The Ultimate A-Z Shopify Glossary [2023 - 120+ Definitions]
Thankfully, Shopify is one of the easiest ecommerce platforms to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward...
Thankfully, Shopify is one of the easiest ecommerce platforms to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward.
There are countless terms that continually crop up as you develop your store and not all of them are self explanatory.
So, if you keep getting your UX and UI mixed up, think a sales channel is on the TV guide, or thought 'ICP' is just a phrase you say in the bathroom, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve written down definitions to (almost) everything you need to know as a Shopify or ecommerce store owner - and will continue updating this list as time goes on.
To Tip: Use CMD+F to search for the term you need.
Latest Update: July, 2023
A/B testing is where you compare one thing with another, aiming to get an equal amount of traffic to each.
For example, if you were launching a new landing page, you may run an A/B test with different headlines, sending 50% of your traffic to one page and the other 50% to the other page.
Whichever page then provided more of your desired outcome (most likely, conversions), that would be the winner.
An abandoned cart is when a customer places items in their basket but then leaves your site before checking out.
Abandoned Cart Email
Abandoned cart emails are emails sent when someone abandons their cart, reminding them of the items they didn’t buy and encouraging them to make the purchase. Often these emails are automated.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery is when you convince a customer to purchase the items they had left in their cart.
Add To Cart
Add to Cart is the process of your customer selecting the products they want to buy from your store, adding them to a virtual ‘cart’ before checking out.
Once your customer clicks the ‘Add to Cart’ button on your product page, the item is reserved for them in their virtual cart until they decide to complete the purchase or remove the item.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
In simple terms, artificial intelligence is a process by which a computer performs a problem-solving task that would usually require a human.
The most popular example of this currently is ChatGPT, an AI language model that uses scans of the internet to talk to you.
A type of Shopify cart that keeps the customer on the product page after they’ve added an item to their cart.
An app (short for application) is a piece of software designed to perform a specific function directly for a user or another application.
The most common reference to the term ‘app’ is for mobile apps, which brands use to drive a better customer experience on mobile. For example, ASOS and Nike both have mobile apps for their business which can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple App stores.
In relation to Shopify, apps can be added to your Shopify store to develop your offering, improve customer experience, and improve your store. Apps on the Shopify app store can be free or paid.
You can also download a Shopify app that will help you build a mobile app for your Shopify store to improve your customer experience on mobile and drive more sales.
The Shopify app store is where you can find and download Shopify apps to add to your store.
API (Application Programming Interface)
An API is a set of commands that allow different applications to interact with each other.
The Shopify API helps to retrieve product information, process orders, and update inventory levels between Shopify and any other system your business may need.
An article, also known as a blog post, is a written piece of content posted to your Shopify site to share information about your brand, product, or niche.
Average Order Value
Your Average Order Value is how much money customers typically spend in your store at once.
It’s typically worked out by taking the total order value over a given time period and dividing that by the number of orders in that time period.
For example, if you generated $10,000 in revenue from 1,000 orders in a month, your average order value would be $10.
The Shopify ‘back end’ refers to the set-up and settings section of your store: the area you can see but your customers can’t. This includes inventory management, order fulfilment, analytics, more.
The day after Thanksgiving, a US holiday where shops across the globe make many special promotional offers.
Black Friday is often linked with Cyber Monday, which occurs three days after, and the joint event is sometimes abbreviated to BFCM.
A blog is where you add written content to your website often around updates, promotions, and interesting bits to do with your brand. You can also use your blog to inform and educate your audience on your niche.
Keeping a blog can be an important marketing tool for improving your SEO to rank higher in search engines.
The word blog is a combination of the words ‘web’ and ‘log’.
A blog post is the same as an article: a written piece of content posted to your Shopify site to share information about your brand, product, or niche.
‘Bounce rate’ describes the percentage of visitors who enter a site and then leave or ‘bounce’ almost immediately. Sometimes this is defined by a user leaving within 3 seconds or taking action on the page, such as scrolling.
A high bounce rate often means that you need to improve your landing page to be more exciting and engaging.
A brick-and-mortar business is one that has a physical store.
A buy button is where your users confirm their purchase, and for Shopify, it means the user can complete a one-click purchase.
Call to Action (CTA)
A CTA is what instructs your user what to do next. For example, on your product page you would have a CTA that says ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Add to Cart’.
For best results, you should keep your CTAs direct, clear, and obvious with the button a different colour to the rest of the page so that it stands-out.
Canva is a free design tool Shopify users often use to create graphics and designs for their stores and marketing.
A shipping or logistics company, such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL.
For Shopify, a cart is the place where your customers can store the products they want to buy. Your Shopify store will store the customers’ chosen items for a certain period of time whilst they review, add, or remove items before (hopefully) checking out.
Your cart page is where your customers can view the products in their cart.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a page. It includes key elements such as font size, weight, style, color, width, height, border, alignment etc. CSS is often used to design templates for a store.
Catalogue / Catalog
A product catalogue or catalog is the same as a collection: a selection of products that are grouped together, making it easier for customers to find items with key similarities such as: product type, seasonal items, sale items, etc.
Catalogues are more commonly found in performance marketing channels, such as Facebook Ads. You can find out more about Facebook catalogues here.
An AI language model created by OpenAI that can be useful for generating marketing ideas, writing blog content, and more.
Checkout is the last step in the Shopify purchase process.
Customers will need to review their cart, enter their shipping information, select their payment method, apply any discount or promotional codes, and finally, confirm the purchase.
The checkout process can also be enhanced through upselling by showing customers additional products to add to their basket at the last moment, increasing their order value.
A collection on Shopify is a selection of products that are grouped together, making it easier for customers to find items with key similarities such as: product type, seasonal items, sale items, etc.
Your conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who eventually ‘convert’. That conversion can be making a purchase, signing up to your newsletter, contacting you, or anything else you mark as a key action. Each action will have its individual conversion rate, but purchase is the most common to track and important.
For example, if you get 1000 monthly visitors and 100 of them make a purchase, your conversion rate will be 10%.
According to LittleData, the average conversion rate for Shopify is 1.4%.
“Anything more than 3.2% would put you in the best 20% of Shopify stores we benchmark for conversion rate, and more than 4.7% would put you in the best 10%.
Ecommerce conversion rate (all devices) of less than 0.4% would put you in the worst 20% of Shopify stores, and less than 0.0% would put you in the worst-performing stores.”
A cookie is a small file that stores information on a user's actions and interactions with a website. Cookies are saved on a user’s computer or mobile device opposed to on the site itself and help you to gather
Cold emails are emails sent to customers who haven’t heard of or interacted with your store.
Comma Separated Values (CSV)
A type of file that stores data as a spreadsheet. On Shopify, CSV files are often used to transfer product feeds or customer data.
Facebook Commerce Manager is where you can manage all of your selling activity on both Facebook and Instagram.
Manage your product catalogues, set up a shop, view sales activity and enable checkout if your business is eligible.
You can find out more about Facebook commerce manager here.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost Per Click advertising is a form of digital marketing where you pay based upon how many times your advertisement has been clicked. The alternative is CPM, where you pay based upon how many times your advertisement has been seen.
The most common form of CPC marketing is Google Ads.
CPC can also be an analytics category within CPM channels to determine how much it costs for your audience to click on your ad.
For example, if you spent $1000 and generated 1000 clicks, your CPC would be $1.
A high CPC within a CPM marketing channel can mean that your advertisement isn’t exciting or compelling enough to get people to click.
Cost Per Miille (CPM)
Cost Per Mille is the alternative pricing model to CPC for digital marketing platforms and refers to the amount advertisers pay to display to generate 1,000 impressions. The term 'mille' is Latin for 1,000.
For example, if you spent $1000 and generated 1000 impressions, your CPM would be $1.
Average CPMs can differ depending on the marketing channel, the creative, the targeted audience, the time of year, and more, so it’s important to experiment in order to find out what’s most cost-effective for your audience.
The most popular CPM channel is Facebook.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC refers to how much it costs you to acquire a customer and is often generated over multiple channels as well as individual channels.
For example, you may run Facebook Ads which have a CAC of $20, but when combining all your other marketing expenditures, your overall CAC may be $30.
It’s important to look at each channel’s individual CAC as well as your overall CAC to see where your money is most effective. However, customer journey’s are rarely restricted to one channel, so keep in mind that your other marketing efforts may be playing a role.
A custom field is a property that allows users to read or provide additional information on product, collection, and order pages.
For example, if your product requires a level of personalization, you may create a custom field for them to upload an image or add their name.
You can find out more about how to create custom fields here.
The Monday following Thanksgiving, a US holiday, where retailers around the world reduce their prices and run promotional offers.
Cyber Monday is sometimes joined with Black Friday and abbreviated to BFCM.
The Shopify dashboard is where you can get an overview of your store’s performance with key data and metrics, such as sales, orders and traffic.
Desktop is the view users see on their laptop or computer. The alternative view is mobile, which users will see on their phone or tablet.
The average traffic split for Shopify stores is 21% Desktop and 79% Mobile, which is why it’s so important to optimise your mobile offering.
A discounted product is a product offered at a lower price than normal. Usually, this occurs through key promotional periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Discounts can be applied during the checkout process using discount codes or can be applied automatically.
A domain name is the unique address that identifies a website. For example, our domain name is ‘storelab.app’.
Orders created by Shopify merchants on behalf of their customers.
Draft orders are often used when merchants conduct a lot of selling over-the-phone or selling outside of their Shopify store.
Dropshipping is a style of business management where a store keeps no products on site and instead simply organises orders with a third party and has them ship the products direct to the customer’s address.
Dropshipping helps to reduce overall business costs as there’s no need to pay for product storage.
E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods on the internet.
Email marketing is the act of trying to sell, retain, or inform customers through sending emails.
The Facebook pixel is a piece of tracking code added to your Shopify store that relays data back to Facebook’s ad platform.
The pixel tracks user journeys and actions on the site to then improve your Facebook ad performance.
Front-end refers to the part of Shopify that your user can see and interact with.
Fulfilment is the process of completing an order for your customer i.e. fulfilling their delivery.
Fulfilment can also be applied to third-parties that store products and ship orders on behalf of an online store, such as in dropshipping.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of data-protection laws passed by the European Union (EU) imposed onto organisations anywhere in the world as long as they’re targeting people within the EU.
A card with a virtual sum of money loaded on that can be exchanged for the value of goods or services.
A handle is what you use to identify a shortened version of a URL. For example, if my product’s URL is: www.funstore.com/products/furniture, then the identifier is ‘furniture’
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a set of markup symbols or codes inserted into a file intended to be displayed on the Internet. The code tells web browsers how the elements on the page should be displayed.
Your home page is the first and main page on your website that then directs users around their store.
Inventory management involves overseeing and controlling the amount, location and status of the stock within a business. In Shopify, you can assign stock to particular locations; keep online and offline sales of it in sync; and get alerted with inventory levels are low.
ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
An ideal customer profile is a list of key traits and behaviours that describe your perfect customer.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be your most common customer, but the one that would work best for you and your Shopify store long-term.
We have more information about creating your ICP here.
A programming language that's used for web development.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
KPIs are the main metrics by which you judge success of your business, channel, or campaign.
A landing page can either refer to a standalone web page that’s created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign or to the page a user lands on after clicking on a an advertisement.
Lifetime Value (LTV)
Lifetime value is an estimate of the average revenue generated by a customer throughout their time as a customer. It doesn’t just include one purchase, but multiple.
It’s most commonly used in subscription models to understand how much money a user brings in, and therefore, how much can be spent to acquire them.
Line Item Property
Similar to a custom field, line item properties are used to collect customization information for an item added to the cart.
Liquid is the coding language used in Shopify themes. It’s used to load content on storefronts and makes it easier for merchants to customise the appearance of their store.
You can find out more about Liquid and template languages here.
Promoting goods and/or services that are available for purchase. It includes everything from planning to the presentation of the products.
Metafields help you customize the functionality and appearance of your Shopify store by saving information that’s not usually saved in the Shopify admin.
You can learn more about Metafields here.
Mobile is the view of your Shopify store your visitors will see when visiting on their phone or tablet.
79% of traffic to Shopify stores comes from a mobile device.
A mobile app is a piece of software that gives users a completely mobile-optimised version of your Shopify store.
Mobile apps convert 3x better than mobile websites, making them the most effective way to convert on mobile.
Multichannel is when you sell products on multiple platforms or channels.
For example, you may send online, in a physical store, and through Amazon.
Navigation is the process by which users access different ares of your Shopify store.
Navigation is normally aided by search boxes, sitemaps, and menus.
As the name suggests, Order Management refers to anything and everything to do with managing your products, services, and customer orders.
Page views is either the number of times a customer has viewed a particular page or the number of times customers have visited all of your website pages over a given time period.
A third-party company that handles payments on behalf of a Shopify seller.
A payment gateway is a service that processes card payments for online and physical stores.
Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways including the most popular options, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay.
Shopify also has its payment gateway called Shopify Payments which doesn’t charge transaction fees.
Performance marketing is a form of digital marketing where you only pay based upon results.
For example, Google Ad campaigns work on CPC or Cost Per Click, so you only pay based upon how many clicks you get. Facebook Ads work on a CPM basis, so you pay based upon how many impressions your ad receives.
Plugins are applications that add or help with a feature to your Shopify store.
You can download plugins or apps from the Shopify app store.
Point of Sale (POS)
Point of Sale is the place where a purchase is completed.
Print of Demand (POD)
Print on demand is a business model where products (generally clothing and art) are created only once a customer has made an order.
Therefore, the business doesn’t need to store or pre-order any stock or inventory on-site, and each product can be customised to the customers needs.
A product description is where you provide more information about your particular product on the product page.
A Shopify product feed is a file that contains all of the information about your full product range.
A product can be used to list your products on sales channels, such as Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace, or your store’s mobile app.
A product option refers to any of the customizable choices available to your customers for a particular product, such as size, color, or material.
A product page is the page that an individual product is shown on, providing information such as further images, a description, price and availability.
Within Meta Ads, a product set is a group of products within your catalogue.
You can find out more about product sets here.
A Shopify product variant is a specific combination of product options.
For example, one variant of a pair of shoes might be ‘size 9’ and ‘white’.
The quick view feature on a Shopify store allows customers to preview a product and certain details directly from a listing page without entering the specific product page.
The quick view usually features a smaller number of product details and images, but still the option to add-to-cart.
Often given when an item is faulty or incorrect, a refund is when you send your customer back the money they paid for the item.
Responsive design is a form of design that ensures a web page looks good and works well on both desktop and mobile by automatically adjusting and adapting to the suitable screen size.
Retargeting is an advertisement practice where you show ads to customers who have already engaged with your brand, and is often the best way to generate revenue through online advertising.
You can separate out your retargeting campaigns based upon customer actions, such as those who have only viewed a product page, those who have added to cart but not purchased, and those who have completed a purchase.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment, often shown as a percentage, refers to the amount of money generated from a given investment minus the investment itself.
For example, if you were to invest $800 into a Shopify app and generated $2400 through that app, your ROI would be 200%.
Your return policy outlines how long a customer can ask for a refund for, what they can request a refund for, how they can request a refund, and any other key details about your refund process your customers need to know.
A sales channel is any platform that you sell your goods through.
This can include your online store, physical store, mobile app or online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to the practice of improving your Shopify pages to rank higher in search engines, such as google.
The better your SEO, the further up the search listing your page will rank, so when audiences search for a term related to that page, they’re more likely to see your page.
You can find more about how to improve your SEO here.
Shipping refers to the process of delivering your product to a customer.
Often shipping is paid for by the customer. Though, some websites set a minimum order value to qualify for free shipping so the shipping is then covered as part of their order.
A Shopify shipping zone is a group of countries or regions that have the same shipping rates.
You can find more about shipping zones here.
Shop Pay is Shopify’s faster checkout option, designed to make it both faster and easier for your customers to purchase from your store.
Shopify analytics is the area of Shopify where you can see key data about your store and performance, such as sales, traffic, and customers.
Shopify Flow is a free-to-install app from the Shopify app store that helps create custom workflows and automate tasks, such as order fulfilment, inventory management, and customer segmentation.
You can install Shopify flow here.
Shopify Payments is Shopify’s built-in payment gateway that doesn’t charge any third-party transaction fees.
You can find out more about Shopify payments here.
‘Shopify Plus‘ is Shopify’s premium plan with advanced and customisable features unavailable on their standard plans.
You also receive direct access to an account manager to for support and guidance.
You can find out more about Shopify Plus here.
Shopify Starter is Shopify’s cheapest plan with restricted access to certain features.
The Shopify Starter plan doesn’t allow you to build a standalone store, but does allow you to sell products through an existing website or through social media.
You can find out more about Shopify Starter here.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
An alternative name to Abandoned Carts.
An abandoned cart is when a customer places items in their basket but then leaves your site before checking out.
Showrooming is the act of visiting a physical store to see a product only to then purchase it online - not necessarily from the same company whose shop they visited.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a service allows customers to use cloud-based applications on the Internet often using a subscription model.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
A security protocol that provides privacy and authentication to Internet communications.
Shopify automatically provides an SSL certificate to all Shopify stores to ensure card payments are secure.
Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
SKU (pronounced “skew”) is a unique code used by Shopify store owners to identify and track inventory and stock.
The code is a mixture of letters and numbers that identify key characteristics about each product, including the manufacturer, brand, style, color, and size.
SKUs are not visible to customers.
You can find more about SKUs here.
Your storefront is the customer-facing part of a Shopify store, such as your website.
A subscription is where a customer sets up a repeat payment to receive goods or services on a regular basis.
For example, a customer may set up a subscription for a new tube of toothpaste to be sent to them monthly.
Tags are keywords associated with each product to make them easier for your customers to find when searching your Shopify store. Tags can also be used to categorise your products.
A Shopify template is a pre-designed layout for your store.
You can find different templates for different types of pages, helping you to build an aesthetic store quickly and easily.
A theme controls the organisation, features, and style of your Shopify store.
Shopify provides a range of customizable themes with both free and paid options.
You can browse all Shopify themes here.
Third-party apps are applications built by companies outside of Shopify aimed at improving the functionality and performance of your Shopify store.
You can find all third-party apps here.
Traffic is how many users have visited your store and how many times they’ve done so.
It’s often measured in sessions or visits.
A transaction is when a customer provides money in exchange for your goods or services.
A transaction fee is a charge you pay when someone makes a purchase on your store.
The exact fees depend on your plan, but you can avoid them completely by using Shopify Payments instead of a third-party payment gateway.
When a customer unsubscribes, it means they no longer want to receive the good or service you’re providing.
Customers can unsubscribe from a product or service subscription, as well as your email marketing if they no longer wish to receive your newsletters or email promotions.
Upselling is the act of persuading a customer to upgrade to a higher-value product or add more items to their basket before checking out, helping to increase overall average order value
User Experience (UX)
User Experience is the overall experience a customer has when interacting with your Shopify store, including navigation, responsive design, a smooth checkout process, and more.
Improving your overall user experience is vital for increasing your sales and encouraging repeat purchases.
User Interface (UI)
UI is a part of UX that more specifically focuses on the design and interactions of the customer. Whilst user experience encompasses the full journey of the customer, user interface is focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the actions a customer takes.
A variant refers to a version of your product that differs by colour, size, or other features.
Shopify allows up to 100 variants per product.
Wholesale is when your products are sold in large quantities by other vendors.
For example, if you were running a chocolate bar company, you might use a supermarket to sell wholesale. You would sell your bars to the supermarket at a certain price, and they would then sell them to customers at a slightly higher price to make profit.
Widgets can be thought of as smaller apps to provide a specific function or feature to your Shopify store, such as chat support.
The wish list feature allows customers to save products they want to buy at a later time. The products aren’t reserved, but merely kept as a list so the customer doesn’t forget about them.
A workflow refers to the process by which work passes from start to completion.
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