jargon explained

2021.11.13

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People develop tunnel vision when being hyper-focused on their preferred skill or profession. As a result, they develop jaron and terms within that speciality to expedite the conversation around common practices. This article will explain some of the most common abbreviations, acronyms, and terms in ecommerce while avoiding some of the more digital marketing, payment, or technical focused items. Many of these terms we use and implement, but ZAMARTZ is pretty sure you have never been exposed to a detailed explanation of what they really are.

eCommerce Terms

Mega-Menu

As the name implies, this is a larger and more complex version of a standard site header / navigation. A mega-menu normally includes advanced functionality of additional core category selections in the form of a fly-down menu. Additionally the menu could have other features, such as images, forms, or more stylized link contents with icons.

CLP vs. PLP vs. PDP

Term “CLP” = Category Landing Page

The category landing page is a content page that is similar to a homepage, but focuses on a specific selection of products. Most commonly, this is used for brands with a distinction between gender clothing lines, groups of distinct hard-lines and soft-line categories, or even features such as “gift guides” around the holidays. These pages are generally more editorial in nature and include either more story telling or romantic views of the focus product group in that specific moment in time. 

Term “PLP” = Product Listing Page or the Product Grid

PLP refers to the page that has a grouping of products shown in a common “card-based” or “grid”  format that normally includes a product image, product name/title, product prices, a “quick-view,” and a group of filters. This is often the format of a page a user visits when they click-through a navigation or a homepage link / CTA.

Term “PDP” = Product Detail Page or Product

PDP refers to a page that primarily has the information of a single product. This is the main location in which a customer can make a variation selection of a product, such as size and/or color, and add the product to their shopping cart/bag for future purchase.

Quick View

A quick view often refers to the ability to have the most t functional portions of a PDP to be accessible immediately. In normal cases, a small window/pop-up is shown on the PLP that allows the customer to have more views of the product and select the variations needed to subsequently add-to-cart in the same window. The intent is to allow a customer to add products to their cart while still viewing a larger assortment. As websites and deeper story telling become the norm, this functionality is dying out. Brands are finding that while this allows a quick add-to-cart, they miss out on the opportunity for more branded experiences and the ability to up-sell additional products. This version of the product often leads to some other unintended consequences, such as increased customer service inquiries, since important details may not be shown to the customer before purchase.

USP vs. CSP vs. CTL

Term “USP” = Up-Sell Product

When a customer is viewing a product detail page, these are normally product recommendations under the main product information that are greater quality or price-point. This offers not only the ability for the brand to show additional products for a customer to navigate to, but it also helps increase the average order value (AOV). In the physical world, this would be similar to having socks next to underwear or potato chips next to soda at a store.

Term “CSP” = Cross-Sell Product

Typically shown to a customer in the shopping cart, these recommendations look at the items in the cart and offer additional products that they did not intend to purchase before. These items could be related to what is in the cart or similar items that others have purchased prior. In the physical world this would be the equivalent to having chewing gum at the checkout line in the grocery store.

Term “CTL” / “CTS” = Complete the Look or Complete the Set

This is a cross-sell technique that is included on the PDP. It often offers the customer the ability to buy additional items that are secondary to the current product, but may be visible in the main photo itself. For apparel products, this could be the pants and shoes when the shirt is the current product, or for electronics where a TV is shown and a sound system or peripheral is also shown. In the physical world, this would be the equivalent of a mannequin in a department store and all the products on the figure directly behind it or a full livingroom setup in an electronic store.

BOPIS vs. BOSTS

Term “BOPIS” = Buy Online PickUp In Store

This is a product fulfillment process in which a customer can purchase a product online and pick their purchase up in-person at a physical brick-and-mortar location. This is often a 24-48 hour service and offers not only convenience for the customer, but the opportunity for the brand to show themselves in a physical form and a chance to up-sell the customer. This is also a great option for customers who may need a product that can be found quicker in store than if it would be shipped to their homes or when they are out of town.

Term “BOPIS” = Buy Online Ship To Store

This is a  similar product fulfilment process to BOPIS which allows the customer to purchase a product online and pick their purchase up in-person at a physical store. The difference in this method is not as immediate as BOPIS because the item does not exist in the pick-up store at time of purchase and needs to be sent to the store first. This is a great method of delivery when customers may want the convenience of gathering their purchase while finishing other errands in the area, passing through on their way to/from work, or when the delivery would be safer at a location that is opened at time of receiving.

BIS / Waitlist

Term “BIS” = Back In Stock

BIS is the ability to let customers know when a product that is out of stock becomes available again via a triggered email. This is used for temporary inventory reinstatement that is not related to a larger future order or a bespoke purchase. This notification could be triggered if an item is reserved in someone’s cart that expires and is then released back to the inventory, or when an item that has been returned allows that product to be reinstated into the inventory. Unlike pre-order or back-order, this notification does not require a customer to create an order beforehand. This is used when items have a high reservation frequency, but have no future order replenishment planned.

CTA

Term “CTA” = Call To Action

Shop Now, Click Here, Learn More – these are just a few commonly used “calls to action.” As the non-abbreviated text explains, these small phrases are the “actions” a brand hopes to invoke from a customer. They are often both prescriptive and directorial with the hope that   when the customer gets directed to the next location they will follow through with that intent. A call to action can, on occasion, not have a link attached to it, but best practice encourages all CTAs to either be a button or a text anchor tag directing a customer to another page.

Mini-Cart

While you may be familiar with the full version of your shopping cart, this is a smaller version that is shown across the shopping experience. Often the mini-cart is accessible from an icon in the main navigation of the website on all pages either on click or hover. The mini-cart offers some high-level information, including the product you have added to cart, the current sub-total, or even the ability to do some minor quantity or removal edits. The goal of the mini-cart is to offer the shopper a way to understand what they intend to purchase without taking them out of the browsing experience.

Favorites / Wishlist

This is a collection of products that the customer curates for themself. This could either be the customer creating an aspirational collection of products they hope to purchase in the future or that they would like to share with friends/family to purchase for them. The typical key features allow customers to create their own PLP/Grid of products that they can quickly reference or share a direct link with another. Favorites do not often notify the customer when the product is limited in quantity or on sale but could add additional incentives from the brand.

SFL

Term “SFL” = Save for Later
This option is presented to customers only in the shopping cart/bag in the checkout funnel. It allows the customer to remove items from their cart in a temporary area. Unlike wishlist, this is not a selection of products that can be shared with others, but offers an opportunity to better plan the entire cost of their cart without leaving the page, as well as a quick way to add products back into it that were previously there before. This is also a great feature for returning customers to remember what they almost purchased in a previous session.

Bonus : Checkout Funnel

This is the area of the website where the customer interacts with a set of steps to complete their purchase. Each of the steps gets closer and closer to the actual purchase and focuses the customer in each step to that goal. While most brands focus on the actual checkout portion itself, we believe that it also includes the Cart and the Order Confirmation page as crucial parts.

  1. Cart > Login/Guest > Checkout: Shipping > Checkout: Billing > Checkout: Payment > Order Review > Order Confirmation / Thank You

Note: We will not go into a more simplified or “3-step” checkout process in this post.

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