What do eCommerce acronymns mean? What are popular business abbreviations? What about retail, DTC, and marketing?

AOV Average Order Value
ASIN Amazon Standard Identification Number
AVS Address Verification Service
CARLY Can’t Afford Real Life Yet
DNVB Digitally Native Vertical Brand
eCommerce Electronic Commerce
FBA Fulfillment By Amazon
FBM Fulfillment by Merchant
HENRY High Earners, Not Rich Yet
P2P Peer-to-Peer
PCI DSS Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
PDP Product Description Page, or Product Page
PLA Product Listing Ad
PLP Product Listing Page
0PD Zero-Party Data
1PD First-Party Data
3PD Third-Party Data
ATC Average Transaction Cost
AUR Average Unit Retail
B&M Brick-and-Mortar
B2B Business-to-Business
B2C Business-to-Consumer
BD Business Development
BOPIS Buy Online Pickup Instore
BORIS Buy Online Return In Store
CPO Certified Pre-Owned
DST Direct Sales Team
EDI Electronic Data Interchange
GMV Gross Merchandise Volume
IPO Initial Public Offering
MAP Minimum Advertised Price
NSO New Store Opening
OTB Open-to-Buy
PO Purchase Order
POS Point of Sale
PR Public Relations
SLA Service-Level Agreement
SSS Same-Store Sales
TAM Total Addressable Market
ToS Terms of Service
UPT Units Per Transaction
CCC Customer Care Center
CDP Customer Data Platform
CRM Customer Relationship Management
CRR Customer Retention Rate
CS Customer Support
CSAT Customer Satisfaction
CSX Customer Service Experience
CX Customer Experience
NPS Net Promoter Score
QA Quality Assurance
QC Quality Control
UI User Interface
UX User Experience
ARR Annual Recurring Revenue
CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
CAPEX Capital Expenditures
CM Contribution Margin
COGS Cost of Goods Sold
CPA Certified Public Accountant
CVC Card Verification Code
EBITDA Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization
EOD, EOW End of Day, End of Week
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
GMROI Gross Margin Return on Investment
MER Minimum Effective Rate
MRR Monthly Recurring Revenue
OPEX Operating Expenses
P&L Profit and Loss
ROI Return on Investment
TTM Trailing Twelve Months
VAT Value-Added Tax
YoY Year Over Year
YTD Year to Date
CDA Chief Data Officer
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CFO Chief Financial Officer
CIO Chief Information Officer
CMO Chief Marketing Officer
COO Chief Operating Officer
CRO Chief Revenue Officer
CTO Chief Technology Officer
FTE Full-Time Employee
KPI Key Performance Indicator
OOO Out of Office
PTO Paid Time Off
VA Virtual Assistant
A/B Testing A (Control) vs B (Variant) Testing
ACOS Advertising Cost of Sales
CAC Customer Acquisition Cost
CPA Cost Per Action
CPC Cost Per Click
CPM Cost Per Thousand
CR, CRV Conversion Rate
CRO Conversion Rate Optimization
CSE Comparison Shopping Engine
CTA Call-to-Action
CTR Click-Through Rate
CVR Conversion Rate
DAS Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Spend
DFA Data Feed Optimization
ESP Email Service Provider
GA, GAU Google Analytics (Universal)
GA4 Google Analytics 4
GTM Go-to-Market
LTV Customer Lifetime Value
LTV:CAC Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio
MER Marketing Efficiency Ratio
MMS Multimedia Messaging Service
MTA Multi-Touch Attribution
nCAC New Customer Acquisition Cost
PPC Price Per Click, or Pay Per Click
ROAS Return on Ad Spend
SEM Search Engine Marketing
SEO Search Engine Optimization
SERP Search Engine Results Page
SMS Short Message Service
SSM Social Media Marketing
UGC User-Generated Content
WOM Word of Mouth
1PL First-Party Logistics
3PL Third-Party Logistics
BOM Bill of Materials
ERP Enterprise Resource Planning
FEFO First Expired, First Out
FIFO First In, First Out
FOB Free on Board
IMS Inventory Management System
ITR Inventory Turnover Ratio
LIFO Last In, Last Out
MMU Minimum Marketable Unit
MOQ Minimum Order Quantity
MPN Manufacturer Part Number
OMS Order Management System
OOS Out of Stock
PIM Product Information Management
PLM Product Lifecycle Management
RMA Return Merchandise Authorization
SKU Stock Keeping Unit
UPC Universal Product Code
WMS Warehouse Management System
WOS Wholesale Order System
API Application Programming Interface
CDN Content Delivery Network
CMS Content Management System
CSS Cascading Style Sheets
DAM Digital Asset Management
DNS Domain Name System
FTP File Transport Protocol
IP Internet Protocol
ISP Internet Service Provider
QR Code Quick Response Code
RSS Really Simple Syndication
SaaS Software as a Service
SSL Secure Sockets Layer
VPN Virtual Private Network

Keys or gatekeepers. Maps or mazes. Guideposts … or misdirection.

Whatever your feelings toward acronyms, they’re an inescapable part of commerce. In business — as in any cultural landscape — language is currency. To succeed, you must speak its native tongue. Or, at the very least, be deft upon its linguistic peaks.

TL;DR (Too Long Didn’t Read): Put more plainly, eCommerce acronyms are here. They aren’t going anywhere. So, we might as well set ourselves to the task of learning them.

In this article, we’ll explore the prevalence of acronyms, offer a few tips for remembering them, and provide a comprehensive glossary.

156 terms. 9 categories. One cheat sheet.

Special thanks to Nate Poulin for creating the list that originally inspired this exploration. And to Sean Frank for perfectly illustrating the duality of our relationship with them.

Want to skip the definitions ASAP?

No problem. In fact, we’ve put every term into a single cheat sheet for easy reference, complete with a filter for each category. Plus, since it’s literally a Google (cheat) Sheet, you can make it your own by adding new terms or modifying the ones we’ve included.

Spreadsheet with over 150 eCommerce acronyms.
Download your +150 eCommerce Acronyms Cheat Sheet

Prevalence of eCommerce Acronyms & Business Abbreviations

Acronyms are widely used in business for a variety of reasons. Primarily to convey complex ideas or processes concisely. The goal? Make communication easier, faster, and more efficient. They’re shorthand for concepts well-known within a particular industry or field. A way of shortcutting without obscuring.

In addition to practicality, acronyms also signal membership in a group or community. Correct usage demonstrates knowledge or familiarity with the concepts behind them. Incorrect usage betrays the opposite.

As the study of human societies, anthropology helps us understand group dynamics by examining how people interact and communicate within different cultural contexts. Most notably, anthropology teaches us that language establishes, maintains, and reshapes social norms. Our identities are tied to it.

For example, in the military, “nomenclature” does more than facilitate speed and accuracy. It bonds members of the armed forces to shared group dynamics. Religious and political ideologies do the same — think: WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), SWT (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), or YHWH (Yahweh, or the tetragrammaton).

Likewise, the internet proliferated acronyms into popular culture. “LOL” has evolved to take on several connotations depending on how it is used and where it is placed in a sentence. The intended meaning can vary based on punctuation and capitalization. 

This is often not the case with business acronyms, where formality abounds. Rigidity coupled with group signaling raises places a premium on learning professional abbreviations. The question is: How?

Tips for Remembering & Using Abbreviations Effectively

TBH (Truth Be Told), a rote or brute-force attempt to learn acronyms is doomed to failure. Meaning, the worst thing you could do with this article and the list that follows would be to read them in an attempt to jam each one into your vernacular.

Instead, here are some tips for remembering and using acronyms effectively.

Use mnemonic devices tied to their meanings

If you are trying to remember the acronym ROI (Return on Investment), you might create a mnemonic such as: “ROI sounds like ‘Roy,’ a character from The Office, who got rich by investing in a gravel company. Roy got a return on his investment. ROI stands for Return on Investment.”

Or, take a thorny abbreviation like EBITA (Earnings, Before Interest, Taxes, and Amortization). WTF, right?

Practice using acronyms in conversation or writing

To get more comfortable using acronyms in a professional setting, try using them in personal conversations or writing. Low-risk settings let you build confidence. Take a TIL (Today I Learned) approach.

If you ever feel like you’re NGMI (Not Going to Make It), remember: EWBA (Everything Will Be Alright) and mistakes mean you’re learning. It’s really NBD (No Big Deal).

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification

It’s better to ask for help and make sure you understand the meaning of an acronym than to risk using it incorrectly. Aside from Sean Frank, the eCommerce community is generally friendly and approachable. We were all once newcomers.

Feel free to DM (Direct Message) me if you run into any questions on your journey to becoming an SME (Subject Matter Expert) — not to be confused with SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) or SMB (Small to Medium Business).

Create cheat sheets or flashcards

Perhaps the best way to remember the meanings of acronyms is to create a reference guide or flashcards with the acronym and its corresponding definition. This can be especially helpful when you’re first learning about a new industry or even as a refresher.

It’s precisely why we made an accompanying cheat sheet to get you going.

And it’s why we’ve organized over 150 eCommerce and business acronyms into categories, along with the definitions of each …
Spreadsheet with over 150 eCommerce acronyms.

eCommerce & DTC Acronyms

eCommerce is a rapidly growing industry, constantly evolving. As such, it has its own set of popular acronyms used to convey information about online sales — few of which are explained (though often used) in DTC (direct-to-consumer) newsletters or eCommerce podcasts.

By learning the lingo, you’ll be better equipped to grasp the nuances of online transactions, digital marketing strategies, and the ever-changing consumer experience in a fiercely competitive market.

eCommerce & DTC Acronyms: AOV, ASIN, AVS, CARLY, DNVB, eCommerce, FBA, FBM, HENRY, P2P, PCI DSS, PDP, PLA, PLP, 0PD, 1PD, 3PD

AOV: Average Order Value

Average amount of money spent per purchase on a website or in a store

ASIN: Amazon Standard Identification Number

Unique code letter or numbers assigned by Amazon to products listed on its marketplace

AVS: Address Verification Service

Software used to authenticate the address of a person or company for credit card transactions

CARLY: Can’t Afford Real Life Yet

Consumers who lack financial freedom, possess some disposable income, and fluctuate their tastes

DNVB: Digitally Native Vertical Brand

Company that operates primarily online and control at least a portion of its supply chain and production

eCommerce: Electronic Commerce

Buying and selling of goods or services over the internet, encompassing everything from shopping to payments

FBA: Fulfillment By Amazon

Service that allows third-party sellers to store products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and have them shipped

FBM: Fulfillment by Merchant

Fulfillment method where Amazon sellers manage and ship orders to customers themselves

HENRY: High Earner Not Rich Yet

Term used to describe individuals who have high incomes but have not yet accumulated significant wealth

P2P: Peer-to-Peer

Digital marketplaces where users can purchase items directly from one another — e.g., Craigslist or eBay

PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

Set of security standards for organizations that handle credit cards from the four major card networks

PDP: Product Description Page, or Product Page

Page on a website that provides detailed information about a specific product — features, specifications, and price

PLA: Product Listing Ad

Individual ad unit within Google Shopping consisting of an image, description, price, and other extensions

PLP: Product Listing Page

Webpage featuring a collection of products, usually with information about each and the option to purchase

0PD: Zero-Party Data

Data that is proactively shared by customers with a company — e.g., preferences, surveys, and quizzes

1PD: First-Party Data

Data collected directly from customers or users by a company for its own use — e.g., onsite or purchase history

3PD: Third-Party Data

Data that is collected, shared, and sold by companies that do not have a direct relationship with the end customer

Marketing & Advertising Acronyms

Marketing and advertising are the beating heart of business success, as they generate brand awareness, attract customers, and drive sales. To excel in fluency in the terms that permeate marketing campaigns, various channels, attribution models, and advertising strategies.

These linguistic shortcuts enable you to decode the underlying principles and techniques employed by other marketing professionals.

Marketing & Advertising Acronyms: A/B Testing, ACOS, CAC, CPA, CPC, CPM, CR CRV, CRO, CSE, CTA, CTR, VR, DAS, DFA, ESP, GA, GA4, GTM, LTV, LTV CAC, MER, MMS, MTA, nCAC, PPC, ROAS, SEM, SEO, SERP, SMS, SSM, UG, WOM

A/B Testing: A (Control) vs B (Variant)

Testing: Method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app to determine which performs better — aka, split testing

ACOS: Advertising Cost of Sales

Percentage of total revenue devoted to marketing (ad spend) — i.e., the inverse of ROAS

CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost

Total cost of acquiring a customer, including marketing and sales expenses

CPA: Cost Per Action

Pricing model in which an advertiser pays for specified action — e.g., making a purchase or filling out a form

CPC: Cost Per Click

Amount of money an advertiser pays each time a user clicks on its ad in a PPC marketing campaign

CPM: Cost Per Thousand

Pricing model in which an advertiser pays for every thousand impressions (views) of their ad

CR, CRV: Conversion Rate

Percentage of website visitors or app users who take a desired action (small number divided by big number)

CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization

Strategies designed to improve the percentage of website visitors or app users who take a desired action

CSE: Comparison Shopping Engine

Search engine that allows shoppers to compare product prices from multiple retailers on a single platform

CTA: Call-to-Action

Request for a user to take a specific action — e.g., signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase

CTR: Click-Through Rate

Percentage of users who click on a particular link — e.g., an ad or search result

CVR: Conversion Rate

Percentage of visitors to a website who complete a desired action — making a purchase or filling out a form

DAS: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Spend

Amount of money spent on advertising directly to consumers, rather than through retailers or distributors

DFA: Data Feed Optimization

Improving structured product data for channels such as Google Shopping, Amazon, or Facebook

ESP: Email Service Provider

Platform that offers email marketing or communication services for businesses or individuals

GA, GAU: Google Analytics (Universal)

Tracking service offered by Google that reports website visitors, bounce rate, user behavior, and other metrics

GA4: Google Analytics 4

Google’s event-based update to GA released in late 2020 and replacing GA in July of 2023

GTM: Go-to-Market

Strategy and tactics a company uses to bring a new product or service to market

LTV: Customer Lifetime Value

Total value a customer generates over the course of their relationship with a company; also used, CLTV or CLV

LTV:CAC: Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio

Total revenue generated by a customer compared to the cost of acquiring that customer

MER: Marketing Efficiency Ratio

High-level measurement of the overall performance of marketing efforts — aka, blended ROAS

MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service

Marketing texts that include rich media like video, images, slideshows, audio, and GIFs

MTA: Multi-Touch Attribution

Method used to assign credit to marketing touchpoints that led to a sale, using data-driven analysis

nCAC: New Customer Acquisition Cost

Cost associated with acquiring a net-new customer (subset of CAC)

PPC: Price Per Click, or Pay Per Click

Digital advertising model where advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ad — c.f., CPC

ROAS: Return on Ad Spend

Revenue generated from advertising relative to the amount spent expressed as a whole number

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Paid promotion of a website or SKU (product) on search engines — i.e., Google Ads or Google Shopping

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Practice of optimizing a website to improve its organic ranking in search engine results pages

SERP: Search Engine Results Page

Online listing of web pages generated by a search engine in response to a user’s query

SMS: Short Message Service

Plain-text-only marketing messages (texts) that can include characters, numbers, and links

SSM: Social Media Marketing

Promoting a brand, product, or service through social-media platforms — both paid and organic methods

UGC: User-Generated Content

Videos and images created by users of a product or service, rather than the company itself

WOM: Word of Mouth

Informal exchange between individuals, often used to describe the spread of news or recommendations

Business, Sales & Retail Acronyms

The interconnected worlds of business, sales, and retail form the backbone of global commerce, encompassing a diverse range of industries, organizations, and markets.

As you delve into these concepts, you’ll develop a more robust understanding of the factors influencing business operations, sales strategies, and retail management.

Business, Sales & Retail Acronyms: ACT, AUR, B&M, B2B, B2C, BD, BOPIS, BORIS, CPO, DST, EDI, GMV, IPO, MAP, NSO, OTB, PO, POS, PR, SLA, SSS, TAM, ToS, UPT

ATC: Average Transaction Cost

Average cost of a transaction, including any fees or expenses

AUR: Average Unit Retail

Average price at which a product is sold to consumers

B&M: Brick-and-Mortar

Traditional physical store or shop, as opposed to an online business

B2B: Business-to-Business

Transactions between businesses, rather than between businesses and individual consumers

B2C: Business-to-Consumer

Transactions between businesses and individual consumers, rather than between businesses

BD: Business Development

Department or process of pursuing new revenue opportunities — e.g., partnerships, investments, and acquisitions

BOPIS: Buy Online Pickup Instore

Fulfillment method where customers order online, then retrieve their items at a physical store

BORIS: Buy Online Return In Store

Reverse logistics method where customers order online, then return items at a physical store

CPO: Certified Pre-Owned

Used product that has been verified by the manufacturer or a third party to be in good working condition

DST: Direct Sales Team

Individuals within a company responsible for selling directly to customers; more commonly, daylight savings time

EDI: Electronic Data Interchange

Digital transfer of business documents in a standard format — most commonly used in wholesale B2B

GMV: Gross Merchandise Volume

Total value of all products sold on a platform or through a company’s channels, excluding any returns or discounts

IPO: Initial Public Offering

First sale of stock by a company to the public, enabling the company to raise capital from public investors

MAP: Minimum Advertised Price

Lowest price a retailer is allowed to sell a product for as set by the manufacturer or distributor

NSO: New Store Opening

Process of launching a new retail location — scouting, designing, constructing, hiring, training, and marketing.

OTB: Open-to-Buy

Amount of money a retailer has to spend on inventory, based on sales projections and current levels

PO: Purchase Order

Commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating the types, quantities, and agreed prices

POS: Point of Sale

Where a transaction is completed — e.g., at a cash register in a store or checkout for an eCommerce store

PR: Public Relations

Building relationships between organizations and audiences, through communication and media outreach

SLA: Service-Level Agreement

Contract outlining agreed-upon services to be provided — e.g., response time and uptime

SSS: Same-Store Sales

Sales performance — growth or decline — of a company’s stores that have been open for at least a year

TAM: Total Addressable Market

Cumulative demand for a product or service, including all potential customers and revenue streams

ToS: Terms of Service

Legally-binding agreements outlining the rules and regulations for using a product or service

UPT: Units Per Transaction

Average number of items sold per transaction, indicating the effectiveness of upselling and cross-selling

Customer Service Acronyms

At the core of every successful business lies customer service — fostering loyalty, ensuring satisfaction, and promoting a positive brand reputation.

By versing yourself in the principles and practices of effective customer relations, you'll be able to comprehend better how to address consumer needs, resolve issues, and build lasting relationships with clientele.

Customer Service Acronyms: CCC, CDP, CRM, CRR, CS, CSAT, CSX, CX, NPS, QA, QC, UI, UX

CCC: Customer Care Center

Location or department within a company that is responsible for providing customer service and support

CDP: Customer Data Platform

Software that centralizes customer data from all sources to help businesses create a unified and single view

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Software used to operate customer interactions and data throughout the lifecycle — aka, CRM system

CRR: Customer Retention Rate

Percentage of customers who continue to do business with a company over a given period of time

CS: Customer Support

Assisting customers through various channels to answer questions and resolve complaints

CSAT: Customer Satisfaction

Measure of how satisfied customers are with a company’s products or services

CSX: Customer Service Experience

Overall experience of a person’s interactions with CS — needs met, problems solved, and emotions

CX: Customer Experience

Overall perception of a brand, product, or service — from initial contact to post-purchase

NPS: Net Promoter Score

Customer satisfaction metric (0–10) of the likelihood someone will recommend a product or service to others

QA: Quality Assurance

In software, ensuring that a product or service meets specified requirements and standards

QC: Quality Control

In retail, ensuring that a product or service meets specified requirements and standards

UI: User Interface

Visual and interactive elements of a software application, website, or other digital product

UX: User Experience

Overall experience of a person using a product, including both utility and emotions

Finance & Accounting Acronyms

In the field of finance and accounting, acronyms refer to numerous metrics and ratios. Some are straightforward. For example, both ROI (Return on Investment) and ROA (Return on Assets) measure outputs divided by inputs.

Some, not so much. EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) measures a company’s financial performance that excludes certain expenses.

In many ways, these are the most foreign yet most vital terms we’ll define.


ARR: Annual Recurring Revenue

Projected revenue that a company expects to receive on a recurring basis over the course of a year

CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Rate at which an investment’s value increases over a number of years, assuming profits are reinvested

CAPEX: Capital Expenditures

Costs associated with acquiring, upgrading, or maintaining physical assets — buildings, equipment, technology

CM: Contribution Margin

Revenue after variable expenses have been deducted to cover fixed costs (OPEX) and generate profit

COGS: Cost of Goods Sold

Total cost of producing the goods that a company sells, including the cost of materials and labor

CPA: Certified Public Accountant

Licensed financial expert for consulting, compliance, and taxes; not to be confused with cost per acquisition

CVC: Card Verification Code

Three or four-digit security code printed on a credit or debit card to verify its authenticity during a transaction

EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization

Profits excluding non-operating expenses like taxes as well as losses from assets that deteriorate over time

EOD, EOW: End of Day, End of Week

Close of business (COB), typically when daily or weekly accounting and processing tasks are completed

ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival

Predicted date at which a particular shipment or other item is expected to arrive at its destination

GMROI: Gross Margin Return on Investment

Profitability of a product or service, taking into account the gross margin and the amount invested in the product

MER: Minimum Effective Rate

Lowest cost per acquisition at which a marketing campaign is still considered to be profitable

MRR: Monthly Recurring Revenue

Projected revenue that a company expects to receive on a recurring basis each month

OPEX: Operating Expenses

Fixed costs associated with running a business on a day-to-day basis — salaries, rent, utilities

P&L: Profit and Loss

Financial statement (balance sheet) summarizing income and expenses over a specific period of time

ROI: Return on Investment

Total revenue from an investment against its costs, expressed as a percentage, ratio, or multiplier

TTM: Trailing Twelve Months

Financial metric that refers to the performance of a company over the past 12 months

VAT: Value-Added Tax

Consumption tax added to a product or service’s price, most common in European governments

YoY: Year Over Year

Comparison of performance for one year to the same period in the previous year to identify trends and growth

YTD: Year to Date

Period of time from the beginning of the current year up to the present day

Operations & Supply Chain Acronyms

At the risk of stating the obvious, the production and distribution of goods make or break a business. The logistics of procurement, manufacturing, and delivery are far from the most tantalizing subject.

Yet, armed with this knowledge, you'll be better prepared to understand the complex dynamics of supply chain optimization and operational efficiency.

Operations & Supply Chain Acronyms: 1PL, 3PL, BOM, ERP, FEFO, FIFO, FOB, IMS, ITR, LIFO, MMU, MOQ, MPN, OMS, OOS, PIM, PLM, RMA, SKU, UPC, WMS, WOS

1PL: First-Party Logistics

Fulfillment and shipping run by a company’s own in-house department or warehouse

3PL: Third-Party Logistics

External company used to outsource shipping and fulfillment to customers

BOM: Bill of Materials

List of the materials, parts, and components required to manufacture a product

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

Software that manages and integrates all core functions — e.g., finance, HR, and supply chain management

FEFO: First Expired, First Out

Inventory turnover based on a model of first products expired are the first products sold

FIFO: First In, First Out

Inventory turnover based on a model of first products purchased are the first products sold

FOB: Free on Board

Entity responsible for paying transportation costs and assuming ownership of goods in international trade

IMS: Inventory Management System

Software system used to manage and track inventory (goods and stock) in a business

ITR: Inventory Turnover Ratio

Measure of how efficiently a company purchases and then sells stock; COGS ÷ number of units

LIFO: Last In, Last Out

Inventory turnover based on a model of last products purchased are the first products sold

MMU: Minimum Marketable Unit

Smallest unit of a product that can be sold and still be considered viable by the market

MOQ: Minimum Order Quantity

Smallest quantity of a product that a supplier is willing to sell to in a single order

MPN: Manufacturer Part Number

Unique identifier (code) assigned by a manufacturer to a specific product or part

OMS: Order Management System

Software system used to manage and track orders and inventory in a business

OOS: Out of Stock

Product that is not currently available for purchase

PIM: Product Information Management

Software used to ensure consistency, accuracy, and completeness of product details across all channels

PLM: Product Lifecycle Management

Overseeing a product from conception through design, manufacturing, delivery, and disposal

RMA: Return Merchandise Authorization

Processes and systems used to track, manage, and verify returns as well as exchanges

SKU: Stock Keeping Unit

Unique identifier for a product in a company’s inventory used to track and manage stock

UPC: Universal Product Code

Barcode that is used to identify and track products, typically in retail settings

WMS: Warehouse Management System

Software used to track inventory in a warehouse or distribution center; warehousing management system

WOS: Wholesale Order System

Software used to place and manage orders between wholesalers and retailers (distributors)

Human Resources Acronyms

Human resources (HR) are instrumental in shaping the culture and performance of organizations by managing the recruitment, development, and well-being of employees.

For instance, KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a specific approach to goal setting and measurement, while OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are another. Here too, there are a host of role-based abbreviations.

Human Resources Acronyms: CDA, CEO, CFO, CIO, CMO, COO, CRO, CTO, FTE, KPI, OOO, PTO, VA

CDA: Chief Data Officer

Executive responsible for the governance, management, and utilization of an organization’s data assets

CEO: Chief Executive Officer

Executive responsible for major corporate decisions, managing operations, and leading strategy development

CFO: Chief Financial Officer

Executive responsible for a company’s financial operations — including planning, budgeting, and accounting

CIO: Chief Information Officer

Executive responsible for information technology (IT) and ensuring that they align with business objectives

CMO: Chief Marketing Officer

Executive responsible for overseeing marketing, including branding, advertising, and promotion

COO: Chief Operating Officer

Executive responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company and coordinating between departments

CRO: Chief Revenue Officer

Executive responsible for growing income and income streams — i.e., driving sales

CTO: Chief Technology Officer

Executive responsible for guiding a company’s technological strategy, innovation, and implementation

FTE: Full-Time Employee

Employee whose number of hours worked entitle them to all benefits and compensation — aka, headcount

KPI: Key Performance Indicator

Metric chosen to gage a specific aspect of a business’s performance — e.g., revenue or customer satisfaction

OOO: Out of Office

Indicates someone is not available to respond because they are temporarily away from work

PTO: Paid Time Off

Policy allowing employees to take time off while still being paid — e.g., vacation, sick leave, or personal reasons

VA: Virtual Assistant

Self-employed professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative help remotely (personal assistant)

Technological Potpourri

Finally, to round out our glossary, is a grab-bag of all things technological. This diverse and ever-evolving domain encompasses a wide range of fields, from software development to artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning (ML).

Amid this potpourri, getting lost is easy. So, let’s delineate the myriad concepts, processes, and systems integral to modern technology.

Technological Acronyms Potpourri: API, CDN, CMS, CSS, DAM, DNS, FTP, IP, ISP, QR CODE, RSS, SaaS, SSL, VPN

API: Application Programming Interface

Set of protocols and tools for building software applications and the connections between them

CDN: Content Delivery Network

Distributed network of servers that delivers digital content based on users’ geographic locations

CMS: Content Management System

Software system used to create, manage, and publish digital content — e.g., website content or blog posts

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets

Code used for describing the presentation of a web-based document written in markup language

DAM: Digital Asset Management

Processes and systems used to manage and organize digital media — images and videos

DNS: Domain Name System

Translates written domain names into IP addresses for computers to identify each other on the internet

FTP: File Transport Protocol

Network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another over a TCP-based network (the internet)

IP: Internet Protocol

Rules governing how data is transmitted over the internet; unique IP addresses allow devices to communicate

ISP: Internet Service Provider

Company that provides internet access to individuals and organizations

QR Code: Quick Response Code

Two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned using a smartphone or QR code reader app to access information

RSS: Really Simple Syndication

Method used to notify new or updated content such as blog posts, news articles, or podcasts; RSS feed or RSS reader

SaaS: Software as a Service

Licensing and delivery model in which software is provided on a subscription basis and hosted centrally in the cloud

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer

Protocol used to encrypt sensitive data — such as credit card information — between browsers and servers

VPN: Virtual Private Network

Non-public access to the internet, often used to protect the user’s identity and improve security

Popular eCommerce Business Acronyms

In this article, we’ve explored the prevalence of acronyms. We’ve shared a few tips for remembering them. We’ve looked briefly at how they not only aid in concise communication but also bind us to groups and communities.

The bulk of our efforts, however, has been devoted to listing, defining, and demystifying the abbreviations themselves.

If you’ve made it this far but haven’t grabbed the cheat sheet yet, here’s one last chance to save all +150 terms for easy access.

Spreadsheet with over 150 eCommerce acronyms.

We encourage readers to continue learning and deploying acronyms in their professional lives. By staying up to date with the language used in your industry or profession, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the business world and succeed in your career.


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