The Beginner’s Amazon Glossary And Terminology


How do you keep up with all of the Amazon terminology and lingo?


Running an eCommerce business has so many moving parts, it can feel like you’re speaking in another language. From marketing terms to fulfillment knowledge, there are thousands of words that you use every day that create your online company and business culture.


Every brand should have its own language, as that helps comprise your brand voice. But you don’t want your team getting lost on all the lingo, like Amazon terms and words.


To make it easy, we’ve come up with an alphabetical Amazon Glossary with the most used words and acronyms you’ll find with the Amazon marketplace.


So let’s get going!


A9 Search Engine: A9 is the search engine and advertising technology that powers Amazon’s SERPS. Other e-commerce retailers use A9 as well.


Actual Cost of Sales (ACoS): This is the percentage of sales attributed to an advertisement. You can calculate this by dividing the total ad spend by the total sales.


Ad Metrics:

  • Clicks: The number of times an advertisement is clicked

  • Daily budget: Amount you have allotted spend on an ad group per day

  • Impressions: The number of views your ad gets

  • Orders: The number of individual orders from shoppers who saw the ad

  • Sales: Total product sales generated within one week of clicking on a sponsored ad

  • Spend: Total cost of all clicks in a PPC campaign

  • Status: The current status of an ad group: running, paused, ended, archived, scheduled, incomplete, out of the budget, payment failure


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Affiliate Marketing: An affiliate is a third-party that promotes a product or service for a commission. You can partner with influencers and bloggers as affiliates to promote your e-commerce business. This drives traffic to your storefront and in return, you pay the affiliate a commission per conversion through that affiliate link. This is a popular form of marketing through Amazon.


Amazon API: This is a web service and program interface that gives programmers access to Amazon’s product catalog data. See Amazon API Gateway here.


A-to-Z Guarantee: This is Amazon’s guarantee that the customer will receive the item in the condition they ordered on the date that they were estimated. If a customer is dissatisfied with their product, service, or shipping, they can file an A-to-Z claim.


Best Sellers Rank (BSR): The BSR ranks the most popular products on Amazon in each category. It calculates hourly to reflect recent and historical sales to determine those goods that have the highest sales volume and popularity.


Brand Registry: Amazon allows you to protect your trademarks by “owning” your brand through the Brand Registry. This ensures you have full control of your private label on Amazon, while also giving you access to enhanced brand content (see below).


Buy Box: The Buy Box is on the right-hand side of the product listing, where customers can see product details, shipping information, and other sellers of the product. The majority of Amazon’s revenue comes through the Buy Box. Sellers compete to win the Buy Box to gain visibility and sales.


Categories: Amazon categorizes products into groupings, like the aisle or shelf of a grocery store. This helps customers narrow their search to relevant categories. There are 20 “open” categories (any seller can sell in these) and several other gated categories that require approval from Amazon.


Click-Through-Rate (CTR): The CTR is the percent of shoppers who see an advertisement and click on the ad. You can calculate this by dividing the total clicks by the total impressions.


Conversion Rate: This rate is the percentage of page visitors that actually make a purchase. A high conversion rate tells Amazon that you have a desirable product, which will put you higher in searches and ranks. You can figure out your conversion by dividing the total page visitors by the number of transactions for a given time period.


Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This is the total of all costs needed to create your product. This includes materials, production, packaging, shipping, taxes, and more. It usually does not include marketing or promotional budgets.


Dropshipping: Dropshipping is where the manufacturer or distributor ships directly to your customers in your branded packaging. The seller never touches the stock, but you may pay a premium for this feature.


Enhanced Brand Content (EBC): The Enhanced Brand Content program is offered to Brand Registry owners. It allows sellers to create a more personalized storefront with supplemental product descriptions and images.


"Brands like Amazon have their own language that helps comprise their brand  voice."  -Click to Tweet-


Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA): Amazon’s FBA service will hold, pick, pack, and ship your merchandise. They store your goods at their warehouses, and they handle all operations post-sale. This includes multi-channel fulfillment, so even your own website’s orders can be picked by FBA.


Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM): FBM is when the seller (merchant) is responsible for all operations, fulfillment, and customer service. Learn about the difference between fulfillment methods FBA, FBM, and SFP here.


Gated Category: Amazon restricts certain divisions called gated categories. In order to sell in these categories, you need to obtain approval from Amazon.


Gross Profit: The gross profit is the amount of money the company has made after deducting COGS, marketing, and any other associated costs. This is what you’re left with after you’ve taken all expenses into account. (see: net profit)


Headline Search Ad: Offered to Brand Registry owners, these ads appear at the top of search results. Headline Search Ads are more in-depth than sponsored ads, as they have a headline, text caption, and up to three product images.


Inventory: This is the amount of stock you have available in your warehouses to sell on Amazon. You should regularly check and monitor inventory levels to deliver the best service to customers. We recommend Skubana for inventory management.


Lightning Deal: Lightning Deals are promotions featured for a set time period on the Amazon Today’s Deals Page. These tend to only last a few hours, and the goal is to discount products to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity. One successful Lightning Deal can put your business in a positive cycle of upward growth.


Listings: The Amazon “listing” is the product page that includes images, product descriptions, item condition, price, shipping methods, quantity, SKUs, variations, customer reviews, and any other product information. Learn how to optimize your listings here.


Margin: The profit margin is the percentage of a sale taken after the COGS and expenses have been deducted. The main ways to boost margins are to minimize supply chain, raise prices, or reduce COGS.


Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ): The MOQ is the lowest possible order volume a manufacturer will allow for a product run. This can leave you with a lot of expensive inventory if you don’t manage this properly with your producer.


Net Profit: The net profit is the profit before expenses have been considered. (see: gross profit)


Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Pay-per-click, also called cost-per-click, is a form of advertising where you pay only based on the number of shoppers who click on your ads. When your ad is driving traffic, you pay more; if it isn’t performing well, you don’t pay. This is a lower risk form of advertising that works especially well for driving traffic and emphasizing conversions.


Prime: Amazon Prime is a paid membership for consumers that enables them to have faster, cheaper (if not free) delivery options. They also have access to Prime video, music, entertainment, and even Whole Foods rewards. Prime customers are also eligible for special discounts, early-bird specials, and other exclusive promotions. Learn more about Prime here.


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Private Label: Owning a private label means you manufacture and sell products under your own brand name. You could also be a registered seller for a private label. Click to learn more about the benefits of a private label and how to launch one.


Promotions: A “promotion” is any sort of discount, deal, giveaway, or other special tactics to connect with customers, grow your brand awareness, promote your social proof, and boost your sales. Find the right promotions for your storefront here.


Revenue: Revenue is the income that comes directly from your sales. This does not take into account COGs or additional expenses.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your Amazon listing should be “optimized” to be readable by both consumers and Amazon’s search algorithm. Focusing on optimizing your listings can get you higher up in search results with greater visibility, more traffic, and an enhanced conversion rate. Read Everything You Need To Know About Amazon Listing Optimization.


Seller Central (SC): Seller Central is your main dashboard when you log on Amazon. This is where you’ll find all of your metrics, tools, and analyses.


Sponsored Ad: A Sponsored Ad is a PPC campaign that allows you to create keyword-targeting ads that appear in relevant searches. These appear as normal product listings, but they’re shown in key spots in search results with the banner “Sponsored” beneath them.


Today’s Deals: Today’s Deals is a tab that allows customers to see ongoing deals and discounts on one dashboard. This is a common way customers find good deals and get exposure to new brands.


Traffic: Traffic refers to the number of visitors that click on a given product listing. You can get traffic from multiple avenues, like Amazon search results, Google search, social media, your website, or an affiliate marketer. With a listing that is optimized for conversion, ideally the more traffic you have, the more sales you’ll get.


Unverified Review: An unverified review is user feedback that comes from a customer who hasn’t made a purchase of your product through Amazon. These tend to carry less weight in optimization than verified reviews (see below).


Variations: Product variations allow you to show different colors, sizes, and styles of the same product. This improves your SEO while enhancing conversion by offering more options to your customer. Learn more about the value of product variations here.


Vendor Express: If you choose to sell your products directly to Amazon, as opposed to direct to consumer, you’ll be a Vendor (not a seller). You’ll spend your time in Vendor Express and function as Amazon’s wholesale distributor of that product.


Verified Review: Verified reviews are feedback from customers who have already purchased from you on Amazon. You want a high number of positive verified reviews to better optimize your listing, improve your rank, and win the Buy Box.


What Amazon acronyms and phrases are you confused by? Let us know in the comments below!  

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