Our free data base of online terminology

E-Commerce has its own language and terms. Here you will find what they mean!

Our aim with this glossary is to help you to talk to your online company, understand what they say and ask the right questions.

You will find more information in our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.

A

This is used in almost every aspect of online business.

The idea behind it is: You need to improve your website or your online marketing constantly, the online business is very rewarding, but also very fast! Successful online business can grow 100% each year and more, so your customer get constantly more and change all the time. You need to constantly adapt…, but to what? What do your customers really want? You will have an idea, but it is better to let the customer decide what he likes best! You do this with A/B-testing.

Example: You make two different sets of a product you sell. One with a giveaway (Version A) and one with a discount to the price in the value of the giveaway (Version B). Now, with a special software, you offer both products alternatively: 50% of the customers see version A and 50% see version B. After a day (depending on the amount of customers you have) you check, which version sold better, lets say version A. Then you delete the other version and all customers only see the “winner” version A from now on!

Then move on to the next product and do the same. This is only an example. A/B-testing is THE way to learn from your customers. It is used in marketing, webdesign, usability, product development, check out, etc.

Actually, the handling of the necessary software behind A/B-testing is not that simple to use. The idea is simple, to actually do it, is not! That is the reason why only the successful webshops do it, and get more and more successful! You want to be successful too? Do A/B-testing! We will help you or do it for you.

Is a program run by Google that allows website owners to earn money from advertising (Google Display Network). With this tool, you can earn money with your website without selling anything! These adverts are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google, and they can generate income by PPC (pay per click) or PPV (Pay per View. This is interesting for you in two ways:

If you have a website or a blog with a lot of traffic you can earn some money by allowing Google Adsense to place ads on your site.

If you want to sell, you can use this method to display your ads.

But, be warned if you want to sell. Adsense can easily burn a lot of money without any results. You need a professional to manage such a program.

Advertisements on the Google results page SERP  (Search Engine Result Page) that are displayed above and right to the organic results. You can recognize them by the green icon “Ad” to the left side. To book this advertisment space,  you have to bid on them like in an auction. You compete with other bidders on the corresponding keywords. Prices go from 0,05€ per click up to 100€ (!) per click. (See PPC and CPC) AdWord advertising is one of the most popular ways to do online marketing in Greece. If not done right it can be a huge waste of money. A/B-testing is the main tactic to make it successful. Although very useful, this is only one of many possible ways to make marketing online. Do not rely on Adwords only, it can be an effective way, but also an expensive one.

You need to do research for the relevant search terms first. Then we recommend to start on a smaller scale to understand what works and what does not.
Control and the knowledge of the right figures (KPIs) is essential for the advertiser! If you have an agency doing it for you, demand to see the relevant numbers, like cost, click through rate, bounce rate, etc. These numbers tell you what is happening with your money. And you need to see this figures together with your revenue, to understand if Adwords is bringing or costing you money. We at Ola Online Consulting will give you all the relevant numbers and teach you how to read them right.

One of the most effective ways of marketing in most Countries, unluckily not yet in Greek eCommerce, but it is developing slowly. By subscribing to an affiliate Network you gain access to thousands of websites and other providers that make advertisement for you. It has two big advantages: You can do a lot of advertisements with CPO, which helps you control your marketing spending better and you can control many marketing activities in one place. Affiliate Marketing is a huge subject, to describe it completely would require pages of text. If you want to know more, contact us!

Tips: If you plan to sell outside of Greece use this tool! Affiliate marketing is highly effective in most of Europe. Unless you have a lot of experience, don´t do it without a specialized agency to help you! If you are looking for a lucrative market in Greece to invest money: Open an affiliate network! One example of an affiliate network for many countries in Europe: www.zanox.com

To understand what is happening on your website you need software that can “read” and show you what is actually happening in your shop. Different from the “normal” (offline) market research which is slow and expensive, in the online world you can track everything! You can see things like: How many customers are in my shop now? Where are they? What are they doing? Are they looking at a specific product, which one? How many have a product in their shopping cart and how many of them did actually buy it? Where do they come from? This is meant geographically (From Greece, Athens) and virtual. Virtual means, where did they surf before they came to your shop? You can see if they came from an advertisement you did or from Google or skroutz, etc. It is of central importance that somebody knows how to understand and use such a software. Without at least a basic knowledge of such a software or somebody to read it for you,  you are practically blind! The most known free analytic software is Google Analytics.

B

To control your shop you need a backoffice software that tells you the address and data of your customers and what products they buy. You also need it to upload (put online) your products and everything else like prices, texts, etc. This software is part of the shop software. The way a backoffice works and how easy  it is to use, differs greatly! Part of the money spend on doing a online shop goes into the programming of the backoffice software. But most backoffice software is not designed to help you understand what is happening in your shop and how your advertisements are performing. It is very important that you control that too, that is why you also need an analytics software.
To bid is the same as an auction. It works the same, the idea behind it is the same, only online! The one who pays the most, gets the product. In online marketing it means that you bid for an online advertising space. An Adword, a banner, etc. That is why the prices for online marketing can vary greatly, depending on how strong the competition is. Prices for an Adword advertisement can vary from a few cents to over 100€, only depending on what keyword you bid. The same is for banners, depending on the amount of people that see it, the prices vary greatly.
One of the important trends for the last 2 years in eCommerce. All available informations about customers come together and get evaluated by marketing companies. With that knowledge customer behavior and preferences get known better and better. The advertisements for him will be individually tailored to his needs. To do this, the shop owner gives all his online data to such a company. They melt the data with their own database and target the customer accordingly. You normally pay by CPC or CPO model. Tip: As a shop owner you should be careful what data you give to whom!

Although very successful, big data solutions are rather expensive and need some professional programming knowledge. They are a great tool to make your business successful, once you reached a certain revenue, amount of customers and technical knowledge.

Bing is a competitor of Google, owned by Microsoft (The ones that make Windows). It is a search machine, just like Google and works almost the same way, but it is much less popular. About 80%-90% of the searches are done through Google, not Bing. To try it, just type www.bing.com

It is relevant, because you can do advertisment on Bing also and some people like Bing more than Google. While you should clearly focus on Google, dont forget Bing for additional revenue. As the competition on Bing is lower than on Google, it might be a good investment.

A website from one person or company that is like a diary, with constantly new information about a specific subject. There are many thousand blogs in the web from housewives talking about recipes or their cat, to massive blogs from big multinational companies covering every possible subject. Blogs are interesting for advertisers because they target a very specific audience and are very focused. If you sell cat food, the perfect place to advertise is a blog about cats! Blogs are also important for SEO reasons and also for “influencer marketing”. It is a very good method to promote your website, product or service. Blogs are available in every country and language in the world. No matter where you want to sell, there will be blogs about your subject, find them and contact them.

C

The opposite to shitstorm. Is just as unpredictable and works the same way as shitstorm, but positive! Out of nothing suddenly everybody loves you. Sadly, very rare!
This means the actual buying procedure in your online shop. Every customer has to give name, address etc. to buy. This is actually one of the most underestimated parts by many shop owners! With special marketing knowledge and software you can tell exactly how many customers buy and how many don´t. Some Websites loose up to 70% of their customers here! To make it crystal clear: If your checkout is faulty, everything you have done in marketing, in shop design, every effort will be in vain! Professional shops spend great effort to optimize this part of the shopping experience.

The expectations of the customers for the “right” checkout can vary greatly, specially if you target foreign countries.

See also Usability and CR for this subject.

If there is one known saying in the online world, it is the following: “Content is king”
Content means: texts you write (product descriptions for example), the photos you show, the links you have, the movies, the service, everything. Content is what a visitor sees on your website. He actually comes to your website because of your content!
Take care of your content, keep it interesting. Offer new things regularly, make your content better. Also Google spiders (reads) your content and then decides if it will list (rank) you. You must take care that you have content that your customers and Google like. Your content is the backbone of SEO marketing.
People in the internet with the same interest form a community to be among other people and share their hobby. (Or political opinion, or job, or illness, etc) Communities range from 10 people of the same village to worldwide communities with tens of thousands of members. There is virtually no subject that is not covered in a community! As blogs, but with wider audiences, perfect to target a very specific audience in your marketing activities!
There is a famous saying for the online business: “Cooperate or die”. This refers to the need to get in touch with other persons/companies to widen the chances. Different from “normal” business, online business are more open to cooperate. Normally there is no money involved, it is “favour for favour” (barter deals) The ways to cooperate are as broad as the different companies are, your imagination is asked here! Some examples: Place your advertisement in the newsletter of another eBusiness and do the same for them. Give a free voucher for another shop when people buy from you, he will do the same for you, etc.
The acronyms for Cost Per Click = Pay Per Click. A payment method in online business. You pay a certain amount of money to the marketing company for each time somebody clicks on your advertisement. The most famous example of this is Google AdWords. With CPC/PPC advertisement the CR is central if this advertisement is reasonable for you or not. Most marketing companies prefer that model because the risk is only on your side. You can always convert the costs for CPC/PPC to CPO like this: A click costs 0,50€ and the conversion rate (CR) is 5%, then your CPO is: 100*0,50€ = 50€/5 = 10€ CPO, Each sale cost you 10€, now you can decide if it was worth it!
The acronyms for Cost Per Order = Pay Per Order. A payment method in online business. It means that somebody doing marketing for you gets a certain amount of money or a % of the order value. This way of payment has the advantage that marketing costs are limited. If you don´t generate sales you don´t pay anything. Advertisers (shop owners) like that method because of that, marketing companies don´t like it for the same reason. Try to get CPO/PPO deals, they are the safest way of spending marketing money.
The acronyms for Cost Per View = Pay Per View. This payment method is the online version of the classic CPM – Cost per 1000 Impressions = CPT – cost per thousands, in “normal” advertisements. This method is mostly used in display/banner advertisements. You pay for each time your advertisement is displayed (viewed) on a website. To understand if this method is reasonable for you, the CTR and CR are the key figures.
Online customers are different from “normal” ones. Being save behind their computer and not face to face, people have the tendency to be less patient and lose their temper faster. On top they have new ways to make their anger public, like Facebook (see “shitstorm”)
This means that you have to adapt your customer care to this behavior. The main forms of communication are email, telephone and skype or other chat software. To make your online business effective, you need to connect your shop software to your customer care software. Usually you have first and second level support meaning the graveness of the problem with the customer. Don´t underestimate the cost of customer care once you reach a certain level. It is important to integrate it into your company communication, so everybody speaks with one tongue! If you teach your customer care right, they can actually sell for you. One tip: Never promise more than you can deliver. It is much better to overarchive than to be called a liar.

D

A way of online advertising on other websites, mainly websites with high traffic like the online versions of popular magazines or websites with content that many people like to watch. Display refers to a graphic design, mainly banners, contrary to text advertisements. It is the online version of huge advertisements besides the roads or in cities. They can be done with one image or even moving graphics like small movies that advertise your product or service. They come in different sizes called: horizontal banners, skyscrapers, full size or halfsize banners to name only a few. They are paid by the amount of people that click on them CPC (cost Per Click) or by the amount of times they are seen by the visitors CPV/PPV (Cost per View/Pay Per View). Both figures can be perfectly tracked in the internet. Sometimes you pay a rent for a specific time, just like “normal” advertisements. (CPM/CPT) Display advertisements are often used to promote a brand and can be very expensive, depending on the traffic of the website.

Display advertising is more suited to promote a brand or to help your other marketing campaigns, but not very effective if used alone. To make them bring revenue, it is essential that you have a good grafic designer and a strong message. If you dont have that, then spend your money on other advertising channels.

The most common way to let people register to your subscribers list. It means: Your subscriber “opt in” (take the option to go in/say yes) to get your email. After he does that and gives you his email address, you send him an confirmation email to that address, asking him to confirm that it is really him and he wants to receive your newsletter. By clicking on a link you provide him, he confirms “opt-in” again. Then he has said “yes” two times, that is double opt in. In some European countries, you HAVE to use this method, or else you can get into serious legal trouble! Customers can (and will!!) sue you. This will mean costs for lawyers etc. And, if you get sued again, then it can become really expensive, we are talking about thousands of Euros here!

This legal trap is so easy to use and strong, that competitors have used it to drive their competition to bankrupcy.

E

This is the abbreviation of “electronic Commerce”. Also written E-Commerce. It is the general term for doing business online, as opposed to do business “offline”, which means physically in person, in a real store. eCommerce means more than webshops, it covers all kind of business done with the help of computer and the Internet.
Also called Newsletter marketing. Newsletter = email to customers with a product or service offer. If you look at successful websites you will notice that they make a strong effort to get you to sign in to their newsletter, they even give you a free voucher (usually 5€) or a discount. They do this, because this way of marketing is by far the cheapest one you can use! As a general rule (not only in online marketing) the cost of getting a new customer is up to 8 times higher than getting a sale from an existing customer. To do email marketing, you send your newsletter subscribers an email with a special offer. You do this regularly every week/month. To be effective you need constant monitoring of the results (analytics software), A/B-testing and some knowledge on newsletter strategies. Do it right and you´ll earn constant money from email marketing, do it wrong and you´ll loose customers. You have never tried it? Then do it from now on! There are plenty of free ways to send your newsletter, one example: www.mailchimp.com
There is a second version of eMail Marketing in which you “rent” subscriber lists from other websites and send them your advertisement. Depending on your target group the prices CPM/CPT differ greatly for such a campaign.
Warning: Be generally very careful!
Because of the immense amount of spam in the internet, there are very strict rules about sending unrequested mails! They differ a lot from country to country, but are getting tougher every year. They are rather “soft” in Greece, but in other countries unsolicited emails can get you in jail! Inform yourself about it or use a specialist. Normally you are on the safe side with “double-opt-in” registration.

F

The biggest social network in the world (Outside of China) is Facebook with over 1.5 billion users. By making a page with your shop, product or service on FB, you can get in touch with your customers, this is called social marketing. Also, you can advertise on FB by booking advertisements and bidding on them. On FB you can target your audience very precisely and the prices for advertisements are (until now) lower than in AdWords. The direct contact with your customers has many benefits, but has some real dangers to your business too!! (see: “shitstorm”) Be aware of that and plan your activities carefully, if you don´t know how to do it, seek professional advice! But, depending on your product or target audience, there are other social networks too, that might be better suited for your needs such as Pinterest/Snapchat/Youtube or blogs and communities that deal with your field of eCommerce.

Our advice is to do a FB page, but only if you are willing to spend some time on it regularly and continuously, or have somebody to do it for you. FB only works gradually. If you talk to young audiences, find a young person, if to older persons, then an older person. For women a woman and so on. Speak your customers language and share their interests, then you´ll succeed.

We at Ola Online Consulting love social marketing and are highly successful in Facebook advertising.

G

Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world. It dominates the search market worldwide (except China) with about 70% to 80% market share. By now they have many products like Google Maps, Youtube and many more, but their main product and the source of an incredible income is Google, the search engine that you use when you type www.google.com or www.google.gr, etc.

Googles job is to make a map of the internet. For example of all websites, and to help the users (like you and me) to find what we are looking for. To do this, a gigantic amount of computers is needed and a highly sophisticated software. Due to the market share of Google in the western part of the world, it is the search engine to watch. Especially in China there are other search engines to watch.

Google earns billions of Euros by selling advertisements, AdWords for example.

A part of AdWords. Different than the results in the search results, these advertisements are displayed inside other websites (Also called Adsense). Depending on your target audience, this can be more effective than the normal AdWords. If done wrong, you can spend a huge amount of money without any result!

K

If there is one word to remember and understand in Online Business, it is “keyword”!

When people (like you and me) search in Google, they type in one or more words, these are called search keywords! This “keywords” say what you are looking for. Some examples of keywords:

  • buy car
  • Movies with greek subtitles
  • hotel on Mykonos
  • Cheap flight to Paris
  • used spareparts for Fiat Punto
  • dentist in Thessaloniki

 

Now Google spiders (looks into) millions of websites every day, trying to understand what each website is about and if it has good content. To do this, Googles computer count how often words are used, in what order and where. For Google, every word is a keyword. Out of this Google understands what your website is about! Then Google decides: A user types “hairdresser”, then Google will display websites that use the word “hairdresser” most often. This is a keyword!
It is very important to be on the first page of Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Page)!This is the page you see after you typed in your search term, your keyword.

Every business that tries to sell or advertise online wants to be there. For this reason the fight for the first page is fierce! How strong that competition is for you depends mainly on the kind of products or service you want to sell, and thus on the keywords you want to be found with. In Greece the hardest competition in online marketing is tourism. The related keywords are, for example: “holiday” “holiday in Greece” “book holiday online” “hotel” etc

Keywords are extremely relevant for SEO or SEM (Adwords) marketing, look there for further details.

A short search term (like “buy car online”) is a “normal” search term. Then there are the “long tail keywords”, like “buy Fiat punto online under 3000 euro in Athens” which are also used by customers who are bored to search and directly want a precise offer.

Advice: Every serious online project, (no matter if selling, advertising, offering services or your self made honey) begins with the search of the relevant keywords for your offer. Almost every next step, even the design/building of your website or FB page, as well the necessary budget depend on the outcome of this analysis. If you dont do it, then you are going online with closed eyes!

If your online agency or website builder does not do this research before starting (without you having to ask for it) and shares his findings with you, then change the agency. They don´t care to give you an honest estimation of your online chances and necessary budget…

KPI is an acronym for Key Performance Indicators. This means business numbers that describe a very important (key) part of your business success. The knowledge of these KPI is essential to understand and manage your online business. The most important ones:
CTR: Click through Rate: A number that tells you what % of persons who saw your advertisement clicked on it. This KPI is extremely important in AdWords, as Google will lower it´s bidding price of your advertisement if your CTR is above average. The CTR is the perfect instrument to choose which advertisement works best.
CR is an acronym for Conversion Rate: This KPI is almost the most important KPI of all, as it appears in many different places in your shop and a small change in the CR can have huge effects on your performance and success. It says what % of your visitors actually did something you wanted them to do? Example: How is the CR of you shop? Means: How many of your visitors actually bought something? A CR of 1% means that from 100 visitors only 1 bought something. If you raise your CR by 1% you double your sales! The subject CR is a whole lesson for itself.

Hint: Always watch your CR, watch it not only general, but watch it for your different product categories, for your different marketing channels. The knowledge and optimization of your CR will make the difference between success and failure!

CLV: Customer Lifetime Value: It means how much will a customer spend in your business as long as he is active (alive for you). This KPI is not easy to access, but it plays a central role for your (economically reasonable) online spending for new customers (=marketing). If an average customer spends 50€ in your shop every time he buys and an average customer buys 2 times a year and stays 3 years, then: You earn 50*2*3= 300€ per customer. If you have a margain of 20%, it means that you earn 60€ per customer. So you can spend 50€ in marketing to get him and still earn 10€! Of course, the actual math is more complicated (churn rate!) but the CLV is a KPI that is widely used in online commerce.

This KPI is one of the reasons why some companies are willing to spend 100€ on an Adword keyword and still earn money.

L

To link means to connect two websites by putting the address of another website from ones own website. It is something like a sign saying “go there!”. When you click with your mouse on it, you get transported (redirected/linked) to the website with that address. This is a link: www.google.gr If you press it, you will go to that website and leave this website. People link other websites when they find something interesting in them, something that they want to share their readers. A website that has many other websites linking to it, is rated by Google as more important than another website with nobody linking to it. Link building (convincing other websites to link to your own website) is a part of SEO. This is done by making good content or by giving them money to do so. Hint: Be careful, don´t use services that offer hundreds of links for a few Euro. Google sees this as cheating and will punish you by lowering your rank. You will notice that immediately because your traffic (visitors) will go down massively!

M

A growing number of customers go online with their handys or tablet PCs. Because the screens of these devices are much smaller than a normal PC screen, you have to adapt your design and navigation (big buttons!) accordingly. Depending on your target audience, this can be a major share of your customers.

If you don´t believe it, look around you! Look in the cafes and bars, look even at people walking on the street, everybody has his mobile out and constantly chats online and surfs the internet. This is also the reason why it is a must for every bar and restaurant to provide WiFi access for mobile users.

As the share of mobile accessed internet continues to grow much faster than the “normal” access via a desktop PC, it has reached over 50% of the traffic for many websites. This is why, when big companies redesign their homepages, they follow the rule “mobile first”, which means that the design is optimized for mobile phones first and then adapted for tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, not the other way around.

Accordingly, it is of vital importance for anybody who wants to go online with his products or services to take mobile traffic into account, specially if you target a younger audience. The easiest solution is to built your website with “adaptive design”. This means that the website adapts depending on how it is displayed. To make it clear, do not use any agency or programmer for your website that does not deliver the website with this feature, adaptive design. Additionally, you must control and test your website on your mobile phone before giving an ok for the builder.

Additionally, you can create an App for your website. App means application, and it is a programm that only works on mobile phones, which has many usability advantages. Many new companies have a basic website, but the actual program runs ONLY as an app on mobile phones. There are dating sites, finance sites, social sites and much more with this concept. The point to watch here is, that you need one App for Android mobile phones, like Samsung, HTC, and almost all brands (which have the lion share of the market, around 70% and more), and one App for IOS, which is for all  the iPhones from Apple. If you only want to do one, choose Android for the biggest reach.

Advice: You must take mobile traffic into account, its importance keeps growing and some experts predict that it will reach over 80% of the total internet access in a few years. Do not accept any website development that is not “adaptive” to mobile devices and test its function before giving your approval.

N

This means website (or mobile) navigation (how to move around your website, where to find what) and website usability, meaning how “easy” to understand your website is. To make these two factors as good as possible, is one of the most important goals of building a website! If the navigation is difficult and the usability is bad, you will not succeed. It takes a lot of experience and testing to get this right, as customers have the tendency to misunderstand everything.

Good usability and navigation is of core important for your success. This does not mean good/beautiful design of the homepage. Remember, how much time will your customer spend on that beautiful starting page? And how much on the following pages, like product page, category page and, hopefully, the checkout to buy your offer? Do not let yourself be impressed of a nice looking homepage, the real reason for success or failure is in the pages AFTER the homepage. Successful companies never stop improving their websites (see A/B testing), and put their main focus on the following parts of the website:

 

  • Speed of the page (how fast it loads), Google will even lower your rank if your page is too slow
  • Search field to find the product they are looking for, fast
  • Big, good photos of your items, with accompaning text that leaves no open questions
  • Easy to find buttons, with clear message “click here to continue”
  • An easy to use checkout with the relevant payment methods for your target customers and market

Did you ever wonder why some really “ugly” pages are so successful? Because they focus on doing their job right, not on good design. A website is good, if it helps the visitor to find what he is looking for fast & easy, then he will become a customer!

Two tips: 1.Keep it simple!!! 2. Ask friends and whoever you know to test it! You´ll be surprised by the results!

O

The general term for doing advertisements in the internet. There are many ways of doing that. The most popular are: SEO, SEM, email, banner/display, affiliate, social, influencer, cooperation, to name only a few. Opposed to “offline” marketing where you print, play in the radio, show on TV, etc. To reach all potential customers you can combine both methods. Look in the corresponding terms for a more detailed description.

Without marketing your website will not receive any visitors, nor will it grow to be profitable. You must be aware that there are millions of websites that compete for the customers attention and worse than in a normal store, where you have a street in front that people will pass by and see your offer, this does NOT happen in the internet. Without marketing, your website will be totally unnoticed and useless. Accordingly, when you plan your budget, you must always include spendings for marketing! If your website works well, then you can rely more on “word of mouth”, customers telling other customers about your website, but at the beginning, there is no way around it.

Depending on your products or services, depending on your target audience and target market, you can start with a few hundred Euros, with a relatively small budget. We at Ola Online Consulting always start that way, as experience shows that you first have to try & test the right marketing until it proves to be profitable. Only then we will scale it up.

Not only is the advertising different in the online business, but also the chain of logistics! It starts with the purchase of products to sell. Online business offer new possibilities like automated notices to suppliers to ship new goods. It also helps you to reduce your stock by not having to have everything in your stock, but to order it only AFTER a customer has ordered it from you. Drop shipment is the most advanced way at the moment. This means that the goods you sell don´t even touch your company. When a customer buys a product, you tell your supplier and he ships it directly to the customer for you. The customer will never know, as your supplier will print out an invoice with your logo on it. In the online world, the whole process of ordering, shipping and packaging is different from the “normal” retailing. If you know how, you will save a lot of money, make your business faster and gain new chances.
The “real” results from Googles database, as opposed to the paid ads (AdWords/SEM) It is the main aim of every website to be on the first page of these results. The way to do this is to have the right knowledge in SEO. Depending on your competition, this can be extremely hard to archive. As Google decides about the ranking, you need to know how Google makes them. The main aspects for Google are the quality of your content, the amount of other websites that link to you and if your website is mobile ready.

The main advantage of being highly ranked in the organic results is that you get traffic and customers “for free”. But this “free” traffic might need a lot of work and preparation to archive, so it is not really free at all. The aspect of getting a good ranking in Google needs to be taken into account from the very first steps of building a new website. See “keywords” for further details.

P

A big player in the social networks, this one works only with photos and pictures that people share with each other. A high percentage of the users are female, so it is perfectly suited to address female customers. If  your products look good on photos, use this channel too for your marketing!
An important factor in online search behavior.  Many people like to compare prices before buying something (And not only when they buy online!)
Price comparison websites link to many different shops to buy one specific product. For example: You want to buy a pair of sunglasses, from Rayban, model Wayfarer in brown with yellow glasses. The price comparison website shows you where to buy them online and to what price the different shops sell them. This way they make the market more transparent to customers to compare prices. That is why a huge percentage of online shoppers use them, they help them save money! On the other hand it makes it harder for shops, because their prices are now competing with all other shops selling that product.
Everyone who wants to get listed has to pay money to that website. This is the commerce model of price comparison websites. As in AdWords, it is normally a CPC model. The CPC varies greatly, depending on what products you want to get listed. The prices start at 0.05€ per click and can get up to more than 1€!
On the other hand, to be listed on these sites brings you a lot of traffic and is a kind of online marketing. Although a good way to advertise, used wrong this is a good way to waste a lot of money. You must watch your clicks and products listed closely! At the moment the Greek market is dominated by only one company, Skroutz. In other countries, dozens of price comparison companies compete for this valuable market and it is an absolute “must do” to get listed there.

R

Your rank says, on what place you are in the Google (and Bing) results, SERP. First rank means that you are the first website listed. Second rank means second place and so on. To rank high is the task of SEO. A high ranking for the relevant search terms (keywords) is one of the most important goals of every single website on this planet.

This goal must be taken into account from the very beginning of designing and building a website. (See Keywords for more details) It is the responsability of the agency programming the website to take the right steps for a good ranking.

The second factor is how good your website is linked to other websites. For Google, this is a sign that other people find your website interesting and relevant. Accordingly, a constant task for every website owner is to make the website interesting for your audience, so they visit and link you.

Apart from that your website must be “responsive” for mobile internet. Google has publicly stated that it will lower the ranking of every website that is not ready for mobile users.

A hot topic in the online world. It means that you can book advertisements (among other things) in real time, last minute! This way advertisers can get cheap and interesting advertisement in many places and publishers (website owners) can book their advertisement space better. This requires a highly integrated software and deep online knowledge, but can be very rewarding.

Real time bidding and programmatic advertising together with the knowledge from “big data” is the future of online marketing. But, it requires a professional CMS system and quite some knowledge to set up. As interesting as it is, for the time being only bigger companies are using it effectively.

A new and very effective branch of targeting. Specialized online marketing companies offer the service of retargeting to eCommerce business.
How it works:
You integrate a code into your website that tracks what is happening and who is in your shop. It keeps count of what products each customer looks at and of his actions. When the customer leaves your website without buying anything, the retargeting company remembers this.

Then, when that same customer surfs around the internet and goes to another website that displays advertisements, they remember what products he was looking at, and show him (and only him!) an advertisement with exactly the products he was looking at! This ad is a remainder, telling him to think again about that product. Sometimes the ad gives an extra incentive, like “10% off if you buy now!” If the customer clicks on that ad, he gets linked directly to that product on your webshop! The marketing company lives from a percentage of the sales the generate you that way (CPO-model)
Depending on your target country, there are highly specialized companies that offer this service. If possible, you should use this marketing channel, although you need some knowledge to set it up to be effective.

S

SEM is an acronym for Search Engine Marketing, this mainly means spending money on AdWords (see there), but is not only meant for Google. You can (and should) do marketing on other search engines like Bing too. The good thing with SEM is that it is relatively easy to set up, that is why every online agency offers this service. But be aware that it takes some knowledge to use SEM effectively. If an agency offers you this service you must demand to see the most important KPIs (see there) for your campaigns. This means: Click Through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Click (CPC), traffic (visitors), Average Order Value (AOV), location from where they come, if they are new customers or returning customers and ultimately the Conversion Rate (CR). With these numbers you can see exactly if the SEM (Adwords) campaign is making money or only costing you money.

If your costs are to high, then your agency should tell you how to lower them, for example by changing the keywords they bid on, or changing to “exact match”. There are many possibilities to improve the performance of an SEM campaign. You can tell if a company is taking your campaign seriously if they do a deep research upfront for the right keywords and care to communicate all the relevant data to you and if they do constant A/B testing (see there) to improve the performance. To set up a campaign once and then just let it run (even if it is performing good) is just a way to make fast money from the client (you!)

Depending on your product or service, an SEM campaign can consist of 20 or 100 keywords, bigger companies have SEM campaigns consisting of 10.000s of keywords and even more. While the smaller campaigns can be handled manually, the bigger ones need special tools to handle them.

We at Ola Online Consulting offer to do your SEM campaign, or to protect your interest with the company doing it for you, by reviewing their efforts and results.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization. One of the main fields of online marketing, aimed at getting your website on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP). Without SEO it is almost impossible to be successful in eCommerce. SEO is considered to be the “king” discipline in online marketing! The way (algorithm) that Google decides who to rank highest is a well kept secret and center of endless discussions around the world. As Google updates its search algorithms almost weekly, the discussion never ends.
How does it work?
Search engines try to find the most relevant websites for the used search term (=keyword, see there)) of the user. So the aim of SEO is to convince them that your website is that best answer! To do this, you build up content that is relevant and try to convince other websites or users to think that too. If they do, they will put a link to your website to show it to their audience. Google counts how many people do that and who these people are. This is the analogy of “word of mouth” or gossip in the web. It makes a huge difference if a small website with 20 readers or a huge website with 100.000 readers is the one to link your website, Google knows that and rates the importance of the link accordingly!
The combination of relevant content and the amount and quality of links to your website are the main factors for Google to rank you on the first page or somewhere on page 54, where nobody will ever find you!!
Depending on what field you compete and who your competition is, SEO can be relatively easy or extremely hard and expensive! The author of these texts has worked with companies that spend over 10.000€ monthly only on SEO!
An important clue about SEO: You must keep SEO in mind from the very beginning when building a new eCommerce website! Done later it is much harder to succeed and sometimes not possible at all without starting again from the scratch!!

And as a last remainder, if your site is not mobile ready (responsive) you do not have a chance to be on the first page of the results, unless there is no competition for your offer, because Google penalizes unresponsive websites.

SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. It means the list you see when you type in a word or phrase (keyword) in the Google search page www.google.gr (or any other search engine like Bing etc) As over 90% of the user use Google to find what they are looking for, it is of highest importance to appear on the SERP for your product or service.
A term that describes what can suddenly happen to you when a customer is unhappy with your product or behavior. It starts with one complain and expands into dozens or even hundreds of complaints within minutes or hours! Your page is flooded with complaints and you cannot talk about anything else. Experience has shown that people like the “David against Goliath” situation and their knowledge that there is nothing you can do against it. If you open a FB page and are successful, you WILL experience a shitstorm one day. One prominent example:
One of the biggest insurance companies in the world made a normal TV ad with a sport idol who went into a grocery and ate a piece of meat while talking about insurances. Within hours they had 10.000 posts of people screaming on their FB-page!
It all started with the post of 1 vegetarian. He complaint in the strongest words about the discrimination of vegetarians in general, asking to boycott this insurance. This one post started an avalanche that didn´t stop for three days with endless posts and discussions! The insurance didn´t have the ghost of a chance and lost complete control of their FB page for these days, a nightmare scenario. But they managed to “survive” this massive image loss for their whole brand by reacting calmly. The most important aspect: They did not delete posts, did not try to hide, never lost their head. They actually got out of it with image gains!

Advice: If you ever experience a shitstorm, react calmly! Never loose your temper, no matter what the customers throw at you, no matter how untrue their complaints are. Answer very polite and to the point, answer with facts. If the language gets bad, you can warn -very politely- that this language is not acceptable and ask to change it. If it continues, then you can block that person, but only as a last resort. The main point is to get the “general public”, the other customers reading the posts, on your side. So, if you have to block a person, explain why you did it. Never argue that he was “unfair” or something similar, argue that his language/behaviour was not suited to continue a converstation. Say that you always accept complaints and are open for discussion, but not when it gets “dirty”

The job of a graphic designer or agency is to design your shop/website. Easy navigation and good usability are essential when designing a new website. As a potential customer cannot meet you in person to understand who you are, you must put all the necessary elements in your website to convince him. That is the job of a web designer. But beware: Designer have the tendency to make everything “beautiful”, don´t forget who will use your website! Never sacrifice easiness of use for good looks!

A good design does not necessarily mean “beautiful”! A good design supports your products or services and, most important, is “beautiful” in the eyes of the customer, NOT your eyes! Woman like other colors than men, young people like a different design than older people, expensive products need a different design than cheap ones. Doctors offering their service need a design that tells the viewers that he is competent and serious, so no loud and strong colors and elements there, while a DJ will have a completely different audience and a much more flashy design.

A good agency will ask you many questions about who you want to get as customers, their age, gender, social status, lifestyle, etc. Then they will do a research of how your competition is doing it and only then they will start designing. Don´t be blinded by a beautiful homepage! The later pages are actually much more important and your customers will only spend seconds on the home page, but a lot of time on your products page. Put a lot of attention to the checkout pages, they are extemely important and many customers leave shops there, because they are confused. Look how your competitors are doing it, so you understand what your customers expect.

Be aware that what works in one market/country, does not necessarily work in a different market! Always research how your local competitors are doing it. Don´t try to be different if you offer the same products or services. Give your customers a surrounding that they know = are used to. You CAN be different, but then be prepared to adapt your website fast and pay close attention to onsite customer behaviour to understand if they like it or not.

Without constant improving and A/B-testing you will not succeed long. And remember that a website is never finished, its just the version before the next update!

At the very beginning, before going online, you have to choose which software to use to built your shop. This is a very important decision as everything you do from now on is based on that software. Good looks is not the main factor for a successful software. Check for: Handling, backoffice, adaptability, A/B-Testing features, navigation features and much more. Ask somebody who knows!

Another central aspect is the ability to connect with other software. A “normal” online shop consist of 10 different software tools  that all have to work together and it has to be connected to your bookkeeping and your warehouse! Then it has to be connected to “external software” like Google Analytics or AdWords, not to mention your other online marketing channels. Keep in mind that your online shop is never finished, the software must be flexible enough to grow with you.
There are two different kind of software: One is called “open source” and the other one is “commercial”.

This means that the one software is for free. This might sound great, but the real costs come from the money you have to pay to make it “your” shop. For this you need graphic designers and programmers, this is what costs money! The good thing is that you find a lot of programmers who know how to work with popular open source shop systems.

Commercial shop software costs money but has the advantage that it already has a lot of features ready, so the amount of money you have to pay to program it is less. Also, the backoffice part of commercial software is often better made. Depending on your needs you have to choose what is best for you. General hint: Smaller shops should use “open source” software, bigger, more complex shops use commercial software or program it themselves completely.

For smaller websites or shops you can use WordPress, as it has many ready made templates that you only need to adapt. Also, you can use plattforms like Wix or Jimdo or Shopify. For a small monthly fee, they offer a platform to make a website fast and easy with no programming knowledge needed. This does not mean that everybody can do it, though. You need some content writing, keyword research and SEO knowledge to make a website that actually brings results.

A very successful branch of online marketing, seeking direct contact to customers on social platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and many others. Different from “normal” marketing, here you want to interact (talk) to customers directly and get into a dialog with them. Used right, this instrument supports all other marketing activities and helps you to understand better, what your customers really want. Perfect for testing new ideas, products or improvements for your main website. The main difference to “normal” marketing is that you listen to your customers!

Additionally all the social networks offer different possibilities of doing advertisement on their pages that you can use to bring traffic either to your social account or to your website.

To spider means to search a website, to look at its code and content. This term is often used related to Google, who spiders websites to add them to their database of results on Google.

T

The internet offers new ways to address only specific people, to target them. This is a huge advantage of online business over “normal” business, making advertising more effective! To target people, you need to know who your target audience is, where to find them (online) and how to use the necessary software to do that.

The target audience can be defined by gender (male/female), by age, by interests and by many other criteria. The better you know your target audience, the better you can address them and tailor your website and your marketing to their needs. It also saves you a lot of money in marketing, as you only need to spend money for your target audience, not for everybody.

The target market is normally geographical, like a country. It can also be that you address only business or customers, this is called B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumers). To target business instead of persons means a totally different approach in design, functions and marketing.

To target a customer means to actively search for a person or company that has specific attributes that are relevant for you. By not speaking to the “general public” but to a targeted audience you can address them much better and be more effective! Targeting is done in AdWords and social marketing, among others. A relatively new form of targeting is retargeting.
This means the amount of visitors to your website. You differ between visits and pageviews, new customers or recurring ones.

Visits means how many people visited your website, each visit is ideally from a different person. Pageviews means how many pages were visited on your website in total. So, you can have 1 visitor and 10 pageviews, as the one visitor looked into 10 of your pages. This is why pageviews are always much bigger than visits. If somebody wants to tell you how popular his website is (this is  very important for advertising) they will normally tell you how many pageviews they have, as this number is much more impressive. To really know how popular a website is, ask for the visits, even better the unique visits.

The second important factor is to understand how many of the visitors are new and how many are recurring. The difference is that the new visits are people visiting you for the first time, while recurring visitors have already visited you before and came back. It is important to know this ratio between new and recurring when you do a marketing campaign, to see how many really new visitors it brings, so you expect their ratio to grow. If you only get very few new visitors and many recurring, then you are wasting your money, as they already knew your website and will not bring any new revenue. If your amount of new visitors does not rise significantly during a marketing campaign stop it and start it again with different settings.

One of the main problems every new website has to face, is to overcome the fear of the customers to lose their money! As they cannot see you in person, they cannot judge from the appearance of your “physical” store and they can´t touch the product they are interested in, they become suspicious. The news coverage about fraud and viruses and stolen Credit Cards etc. do not help either.

This is why you must integrate “trust elements” in your online store. Their job is to give the customer something that will make him sure that he will get what he is about to buy and not lose his money. Which trust elements work best is a classic example of A/B-testing, but there are some common elements: Show who you are! Telephone, address and real name help people trust you, that you are “real”! Offer money back guarantees, have seals of quality.

Another very effective trust element is to have customer reviews on your website and to actively ask customers to write reviews or rate you. Many studies have shown that customers trust other customers more than they trust what you write.

W

General term for a address in the internet. Under this address, like www.Ola-online-consulting.gr (also called URL) you find some content, may it be a text, pictures, a shop (webshop) or the FBI. The term website says nothing about the size or importance of what you will find. All pages in the internet are websites.

Any more terms you would like to understand better?

If you feel that there are points missing from our Glossary, send us your suggestion and we will add the answer!

Thank you for participating!

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