Embarking upon a new project seems exciting on paper. But, when taking their first steps, any team can get frustrated: there is always a new language to learn in order to advance at a good pace.
Thinking about an ecommerce sales strategy can be one of the best decisions for your business. We could start with that big concept: ecommerce. That is to say, all the strategic actions designed to position, distribute, or sell your product catalog over digital channels.
And that is much more than a webpage.
So that you don’t get overwhelmed before starting, we have put together an ecommerce dictionary with some basic terms that all companies, brands, and professionals should be familiar with. This will help you never get lost again in a meeting, FAQ section of a website, and when you are buying the tools that you need to start your digitalization.
- Data source: A data source is any place from which the company collects product information. Data sources can be external and internal. Currently, this data is shared in full in digital format through Excel, CSV, and PDF files. Tools that automate this collection and sending in real time are helping with the problems inherent to errors from manual imports and exports.
- API Solution: A direct connection between different systems or applications that guarantees a more accurate and safer exchange of data.
- ERP: This stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning”. This is a piece of software meant to organize the company’s information and centralize its collection from many sources. It can contain catalog information and also other corporate data that has nothing to do with the sale of products.
- PIM: This stands for “Product Information Management”. This software solution acts as the only true source of all a company's product information. A PIM solution, like Sales Layer, collects data from other sources, like the ERP software, centralizes all the catalog information, and automates the sending thereof to the different sales channels, design, and printing. This is the best software for companies and retailers that need a quick digital strategy – but one that is also precise and of quality.
- DAM: This stands for “Digital Asset Management” and refers to the management and storage of digital resources. That is to say, images, videos, and any other digital catalog content. A good PIM solution, like Sales Layer, includes DAM features to save you from having to use a lot of software systems together at the same time.
- SaaS: This abbreviation refers to “Software as a Service”. That is to say, the systems that allow for cloud access and use and don’t need to be installed on your machines. SaaS solutions allow for streamlining because you can access them from anywhere and from any device, and they are key for large teams that are spread out physically. A SaaS PIM like the Sales Layer PIM allows you to manage your catalog information more quickly.
- Product page: This is the digital page that includes all the information about a product. There is basic data that always has to be present (title, image, basic specifications), but the more complete the content of the product page is, the more relevant the page will be for the buyer and for platforms like marketplaces or Google Manufacturer.
- Digital twin: This is an increasingly more common concept that refers to an online “double” or “twin” of any physical product. That is to say, all the contents that a user can find about your product: technical data, descriptions, images, videos, manuals, etc. The more complete the product information is, the better the digital twin will be and the buyer will feel as though they are closer to the advantages of traditional physical shopping.
- Enriched content: This is more complete product content which provides more information and useful resources for the shopper. A product information page that offers high-resolution images, augmented reality, video tutorials, and charts comparing different models is an experience with enriched content.
- Data model: This refers to all the data, attributes, and relationships between different blocks of information. Having a catalog structure and orderly data is the number one aim of proper management with a PIM solution, as well as being the essential step to triumph in ecommerce.
- Product category: This is the label that identifies each product in its family. Categories are quite important for your management team and for your customers as they allow any product to be easily found and streamline the data field assignment process.
- Filtering: A good PIM system is based on smart filtering to allow you to find products or groups of products based on any isolated piece of data or pieces of related data. In an online sales channel, optimal filtering with a variety of options is one of the keys to helping your visitors quickly find what they are looking for.
- SKU: This stands for “Stock Keeping Unit”. It is the most common number used for identifying products. You can think of it like an ID card for your products.
- Augmented reality: This is the technology that recreates life-size objects in a digital format. En ecommerce, augmented reality is becoming more important to allow customers to see products in a more realistic way through the screen of a cell phone or tablet – anything from furniture to accessories.
- Content curation: This is the research process for product content that can be of interest for your audience. Posts, interviews, tutorials, and videos that companies share through email marketing and social networks.
- Landing page: This is a section of a website that is important because it acts as a final destination URL for ad campaigns and email content, or as a gateway to product categories.
Digital sales strategy
- Big data: Large groups of data collected via technological tools to analyze performance and apply future business actions.
- Retail: The system of selling products by different brands to the public in general. Retail businesses acquire products from distributors or brands and sell them to the consumer through physical or digital shops. They can be small businesses or large chains like Walmart.
- B2C: The abbreviation for “Business to Consumer”. This is the sales model in which a business gears its products towards the consumer.
- B2B: The abbreviation for “Business to Business”. In this business model, a company sells its products or services to other companies.
- D2C: The abbreviation for “Direct to Consumer.” This is the direct sale of products from the catalog to the end consumer without intermediaries (distributors and retailers).
- Multi-channel: This is a sales strategy that combines several channels – both physical and online. The company or retailer can sell products in different places, with different content for each channel and without inventory integrating on all of them.
- Omnichannel: This is a greater multi-channel strategy in which a shopping experience without barriers between the different channels is offered. The buyer can combine physical and digital purchases; for example, reservation online and pickup in a shop. In this system, the key is for the product content to be fully unified over all the channels.
- Marketplace: This is an online sales platform for products from different retailers and/or brands. From Amazon to marketplaces that are specialized in product categories like clothing or food, marketplaces are a type of showcase for the greater public.
- Ecommerce platform: CMS (Content Management Systems) are software systems used to create and manage online shops. Examples are Magento, Shopify, and PrestaShop. They can be paid or open source systems, they can also be open source and have additional, paid modules.
- Logistics: This is the entire strategy geared towards storing, managing, and delivering products in inventory and orders from the company. In ecommerce, it is vital to coordinate these efforts over all the online and offline channels to avoid inventory problems.
- Social commerce: This is the phenomenon of sales via social networks. This concept covers the product promotion strategy on social media and the direct sale of products natively in apps like Instagram and Facebook Shops.
- User experience: Also known for its abbreviation “UX,” this is the shopping experience that a brand offers through all its actions and the sensations and impressions that buyers have about that brand. Accessibility, attractiveness, and clarity are fundamental concepts for a proper UX in ecommerce.
- Seasonality: Both for physical and digital sales, the time of year has a great influence on consumers’ behavior. On online channels, it is just a relevant to pay attention to seasonal campaigns and launches linked to different times of the year. Especially on dates that have become a type of ‘online phenomenon,’ like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- SEO: The abbreviation for “Search Engine Optimization”. This is related with optimizing your product content so that it is well positioned in search engines like Google.
- Competitive intelligence: This consists of analyzing the actions of your direct competition on online channels – things like prices, product selection, marketing activities, and the design and performance of online channels.
- A/B Testing: This is a marketing practice geared towards trying two versions of a digital design to measure which one works better. Each version is shown randomly to visitors of a website or landing page, and the formats, colors, and contents are analyzed to see which ones have better conversion rates.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): The management of relationships with the customer is a vital process for online sales. The Customer Success team should have the proper knowledge and skills to be able to handle customer and order data, past order history, and other basic data so that your customer service experience is seamless.
- Lifetime Customer Value (LCV): This is the monetary value that a client has for the company, based on his/her actions and a prediction of how much he/she will spend based on his/her type of profile. With this value, companies can come to conclusions about which customers are more important and how much effort should be made to keep them.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): This is the level of recommendability of your brand or products. That is to say, how likely it is that a client will recommend you to others on a scale of 1 to 10.
Online shopping experience
- Shopping cart: Also known as the “cart” or the “shopping basket.” This is the digital version of the traditional shopping cart: the tab where a user saves all the products that he/she wants to buy on an online shop.
- Checkout: The process for reviewing, confirming, and paying for products on a digital channel. In this screen, users share their payment and shipping details to complete the process.
- Payment gateway: This is the system for collecting payment for an online purchase through alternatives like bank cards or PayPal. The most important thing is to have security certificates that provide the customer with a sense of trust at this point in the buying process.
- Average purchase value: This is the average amount that your customers spend on your digital channel per visit. It can be calculated by dividing your sales total by the number of orders.
- Cart abandonment rate: This is the average number of shopping carts that customers never complete the sale for. To improve this rate, remarketing strategies must be used and a clear, trustworthy shopping experience must be ensured.
- Call to action (CTA): These are visual elements like buttons or texts with a link with which users interact in order to undertake actions online: visit a website, add items to the shopping cart or to the wishlist, share content on Twitter, apply coupons, etc.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The average number of clicks; that is to say, the number of times that a call to action has brought about conversion on a website or an ad: purchase button, subscribe button, button to apply a discount, etc.
- Cross selling: This is a sales strategy in which the buyer is encouraged to purchase products related with one of his/her interests. For example, accessories for a cell phone. Product suggestions on an online shop are a great example of cross selling.
- Upselling: This is the strategy that aims to convince the buyer to acquire a product that is in a higher category than the one he/she is interested in. For example, a computer that is more powerful or which has better features.
- Responsive design: This is a type of web design that is adapted so that pages are displayed correctly on any type of screen and device.
- AMP: This stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” a concept developed by Google and which makes reference to websites with an optimal load speed for mobile devices. This is very important for ecommerce, as a large number of sales are made from smartphones.
Now that your ecommerce vocabulary has improved a lot, why don’t you start to put everything you know into practice? Remember that a PIM solution is the best way to start automating all your processes in an ecommerce strategy. You can try a PIM solution for yourself for free, or ask our specialists about any questions you may have. Surely now you speak our language!