10 Technical Buzzwords in the Ecommerce Web Design Industry

30 Jan 2019

By Michael Rees

In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest industry jargon. With new buzzwords and acronyms being added all the time it can be a quite intimidating and confusing, even to a seasoned professional.

To help with this, we’ve listed 10 ecommerce-related keywords, acronyms and phrases used in the industry today to ensure you’re in the know…

Conversion Rates

The percentage of visitors to a website that fulfil a certain goal, this could be a simple signup form or completing checkout. A higher conversion rate correlates to a higher turnover. Multiple factors contribute to increasing a conversion rate, such as good design, UX (User Experience) and marketing.

Payment Gateway & Merchant Accounts

Payment gateways are used in ecommerce websites to take payment from customers purchasing goods. A good payment gateway should be able to offer many different ways to allow customers to pay for goods such as: various credit and debit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay and even older methods such as cheque and BACS transfer. Merchant accounts are what sit behind those gateways and are required to tie up payments to the seller.

API & Integrations

APIs (Application Programming Interface) are used to connect different systems to each other in a way which is seamless and secure. APIs exist in many different sectors of software i.e. accounts, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and warehouse management systems. A good Ecommerce platform should be able to integrate with multiple APIs across different sectors. Integrations are simply the act of using an API to add functionality to your website.

The Cloud/Cloud Based

There’s a lot of confusion around this term, but in its simplest form it’s just a collection of computer hardware (servers) which work together to pool resources to provide a web based software solution such as a website. Most software vendors are moving their products to the cloud now, moving away from the traditional approach of storing data on site. Cloud based solutions can provide better security, reliability and scalability.

CTA (Call-to-Action)

A CTA is an instruction to the audience designed to provoke an immediate response. Examples of these are “Sign Up Now”, “Subscribe Now”, “Learn More” and “Get Started” to name a few. CTAs are essential in directing a user to a desired course of action such as making a purchase or signing up to a newsletter.

Responsive Design

Responsive design is an approach to web design that is aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience for the user. Whether the device is a small phone or a large screen desktop computer, the website will scale to fit the device without losing any of the features. With a large percentage of individuals now using their mobiles to browse the internet, it is more important than ever to ensure that your website is responsive.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is when a user enters onto a specific page of your website and then immediately leaves on that same page. If you have a lower bounce rate this is a good sign that the content of your website is engaging and of interest to your audience.


Not to be confused with the chocolate chip variety! Cookies are just small files which (with your consent) are placed on your device and typically hold small pieces of data which can help identify you as a user on a website. They are there to help enhance the users experience by providing functionality such as remembering your login and tailoring the content of the site to your individual needs.


A re-hash of the old Data Protection Act, GDPR sets out to define ways in how companies handle personably identifiable data. There are ‘data processors’ such as Zogz who store and maintain the data for the ‘data controllers’ who are typically the clients selling goods to the ‘data subject’ buying goods from their website (that’s you!). GDPR gives the data subject more control over how their data is used and stored.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The practice of optimising a website for greater visibility in search engine (Google) rankings. The greatest factor in driving traffic to a website and hence improving Google rankings is content, ‘Content is King’, this means regular blog posts and social media promotions to the website. If you’re stuck for fresh content ideas to use on your website today, then take a look at our blog on 18 Clever Content Ideas For Your Website.