E-Commerce Glossary

Ad Clicks
Number of times that a viewer clicks on an ad banner.

Address Verification
Process used by a credit card processor or other party to verify that a customer’s ordering address matches their records.

Automated Clearing House
An ACH transaction is an electronic fund transfer through the Federal Reserve Bank from a checking or savings account.

The process of checking the validity and available balance of a customer’s credit card before the transaction can be accepted.

The amount of information (webpages, text, graphics, video, sound, etc) that is downloaded through a connection.

An interactive ad placed on a webpage that is linked to an external advertiser’s website or another internal page within the same website.

“Card Not Present” Merchant Account
An account that allows merchants to process credit cards without a face to face transaction with the purchaser.

Certificate Authority
A Certificate Authority (CA) is a third party which verifies the identity of merchants and their sites. The certificate authority issues a certificate (also called a digital certificate or an authentication certificate) to an applicant company, which can then put the certificate up on its site.

Commerce Server
The server that manages and maintains all transactional and backend data for a commerce website.

Cross Promotion
The promotion of a website through other traditional forms of advertising such as magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, billboards, etc.

Delayed Settlement Processing
Once a transaction has been authorized, the merchant must ship the hard goods before a transaction can be settled. Delayed settlements are stored online until the merchant selects the transactions for settlement.

Digital Certificate
A Digital Certificate issued by a Certificate Authority certifies that a merchant and a particular website are connected, just as a photo on your driver’s licence connects your identity with your personal details.A digital certificate verifies to the shopper that the virtual store is actually associated with a physical address and phone number which can increase the shoppers confidence in the authenticity of the merchant.

Distribution Channel
The method through which a product is sold including retailers, catalogers, internet commerce websites, etc.

Domain Name
The unique name of an internet website. For example, yahoo.com is a domain name.

The transfer of information from the internet to the browsing computer.

Drop Ship
The shipping of a product directly from the manufacturer to the customer without requiring inventory carrying by the retailer.

Electronic Software Distribution
Software that can be purchased and downloaded directly from the internet.

Each time a Web server sends a file to a browser, a “hit” is recorded in the server file logs.

Home Page
The first page through which a viewer usually enters a website.

Hyper Text Markup Language is the standardized language which allows web browsers to interpret websites.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is a protocol which allows computers to communicate with each other.

Words that may be used by viewers searching for information. Keywords can be purchased from search engine companies so that an appropriate ad banner may be displayed when a viewer searches on a particular word.

Merchant Account
A “bank account” established with a payment processor for the settlement of credit card transactions. Any merchant who wants to take credit card orders must establish a merchant account. Online Internet merchants need a “Card Not Present Merchant Account.”

Off-Line Transaction Processing
Capture of order and credit card information for later authorization and transaction processing through a traditional card swipe terminal or through a computer.

Order Confirmation
An e-mail message notifying a customer that an order has been received and will be processed.

Order Management System
A system that accepts orders and initiates a process that results in the outbound shipment of a finished good.

Payment Gateway
An electronic payment gateway is the Internet connectivity between your website and the credit card companies (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, Diner’s Club). It is similar to the point of sale (POS) terminal systems that you find in a grocery store or restaurant.

PCI Compliance
Refers to Payment Card Industry security standards. For most E-Commerce sites the relevant areas of attention are server security, PA-DSS compliant software and company security polices and practices.

Real Time Credit Card Processing
On-line authorization of a credit card number in real time informing the merchant that the card has been approved.

Once the goods have been shipped to the customer, the merchant can key a transaction for settlement at which time the customer’s credit card is charged for the transaction and the proceeds are deposited into the merchant account.

Secure Socket Layer is an encryption technology on the server that scrambles important data such as credit card numbers and order information when it is being stored or passed from one computer to another.

Shipping Confirmation
An e-mail message that notifies a customer that an order has been shipped.

Uniform Resource Locator which describes the “address” for a document on the internet.