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Skills Development


Ecommerce Academic and Private courses

EFA Ecommerce basic curriculum – Module overview

EFA strongly recommends that the following 40 issues should be present in any academic or training course on “ecommerce” in order for that course to provide students with a true picture of selling online.

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Glossary of Ecommerce terminology


A/B Testing

A/B or AB testing refers to testing two different versions of a page or a page element such as a heading, image or button. The alternatives are served alternately with the visitors to the page randomly split between the two pages. Hence, it is sometimes called ‘live split testing’. changes in visitor behaviour can then be compared using different metrics such as click-through rate on page elements like buttons or images, or macroconversion rates, such as conversion to sale or sign-up. AB testing is aimed at increasing page or site effectiveness against key performance indicators including click-through rate, conversion rates and revenue per visit. Since it does not consider combinations of variables tested, for best uplift multivariate testing is increasingly used.

Above the fold

A term, derived from printed media, which is used to indicate whether a banner advertisement or other content is displayed on a web page without the need to scroll. This is likely to give higher click-through, but note that the location of the ‘fold’ within the web browser is dependent on the screen resolution of a user’s personal computer.

Access path

The path chosen by a database management system to retrieve the requested data.

Access Platform

A method for sustomers to access digital media.

Access provider

A company providing services to enable a company or individual to access the Internet. Access providers are divided into Internet service providers (ISPs) and online service providers (OSPs).

Access provider/internet service provider (ISP)

A company which provides its customers a service so they can access the Internet. The user normally connects to the access provider’s computer via a modem using a dial-up connection.


An approach to site design intended to ccommodate site usage using different browsers and settings particularly required by the visually impaired and visitors with other disabilities including motor control, learning difficulties and deafness. Users whose first language is nog English can also be assisted.

Accessibility legislation

Legislation intended to assist users of websites with disabilities including visual disability.


see Customer acquisition


A prospect or customer takes the first step in actively using an online service after initial registration or purchase.

Active Server Page (ASP)

A type of HTML page (denoted by an .asp file name) that includes scripts (small programs) that are processed on a web server before the web page is served to the user’s web browser. ASP is a Microsoft technology that usually runs on a Microsoft Internet Information Server (usually on Windows IT). The main use of such programs is to process information supplied by the user in a online form. A query may then be run to provide specific information to the customer such as delivery status on an order, or a personalised web page.


A programming language standard developed by Microsoft that permits complex and graphical customer applications to be written and then accessed from a web browser. ActiveX components are standard controls that can be incorporated into websites and are then automatically downloaded for users. Examples are graphics and animation or a calculator form for calculating interest on a loan or a control for graphing stock prices. A competitor to Java.

Ad clicks

Also called clickthroughs. The number of times a user “clicks” on an online ad, often measured as a function of time (ad clicks per day).

Ad creative

The design and content of an ad.

Ad Impression

Similar in concept to a page impression; describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad view, a term that is less commonly used.

Ad inventory

The total number of ad impressions that a website can sell over time (usually specified per month).

Ad network

Ad networks form suppliers such as Blue Lithium or 24/7 Media give advertisers the options of advertising across a network of sites to reach a particular demographic, e.g. female 18-25, but at a lower cost than targeting a single site since the actual site used for the ad placement isn’t known (hence these are sometimes known as ‘blind network buys’).

Ad rotation

When advertisements are changed on a website for different user sessions. This may be in response to ad targeting or simply displaying different advertisements form those on a list.

Ad serving

The term for displaying an advertisement on a website. Often the advertisement will be served from a web server different from the site on which it is placed. For example, the server URL for displaying the advertisement is

Ad space

The area of a web page that is set aside for banner advertising.

Ad view

Similar in concept to a page impression; describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad impression, the term that is more commonly used.

Adaptive mobile web design

Generally a more sophisticated approach than Responsive web design that involves delivering an experience optimised for handsets targeted and splits the code and processing to render on different devices between the client and the server.

Adaptive web design

Also known as progressive enhancement, this design technique delivers different layouts and features according to what is supported by browser and screen resolution of the device.

Administrative data

The data that helps a warehouse administrator manage the data warehouse. Examples of administrative data are user profiles and order history data.


Advertisements on websites are usually banner advertisements positioned as a masthead on the page.

Advertising broker

See Media broker

Advertising networks

A collection of independent websites of different companies and media networks, each of which has an arrangement with a single advertising broker (see Media broker) to place banner advertisements.


A company promoting a merchant typically through a commission-based arrangement either direct or through an affiliate network.

Affiliate marketing

A commission-based arrangement where referring sites (publishers) receive a commission on sales or leads by merchants (retailers). Commission is usually based on a percentage of product sale price or a fixed amount for each sale (CPA or cost-per-acquisition), but may also sometimes be based on a per-click basis, for example when an aggregator refers visits to merchants.

Affiliate networks

Third-party brokers also known as affiliate managers who manage recruitment of affiliates and infrastructure to manage a merchant’s affiliate programme in the form of links, tracking and payment of a range of affiliates.


Software programs that can assist people to perform tasks like finding particular information such as the best price for a product.

Aggregated buying

A form of customer union where buyers collectively purchase a number of items at the same price and receive a volume discount.


An alternative term to price comparison sites. Aggregators include product, price and service information comparing competitors within a sector such as financial services, retail or travel. Their revenue models commonly include affiliate revenues (CPA), pay-per-click advertising (CPC) and display advertising (CPM).

Agile software development

An iterative approach to developing software and websites functionality with the emphasis on face-to-face communications to elicit, define and test requirements. Each iteration or scrum is effectively a mini-software project including stages of planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, testing and documentation.

Allowable cost-per-acquisition

A target maximum cost for generating leads or new customers profitably.

Alt tags

Alt tags appear after an image tag and contain a phrase associated with that image. For example: <img src=”logo.gif” alt=”company name, company products”/>.

Always-on communications

Continuous investment in paid, owned and earned digital media to engage prospects and customers and meet purchase intent as they research products through search, social media and publisher sites.


The process and techniques for the exploration and analysis of business data to discover and identify new and meaningful information and trends that allow for analysis to take place.

Anchor test (also known as link text)

The (usually) clickable text element representing a hyperlink. Or more prosaically, the body copy that is hyperlinked.

Animated banner advertisements (animated GIF’s)

Early banner advertisements featured only a single advertisement, but today they will typically involve sereval different images, which are displayed in sequence to help attract attention to the banner and build up a theme, often ending with a call to action and the injunction to click on the banner. These advertisements are achieved through supplying the ad creative as an animated GIF file with different layers or frames, usually a rectangle of 468 x 60 pixels. Animated banner advertisements are an example of rich-media advertisements.


See Site announcements


An application program (or application shortened) is a computer program designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user. Examples of an application include a word processor, a spreadsheet, an accounting application, a media player, an aeronautical flight simulator, a console game or a photo editor. The collective noun application software refers to all applications collectively. This contrasts with system software, which is mainly used for running the computer.

Application Programming Interfaces

Method of exchanging data between systems such as website services.


A database containing information on what documents and programs are located on FTP servers. It would not be used in a marketing context unless one were looking for a specific piece of software of document name.

Asymmetric encryption

Both parties use a related but different key to encode and decode messages.


Atomisation in a Web 2.0 context refers to a concept where the content on a site is broken down into smaller fundamental units which can then e distributed via the web through links to other sites. Examples of atomisation include the stories and pages in individual feeds being syndicated to third-party sites and widgets.

Attrition rate

Percentage of site visitors who are lost at each stage in making a purchase.

Audit (external)

Consideration of the business and economic environment in which the company operates. This includes the economic, political, fiscal, legal , social, cultural and technological factors (usually referred to by the acronym STEP of SLEPT).

Audit (internal)

A review of website effectiveness.


See Site auditors.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.


See Security methods.


Software tools or agents running on web servers that automatically send a standard reply to the sender of an email message. This may provide information for a standard request sent to, say,, or it could simply state that the message or order has been forwarded to the relevant person and will be answered within two days. (Also known as mailbots.)


See security methods; Site availability.


A term used in computer-mediated environments to mean a ‘virtual person’. Derived from the word’s original meaning: ‘n. the descendant of a Hindu deity in a visible form; incarnation; supreme glorification of any principle’.

Average order value (AOV)

The average amount spent for a single checkout purchase on a retail site for a particular customer group, e.g. first time purchasers.



High-speed communications links used to enable Internet communications across a county and internationally.


Hyperlinks which link to a particular web page (or website). Also known as inbound links. Google PageRank and Yahoor! WebRank are methods of enumerating this.

Balanced scorecard

A framework for setting and monitoring business performance. Metrics are structured according to customer issues, internal efficiency measures, financial measures and innovation.


Indicates the speed at which data are transferred using a particular network medium. It is measured in bits per second (bps).- kbps (one kilobit per second or 1000 bps; a modem operates at up to 56.6 kbps). – mbps (one megabit per second or 1,000,000 bps; company networks operate at 10 or more Mbps). – gbps (one gigabit per second or 1,000,000,000 bps; fibre-optic or satelite links operate at Gbps).

Banner advertisement

A typically rectangular graphic displayed on a web page for purposes of brand building or driving traffic to a site. It’s normally possible to perform a click-through to access further information from another website. Banners may be static or animated. See Animated banner advertisements.

Behavioural ad targeting

Enables an advertiser to target ads at a visitor as they move elsewhere on the site or return to the sie, thus increasing the frequency or number of impressions served to an individual in the target market.

Behavioural loyalty

Loyalty to a brand is demostrated by repeat sales and response to marketing campaigns.

Behavioural traits of web users

Web users can be broadly divided into directed and undirected information seekers.


A commitment by a trader to purchase under certain conditions.

Big Data applications in marketing

Big Data refers to applications to gain value from the increasing Volume, Velocity and Variety of data integrated from different sources. These enhance insight to deliver more relevant communications through techniques such as Marketing Automation and Social CRM.


Personal online diary, journal or news source compiled by one person, an internal team or external guest authors. Posting are usually in different categories. Typically comments can be added to each blog posting to help create interactivity and feedback.


Bluecasting involves messages being automatically pushed to a consumer’s bluetooth-enabled phone or they can pull or request audio, video or text content to be downloaded from a live advert. In the future ads will be able to respond to those who view them.


Sending a message from a mobile phone or transmitter to another mobile hone which is in close range via Bluetooth technology.


Show the relationships between pages and other content components; can be used to portray organisation, navigation and labelling systems.


A standard for wireless transmission of data between devices over short ranges (less than 10m), e.g. a mobile phone or a PDA.


Independent computers, connected to the Internet, are used together, typically for malicious purposes through controlling software. For example, they may be used to send out spam or for a denial of service attack where they repeatedly access a server to degrade its software. Computers are often initially infected through a virus when effective anti-virus measures are not in place.

Bounce rate

Proportion of visitors to a page or site that exit after visiting a single page only, usually expressed as a percentage


The sum of the characteristics of a product or service perceived by a user.

Brand advocate

A customer who has favourable perceptions of a brand who will talk favourably about a brand to their acquaintances to help generate awareness of the brand or influence purchase intent.

Brand equity

The brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a service.

Brand experience

The frequency and depth of interactions with a brand can be enhanced through the Internet.

Brand identity

The totality of brand associations including name and symbols that must be communicated.


The process of creating and evolving successful brands.


A traditional organisation with limited online presence.

Broadband technology

A term referring to methods of delivering information across the Internet at a higher rate by increasing bandwidth.


A website in which a company has simply transferred (‘migrated’) its existing paper-based promotional literature onto the Internet without recognising the differences required by this medium.


See Media broker


See web browser


Offering complementary services.

Business architecture

One of the four layers of an information systems architecture. A business architecture describes the functions a business performs and the information it uses.

Business data

Information about people, places, things, business rules, and events, which is used to operate the business. It is not metadata. (Metadata defines and describes business data).

Business model

A summary of how a company will generate revenue, identifying its product offering, value added services, revenue sources and target customers.

Business-to-business (B2B)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and other organisations (inter-organisational marketing).

Business-to-business exchange or marketplaces

Virtual intermediaries with facilities to enable trading between buyers and sellers.

Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and consumers.

Buy side e-commerce

Buy side e-commerce are e-commerce transactions between a purchasing organization and its suppliers, possibly through intermediaries.

Buy-side e-commerce

E-commerce transactions between a purchasing organisation and its suppliers.


Call centre

A location for inbound and outbound telemarketing


A direct response facility available on a website to enable a company to contact a customer by phone at a later time as specified by the customer.

Campaign URL (CURL)

A web address specific to a particular campaign.

Campaign-based e-communications

E-marketing communications that are executed to support a specific marketing campaign such as a product launch, price promotion or a website launch.


Capabilities are intangible and are developed from the combined and coordinated behaviour and activities of an organisation’s employees, and it is therefore embedded in the organisation and processes. The definition of a capability is an organisation’s ability to ‘perform a set of coordinated tasks, utilising organisational resources, for the purposes of achieving a particular end result’.

Captive Product Pricing

Where products have complements, companies will charge a premium price since the consumer has no choice.


For example a razor manufacturer will charge a low price for the first plastic razor and recoup its margin (and more) from the sale of the blades that fit the razor. Another example is where printer manufacturers will sell you an inkjet printer at a low price. In this instance the inkjet company knows that once you run out of the consumable ink you need to buy more, and this tends to be relatively expensive. Again the cartridges are not interchangeable and you have no choice.

view more pricing strategies

Card sorting

The process of setting up a way organising objects on the website in a consistent manner.

Cascading style sheets

A simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colours, spacing) to web documetns. CSS enables different style elements to be controlled across an entire site or section of site. Style elements that are commonly controlled include typography, background colour and images, and borders and margins.


Catalogues provide a structured listing of registered websites in different categories. They are similar to an electronic version of Yellow Pages. Yahoo! and Excite are the best known examples of catalogues. (also known as directories.) The distinction between search engines and catalogues had become blurred since many sites now include both facilities as part of a portal service.

Central warehouse

A database created from operational extracts that adheres to a single, consistent, enterprise data model to ensure consistency of decision-support data across the corporation. A style of computing where all the information systems are located and managed from a single physical location.


A valid copy of a public key of an individual or organisation together with identification information. It is issued by a trusted third party (TTP) or certification authority (CA).

Certification authority (CA)

An organisation issuing and managing certificates or public keys and private keys to individuals or organisations together with identification information.

Change management

Control to minimise the risks of project-based and organisational change.

Channel buyer behaviour

Describes which content is visited and the time and duration.

Channel conflicts

A significant threat arising from the introduction of an Internet channel is that while disintermediation gives the oppurtunity for a company to sell direct and increase the profitability of products it can also threathen existing distribution arrangements with existing partners.

Channel marketing strategy

Defines how a company should set specific objectives for a channel such as the Internet and vary its proposition and communications for this channel.

Channel outcomes

Record customer actions taken as a consequence of a visit to a site.

Channel profitability

The profitability of a website, taking into account revenue and cost and discounted cash flow.

Channel promotion

Measures that assess why customers visit a site – which adverts they have seen, which sites they have been referred form.

Channel satisfaction

Evaluation of the customer’s opinion of the service quality on the site and supporting services such as email.

Channel structure

The configuration of partners in a distribution channel

Click & Collect

Click & Collect describes the process of a client ordering something online (“click”) and picking it up at a physical location, often of his choice (“collect”). This can be the physical outlet of a brand, as well as a drive through pick-up point (such as supermarkets) or a third-party location

Click ecosystem

Describes the customer behaviour or flow of online visitors between search engines, media sites, other intermediaries to an organisation and its competitors.


A click-through (ad click) occurs each time a user clicks on a banner advertisement to direct them to a web page that contains further information.

Click-through rate

Expressed as a percentage of total ad impressions, and refers to the proportion of users viewing an advertisement who click on it. It is calculated as the number of click-throughs divided by the number of ad impressions.


Java technology can be used to track movements of individual users to a websites.


A business combining online and offline presence.

Clicks-only of Internet pureplay

An organisation with principally an online presence.


A record of the path a user takes through a website. clickstreams enable website designers to assess how their site is being used.

Clickstream analysis

Reviewing the online behaviour of site visitors based on the sequence of pages that they visit, the navigation and promotion they respond to, the ultimate outcomes and where they leave the site.

Client discovery process

An initiative to learn what a client or brand needs from a campaign, their strategic initiatives which it must aligned with, their goals and their marketing outcomes.


The client-server architecture consists of client computers such as PCs sharing resources such as a database stored on a more powerful server computer.


An arrangement between two or more companies where they agree to jointly display content and perform joint promotion using brand logos, email marketing or banner advertisements. The aim is that the brands are strengthened if they are seen as complementary. Co-branding is often a reciprocal arrangement which can occur without payment as part of a wider agreement between partners.


A partnership agreement reached between different businesses to promote each other, typically based on sharing content (and potentially promotions) principally to the audience of owned media channels such as social media, blog and email marketing.

Cold list

Data about individuals that are rented or sold by a third party.

Collaborative filtering

Profiling of customer interest coupled with delivery of specific information and offers, often based on the interest of similar customers.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

A method of processing information on a web server in response to a customer’s request. Typically a user will fill in a web-based form and the result will be processed by a CGI script (application). Active Server Pages (ASPs) are an alternative to a CGI script.


The process whereby product selection becomes more dependent on price than on differentiating features, benefits and value-added services.

Competitive intelligence

A process that transform disaggregated information into relevant, accurate and usable strategic knowledge about competitors, position, performance, capabilities and intentions.

Competitor analysis

Review of Internet marketing services offered by existing and new competitors and adoption by their customers.

Competitor benchmarking

A structured analysis of the online services, capabilities and performance of an organisaiton within the areas of customer acquisition, conversion, retention and growth.

Computer telephony integration

The integration of telephony and computing to provide a platform for applications that streamline or enhance business processes.


See Security methods

Consumer behaviour

Research into the motivations, media consumption preferences and selection processes of consumers as they use digital channels together with traditional channels to purchase online products and use other online services.

Consumer behaviour analysis

In digital markets, this type of analysis involves research into the motivations, media consumption preferences and selection processes used by consumers as they use digital channels together with traditional channels to purchase online products and use other online services.

Consumer profile

Identification of an individual, group or application and a profile of the data they request and use: the kinds of warehouse data, physical relational tables needed, and the required location and frequency of the data (when, where, and in what form it needs to be delivered).

Consumer-to-business (C2B)

Consumers approach the business with an offer.

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C)

Informational or financial transactions between consumers, but usually mediated through a business site.

Contact or touch strategy

Definition of the sequence and type of outbound communications require at different points in the customer lifecycle.


Content is the design, text and graphical information that forms a web page. Good content is the key to attracting customers to a website and retaining their interest or achieving repeat visits.

Content developer

A person responsible for updating web pages within part of an organisation.

Content distribution (or delivery networks)

A system of servers distributed globally with copies of data stored locally to enable more rapid download of content. Their use has increased with increased use of streaming video and more complex web applications.

Content management

Software tools for managing additions and amendments to website content.

Content management system (CMS)

A software tool for creating, editing and updating documents accessed by intranet, extranet or Internet.

Content marketing

The management of text, rich media, audio and video content aimed at engaging customers and prospects to meet business goals published through print and digital media including web and mobile platforms which is repurposed and syndicated to different forms of web presence such as publisher sites, blogs, social media and comparison sites.

Content marketing hub

A central branded location where your audience can access and interact with all your key content marketing assets. In a practical sense, the content hub can be a blog or new section, an online customer magazine or a resource centre.

Content network

Sponsored links are displayed by the search engine on third-party sites such as online publishers, aggregators or social networks. Ads can be paid for on a CPC, CPM or CPA basis. There are also options for graphical or video ads in addition to text-based ads.

Content strategy

The management of text, rich media, audio and video content aimed at engaging customers and prospects to meet business goals published through print and digital media including web and mobile platforms which is repurposed and syndicated to different forms of web presence such as publisher sites, blogs, social media and comparison sites.

Contextual ads

Ads relevant to page content on third party sites brokered by search ad networks.

Contextual marketing

Relevant communications are delivered consistent with the context of the recipient which can depend on their location, time or place.

Continuous e-communications activities

Long-term use of e-marketing communications intended to generate site visitors for customer acquisition (such as search engine, and affiliate marketing and online sponsorship) and retention (for example, e-newsletter marketing).


A reciprocal agreement in the form of an exchange where payment doesn’t take place. Instead services or ad space promote another company as part of co-branding.

Control page

The page against which subsequent optimisation will be assessed. Typically a current landing page. When a new page performs better than the existing control page, it becomes the control page in subsequent testing. Also known as ‘champion-challenger’.


A trend in which different hardware devices such as televisions, computers and telephones merge and have similar functions.

Conversion marketing

Using marketing communications to maximise conversion of potential customers to actual customers.

Conversion rate

Proportion of visitors to a site, or viewers of an advert, who take an action such as registration or checkout. See Visit conversion rate and Visitor conversion rate.

Conversion rate optimisation

Improving the commercial returns from a transactional site through increasing conversion to key goals such as sales, quotes or bookings or leads. CRO combines customer and competitor research with evaluation of customer behaviour using web analystics and AB and multivariate testing.


Cookies are small text files stored on an end user’s computer to enable websites to identify the user. They enable a company to identify a previous visitor to a site, and build up a profile of that visitor’s behaviour. See persistent cookies, Session cookies, First-party cookies, Third-party cookies.

Core product

The fundamental features of the product that meet the user’s needs.

Core tenants

A shopping centre of mall is usually a centrally owned managed facility. In the physical world, the management will aim to include in the mall stores that sell a different but complementary range of merchandise and include a variety of smaller and lager stores. The core tenants, or ‘anchor stores’ as they are often called, are dominant large-scale store operators that are expected to draw customers to the centre.

Corporate Governance

The system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and examined. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of the many stakeholders in a company – these include its shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.

Cost models for Internet advertising

These include per-exposure, per-response and per-action costs.

Cost per thousand (CPM)

Cost per 1000 ad impressions.


The cost of acquiring a new customer. Typically limited to the communications cost and refers to cost per sale for new customers. May also refer to other outcomes such as cost-per-quote or enquiry.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

The cost of each click from a referring site to a destination site, typically from a search engine in pay-per-click search marketing.

Cost-per-targeted-mille (CPTM)

Cost per targeted thousand for an advertisement. See Targeting


Creation of a new intermediary by an established company,


A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around computer networks.

Cross-media optimisation studies (XMOS)

Studies to determine the optimum spend across different media to produce the best results.


Persuading existing customers to purchase products from other categories than their typical purchases.

Customer acquisition

Strategies and techniques used to gain new customers.

Customer communications channels

The range of media used to communicate directly with a customer.

Customer engagement

Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand.

Customer engagement strategy

A strategy to encourage interaction and participation of consumers with a brand through developing content and experience with the aim of meeting commercial objectives. It is closely related to the development of content marketing and social media strategy.

Customer experience

See Online customer experience

Customer experience management

A holistic approach to managing customer experience and customer engagement across digital and non-digital touch-point including web, mobile and social digital platforms, in-store and by call centres.

Customer extension

Techniques to encourage customers to increase their involvement with an organisation.

Customer insight

Knowledge about customers’ needs, characteristics, preferences and behaviours based on analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Specific insights can be used to inform marketing tactics directed at groups of customers with shared characteristics.

Customer journey

A description of modern multichannel buyer behaviour as consumers use different media to select suppliers, make purchases and gain customer support.

Customer lifecycle

The stages each customer will pass through in a long-term relationship through acquisition, retention and extension.

Customer loyalty

The desire on the part of customer to continue to do business with a given supplier over time. See Behavioural loyalty an Emotional loyalty.

Customer orientation

Providing content and services on a website consistent with the different characteristics of the audience of the site.

Customer preference centre

Profile page(s) which enables customers to tailor the type and frequency of communications they receive.

Customer profiling

Using the website to find out customers’ specific interests and characteristics.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

A marketing-led approach to building and sustaining long-term business withcustomers.

Customer retention

Techniques to maintain relationships with existing customers.

Customer review

A customer review is a review of a product or service made by a customer who has purchased the product or service. Customer reviews are a form of customer feedback on electronic commerce and online shopping sites.

Customer satisfaction

The extent to which a customer’s of product quality, service quality and price are met.

Customer scenarios (online customer journeys)

Alternative tasks or outcomes required by a visitor to a website. Typically accomplished in a series of stages of different tasks involving different information needs or experiences.

Customer segments

Groups of customers sharing similar characteristics, preferences and behaviours who are targeted with different propositions as part of target marketing strategy.

Customer selection

Identifying key customer segments and targeting them for relationship building.

Customer touch-points

Communications channels with which companies interact directly with prospects and customers. Traditional touch-points include face-to-face (in-store or with sales representatives), phone and mail. Digital touch-points include web services, email and, potentially, mobile phone.

Customer-centric marketing

An approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behaviour within the target audience which seeks to fulfill the individual needs and wants of customers.


Intermediaries who bring together buyers and sellers of those with particular information or service needs.

Cyberspace and cybermarketing

These terms were preferred by science-fiction writers and tabloid writers to indicate the futuristic nature of using the Internet, the prefix ‘cyber’ indicating a blurring between humans, machines and communications. The terms are not frequently used today since the terms Internet, intranet and World Wide Web are specific and widely used.



A dashboard is a reporting tool that consolidates, aggregates and arranges measurements, metrics (measurements compared to a goal) and sometimes scorecards on a single screen so information can be monitored at a glance. Dashboards differ from scorecards in being tailored to monitor a specific role or generate metrics reflecting a particular point of view; typically they do not conform to a specific management methodology.


Items representing facts, text, graphics, bit-mapped images, sound, analog or digital live-video segments. Data is the raw material of a system supplied by data producers and is used by information consumers to create information.

Data consumer

An individual, group, or application that receives data in the form of a collection. The data is used for query, analysis, and reporting.

Data controller

Each company must have a defined person responsible for data protection.

Data enrichment

Data enrichment is an activity that supplements and/or improves the existing data. Some techniques used to enrich data include: use of fuzzy logic to assist a search activity; accessing related data from other sources and bringing the data into a single virtual (for example, providing a link) or physical location; and, correcting misspellings (for example, if a city name of “New Yrok” is given in combination with a zip code of 10001, the city name may be corrected to “New York”.

Data fusion

The combining of data from different complementary sources (usually geodemographic and lifestyle or market research and lifestyle) to ‘build a picture of someone’s life’ (M. Evans (1998) From 1086 to 1984: direct marketing into the millennium, marketing Intelligence and Planning, 16(1), 56-67).

Data management

Controlling, protecting, and facilitating access to data in order to provide information to consumers with timely access to the data they need. The functions are provided by a database management system.

Data subject

The legal term to refer to the individual whose data are held.

Data synchronization

The continuous harmonization of data attribute values between two or more different systems, with the end result being the data attribute values are the same in all of the systems.

Data warehousing and data mining

Extracting data from legacy systems and other resources; cleaning, scrubbing and preparing data for decision support; maintaining data in appropriate data stores; accessing and analysing data using a variety of end-user tools; and mining data for significant relationships. The primary purpose of these efforts is to provide easy access to specially prepared data that can be used with decision support applications such as management reports, queries, decision support systems, executive information systems and data mining.


A large collection of data organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer.

Database marketing

The process of systematically collecting, in electronic or optical form, data about past, current and/or potential customers, maintaining the integrity of the data by continually monitoring customer purchases, by enquiring about changing status, and by using the data to formulate marketing strategy and foster personalised relationships with customers.


The process of decoding (unscrambling) a message that has been encrypted using defined mathematical rules.

Deep linking

Jakob Nielsen’s term for a user arriving at a site deep within its structure or where search engines index a mirrored copy of content normally inaccessible by search engine spiders.


Deliverability refers to ensuring email messages are delivered and aren’t blocked by spam filters because the email content or structure falsely identifies a permission-based email as a spammer, or because the sender’s IP address has a poor reputation for spam.


Delivery is the process of transporting goods from a source location to a predefined destination. The general process of delivering goods is known as distribution. The study of effective processes for delivery and disposition of goods and personnel is called logistics. Firms that specialize in delivering commercial goods from point of production or storage to point of sale are generally known as distributors, while those that specialize in the delivery of goods to the consumer are known as delivery services. Postal, courier, and relocation servicesalso deliver goods for commercial and private interests.

Demand analysis

Quantitative determination of the potential usage and business value achieved from online customers of an organistation. Qualitative analysis of perceptions of online channels is also assessed.

Demand analysis for e-commerce

Assessment of the demand for e-commerce services among existing and potential customer segments using the ratio Access:Choose:Buy online.

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)

A service that enables ads to be managed across multiple ad networks and ad exchanges through a single interface designed for managing reporting and performance.

Demographic characteristics

Variations in attributes of the population such as age, sex and social class.

Denial of serve attack

Also known as a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, this involves a hacker group taking control of many ‘zombie’ computers attached to the Internet whose security has been compromised. This ‘botnet’ is then used to make many requests to a target server, so overloading it and preventing access to other visitors.

Design for analysis (DFA)

The required measures from a site are considered during design to better understand the audience of a site and their decision points

Design phase (of site construction)

The design phase defines how the site will work in the key areas of website structure, navigation and security.

Destination site

Frequently used to refer to the site that is visited following a click-through on a banner advertisement. could also apply to any site visited following a click on a hyperlink.

Destination store

A retail store in which the merchandise, selection, presentation, pricing or other unique features act as a magnet for the customer.

Development (of site construction)

‘Development’ is the term used to describe the creation of a website by programmers. It involves writing the HTML content, crating graphics, and writing any necessary software code such as JavaScript or ActiveX (programming).


An approach to development of systems which involves a more collaborative and closer relationship between development teams and operations teams with the aim of reducing deployment times and frequency of system updates and improving their stability.

Differential advantage

A desirable attribute of a product that is not currently matched by competitor offerings.

Differential pricing

Identical products are priced differently for different types of customers, markets of buying situations.

Digital asset management

A process for annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets: text, images, audio/video, music or corporate identity (logo’s, colors).

Digital assets

The graphical and interactive material that support a campaign displayed on third-party sites and microsites, they include display ads, email templates, video, audio and other interactive media such as flash animations.

Digital audio broadcasting radio (DAB radio)

Digital radio with clear sound quality with the facility to transmit text, images and video.

Digital brand

A digital brand is a brand identity used for a product or company online that differs from the traditional brand. (Also known as an online brand)

Digital cash

An electronic version of cash in which the buyer of an item is typically anonymous to the seller. (Also referred to as virtual or electronic cash or e-cash)

Digital certificates (keys)

A method of ensuring privacy on the Internet. Certificates consist of keys made up of large numbers that are used to uniquely identify individuals. See Public key.

Digital customer experience

A brand’s total digital experience include a brand’s presence on different platforms including desktop website, mobile site and apps, ads on gaming platforms and digital in-store. It is based on the combination of rational and emotional factors of using a company’s online services that influences customers’ perceptions of a brand online.

Digital marketing

This has a similar meaning to ‘electronic marketing’- both describe the management and execution of marketing using electronic media such as the web, email, interactive TV, IPTV and wireless media in dconjuction with digital data about customers’ characteristics and behaviour.

Digital marketing metrics

Measures that indicate the effectiveness of digital marketing activities integrated across different channels and platforms in meeting customer, business and marketing objectives.

Digital marketing strategy

Definition of the approach by which applying digital technology platforms will support marketing and business objectives.

Digital media

Communications are facilitated through content and interactive services delivered by different digital technology platforms including the Internet, web, mobile phone, interactive TV, IPTV and digital signage.

Digital media ‘assists’

A referrer of visit to a site before the ultimate sale is credited with the sale, often through a weighting system.

Digital media channels

Online communications techniques such as search engine marketing, affiliate marketing and display advertising used to engage web users on third-party sites; encouraging them to visit an organisation’s site or purchase through traditional channels such as by phone or in-store.

Digital media de-duplication

A single referrer of a visit leading to sale is credited with the sale based on the last-click method of digital media channel attribution.

Digital radio

All types of radio broadcast as a digital signal.

Digital rights management (DRM)

The use of different technologies to protect the distribution of digital services or content such as software, music, movies or other digital data.

Digital signage

The use of interactive digital technologies within billboard and point of sale ads. For example, videos and bluetooth interaction.

Digital signatures

The electronic equivalent of written signatures which are used as an online method of identifying individuals or companies using public-key encryption.

Digital television

Information is received and displayed on a digital television using binary information (0s and 1s), giving options for better picture and sound quality and providing additional information services based on interactivity. See Interactive digital TV.

Digital transformation

A staged programme of business improvements to People, Process and Tools tools used for integrated digital marketing to maximse the potential contribution of digital technology and media to business growth.

Direct marketing

Marketing to customers using on more advertising media aimed at achieving measurable response and/or transaction.

Direct response

Usually achieved in an Internet marketing context by call-back services.

Direct-to-customer model

A brand which has previously communicated to its customers via intermediaries such as media sites or wholesalers communicates directly via digital media such as networks, email and websites.

Directed information seeker

Someone who knows what information they are looking for.


Directory websites provide a structured listing of registered websites in different categories. They are similar to an electronic version of Yellow Pages. Yahoo! and Excite are the best known examples of directories. (Also known as catalogues).

Discovery or analysis phase

The identification of requirements of an online service. Techniques to achieve this may include quantitative analysis of digital analytics data and qualitative analysis involving focus groups, questionnaires sent to existing customers or interviews with key accounts.


The removal of intermediaries such as distributors or brokers that formerly linked a company to its customers.

Display (or content) network

Sponsored links are displayed by the search engine on third-party sites such as online publishers, aggregators or social networks. Ads can be paid for on a CPC, CPM or a CPA basis. There are also options for graphical or video ads as well as text-based ads.

Display advertising

Paid ad placements using graphical or rich media ad units within a web page to achieve goals of delivering brand awareness, familiarity, favourability and purchase intent. Many ads encourage interaction through prompting the viewer to interact or rollover to play videos, complete an online form or to view more details by clicking through to a site.

Disruptive technologies

New technologies that prompt businesses to reappraise their strategic approaches.

Distribution channel

Ecommerce has grown in importance as companies have adopted pure-click and brick-and-click channel systems. We can distinguish pure-click and brick-and-click channel system adopted by companies: •Pure-click or pure-play companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm. •Bricks-and-clicks companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for ecommerce.

Distribution channels

The mechanism by which products are directed to customers either through intermediaries or directly.

Domain name

The web address that identifies a web server. See domain name system.

Domain name registration

The process of reserving a unique web address that can be used to refer to the company website.

Domain name system

The domain name system (DNS) provides a method of representing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses as text-based names. These are used as web addresses. For example, is the representation of site Domain names are divided into the following categories:- Top-level domain name such as .com or (Also known as Global (or generic) top-level domain names (gLTD).) – Second-level domain name. This refers to the company name and is sometimes referred to as the ‘enterprise name’, e.g. – Third-level or sub-enterprise domain name. This may be used to refer to an individual server within an organisation, such as

Doorway pages

Specially constructed pages which feature keywords for particular product searchers. These often redirect visitors to a home page.


The process of retrieving electronic information such as a web page or email from another remote location such a a web server.

Drip irrigation

Collecting information about customer needs through their lifetime.

Duplicate content

Different pages which are evaluated by the search engine to be similar and so don’t rank highly, even though they may be for distinct products or services.

Dynamic pricing

Prices can be updated in real time according to the type of customer or current market conditions.

Dynamic web page

A page that is crated in real time, often with reference to a database query, in response to a user request.



See Electronic business


See Digital cash


See Electronic commerce


The use of Internet technologies to provide government services to citizens.


See Electronic marketing.


According to Dennis et al. (2004; see Chapter 11), the business of e-retailing is defined as the sale of goods and services via the internet or other electronic channels for individual consumers. This definition includes all e-commerce and related activities that ultimately result in transactions.

Early (first) mover advantage

An early entrant into the marketplace.

Early adopters

Companies or departments that invest in new marketing techniques and technologies when they first become available in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage despite the higher risk entailed than that involved in a more cautious approach.

Earned media

The audience is reached through editorial, comments and sharing online

Earnings-per-click (EPC)

A relative measure of the effectiveness of a site or section of a site in generating revenue for the site owner through affiliate marketing for every 100 outbound clicks generated.

Econometric modelling

A quantitative technique to evaluate the past influence or predict the future influence on a dependent variable (typically sales in a marketing context) of independent variables which may include product price, promotions and the level and mix of media investments.

Economy Pricing

This is a no frills low price. The costs of marketing and promoting a product are kept to a minimum.

example: Supermarkets often have economy brands for basic products like soups, spaghetti, etc. Budget airlines are famous for keeping their overheads as low as possible and then giving the consumer a relatively lower price to fill an aircraft. The first few seats are sold at a very cheap price (almost a promotional price) and the middle majority are economy seats, with the highest price being paid for the last few seats on a flight (which would be a premium pricing strategy). During times of recession economy pricing sees more sales. However it is not the same as a value pricing approach.

view more pricing models

EDI (Electronic data interchange)

Electronic data interchange is the concept of businesses electronically communicating information that was traditionally communicated on paper, such as purchase orders and invoices.

Editorial calendar

A plan for scheduling the creation of new updated content for different audiences to support business goals for a new visitors or increased conversion as part of content marketing.

Effective cost-per-thousand (eCPM)

A measure of the total revenue a site owner can achieve through advertising or other revenue options. eCPM is calculated as advertising revenue achieved for every 1000 pages that are served for the whole site or a section. See EPC.

Effective frequency

The number of exposures or ad impressions (frequency) required for an advertisement to become effective.


Meeting process objectives, delivering the required outputs and outcomes. ‘Doing the right thing.’


Minimising resources or time needed to complete a process. ‘Doing the thing right.’

Electronic business (e-business)

All electronically mediated information exchanges, both within an organisation and with external stakeholders, supporting the range of business processes.

Electronic cash

See Digital cash

Electronic commerce (e-commerce)

All financial and informational electronically mediated exchanges between an organisation and its external stakeholders. See Buy-side e-commerce and Sell-side e-commerce.

Electronic commerce transactions

Transactions in the trading of goods and services conducted using the Internet and other digital media.

Electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM)

Using digital communications technologies to maximise sales to existing customers and encourage continued usage of online services.

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

The exchange, using digital media, of standardised business documents such as purchase orders and invoices between buyers and sellers.

Electronic mail (email)

Sending messages or document, such as news about a new product of sales promotion between individuals. A primitive form of push channel. Email may be inbound or outbound.

Electronic mail advertising

Advertisements contained within email such as newsletters.

Electronic mall

See Virtual mall

Electronic marketing

Achieving marketing objectives through use of electronic communications technology.

Electronic marketspace

A virtual marketplace such as the Internet in which no direct contact occurs between buyers and sellers.

Electronic procurement (e-procurement)

The electronic integration and management of all procurement activities including purchase request, authorisation, ordering, delivery and payment between a purchaser and a supplier.

Electronic shopping or ES test

This test was developed by de Kare-Silver to assess the extent to which consumers are likely to purchase a particular retail product using the Internet.

Electronic tokens

Units of digital currency that are in a standard electronic format.

Email marketing

Typically applied to outbound communications from a company to prospects or customers to encourage purchase or branding goals. email marketing is most commonly used for mailing to existing customers on a house-list, but can also be used for mailing prospects on a rented or co-branded list. emails may be sent as part of a one-off campaign or can be automated event-based triggered emails such a Welcome strategy which can be broadcast based on rules about intervals and customer characteristics. See inbound email and outbound email.

Email service providers (ESPs)

Provide a web-based service used by marketers to manage their email activities including hosting email subscription forms, broadcast and tracking.

Emergent strategy

Strategic analysis, strategic development and strategy implementation are interrelated and are developed together.

Emotional loyalty

Loyalty to a brand is demonstrated by favourable perceptions, opinions and recommendations.


The scrambling of information into a form that cannot be interpreted. Decryption is used to make the information readable.


A complete business consisting of functions, divisions or other components used to accomplish specific objectives and defined goals.

Enterprise application integration (EAI)

The middleware technology that is used to connect together different software applications and their underlying databases is now known as ‘enterprise application integration.

Enterprise architecture

Enterprise architecture is a comprehensive framework used to manage and align an organization’s business process, information technology (IT) software and hardware, local and wide area networks, people, operations and projects with the organization’s overall strategy.

Enterprise performance management

Performance management is a company wide program that provides a structured approach for deploying a company’s strategy in a consistent and continuous manner. It gives an organization the capability to effectively communicate strategy and ensure that business processes are aligned to support the implementation of that strategy.

Entry page

The page at which a visitor enters a website. It is identified by a log file analyser. See exit page and Referring site.

Environmental scanning and analysis

The process of continuously monitoring the environment and analysing events in an organization’s environment(s) which have implications for planning and responding accordingly.


ERP is business management software—typically a suite of integrated applications—that a company can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities, including: – Product planning, cost, – Manufacturing or service delivery, – Marketing and sales, – Inventory management, – Shipping and payment, – Human capital management.

Ethical standards

Practices or behaviors which are morally acceptable to society.

Evaluating a website

See Website measurement.


See Business-to-business exchanges or marketplaces.

Exit page

The page from which a visitor exits a website. It is identified by web analytics services.

Expert reviews

An analysis of an existing site or prototype by an experienced usability expert who will identify deficiencies and improvements to a site based on their knowledge of web design principles and best practice.

Exposure-based payment

Advertisers pay according to the number of times the ad is viewed.

Extended product

Additional features and benefits beyond the core product.


See Customer extension

External link building

A proactive approach to gain quality links from third-party sites.


Formed by extending an intranet beyond a company to customers, suppliers, collaborators or even competitors. This is password-protected to prevent access by general Internet users.


Facebook commerce (F-commerce)

Retailers create an online store within Facebook, often with a limited range of stock.

Faceted navigation

Used to enable users to rapidly filter results from a product search based on different ways of classifying the product by their attributes or features. For example by brand, by sub-product category, by price bands.

Feed or RSS feed

Blog, news or other content is published by an XML standard and syndicated for other sites or read by users in RSS reader services such as Google Reader, personalized home pages or email systems. RSS stands for really simple syndication.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

A standard method for moving files across the internet. FTP is available as a feature of web browsers that is sometimes used for marketing applications such as downloading files like product price lists or specifications. Standalone FTP packages such as WSFTP are commonly used to update HTML files on web servers when uploading revisions to the web server.


An assessment of how easy it is for a web user to locate a single content object or to use browse navigation and search system to find content. Like usability, it is assessed through efficiency – how long it takes to find the content – and effectiveness – how satisfied the user is with the experience and relevance of the content they find.


A specialized software application mounted on a server at the point where a company is connected to the internet. Its purpose is to prevent unauthorized access into the company by outsiders. Firewalls are essential for all companies hosting their own web server.

First-party cookies

Served by the site currently in use-typical for e-commerce sites.


Describes a state in which users have a positive experience from readily controlling their navigation and interaction on a website.

Focus groups

Online focus groups have been conducted by These follow a bulletin board or discussion group form where different members of the focus group respond to prompts from the focus group leaders.


A contraction of ‘folk taxonomy’, a method of classifying content based on tagging that has no hierarchy (i.e. without parent-child relationships).


A method on a web page of entering information such as order details.

Forward auctions

Item purchased by highest bid made in bidding period.

Forward path analysis

Forward path analysis reviews the combinations of clicks that occur from a page. This form of analysis is most beneficial when it is forward from important pages such as the home page, product, and directory pages. This technique is used to identify messaging/navigation combinations which work best to yield the most clicks from a page. Similar, effective messaging approaches can then be deployed elsewhere on the site.


A technique used to divide a web page into different parts such as menu and separate content.



The process of applying game thinking and mechanics to engage an audience by rewarding them for achievements and sharing.

Geographical Pricing

Geographical pricing sees variations in price in different parts of the world.

For example rarity value, or where shipping costs increase price. In some countries there is more tax on certain types of product which makes them more or less expensive, or legislation which limits how many products might be imported again raising price. Some countries tax inelastic goods such as alcohol or petrol in order to increase revenue, and it is noticeable when you do travel overseas that sometimes goods are much cheaper, or expensive of course.

view more pricing strategies

Global (or generic) top-level domain names (gLTD)

The part of the domain name that refers to the category of site. The gLTD is usually the rightmost part of the domain name such as or .com.


The increase of international trading and shared social and cultural values.

Google Adwords Enhanced campaigns

An approach introduced by Google in 2013 to simplify the management of ads displayed in different locations, different day parts (times of day) and on different devices.

Google Display Network (GDN)

Different types of online publishers agree for Google to display contextual ads on their sites for a fee, for example as part of the AdSense programme.

Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

Product information such as pricing and images are uploaded to Google’s servers using a product feed in XML or text formats for display in ads within Google Adwords or Google Shopping.


Gopher is a directory-based structure containing information in certain categories.


This is approximately five times faster than GSM and is an ‘always-on’ service which is charged according to usage. Display is still largely text-based and based on the WAP protocol.

Graphic design

All factors that govern the physical appearance of a web page.

Graphics interchange format (GIF)

A graphics format used to display images within web pages. An interlaced GIF is displayed gradually on the screen, building up an image in several passes.

Growth hacking

A mindset which focuses marketing activities on increasing the scale and profitability of a business through testing and improving techniques for improving the value of audience touchpoints across the customer lifecycle of Reach, Interactions, Conversion, and Engagement.


The digital transmission technique standard used widely for mobile voice data.



Someone who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities.

Halo effect

The role of one media channel on influencing sale or uplift in brand metrics. Commonly applied to online display advertising, where exposure to display ads may increase click-through rates when the consumer is later exposed to a brand through other media, for example, sponsored links or affiliate ads. it may also improve conversion rates on destination sites through higher confidence in the brand or familiarity with the offer.

Hard launch

A site is launched once fully complete with full promotional effort.

Hierarchical relationships

Any dimension in which members may be organized based on parent- child relationships, typically where a parent member represents the consolidation of the members as if it were his children. The result is a hierarchy, and the parent/child relationships are hierarchical relationships.


A hit is recorded for each graphic or page of text requested from a web server. It is not a reliable measure for the number of people viewing a page. A page impression is a more reliable measure denoting one person viewing one page.


A hologram is a three-dimensional image, created with photographic projection. The term is taken from the Greek words holos (whole) and gramma (message). Unlike 3-D or virtual reality on a two-dimensional computer display, a hologram is a truly three-dimensional and free-standing image that does not simulate spatial depth or require a special viewing device. Theoretically, holograms could someday be transmitted electronically to a special display device into your home and business.

Home page

The index page of a website with menu options or links to other resources on the site. Usually denoted by <web address>/index.html.

House list

A list of prospect and customer names, email addresses and profile information owned by an organization.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

A standard format used to define the text and layout of web pages. HTML files usually have the extension.HTML or.HTM.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

A standard that defines the way information is transmitted across the Internet.


Definition of human 1: of, relating to, or characteristic of humans (see 2human) the human brain human voices problems that have occurred throughout human history 2: consisting of humans everyone held hands and made a human chain 3 a: having human form or attributes the statue is more human than the beings at his feet —Clifton Fadiman b: representative of or susceptible to the sympathies and frailties of human nature human kindness a human weakness such an inconsistency is very human —P. E. More — humanness play ˈhyü-mən-nəs, ˈyü- noun

Hurdle rate

The proportion of customers that fall within a particular level of activity. For example, the percentage of members of an email list that click on the email within a 90-day period, or the number of customers that have made a second purchase.

Hype cycle

A graphic representation of the maturity, adoption, and business application of specific technologies.


A method of moving between one website page and another indicated to the user by text highlighted by underline and/or a different color. Hyperlinks can also be achieved by clicking on a graphic image such as a banner advertisement that is linked to another website.



A mobile access platform that enables display of color graphics and content subscription services.

Identity theft

The misappropriation of the identity of another person, without their knowledge or consent.


Advertisements are sold on Web sites all over the Web. They exist for example as a banner which is placed on the Web page much like an advertising banner is displayed at sporting arenas and stadiums. The spaces are usually sold in blocks of thousands of impressions. In this case, an impression is exactly the same as a hit. After purchasing an amount of impressions for your banner, you can be certain that many people hit the page containing the advertisement.

Inbound customer contact strategies

Approaches to managing the cost and quality of service related to management of customer enquiries.

Inbound customer contact strategies

Approaches to managing the cost and quality of service related to management of customer enquiries.

Inbound email

Email arriving at a company.

Inbound email marketing

Management of emails from customers by an organization.

Inbound Internet-based communications

Customers enquire through web-based form and email. See Web self-service.

Inbound link

See Backlink.

Inbound logistics

Inbound logistics is one of the primary processes of logistics, concentrating on purchasing and arranging the inbound movement of materials, parts, and/or finished inventory from suppliers to manufacturing or assembly plants, warehouses, or retail stores.

Inbound marketing

The consumer is proactive in seeking out information for their needs, and interactions with brands are attracted through content, search, and social media marketing.

Incidental offline advertising

Driving traffic to the website is not a primary objective of the advert.

Index inclusion

Ensuring that as many of the relevant pages from your domain(s) are included within the search engine indexes you are targeting to be listed in.


An intermediary business whose main source of revenue derives from capturing consumer information and developing detailed profiles of individual customers for use by third parties.


Data that has been processed in such a way that it can increase the knowledge of the person who receives it. Information is the output, or finished goods, of information systems. Information is also with which individuals start before it is fed as data into a data capture transaction processing system.

Information architecture

The combination of organization, labeling, and navigation schemes constituting an information system.

Information infrastructure

Information infrastructure is a shared, evolving, open, standardized and heterogeneous installed base.

Information organisation schemes

The structure chosen to group and categorize information.

Initiation of the website project

This phase of the project should involve a structured review of the costs and benefits of developing a website (or making a major revision to an existing website). A successful outcome to initiation will be a decision to proceed with the site development phase, with an agreed budget and target completion date.

Insertion order

A printed order to run an advertisement campaign. It defines the campaign name, the website receiving the order and the planner or buyer giving the order, the individual advertisements to be run (or who will provide them), the sizes of the advertisements, the campaign start, and end dates, the CPM, the total cost, discounts to be applied, and reporting requirements and possible penalties or stipulations relative to the failure to deliver the impressions.

Integrated marketing communications

The coordination of communications channels to deliver a clear, consistent message.


See Security methods

Intellectual property rights (IPRs)

Protect the intangible property created by corporations or individuals that is protected under copyright, trade secret and patent laws.

Interaction rate (IR)

The proportion of ad viewers who interact with an online ad through rolling over it. Some will be involuntary depending on where the ad is placed on screen, so it is highly dependent on placement.

Interactive banner advertisement

A banner advertisement that enables the user to enter information.

Interactive digital TV (iDTV)

Television displayed using a digital signal delivered by a range of media – cable, satellite, terrestrial (aerial), interactions can be provided through phone line or cable service.


The medium enables a dialogue between company and customer.


Online sites that help bring together different parties such as buyers and sellers.

Internal link architecture

Structuring and labeling links within a site’s navigation to improve the results of SEO.


The physical network that links computers across the globe. It consists of the infrastructure of network servers and communication links between them that are used to hold and transport the vast amount of information on the internet.

Internet contribution

An assessment of the extent to which the internet contributes to sales is a key measure of the importance of the internet to a company.

Internet EDI

Use of electronic data interchange standards delivered across non-proprietary internet protocol networks.

Internet governance

Control of the operation and use of the internet.

Internet marketing

The application of the internet and related digital technologies in conjunction with traditional communications to achieve marketing objectives.

Internet marketing metrics

See Metrics for internet marketing.

Internet marketing strategy

Definition of the approach by which internet marketing will support marketing and business objectives.

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)

Digital television service delivered using internet protocol, typically by a broadband connection. IPTV can be streamed for real-time viewing or downloaded before playback.

Internet pureplay

An organization with the majority of its customer-facing operations online, e.g. Egg.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

A communications tool that allows a text-based ‘chat’ between different users who are logged on at the same time. Of limited use for marketing purposes except for special-interest or youth products.

Internet service provider (ISP)

A company which provides its customers with a service with which they can access the Internet. The user normally connects to the access provider’s computer via a modem using a dial-up connection.

Internet-based market research

The use of online questionnaires and focus groups to assess customer perceptions of a website or broader marketing issues.

Interruption marketing

Marketing communications that disrupt customers’ activities.

Interstitial ads

Ads that appear between one page and the next.


A network within a single company that enables access to company information using the familiar tools of the internet such as web browsers and email. Only staff within a company can access the intranet, which will be password-protected.



A programming language standard supported by Sun Microsystems, which permits complex and graphical customer applications to be written and then accessed from a web browser. An example might be a form for calculating interest on a loan. A competitor to ActiveX.

Joint Photographics Experts Group (JPEG)

A compressed graphics standard specified by the JPEG. Used for graphic images typically requiring the use of many colors, such as product photographs where some loss of quality is acceptable. The format allows for some degradation in image quality to enable more rapid download.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A business calculation that allows macro-level insights into the business process to manage profitability, as well as being metrics used to assess the performance of a process and/or whether goals set are achieved.

Keyphrase (keyword phrase)

The combination of words users of search engines type into a search box which form a search query.

Knowledge Graph

An infrastructure developed by Google to display related information about people, places, and objects.


Lagging performance indicator

A metric which indicates past performance. Corrective action can then be applied to improve performance.

Landing page

A destination page when a user clicks on an ad other form of link from a referring site. It can be a homepage, but more typically and desirably a landing page is a page with the messaging focussed on the offer in the ad. This will maximise conversion rates and brand favourability.

Last-click method of digital media channel attribution

The site which referred a visitor immediately before purchase is credited with the sale. Previous referrals influenced by other customer touch-points on other sites are ignored.


The average length of time that different customer types take between different activities, e.g. log-ins, paying bills, first and second purchase.


Details about a potential customer (prospect). See qualified lead.

Lead generation offers

Offered in return for customers providing their contact details and characteristics. Commonly used in B2B marketing where free information such as a report or a seminar will be offered.

Leading performance indicator

A measure which is suggestive of future performance and so can be used to take proactive action to shape future performance.

Lifetime value (LTV)

The total net benefit that a customer or group of customers will provide a company over their total relationship with a company.

Link anchor text

The text used to form the blue, underlined hyperlink viewed in a web browser defined in the HTML source. For example: Visit Dave Chaffey’s web log is created by the HTML code: <A

Link building

A proactive approach to gain quality links from third-party sites.

List broker

Will source the appropriate email list(s) from the list owner.

List owner

Has collected email addresses which are offered for sale.

Live website

Current site accessible to customers, as distinct from test website.


Designing the content of the website in such a way that it is appropriate to different audiences in different countries.

Location-based marketing

Location or proximity-based marketing is mobile marketing based on the GPS built into phones or based on interaction with other local digital devices.

Log file

A file stored on a web server that records every item downloaded by users.

Log file analysers

Web analytics tools that are used to build a picture of the amount of usage of different parts of a website based on the information contained in the log file.

Long tail concept

A frequency distribution suggesting the relative variation in popularity of items selected by consumers.

Loyalty techniques

Customers sign up to an incentive scheme where they receive points for repeat purchases, which can be converted into offers such as discounts, free products or cash. (Also known as online incentive schemes.)



Boarder forces affecting all organisations in the marketplace including social, technological, economic, political and legal aspects.


See Autoresponders.

Maintenance process

The work involved in running a live website such as updating pages and checking the performance of the site.


Malicious software or toolbars, typically downloaded via the Internet, which act as a ‘trojan horse’ by executing other unwanted activities such as keylogging of user passwords or viruses which may collect email addresses.

Marketing automation

Enables businesses to automate tasks in the marketing and sales process to make the process to deliver more relevant communications typically delivered as personalised emails and website messages.

Marketing intermediaries

Firms that can help a company to promote, sell and distribute its products or services.

Marketing Mix

The series of sever key variables – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence – that are varied by marketers as part of the customer offering.

Marketing planning

A logical sequence and a series of activities leading to the setting of marketing objectives and the formulation of plants for achieving them.

Marketing-led site design

Site design elements are developed to achieve customer acquisition, retention and communication of marketing messages.


See Business-to-business exchanges or marketplaces.


A trade mark of commerceOne and considered the leading e-marketplace operating environment.


eXchange, eHub, metamediaries are terms used to refer to complex websites that facilitate trading exchanges between companies around the globe.


A virtual marketplace such as the Internet in which no direct contact occurs between buyers and sellers. (Also known as electronic marketspace.)

Markup language



Websites, pages or widgets that combine the content or functionality of one website or data source with another to create something offering a different type of value to web users from the separate types of content of functionality.

Mass customisation

The ability to create tailored marketing messages or products for individual customers or a group of similar customers (a bespoke service), yet retain the economies of scale and the capacity of mass marketing or production.

Mass marketing

One-to-many communication between a company and potential customers, with limited tailoring of the message.


See Website measurement.

Media broker

A company that places advertisements for companies wishing to advertise by contacting the media owners.

Media buyer

The person within a company wishing to advertise who places the advertisement, usually via a media broker.

Media buying

The process of purchasing media to meet the media plan requirements at the lowest costs.

Media fragmentation

Describes a trend to increasing choice and consumption of a range of media in terms of different channels such as web and mobile also within channels, for example more TV channels, radio stations, magazines, more websites. Media fragmentation implies increased difficulty in reaching target audiences.

Media multiplier or halo effect

The role of one media channel on influencing sale or uplift in brand metrics. Commonly applied to online display advertising, where exposure to display ads may increase click-through rates when the consumer is later exposed to a brand through other media, for example sponsored links or affiliate ads. It may also improve conversion rates on destination sites through higher confidence in the brand or familiarity with the offer.

Media owners

The owners of websites (or other media such as newspapers) that accept advertisements.

Media planning

The process of selecting the best combination of media to achieve marketing campaign objectives. Answers questions such as ‘How many of the audience can I reach through different media?’, ‘On which media (and ad vehicles) should I place ads?’, ‘Which frequency should I select?, ‘How much money should be spent in each medium?’

Media queries

A styling approach within Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3) enabling the layout to change based on type of device at its scale.

Media site

Typical location where paid-for ads are placed.

Media-neutral planning (MNP)

An approach to planning ad campaigns to maximise response across different media according to consumer usage of these media.


An idea, theme or trend that engages an audience and spreads through viral communications.


See Web merchandising.

Meta search engines

Meta search engines submit keywords typed by users to a range of search engines in order to increase the number of relevant pages since different search engines may have indexed different sites. An example is the meta-crawler search engine or


Literally, data about data – a format describing the structure and content of data.


Text within an HTML file summarising the content of the site (content meta-tag) and relevant keywords (keyword meta-tag), which are matched against the keywords typed into search engines.


Metadata is data that expresses the context or relativity of data. Examples of metadata include data element descriptions, data type descriptions, attribute/property descriptions, range/domain descriptions and process/method descriptions. The repository environment encompasses all corporate metadata resources: database catalogs, data dictionaries and navigation services. Metadata includes name, length, valid values and description of a data element. Metadata is stored in a data dictionary and is repository. It separates the data warehouse from changes in the schema of operational systems.


A framework to establish and collect measurements of success/failure on a regulated, timed basis that can be audited and verified.

Metrics for Internet marketing

Measures that indicate the effectiveness of Internet marketing activities in meeting customer, bussiness and marketing objectives.


The actors (stakeholders) and their interactions which influence how an organisation responds in its marketplace.


A semantic definition in XML/HTML of a specific information type within a web page such as a product, event, recipe or review. manages some of the most common definitions.

Micropayments (microtransactions)

Digital cash systems that allow very small sums of money (fractions of 1p) to be transferred, but with lower security. Such small sums do not warrant a credit card payment, because processing is too costly.


Specialised content that is part of a website that is not necessarily owned by the organisation. If owned by the company it may be as part of an extranet. See Nested ad content.

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)

Microsoft IIS is a web server developed by Microsoft that runs on windows NT.


Middleware is computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It can be described as “software glue”. Middleware makes it easier for software developers to perform communication and input/output, so they can focus on the specific purpose of their application. Middleware is the software that connects software components or enterprise applications. Middleware is the software layer that lies between the operating system and the applications on each side of a distributed computer network. Typically, it supports complex, distributed business software applications.

Mixed-mode buying

The process by which a customer changes between online and offline channels during the buying process.

Mobile commerce

The use of wireless devices such as mobile phones for informational or monetary transactions.

Mobile marketing

Marketing to encourage consumer engagement when using mobile phones (particularly smartphones) or tablet devices.

Mobile-based apps

Designed to run on smartphones and tablet computers, apps provide users with rich mobile content by deploying the handset’s multiple native capabilities. Apps are available for download from app stores hosted by the mobile operating systems (e.g. iTunes for iOS, Google Play for Android, Microsoft App Store, BlackBerry App World).

Multi-tier architecture

In software engineering, multi-tier architecture (often referred to as n-tier architecture) is a client–server architecture in which presentation, application processing, and data management functions are physically separated. The most widespread use of multi-tier architecture is the three-tier architecture.

Multichannel marketing

Customer communications and product distribution are supported by a combination of digital and traditional channels at different points in the buying cycle.

Multichannel marketing strategy

Defines how different marketing channels should integrate and support each other in terms of their proposition development and communications based on their relative merits for the customer and the company.

Multichannel prioritisation

Assesses the strategic significance of the Internet relative to other communications channels and then deploys resources to integrate with marketing channels.


Data structure with three or more independent dimensions.


A term used to describe simultaneous use of devices such as digital TV and tablet.


Native advertising

Online content that is created to promote or enhance a brand such as a publisher article or social media update. Such content should be disclosed as advertising by law in many countries, but often it isn’t.

Natural or organic listings

The pages listening results from a search engine query which are displayed in a sequence according to relevance of match between the keyword phrase typed into a search engine and a web page according to a ranking algorithm used by the search engine.

Navigational search

Searchers use a search engine such as Google to find information deeper within a company site by appending a qualifier such as a product name to the brand or site name. Organisations need to check that relevant pages are available in the search results pages for these situations.

Near Field Communications (NFC)

Enables data exchange through wireless connections between two devices in close proximity to each other. Use of NFC enabled smartphones can facilitate contactless payments.

Nested ad content

Ths refers to the situation when the person undertaking the click-through is not redirected to a corporate or brand site, but is instead taken to a related page on the same site as that on which advertisement is placed. (Sometimes referred to as microsite.)

Net Promoter Score

A measure of the number of advocates a company (or website) has who would recommend it compared to the number of detractors.


A publisher or other brand seeks to take advantage of current topical interest in a story and then add to or subvert it to increase their own publicity.

Nofollow and Dofollow tags

A nofollow tag is a basic piece of HTML. Appended to a hyperlink, it allows webmasters to control whether search engines follow a link or not. For example, the following URL on a page of another site allows search engines to visit Smart insights’ website and credit the website with the link; each link is scored by the search engines, supporting SEO: <a href= title=Smart Insights<Visit Smart Insights</a> This normal, natural type of link is sometimes known as ‘do-followed’! Here’s the same hyperlink, now including a nofollow tag (highlighted in red): <a href= title=Smart Insightsrel=nofollow Visit Smart Insights</a>.


See Security methods.


The process whereby companies register with the data protection register to inform about their data holdings.



An incentive in direct marketing or a product offering.

Offline site promotion

Traditional techniques such as print and TV advertising used to generate website traffic.

Offline web metric

Offline measures are those that are collated by marketing staff recording particular marketing outcomes such as an enquiry or a sale. They are usually collated manually, but could be collated automatically.


Omni-channel as a philosophy is about providing consistent, yet unique and contextual brand experiences across multiple customer-aware touchpoints, including brick and mortar, marketplaces, web, mobile and social.


Omni-channel unifies sales and marketing to create a single ecommerce experience accross your store or your brand. Omnichannel allows customers to purchase and communicate natively wherever they prefer to browse or shop.

Omnichannel provides a better customer experience then Multi-channel. Multi-channel firms operates both physical stores and online e-tail webshops, but these operate next to each other. Multi-channel is about choice. Omni-channel is offering seamless service accross all channels.


The omni-channel strategy hinges on the idea that providing a seamless shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores and through a variety of digital channels not only differentiates retailers from their peers, but also gives them a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets.

On-page optimisation

Writing copy and applying markup such as the <title> tag and heading tagsto highlight to search engines relevant keyphrases within a document.

One-to-one marketing

A unique dialogue that occurs directly between a company and individual customers (or less strictly with groups of customers with similar needs). The dialogue involves a company in listening to customer needs and responding with services to meet these needs.

Online brand

See Digital brand.

Online branding

How online channels are used to support brands that, in essence, are the sum of the characteristics of a product or service as perceived by a user.

Online business model

A summary of how a company will generate a profit identifying its core product or service value proposition, target customers in different markets, position in the competitive online marketplace or value chain and its projections for revenue and costs.

Online company presence

Different forms of online media controlled by a company including their website, blogs, email list and social media presences. Also known as ‘owned media’.

Online customer experience

The combination of rational and emotional factors in using a company’s online services that influences customers’ perceptions of a brand online.

Online influencer outreach

See Loyalty techniques.

Online influencer outreach

Identifying online influencers such as bloggers, media owners or individuals with a large online following in the social networks and then approaching them to partner together to communicate with their audience.

Online influencers and Key Opinion Leaders

Online influencers can include any type of online person who has a significant following. They can include journalists, bloggers or celebrities.

Online intermediary sites

Websites that facilitate exchanges between consumer and business suppliers.

Online intermediary sites

Websites that facilitate exchanges between consumer and business suppliers.

Online market ecosystem

Interactions between different online systems related to a specific hardware or software technology which may be independent or developed by a particular brand.

Online marketplace

Exchanges of information and commercial transactions between consumers, businesses, and governments completed through different forms of online presence such as search engines, social networks, comparison sites and destination sites.

Online PR (e-PR)

maximising favorable mentions of your company, brands, products or websites on third-party websites which are likely to be visited by your target audience. Online PR can extend reach and awareness of a brand within an audience and will also generate backlinks vital to SEO. It can also be used to support viral or word-of-mouth marketing activities in other media.

Online promotion contribution

An assessment of the proportion of customers (new or retained) who are reached by online communications and are influenced as a result.

Online reputation management

Controlling the reputation of an organization through monitoring and controlling messages placed about the organization.

Online revenue contribution

An assessment of the direct contribution of the internet or other digital media to sales, usually expressed as a percentage of overall sales revenue.

Online service providers (OSPs)

An OSP is sometimes used to distinguish large internet service providers (ISPs) from other access providers. In the UK, AOL, Freeserve, VirginNet and LineOne can be considered OSPs since they have a large amount of specially developed content available to their subscribers. Not that this term is not used as frequently as ISP, and the distinction only occurs according to the amount of premium content (only available to customers) offered as part of the service.

Online service quality gap

The mismatch between what is expected and delivered by an online presence.

Online site promotion

Internet-based techniques used to generate website traffic.

Online social network

A service facilitating the connection, collaboration and exchange of information between individuals.

Online tactical marketing segmentation

Tactical segmentation enables targeting based on customer journey behaviour such as search behaviour, content accessed and contribution to social media.

Online value proposition (OVP)

A statement of the benefits of online services that reinforce the core proposition and differentiate from an organization’s offline offering and that of competitors.

Online voice of customer (VoC)

Qualitative assessments of the effectiveness of digital presence based on direct customer feedback. They answer ‘who and why’ questions about how customers interact with brands online.

Online web metrics

Online measures are those that are collected automatically on the web server, often in a server log file.

Open source

Open source software is usually freely available – meaning the customer can download it, install it and begin using it without paying.

Open source

Open source software is usually freely available – meaning the customer can download it, install it and begin using it without paying.

Operational effectiveness

Performing similar activities better than rivals. This includes efficiency of processes.


A customer proactively agrees to receive further information.

Opt-in email

The customer is only contacted when he or she has explicitly asked for information to be sent. (usually when filling in an on-screen form).


A customer declines the offer to receive further information.

Opt-out email

The customer is not contacted subsequently if he or she has explicitly stated that he or she does not want to be contacted in future. Opt-out or unsubscribe options are usually available within the email itself.

Optional Product Pricing

Companies will attempt to increase the amount customers spend once they start to buy.

Optional ‘extras’ increase the overall price of the product or service. For example airlines will charge for optional extras such as guaranteeing a window seat or reserving a row of seats next to each other. Again budget airlines are prime users of this approach when they charge you extra for additional luggage or extra legroom. (see also Cross- & Up-selling)

view more pricing strategies


A message sent to data access services which triggers the delivery of required data. There are three types of orders: select order, transform order, and propagate order.

Outbound email

Email sent from a company.

Outbound email marketing

Emails are sent to customers and prospects from an organization.

Outbound Internet-based communications

The website and email marketing are used to send personalized communications to customers.

Outbound logistics

Outbound logistics is the process related to the storage and movement of the final product and the related information flows from the end of the production line to the end user.


Contracting an outside company to undertake part of the Internet marketing activities.


Typically an animated ad that moves around the page and is superimposed on the website content.


Typically an animated ad that moves around the page and is superimposed on the website content.

Owned media

Different forms of online media controlled by a company including their website, blogs, email list and social media presence.


Page impression

One page impression occurs when a member of the audience views a web page. See Ad impression and Reach.

Page request

The process of a user selecting a hyperlink or typing in a uniform resource locator (URL) to retrieve information on a specific web page. Equivalent to page impression.

Page view

See Page impression.

Page view

See Page impression.


A scale between 0 to 10 used by Google to assess the importance of websites according to the number of inbound links or backlinks.

Paid media

Also known as bought media, a direct payment occurs to a site owner or an ad network, when they serve an ad, a sponsorship or pay for a click, lead or sale generated.

Paid search marketing (pay-per-click PPC)

A relevant text ad with a link to company page is displayed on the SERPs when the user of a search engine types in a specific phrase. A fee is charged for every click of each link, with the amount bid for the click mainly determining its position. Additionally, PPC may involve advertising through a content network of third-party sites (which may be on a CPC, CPM or CPA basis).

Panda an Penguin algorithm updates

Changes to Google’s algorithm aimed at reducing the impact at webspam. They caused the rankings of many sites to fall. Panda targeted low-quality sites with ‘thin’ content. Penguin targeted sites using aggressive link building.

Path to purchase

The different sites, channels and devices and information sources that consumers use to inform their purchase decision for a product or service. Also known as conversion pathways on a site.

Pay-for-performance communications

The wastage from traditional media buys can be reduces online through advertising models where the advertisers only pay for a response (cost-per-click) as in pay-per-click search marketing or for a lead or sale as in affiliate marketing.


PPC refers to when a company pays for text ads to be displayed on the search engine results pages as a sponsored link (typically above, to the right of or below the natural listings) when a specific keyphrase is entered by the search users. It is so called because the marketer pays each time the hypertext link in the ad in clicked on. If a link is clicked repeatedly, then this will be detected by the search engine as click fraud and the marketer will not be charged.

Payment systems

Methods of transferring funds from a customer to a merchant.

Penetration Pricing

The price charged for products and services is set artificially low in order to gain market share. Once this is achieved, the price is increased.

example: This approach was used by France Telecom and Sky TV. These companies need to land grab large numbers of consumers to make it worth their while, so they offer free telephones or satellite dishes at discounted rates in order to get people to sign up for their services. Once there is a large number of subscribers prices gradually creep up. Taking Sky TV for example, or any cable or satellite company, when there is a premium movie or sporting event prices are at their highest – so they move from a penetration approach to more of a skimming/premium pricing approach.

People variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves the delivery of service to customers during interactions with those customers.

Performance drivers

Critical success factors that determine whether business and marketing objectives are achieved.

Performance management system

A process used to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation and its processes.

Performance measurements system

The process by which metrics are defined, collected, disseminated and actioned.

Performance metrics

Measures that are used to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes.

Performance of website

Performance of quality of service is dependent on its availability and speed of access.

Permission marketing

Customers agree (opt in) to be involved in an organisation’s marketing activities, usually as a result of an incentive.

Persistent cookies

Cookies that remain on a computer after a visitor session has ended. Used to recognise returning visitors.

Personal data

Any information about an individual stored by companies concerning their customers or employees.


Web-based personalisation involves delivering customised content for the individual through web pages, email or push technology.


A thumbnail summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of typical website users.

Persuasion marketing

Using design elements such as layout, copy and typography together with promotional messages to encourage site users to follow particular paths and specific actions rather than giving them complete choice in their navigation.


Obtaining personal details online through sites and emails masquerading as legitimate businesses.


A call-back facility available on the website for a company to contact a customer by phone at a later time, as specified by the customer.

Phychographic segmentation

A breakdown of customers according to different characteristics.

Physical evidence variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves the tangible expression of a product and how it is purchased and used.


Product Information Management or PIM refers to processes and technologies focused on centrally managing information about products, with a focus on the data required to market and sell the products through one or more distribution channels. A central set of product data can be used to feed consistent, accurate and up-to-date information to multiple output media such as web sites, print catalogs, ERP systems and electronic data feeds to trading partners.


The small dots on a computer screen that are used to represent images and text. Short for ‘picture element’. Used to indicate the size of banner advertisements.

Place variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves distributing products to customers in line with demand and minimising cost of inventory, transport and storage.


A program that must be downloaded to view particular content such as an animation.


Individuals and organisations post online media (audio and video) which can be viewed in the appropriate players (including the iPod which first sparked the growth in this technique). The latest podcast updates can be automatically delivered by Really Simple Syndication.


A website that acts as a gateway to information and services available on the Internet by providing search engines, directories and other services such as personalised news or free email.

Portfolio analysis

Identification, evaluation and selection of desirable marketing applications.


Customer’s perception of the product and brand offering relative to those of competitors.

Predictive Analytics

Using data mining and statistical modelling to predict future outcomes, for example by scoring customer propensity to respond to a specific offer.

Premium Pricing

Use a high price where there is a unique brand.

This approach is used where a substantial competitive advantage exists and the marketer is safe in the knowledge that they can charge a relatively higher price. Such high prices are charged for luxuries such as Cunard Cruises, Savoy Hotel rooms, and first class air travel.

view more pricing strategies

Prescriptive strategy

The three core areas of strategic analysis, strategic development and strategy implementation are linked together sequentially.

Price comparison sites

See Aggregators

Price dispersion

The distribution or range of prices charged for an item across different retailers.

Price elasticity of demand

Measure of consumer behaviour that indicates the change in demand for a product or service in response to changes in price.

Price Skimming

Price skimming sees a company charge a higher price because it has a substantial competitive advantage. However, the advantage tends not to be sustainable. The high price attracts new competitors into the market, and the price inevitably falls due to increased supply.

example: Manufacturers of digital watches used a skimming approach in the 1970s. Once other manufacturers were tempted into the market and the watches were produced at a lower unit cost, other marketing strategies and pricing approaches are implemented. New products were developed and the market for watches gained a reputation for innovation.

view more pricing strategies

Price transparency

Customer knowledge about pricing increases due to increased availability of pricing information.

Price variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves defining products prices and pricing models.

Pricing level

The price set for a specific product or range of products.

Pricing model

Describes the form of payment such as outright purchase, auction, rental, volume purchases and credit terms.

Common pricing strategies are:

Primary persona

A representation of the typical site user.


A moral right of individuals to avoid intrusion into their personal affairs. See Security methods,

Privacy and electronic Communications Regulations Act

A law intended to control the distribution of email and other online communications including cookies.

Privacy statement

Information on a website explaining how and why individuals’ data are collected, processed and stored.

Process variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves the methods and procedures companies use to achieve all marketing functions.


Procurement is the act of acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source.

Procurement is the process of finding, agreeing terms and acquiring goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process.

Product architecture

One of the four layers of an information systems is architecture. It describes a standard set of rules to be followed in each segment of the technical architecture and vendor-specific tools and services to apply in developing and running applications.

Product attributes

Characteristics of a raw material or finished good which distinct it from other products. Attributes include size, color, functionality, components and features that affect the product’s appeal or acceptance in the market.

Product Bundle Pricing

Here sellers combine several products in the same package.

This also serves to move old stock. Blu-ray and videogames are often sold using the bundle approach once they reach the end of their product life cycle. You might also see product bundle pricing with the sale of items at auction, where an attractive item may be included in a lot with a box of less interesting things so that you must bid for the entire lot. It’s a good way of moving slow selling products, and in a way is another form of promotional pricing.

view more pricing strategies

Product Information Management (PIM)

PIM (Product Information Management) actually stands for what it says it stands for: the management of product information.

Product Line Pricing

Where there is a range of products or services the pricing reflects the benefits of parts of the range.

For example car washes; a basic wash could be $2, a wash and wax $4 and the whole package for $6. Product line pricing seldom reflects the cost of making the product since it delivers a range of prices that a consumer perceives as being fair incrementally – over the range.

If you buy chocolate bars or potato chips (crisps) you expect to pay X for a single packet, although if you buy a family pack which is 5 times bigger, you expect to pay less than 5X the price. The cost of making and distributing large family packs of chocolate/chips could be far more expensive. It might benefit the manufacturer to sell them singly in terms of profit margin, although they price over the whole line. Profit is made on the range rather than single items.

view more pricing strategies

Product values

An assessment of the worth of a good or service. The product value assessed by a business when setting a price for a particular product can depend on its production costs, its overall market value and the value of the product as perceived by a targeted group of consumers.

Product variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves researching customers’ needs and developing appropriate products. See Core product and Extended product.

Product visualization / Visual communication

Visual communication is the communication of ideas through the visual display of information. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: alphanumerics, art, signs, and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically-oriented usability.


See customer profiling

Programmatic Ad Buying

Describes the purchase of online display advertising that is aggregated, booked, flighted, analysed and optimised via demand-side software interfaces and algorithms. It includes RTB and also non-RTB methods and buy types such as Facebook Ads API and the Google Display Network.

Promotion (online and offline)

Online promotion uses communication via the Internet itself to raise awareness about a site and drive traffic to it. This promotion may take the form of links from other sites, banner, advertisements or targeted email messages. Offline promotion uses traditional media such as television or newspaper advertising and word-of-mouth to promote a company’s website.

Promotion variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves communication with customers and other stakeholders to inform them about the product and the organisation.

Promotional Pricing

Pricing to promote a product is a very common application.

There are many examples of promotional pricing including approaches such as BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free), money off vouchers and discounts. Promotional pricing is often the subject of controversy. Many countries have laws which govern the amount of time that a product should be sold at its original higher price before it can be discounted. Sales are extravaganzas of promotional pricing!

view more pricing strategies

Propensity modeling

A name given to the approach of evaluating customer characteristics and behaviour and then making recommendations for future products.


‘Prosumer + consumer’. The customer is closely involved in specifying their requirements in a product.


A set of conventions that govern the communications between processes. Protocol specifies the format and content of messages to be exchanged.

Prototypes and prototyping

A prototype is a preliminary version of a part (or a framework of all) of a website that can be reviewed by its target audience, or the marketing team. Prototyping is an itractive process where website users suggest modifications before further prototypes are made and the final version of the site is developed.

Proximity marketing

Marketing message are delivered in real time according to customers’ presence based on the technology they are carrying, wearing or have embedded. Bluecasting is the best-known example.

Psychological Pricing

This approach is used when the marketer wants the consumer to respond on an emotional, rather than rational basis. For example Price Point Perspective (PPP) 0.99 Cents not 1 US Dollar.

It’s strange how consumers use price as an indicator of all sorts of factors, especially when they are in unfamiliar markets. Consumers might practice a decision avoidance approach when buying products in an unfamiliar setting, an example being when buying ice cream.

example: What would you like, an ice cream at $0.75, $1.25 or $2.00? The choice is yours. Maybe you’re entering an entirely new market. Let’s say that you’re buying a lawnmower for the first time and know nothing about garden equipment. Would you automatically by the cheapest? Would you buy the most expensive? Or, would you go for a lawnmower somewhere in the middle? Price therefore may be an indication of quality or benefits in unfamiliar markets.

view more pricing strategies

Public key

A unique identifier of a buyer or a seller that is available to other parties to enable secure e-commerce using encryption based on digital certificates.

Public relations

The management of the awareness, understanding and reputation of an organisation or brand, primarily achieved through influencing exposure in the media.

Public-key encryption

An asymmetric form of encryption in which the keys or digital certificates used by the sender and receiver of information are different. The two keys are related, so only the pair of keys can be used together to encrypt and decrypt information.

Public-key infrastructure (PKI)

The organisations responsible for issuing and maintaining certificates for public-key security together form the PKI.

Pull media

The consumer is proactive in selection of the message through actively seeking out a website.

Push media

Communications are broadcast from an advertiser to consumers of the message, who are passive recipients.

Push technology

The delivery of web-based content to the user’s desktop without the need for the user to visit a site to download information.. Email can also be considered to be a push technology. A particular type of infomration is a push channel.


Qualified lead

Contact and profile information for a customer with an indication of the level of their interest in product categories.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance is essential to make sure product information is correctly entered and maintained. The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the eight management principles upon which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations, wishing to meet the standard, must fulfill.

Quality score

An assessment in paid search by Google AdWords (and now other search engines) of an individual ad triggered by a keyword which, in combination with the bid amount, determines the ranking of the ad relative to competitors. The primary factor is the click-through rate for each ad, but quality score also considers the match between the keyword and the occurrence of the keyword in the text, historical click-through rates, the engagement of the searcher when they click through to the site and the speed at which the page loads.

Quick Response (QR) code

A QR code is a two-dimensional matrix bare code. QR codes were invented in Japan, where they are a popular type of two-dimensional code used for direct response.



The number of unique individuals who view an advertisement.

Real-time bidding (RTB)

Bids for buying ads against keywords can be managed in conjunction with a DSP.

Real-time data

Up-to-the-second, detailed data used to run the business and accessed in read/write mode, usually through predefined transactions.

Real-time marketing and PR

Brand develop an agile, proactive approach to PR, content marketing and advertising to participate in current news and trends to help increase their visibility and influence through positive brand mentions. They also develop a reactive approach to respond to negative brand mentions through social media reputation management.

Really simple Syndication (RSS)

Blog, news or other content is published by an XML standard and syndicated for other sites or read by users in RSS reader software services.


A service for matching company name and brands with web addresses.

Reciprocal links

Links which are agreed between yourself and another organisation.


The site that a visitor previously visited before following a link.

Referrer or reffering site

The source of a visitor to site delivered via a digital media channel. Typically a specific site, e.g. Google AdWords or a media site or an individual ad placement on the site.

Referring sites

A log file ma indicate which site a user visited immediately before visiting the current site. See Click-through, Destination site and Exit page.

Registration (individuals)

The process whereby an individual subscribes to a site or requests further information by filling in contact details and his of her needs using an electronic form.

Registration (of domain name)

The process of reserving a unique web address that can be used to refer to the company website.


The creation of a new intermediaries between customers and suppliers providing services such as supplier search and product evaluation.

Relationship marketing

Consistent application of up-to-date knowledge of individual customers to product and service design, which is communicated interactively in order to develop a continuous, mutually beneficial and long-term relationship.


The capability of an email to display correctly formatted in different email readers.

Repeat visits

If an organisation can encourage customers to return to the website then the relationship can be maintained online.


The (inventory) replenishment is an operation that consists in making the stock full again in order to avoid stock-out. Replenishment is typically initiated by a backorder passed to a supplier or to a manufacturer, possibly sent through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).


The locations on the Internet where an organisation is located for promoting or selling its services.


Developing for a new access platform, such as the web, content which was previously used for a different platform.

Reserve path analysis

Indicates the most popular combination of pages and/or calls-to-action which lead to a page. This is particularly useful for transactional pages such as the first checkout page on a consumer site; a lead generation or contact-us page on a business-to-business site; an email subscription page; a call-me-back option.

Resource analysis

Review of the technological, financial and human resources of an organisation and how they are utilised in business processes.


Resources are defined as physical assets over which an organisation has control. This narrow definition of resources allows them to e clearly distinguished from capabilities.

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Layout and formatting of website content is modified at the point of rendering to suit different screen resolutions and capabilities to produce a better experience to users of a range of desktop, tablet and smartphone devices using web development methods like CSS and image scaling.

Results-based payment

Advertisers pay according to the number of times the ad is clicked on.

Retail channel

Retailers’ use of the Internet as both a communication and a transactional channel concurrently in business-to-consumer markets.

Retail format

This is the general nature of the retail mix in terms of range of products and services, pricing policy, promotional programmes, operating style or store design and visual merchandising; examples include mail-order retailers (non-store-based) and department-store retailers.


See Customer retention.

Return on advertising sped (ROAS)

This indicates amount of revenue generated from each referrer. ROAS = Total revenue generated from referrer/Amount spent on advertising with referrer.

Return on investment

This indicates the profitability of any investment, or in an advertising context for each referring site.ROI = Profit generated form investment/Cost of investment ROI = Profit generated from referrers/Amount spent on advertising with referrer.

Return path

An interaction where the customer sends information to the iDTV provider using a phone line or cable.

Revenue models

Describe methods of generating income for an organisation.

Reverse auctions

Item purchased from lowest-bidding supplier in bidding period.

Rich Internet Applications

Interactive applications which provide options such as product selectors or games. They may incorporate video or sound also. Typically built using technologies such as Adobe Flash, Ajax, Flex, Java or Silverlight.

Rich media

Advertisements that are not static, but provide animation, audio, sound or interactivity as a game or form to be completed. an example of this would be a banner display advertisement for a loan in which a customer can type in the amount of loan required, and the cost of the loan is calculated immediately.


A tool, also known as a spider, that is employed by search engines to index web pages of registered sites on a regular basis. See Spider.


A situation where a company pays for banner advertisements to promote its services across a website.


Sales generation offers

Offers that encourage product trial. A coupon redeemed against a purchase is a classic example.

Sales promotions

The Internet offers tremendous potential for sales promotions of different types since it is more immediate than any other medium – it is always available for communication, and tactical variations in the details of the promotion can be made at short notice.

Satisficing behavior

Consumers do not behave entirely rationally in product or supplier selection. They will compare alternatives, but then may make their choice given imperfect information.

Scenario of use

A particular path or flow of events or activities performed by a visitor to a website.

Scenario-based analysis

Models of the future environment are developed from different starting points.


Scripts can run either on the user’s browser (client-side scripts) (see Web browser) or on the web server (server-side scripts).


A methodology that supports agile software development based on 15-30-day sprints to implement features from a product backlog. ‘Scrum’ refers to a daily project status meeting during the sprint.

Search engine

Specialised website that uses automatic tools known as spiders or robots to index web pages of registered sites. Users can search the index by typing in keywords to specify their interest. Pages containing these keywords will be listed, and by clicking on a hyperlink the user will be taken to the site.

Search engine listing

The list of sites and descriptions returned by a search engine after a user types in keywords.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Promoting an organisation through search engines to meet its objectives by delivering relevant content in the search listings for searchers and encouraging them to click through to a destination site. The two key techniques of SEM are search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve results from the natural listings and paid-search marketing to deliver results from the sponsored listings within the search engines through pay-per-click (PPC) paid-search engine marketing and through content-network paid-search marketing (which may be on a PPC basis or on a CPM basis). SEM is about connecting the searchers with information which will help them find what they are looking for and will help site owners generate revenue or disseminate information.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

A structured approach used to increase the position of a company or its products in search engine natural or organic results listings (the main body of the search results page) for selected keywords or phrases.

Search engine results pages

The page(s) containing the results after a user types in a keyphrase into a search engine. SERPs contain both natural or organic listings and paid or sponsored listings.

Search engine submission

The process of informing search engines that a site should be indexed for listing in the search engine results pages.

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)

A standard for public-key encryption intended to enable secure e-commerce transactions, lead-developed by Mastercard and Visa.

Secure HTTP

Encrypted HTTP

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A commonly used encryption technique for scrambling data such as credit card numbers as they are passed across the Internet from a web browser to a web server.

Security methods

When systems for electronic commerce are devised, or when existing solutions are selected, the following attributes must be present:- Authentication – are parties to the transaction who they claim to be? This is achieved through the us.e of digital certificates – Privacy and confidentiality – are transaction data protected? The consumer may want to make an anonymous purchase. Are all non-essential traces of a transaction removed from the public network and all intermediary records eliminated? – Integrity – checks that the message sent is complete, i.e. that is not corrupted. – Non-repudiability – ensures sender cannot deny sending message. – Availability – how can threats to the continuity and performance of the system be eliminated?


The viral campaign is started by sending an email to a targeted group that are likely to propagate the virus.


Identification of different groups within a target market in order to develop different offerings for each group.

Sell side e-commerce

Sell side e-commerce are e-commerce transactions between a supplier organization and its customers, possibly through intermediaries.

Sense and respond communications

Delivering timely, relevant communications to customers as part of a contact strategy based on assessment of their position in the customer lifecycle and monitoring specific interactions with a company’s website, emails and staff.

Service log file

See Online web metrics

Service quality

The level of service received on a website. Dependent on reliability, responsiveness and availability of staff and the website service.

Service-level agreement

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a part of a service contract where a service is formally defined. Particular aspects of the service – scope, quality, responsibilities – are agreed between the service provider and the service user. A common feature of an SLA is a contracted delivery time (of the service or performance). As an example, Internet service providers and telcos will commonly include service level agreements within the terms of their contracts with customers to define the level(s) of service being sold in plain language terms. In this case the SLA will typically have a technical definition in terms of mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair or mean time to recovery (MTTR); identifying which party is responsible for reporting faults or paying fees; responsibility for various data rates; throughput; jitter; or similar measurable details.


Used to describe the process of displaying an advertisement on a website (ad serving) or delivering a web page to a user’s web browser. See Web server.


See Visitor session

Session cookie

A cookie used to manage a single visitor session.

Share of search

The audience share of Internet searchers achieved by a particular audience in a particular market.

Share of voice

The relative advertising spend of the different competitive brands within the product category. Share of voice (SOV) is calculated by dividing a particular brand’s advertising spend by the total category spend.

Short code

Five-digit numbers combined with text can be used by advertisers or broadcasters to encourage consumers to register their interest. They are typically followed up by an automated text message from the advertiser with the option to opt in to further information by email or link through to a WAP site.

Short Message Service

The formal name for text messaging.

Single customer view

Customer profile information is kept consistent across systems to maintain customer data quality.


See website

Site ‘stickiness’

An indication of how long a visitor stays on a site. Log file analysers can be used to assess average visit times.

Site announcements

Usually used to describe the dissemination of information about a new or revised website.

Site auditors

Auditors accurately measure the usage for different sites as the number of ad impressions and click-through rates. Auditors include ABC (audit Bureau of Circulation) and BPA (Business Publication Auditor) International.

Site availability

An indication of how easy it is to connect to a website as a user. In theory this figure should be 100 per cent, but for technical reasons such as failures in the server hardware or upgrades to software, sometimes users cannot access the site and the figure falls below 90 per cent.

Site design page template(s)

A standard page layout format which is applied to each page of a website. Typically defined for different page categories (e.g. category page, product page, search page).

Site map

A graphical or text depiction of the relationship between different groups of content on a website.

Site measurement

See Website measurement.

site re-launch

Where a website is replaced with a new version with a new ‘look and feel’.

Site statistics

Collected by log file analysers, these are used to monitor the effectiveness of a website.

Site-visitor activity data

Information on content and services accessed by e-commerce site visitors.

Sitemapping tools

These tools diagram the layout of the website, which is useful for site management and can be used to assist users.

Situation analysis

Collection and review of information about an organisation’s external environment and internal processes and resources in order to inform its strategies.


A loosely structured group of people who research and develop innovative opportunities and business benefits.

SMART metrics

SMART metrics must be:- Specific – Measurable – Actionable – Relevant – Timely.


Physical cards containing a memory chip that can be inserted into a smartcard reader before items can be purchased.

Social bookmarking

Web users keep a shared version of favourite sites (‘Favorites’) online. This enables the most popular sites in a category to be identified.

Social commerce

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce which encourages participation and interaction of customers in rating, selecting and buying products through group buying. This participation can occur on an e-commerce site or on third-party sites.

Social CRM

The process of managing customer-to-customer conversations to engage existing customers, prospects and other stakeholders with a brand and so enhance customer-relationship management.

Social exclusion

Part of society is excluded form the facilities available to the remainder.

Social graph

A term popularised by Facebook ik 2007 when describing its Facebook platform. The social graph describes the relationship between individuals linked through social networks and other connections such as email or personal contact.

Social location-based marketing

Where social media tools give users the option of sharing their location, and hence give businesses the opportunity to use proximity or location-based marketing to deliver targeted offers and messages to consumers and collect data about their preferences and behaviour. Businesses can offer consumers benefits to check-in, for example, to gain points, be the most regular visitor to that location, to share their location with friends, and, in the case of events, to meet like-minded people. Of course the privacy implications of this relatively new technology must be carefully reviewed.

Social media governance

A definition of how companies should respond to social mentions that may give rise to leads or reputational damage.

Social media listening

The process of using monitoring tools to review mentions of a brand and related keywords within social networks and other online sites.

Social media marketing

Monitoring and facilitating customer-customer interaction and participation throughout the web to encourage positive engagement with a company and its brands. Interactions may occur on a company site, social networks and other third-party sites.

Social media optimisation (SMO)

A process to review and improve the effectiveness of social media marketing through reviewing approaches to enhance content and communications quality to generate more business value.

Social media strategy

A definition of the marketing communications used to achieve interaction with social network users to meet business goals. The scope of social media optimisation also includes incorporation of social features such as status updates and sharing widgets into company websites.

Social network

A site that facilitates peer-to-peer communications within a group or between individuals through providing facilities to develop user-generated content (UGC) and to exchange messages and comments between different users.

Social sign-on

A user logs in to a site using a social network service user name and password. This can enable connection between social memberships and company profile information.

Soft launch

A trial version of a site launched with limited publicity.

Soft lock-in

Electronic linkages between supplier and customer increase switching costs.

Software agents

See; Agents

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Business applications and software services are provided through Internet and web protocols with the application managed on a separate server from where it is accessed through a web browser on an end-user’s computer with data stored within ‘The Cloud’.


Unsolicited email (usually bulk mailed and untargeted).


Bulk emailing of unsolicited mail.

Specific offline advertising

Driving traffic to the website or explaining the online proposition is a primary objective of the advert.


Spiders are software processes, technically known as robots, employed by search engines to index web pages of registered sites on a regular basis. They follow links between pages and record the reference URL of a page for future analysis.

Splash page

A preliminary page that precedes the normal home page of a website. Site users can either wait to be redirected to the home page or can follow a link to do this. Splash pages are not now commonly used since they slow down the process of customers finding the information they need.


Sponsorship involves a company paying money to advertise on a website. The arrangement may involve more than advertising. Sponsorship is a similar arrangement to co-branding.

Stage models

Models for the development of different levels of Internet marketing services.

Stages in website development

The standard stages of creation of a website are initiation, feasibility, analysis, design, development (content creation), testing and maintenance.

Static (fixed) webpage

A page on the web server that is invariant.


A framework for assessing the macro- environment, standing for Social, Technological, Economic and Political (including legal).


An indication of how long a visitor stays on-site.


Using static drawings or screenshots of the different parts of a website to review the design concept with customers or clients.

STP-model (Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning)

The STP Model helps you position a product or service to target different groups of customers more efficiently. This three-step approach helps you quickly zoom in on the most profitable parts of your business, so that you can fully exploit the opportunities these offer.​ more>>

Strategic agility

The capability to innovate and so gain competitive advantage within a marketplace by monitoring changes within an organisation’s marketplace to efficiently evaluate alternative strategies and then select, review and implement appropriate candidate strategies.

Strategic analysis

Collection and review of information about an organisation’s internal processes and resources and external marketplace factors in order to inform strategy definition.

Strategic market segmentation

Selection of key audiences to target with value propositions developed for these audiences.

Strategic positioning

Performing different activities from rivals or performing similar activities in different ways.

Strategic windows

Opportunities arising through a significant change in environment.

Strategic windows

Opportunities arising through a significant change in environment.

Strategy formulation

Generation, review and selection of strategies to achieve strategic objectives.

Strategy process model

A framework for approaching strategy development.

Streaming media

Sound and video that can be experienced within a web browser before the whole clip is downloaded.

Streaming media server

A specialist server used to broadcast audio (e.g. podcasts) or video (e.g. IPTV or webcast presentations). Served streams can be unicast (a separate copy of stream is served for each recipient), multicast (recipients share streams) or peer-to-peer where the media is shared between different recipient’s where the media is shared between different recipient’s computers using a Bitorrent or Kontiki approach.

Style guide

A definition of site structure, page design, typography and copy defined within a company. See Graphic design.

Subject access request

A request by a data subject to view personal data from an organisation.


Pop-up adverts that require interaction to remove them.

Supply Chain

The optimal flow of product from site of production through intermediate locations to the site of final use.


A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.


An undirected information seeker who is often looking for an experience rather than information.

Symmetric encryption

Both parties to a transaction use the same key to encode and decode messages.


Content or product information is distributed to third parties. Online this is commonly achieved through standard XML formats such as RSS.

Systems architecture

One of the four layers of the information systems architecture. The systems architecture represents the definitions and inter-relationships between applications and the product architecture.



Tracking of the origin or referring site or of visitors to a site and their spending patterns. Also tagging refers to where users or web page creators categorise content on a site through adding descriptive terms. A common approach in blog posts.

Target marketing strategy

Evaluation and selection of appropriate segments and the development of appropriate offers.

Targeting (through banner advertisers)

Advertising networks such as DoubleClick offer advertisers the ability to target advertisements dynamically on the World Wide Web through their ‘DART’ targeting technology. This gives advertisers a means of reaching specific audiences.

Technology convergence

A trend in which different hardware devices such as TVs, computers and phone merge and have similar functions.

Telemarketing using the Internet

Mainly used for inbound telemarketing, including sales lines, carelines for goods and services and response handling for direct response campaigns.


A program that allows remote access to data and text-based programs on other computer systems at different locations. For example, a retailer could check to see whether an item was in stock in a warehouse using a telnet application.


See Site design page template.

Test website

A parallel version of the site to use before the site is made available to customers as a live website.


Testing involves different aspects of the content such as spelling, validity of links, formatting on different web browsers and dynamic features such as form filling or database queries.

Testing content

Testing should be conducted for plug-ins; for interactive facilities and integration with company databases; for spelling and grammar; for adherence to corporate image standards; for implementation of HTML in different web browsers; and to ensure that links to external sites are valid.

Third-party cookies

Served by another site to the one being viewed – typical for portals where an ad network will track remotely or where the web analytics software laces a cookie.

Tipping point

Using the science of social epidemics explains principles that underpin the rapid spread of ideas, products and behaviours through a population.


A trademark is a unique word or phrase that distinguishes your company. The mark can be registered as plain or designed text, artwork or a combination. In theory, colours, smells and sounds can also be trademarks.

Traffic-building campaign

The use of online and offline promotion techniques such as banner advertising, search engine promotion and reciprocal linking to increase the audience of a site (both new and existing customers).

Transaction log file

A web server file that records all page requests.

Transactional e-commerce sites

Sites that support online sales.

Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

The passing of data packets around the Internet occurs via TCP/IP. For a PC to be able to receive web pages or for a server to host web pages it must be configured to support this protocol.


The interaction between company, customer and other customers facilitated through online community, social networks, reviews and comments.

Trusted feed

A trusted feed is an automated method of putting content into a search engine index or an aggregator database.

Trusted third parties (TTPs)

Companies with which an agreement has been reached to share information.


Undirected information seeker

A person who does not know what information they are looking for – a surfer.

Uniform (universal) resource locator (URL)

Text that indicates the web address of a site. A specific domain name is typed into a web browser window and the browser will then locate and load the website. It is in the form of: http://www.domain-name.extension/filename.html.

Unique visitors

Individual visitors to a site measured through cookies or IP addresses on an individual computer.

Universal search

The natural listings incorporate other relevant results from vertical searches related to a query, such as video, books, scholar, news, sitelinks and images.


An option to opt out from an email newsletter or discussion group.


Persuading existing customers to purchase more expensive products (typically related to existing purchase categories).


The transfer of files from a local computer to a server. Usually achieved using FTP. Email or website pages can be uploaded to update a remote server.

Upselling / Cross-selling

Upselling is a sales technique whereby a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. While it usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, it can be simply exposing the customer to other options that were perhaps not considered. A different technique is cross-selling in which a seller tries to sell something else. In practice, large businesses usually combine upselling and cross-selling to maximize profit. In doing so, an organization must ensure that its relationship with the client is not disrupted.

URL strategy

A defined approach to how content is labelled through placing it in different directories or folders with distinct web addresses.


An approach to website design intended to enable the completion of user tasks.

Usability/user testing

Representative users are observed performing representative tasks using a system.

Usenet newsgroup

An electronic bulletin board used to discuss a particular topic such as a sport, hobby or business area. Traditionally accessed by special newsreader software, these can now be accessed via a web browser from

User experience

User Experience is defined by ISO as “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service”.


User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project. UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.


Your website, newsletter or any other publication must proviode a meaningful and valuable user experience to your target group.

Information must be:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
  • Usable: Site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them

User journey

See Customer scenarios.

User session

Used to specify the frequency of visits to a site. Not equivalent to site visit.

User-centred design

Design based on optimising the user experience according to all factors, including the user interface, which affect this.

User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is defined as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites“.



Validation services test for errors in HTML code which may cause a web page to be displayed incorrectly or links to other pages that do not work.

Value chain

A model that considers how supply chain activities can add value to products and services delivered to the customer.

Value events scoring

Value events are outcomes that occur on the site as indicated by visits to different page or content types which suggest marketing communications are effective. Examples include leads, sales, newsletters registrations and product page views. They can be tagged and scored using many web analytics systems, for example Google refers to them as conversion goals.

Value network

The links between an organisation and its strategic and non-strategic partners that form its external value chain.

Value Pricing

This approach is used where external factors such as recession or increased competition force companies to provide value products and services to retain sales e.g. value meals at McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants.

Value price means that you get great value for money i.e. the price that you pay makes you feel that you are getting a lot of product. In many ways it is similar to economy pricing. One must not make the mistake to think that there is added value in terms of the product or service. Reducing price does not generally increase value.

view more pricing strategies

Value proposition

The benefits or value a brand offers to customers in its products and services.

Value proposition of site

The benefits or value of a website that are evident to its users.

Vertical portals

These are generally business-to-business sites that will host content to help participants in an industry to get their work done by providing industry news, details of business techniques, and product and service reviews.

Video marketing

The use of video to gain visibility in search marketing, video hosting sites and to engage site visitors.


see Page impression


A view-through indicates when a user views an ad and subsequently visits a website.

Viral marketing

A marketing message is communicated from one person to another, facilitated by different media, such as word of mount, email or websites. Implies rapid transmission of messages is intended.

Viral referral

An ’email a friend or colleague’ component to an email campaign or part of website design.

Virtual cash

see Digital cash.

Virtual community

An Internet-based forum for special-interest groups to communicate using a bulletin board to post messages.

Virtual mall

A website that brings together different electronic retailers at a single virtual (online) location. This contrasts with a fixed-location infrastructure – the traditional arrangement where retail organisations operate from retail stores situated in fixed locations such as real-world shopping malls. (Also known as electronic mall.)

Virtual merchants

Retailers such as Amazon that only operate online – they have no fixed-location infrastructure.

Virtual organisation

An organisation that uses information and communications technology to allow it to operate without clearly defined physical boundaries between different functions. It provides customised services by outsourcing production and other functions to third parties.

Virtual private network

Private network created using the public network infrastructure of the Internet.


The process whereby a company develops more of the characteristics of a virtual organisation.

Visit conversion rate

The process whereby a company develops more of the characteristics of a virtual organisation.

Visit conversion rate

An indication of the capability of a site in converting visitors to defined outcomes such as registration. Calculated by dividing the number of conversion events by the number of visitor sessions within a time period.

Visitor conversion rate

An indication of the capability of a site in converting visitors to defined outcomes such as registration. Calculated by dividing the number of conversion events by the number of unique visitors within a defined time period.

Visitor session (visit)

A series of one or more page impressions, served to one user, which ends when there is a gap of 30 minutes or more between successive page impressions for that user.


Walled garden

A limited range of e/commerce services on iDTV (compared to the Internet).


WAP is a technical standard for transferring information to wireless devices, such as mobile phones.


Performance of physical functions and administrative associated with storage of goods and materials. These functions include recept, identification, inspection, verification, putting away, retrieval for issues, preparing for delivery, etc.


Web 2.0 concept

A collection of web services that facilitate interaction of web users with a site to create user-generated content and encouraging certain behaviours online such as community or social network participation and user-generated content, mashups, content rating, use of widgets and tagging.

Web 3.0 concept

Next-generation web incorporating high-speed connectivity, complex cross-community interactions and an intelligent or semantic web where automated applications can access data from different online services to assist searchers perform complex tasks of supplier selection.

Web 3.0 concept

Next-generation web incorporating high-speed connectivity, complex cross-community interactions and an intelligent or semantic web where automated applications can access data from different online services to assist searchers perform complex tasks of supplier selection.

Web accessibility

An approach to site design intended to accommodate site usage using different browsers and settings – particularly required by the visually impaired and visitors with other disabilities including motor control, learning difficulties and deaf users. Users whose first language is not English can also be assisted.

Web addresses

Web addresses refer to particular pages on a web server, which is hosted by a company or organisation. The technical name for web addresses is uniform or universal resource locators (URLs).

Web analytics

Tools that offer analytical capabilities beyond the usual access log file, i.e., clickstream data, analyses. Some of the names some people have given this type of analysis are Web mining, data Web housing, e-business intelligence, e- business analysis and e-intelligence.

Web application frameworks

A standard programming framework based on reusable library functions for creating dynamic websites through a programming language.

Web application server

Software processes which is accessed by a standard programming interface (API) of a web application framework to serve dynamic website functionality in response to requests received for browsers.

Web browsers

Browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer provide an easy method of accessing and viewing information stored as HTML web documents on different web servers.

Web merchandising

The aims of web merchandising are to maximise sales potential of an online store for each visitor. this means connecting the right products with the right offer to the right visitor, and remembering that the online store is part of a broader experience including online and offline advertising, in-store visits, customer service and delivery.

Web radio

Internet radio is when existing broadcasts are streamed via the Internet and listened to using plug-ins such as Real Media or Windows Media Player.

Web response model

The website is used as a response mechanism for offline campaign elements such as direct mail or advertising.

Web self-service

Content and services provided by an organisation to replace or complement in-store or phone customer enquiries in order to reduce costs and increase customer convenience.

Web servers

Web servers are used to store the web pages accessed by web browsers. They may also contain databases of customer or product information, which can be queried and retrieved using a browser.

Web services

Web services are a new way of connecting businesses. Web services are platform-neutral and vendor-independent protocols that enable any form of distributed processing to be performed using XML and Web-based technologies.


A webmaster is responsible for ensuring the quality of a website. This means achieving suitable availability, speed, working links between pages and connections to company databases. In small companies the webmaster may be responsible for graphic design and content development.


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Website auditors

Auditors accurately measure the usage of different sites in terms of the number of ad impressions and click-through rates.

Website content

Accessible on the World Wide Web that is created by a particular organisation or individual. The location and identity of a website is indicated by its web address (URL) or domain name. It may be stored on a single server in a single location, or a cluster of servers.

Website measurement

The process whereby metrics such as page impressions are collected and evaluated to assess the effectiveness of Internet marketing activities in meeting customers, business and marketing objectives.

Wi-Fi (‘wireless fidelity)

A high-speed wireless local-area network enabling wireless access to the Internet for mobile, office and home users.

Wide Area Information Service (WAIS)

An Internet service that has been superseded by the World Wide Web.


A badge or button incorporated into a site or social network space by its owner, with content or services typically served from another site making widgets effectively a mini-software application or web service. content can be updated in real time since the widget interacts with the server each time it loads.


A simplified outline of a single page template used to define new layout or functionality for part of a website for discussion, iteration and then a brief for implementation.

Word-of-mouth marketing

According to the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association it is giving people a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place. It is the art and science of building active, mutually beneficial consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer communications.

World Wide Web

A medium for publishing information on the Internet. It is accessed through web browsers, which display web pages and can now be used to run business applications. Company information is stored on web servers, which are usually referred to as websites.



An advanced markup language giving better control than HTML over format for structured information on web pages.

XMOS |(cross-media optimisation studies)

XMOS research is designed to help marketers and their agencies answer the question ‘What is the optimal mix of advertising vehicles across different media, in terms of frequency, reach and budget allocation, for a given campaign to achieve its marketing goals?’ The mix between online and offline spend is varied to maximise campaign metrics such as reach, brand awareness and purchase intent.


Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

A summary of today’s multichannel consumer decision making for product purchase where they search, review ratings, styles, prices comments on social media before visiting a retailer.


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