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    The SMB Electronic Commerce Dictionary

    The world of electronic commerce (ecommerce) is vast and your key to understanding the technology is to first understand the lingo.

    What is Electronic Commerce (E-commerce)?

    Often referred to as simply ecommerce (or e-commerce) describes business that is conducted over the internet using any of the applications that rely on the internet, including email, shopping carts, social media and Web services, among others.

    Electronic commerce can be between two businesses transmitting funds, goods, services and/or data or is business conduscted with the end-consumer.

    15 Common E-commerce Terms

    From setting up your first online web store to understanding industry regulations, this glossary of terms offers the following helpful definitions and phrases to get you started.


    Describes a visitor on a Web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action. Examples of abandonment include exiting before signing up for a newsletter or downloading an incentive. A similar electronic commerce term, shopping cart abandonment, refers to visitors who add items to their online shopping cart, but exit without completing the purchase. [Learn More]

    Credit Card Interchange

    The process by which all parties involved in a credit card transaction (i.e., processors, acquirers, issuers and so on) manage the processing, clearing and settlement of credit card transactions. [Learn More]

    Curated Commerce

    Curated commerce refers to creating unique product lines that provide customers with a distinct collection not offered by other online retailers in a market. The demand for personalization in online shopping is a driving factor behind curated commerce. Retailers often use marketingtactics such as email marketing to show a selection of curated products to customers based on personal taste and purchase history with the retailer. [Learn More]

    Ecommerce Hosting

    A phrase used to describe a type of website hosting platform that is used to serve an electronic commerce website. Ecommerce hosting differs from standard Web hosting in that a number of features and functionalities are required to manage and run a commercial website. This includes SSL, database support, shopping cart software, payment processing services, and additional ecommerce software and security initiatives. [Learn More]

    Ecommerce Remarketing

    Remarketing or ecommerce remarketing refers to the techniques, strategies and often the automated email systems used by marketers and online merchants to follow up with Web site visitors who do not make a desired action on the Web site usually it is when they abandon their shopping cart. [Learn More]

    EDI – Electronic Data Interchange

    Electronic Data Interchange is the transfer of data between different companies using networks. As more and more companies get connected to the Internet, EDI is becoming increasingly important as an easy mechanism for companies to buy, sell and trade information. [Learn More]

    Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce)

    Mobile ecommerce (m-commerce) is the term used to describe the growing trend of using networks that interface with wireless devices, such as laptops, handheld computers or mobile phones to initiate or complete online electronic commerce transactions. [Learn More]

    Merchant Account

    An industry term for a business banking relationship whereby you and a bank have arranged to accept credit card payments. Setting up a merchant account usually involves the bank understanding your business and working with a third-party processor to arrange a mechanism for accepting payments. [Learn More]

    Payment Gateway

    The service that automates the payment transaction between the shopper and merchant. It is usually a third-party service that is actually a system of computer processes that process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions on behalf of the merchant through secure Internet connections. [Learn More]

    Payment Processing

    The term used to describe the process and service that automates payment transactions between the shopper and merchant. It is usually a third-party service that is actually a system of computer processes that process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions on behalf of the merchant through secure Internet connections. [Learn More]

    PCI DSS – Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)

    Short for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), PCI DSS is a standard that all organizations, including online retailers, must follow when storing, processing and transmitting their customer’s credit card data. The Data Security Standard (DSS) was developed and the standard is maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). [Learn More]

    Shopping Cart

    A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store’s catalog and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company’s Web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise. [Learn More]

    Social Shopping

    A slang term used to describe networked shopping. In electronic commerce it refers to consumers who use social networking services and sites to share their latest purchases, deals, coupons, product reviews, want lists, and other shopping finds. [Learn More]

    SSL – Secure Sockets Layer

    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. SSL is all about encryption. SSL encrypts data, like credit cards numbers (as well other personally identifiable information). [Learn More]

    Tablet Commerce (T-Commerce)

    In ecommerce terminology, tablet commerce (t-commerce) is a mobile commerce strategy that focuses on designing and developing ecommerce websites and related processes to improve the browsing and shopping experience on tablet devices. [Learn More]

    This article was last updated on November 10, 2017