Amazon-seller-glossary

The Ultimate Amazon Seller Glossary

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Amazon has so many acronyms for sellers, that sometimes they can become overwhelming. It’s good to learn these industry-common terms so you’re more knowledgeable the next time you come across them on Facebook Groups, Amazon articles, or even in a crowd of experts. The list below is pretty comprehensive. We’ve compiled many Amazon-related terms, so you have your own glossary, of sorts, the next time you feel like joining the “expert” conversation.

Amazon Seller Glossary: Amazon Seller Terms You Should Know

3PL – Third party logistics. This refers to the outsourcing of ecommerce logistics processes, including inventory management, warehousing, and fulfillment.

ACOS – Advertising cost of sale. This metric is used to measure the performance of your Amazon Sponsored Products Campaigns. 

The equations is: ACOS = total spent on ads ÷ total sales generated from ads

Alibaba – The largest product sourcing website on the internet measured by total sales. Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) is a holding company legally domiciled in the Cayman Islands but which conducts its e-commerce businesses through its Chinese subsidiaries and variable interest entities (VIEs).

AMS – Amazon Marketing Services. Now known as Sponsored Ads, this program increases discoverability by offering a way for brands to place ads at the top of the search results page.

ASP – Average Selling Price. The ASP can vary from product to product. It is the average amount of money you make in sales per item you sell on Amazon. Goods like jewelry and electronics usually have a high average selling price. On the contrary, books, CDs, and DVDs  tend to have a low average selling price.

ASIN – Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is an alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners. ASIN is equivalent to Amazon’s catalogue number(s) and consists of a sequence of 10 letters or numbers or both.

To find an ASIN, click on an Amazon product and scroll to “product information”, then to “additional information.”

ATOP – “At time of posting.” This is often used when information is subject to change and may be accurate at the time it is posted.  It could be related to a sale or a new piece of information that comes out.

AZ or AMZ – Amazon. Today the Amazon marketplace is the world’s largest online retailer and a prominent cloud services provider. Founded by Jeff Bezos, the company was originally a book seller but has expanded to sell a wide variety of consumer goods and digital media as well as its own electronic devices.

B2B – Business to business. It is a business model that focuses on selling products and services to other companies. For example, a tire manufacturer might sell merchandise to a car manufacturer.

B2C – Business to consumer. It refers to the sale of goods or services directly to customers for their own use (i.e., online shopping).

Back-end (of your seller account) – Product information that is not public-facing. Your back-end is the best place to incorporate keywords and other information that don’t exactly match your product. These may include synonyms, abbreviations, alternate names, and spelling variations of your product.

BB – Buy Box. Every product page on Amazon has a white box on the right hand side of the listing prompting customers to “Add to cart” or “Buy now.” When a customer proceeds to buy the product through this section, the seller which is ranked the highest by Amazon at that time will show up there.

BISS – Business, Industrial & Scientific Supplies. This is a category on Amazon that is restricted to most sellers.

BM – Brick & Mortar Store. Also called as storefront, it simply means a retail store with a physical building, as opposed to one that conducts sales entirely online.

BOGO – Buy One Get One. This is often used in shopping deals and sales ads. For example, “Bags are BOGO free this summer season”, meaning you buy one bag you get one free.

BOLO – “Be on the lookout.” Items that are sold out online but may still be available in stores locally. This term is also used for an item that is profitable that you might be able to find in stores near you. 

Brand Registry –  It is a program available to sellers who manufacture or sell their own branded products. It helps brand owners protect their intellectual property and product content on Amazon.

BSR – Best Sellers Rank. Often used interchangeably with sales rank; this gives you an idea of how well an item is selling in relation to others.

BTS – Back To School. It is a season where Amazon sellers often purchase school items from retail stores and mark them up on Amazon

Bundle – It consists of multiple single items that can each be identified by a unique ASIN/UPC and are sold together as a single offering. A pre-packaged kit or pack with multiple items that is identified by a single ASIN/UPC is not considered a bundle. Bundles must contain items that are highly complementary to enhance or ease the overall customer experience.

CB – Cash Back. If you dabble in online arbitrage and even retail arbitrage you will want to know about cashback.  You can shop through portals like Ebates and receive a percent of what you spend at a store back in cash. On the other hand, Amazon offers Cashback Bonus to customers so they can pay for all or part of their purchase by selecting the option to Pay with Cashback Bonus when they are checking out.

Child – A variation of a product (different colors, finishes, sizes, etc.) Parents & Children are part of a “Variation Relationship.” Basically a Parent is the general item, while a child is more specific. Say you have a phone case available in Red, Blue, and Floral. That means the Red case, the Blue case, and the Floral case are all children of the parent Phone Case.

COGS – Cost of Goods Sold. It refers to the Total Inventories costs of the goods you have sold during a particular period. When subtracted from revenue, COGS helps determine your gross profit. The most common way to calculate COGS is to take the beginning annual inventory amount, add all purchases, and then subtract the year ending inventory from that total.

Conversion rate – It is a measure of how many sales occur for each view on a listing. In short, it means how well you sell.

CPC – Cost per click. It refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. The average CPC on Amazon is around $0.77.

CTR – Click through rate. It is the ratio between how many people have clicked on your Ad and the number of people who have seen it:

The equation is: Click-Through Rate = Percentage of Number of people who have clicked your Ad ÷ Number of people who have seen it

D2C – Direct to consumer. This means selling directly to your end customers without selling through a retailer, distributor, wholesaler or other outlet.

Disposal – When a customer returns your product to Amazon, you can either have the item shipped back to you or Amazon will “dispose” of it.

Dropshipping – It is the process of selling a product without the responsibility of carrying inventory or shipping the goods. If you’re using a dropshipping model, you’ll be listing your products on your website without holding any physical inventory. When you get an order, you’ll notify your dropshipping supplier, who will then take care of fulfilment on your behalf.

EAN – The European Article Number (EAN) is a barcode standard, a 12- or 13-digit product identification  code. Each EAN uniquely identifies the product, manufacturer, and its attributes. Typically, the EAN is printed on a product label or packaging as a bar code. Amazon requires EAN codes to improve quality of search results and the quality of the catalog as a whole.

EIN – Employer Identification Number. An identification number provided to businesses by the US government. This is used for payroll taxes and often required by wholesalers.

EXW – Ex Works. It basically means assuming responsibility for everything – from the door of the supplier to the final destination.  Your supplier finishes the products, sets them in their warehouse for pickup, and the ownership of the goods becomes yours upon full payment. You are on your own from there.

FB – Facebook. It is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with family and friends online.

FB – Feedback. When selling on Amazon, there are two distinct types of feedback that you need to be aware of: seller feedback and product reviews. While the two are often used interchangeably, they serve two very different purposes. Seller feedback is all about you as a seller, whereas Product Review is all about your product.

FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon. With FBA, all your packaging, shipping, returns, and even customer service are handled by Amazon. All you have to do is to send your desired inventory to an Amazon Fulfillment Center and they will do the rest.

FBM – Fulfilled by merchant. With FBM, you handle all aspects of Fulfillment. You list your products on Amazon, then store, pack and ship them as your customers order them.

FC – Fulfillment Center. Amazon fulfillment centers are practically warehouses – although they are a far cry from your typical warehouse as they are charged with fulfilling thousands (if not millions) of customer orders. In other words, Amazon warehouses not only store products but also serve as distribution centers where workers pick, pack, and ship orders quickly and efficiently.

FOB – Free on board. It is a shipment term used to indicate whether the seller or the buyer is liable for goods that are damaged or destroyed during shipping. FOB shipping means that the supplier retains ownership and responsibility for the goods until they are loaded ‘on board’ a shipping vessel. Once on the ship, all liability transfers to the buyer.

FNSKU – Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit. Special barcode assigned by Amazon that helps match products with the correct sellers within the Amazon system. Every product that is processed through an FBA warehouse is given this unique identifier.

Freight forwarders – They are responsible for the transportation of goods from one place to another via a single or multiple carriers, via air, water, rail or highway. Freight forwarding companies specialize in arranging the whole process for their shippers, from the storage to the shipping of the goods. They act as an intermediary between the shipper and transportation services, liaising with various carriers to negotiate on price and decide on the most economical, reliable and fastest route.

Fulfillment Fee – The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fee is a per-unit fee, based on the dimensions and weight of the item. Amazon FBA fees range from 45 cents to $1.35 per unit, and $39.99 per month for a Professional account.

FWIW – “For what it’s worth.” This is often written when someone is giving advice and they are not sure if it will be helpful or not.

GC – Gift Cards. These gift cards can be used to purchase any item in the Amazon store and have no expiration date. Buyers also have the ability to customize their gift cards for the recipient by selecting a gift card theme and including a personal message.

HBA – Health & Beauty Aids. Health and Beauty is covered by two main categories on Amazon: Health & Personal Care (HPC) and Beauty. It is also termed as the Health & Personal Care category.  Amazon uses different names at different times for these categories. Right now, you find HPC by navigating to the Health, Household & Baby Care category, which they abbreviate to Health & Household in some areas of the navigation.

Hijackers – They are third-party sellers or distributors who are using your ASIN (product listing) instead of creating their listing to undercut your price just enough to steal the Buy Box from you. This results in fewer sales and sometimes may even lead to bad product reviews.

HTF – Hard To Find. This is often associated with a BOLO post, and comes into play when an item is rarely seen in stores anymore.  

Impressions – It measures the number of times Amazon shows shoppers your Ad, regardless of whether they clicked on it or not. It is one of the key metrics of Amazon Advertising and can be used to check at a glance how well an Ad is doing. The main places where impressions happen are on either a search results page or on a product detail page.

IMO – In my opinion.  Often used in Facebook groups when a person wants it to be clear they are sharing advice, or something that they likely don’t want taken as 100% reliable.  You may also see the variant IMHO, which is in my humble opinion. 

ISBN – International Standard Book Number.  It is a unique commercial book identifier barcode. Each ISBN code identifies uniquely a book. ISBN have either 10 or 13 digits. Typically, the ISBN is printed on the back cover of the book.

For example, the ISBN code for J.K.Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Adult Edition, Paperback, UK edition is 978-0747595823, and this code identifies uniquely this book and edition.

Keywords – It is a term used in digital marketing to describe a word or a group of words an online user types in to perform a search in a search engine or search bar. In an Amazon SEO strategy, keywords are very important and should be the core of any copy written for the product listing. It should be incorporated in the title, description, bullet points, photos and backend terms.

Landing cost – The Landed Cost for a product is how much each unit of the product costs you, including the cost for shipping from the manufacturer into Amazon or your warehouse. Examples of costs to include: product cost, packaging cost, inspection cost, freight cost, and label cost.

Listing – The product page for each of the items you sell on Amazon. It is made up of the information you enter when you list your product including its title, images, description, and price.

LTL – Less than truckload shipment. This means the transport of freight that does not require the entire space of a truck, whereas full truckload (TL) shipments take up the space or weight limit of an entire trailer. With LTL, multiple shippers can share space on the same truck.

MAP – Minimum Advertised Price. The minimum price an authorized retailer can sell a product for. Usually imposed by the manufacturer of the product to maintain profit margins.

MOQ – Minimum order quantity. The minimum amount you are able to order. This typically applies to orders from a wholesaler or distributer. For example, if you have an MOQ of 100 units or $100, your customers must be able to purchase at least 100 units or spend $100 to be able to buy from you.

MSRP – Manufacturer’s suggested retail price. It is a price the manufactures believe that the products should be sold for. In this amount, the manufacturer has considered the production costs and other variables, such as the merchandise’s supply and demand. The MSRP is usually 2-3 times the cost of production. The MSRP consists of cost price, manufacturer’s profit margin and the retailer’s profit margin.

MTD – Month To Date. This may be used when discussing sales numbers, units sold, or just about any other metric in your business that can be quantified on a month to date basis. For example, if the date is June 15, then month to date would be from July 1 through July 15.

MCF – Multi-channel Fulfillment. This is an optional and more complete service to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which you can hire if you have a Pro Seller account on the platform. The MCF system allows you to store and ship goods from Amazon’s fulfillment network, even if you sell the product somewhere else. This makes it a whole lot easier to start selling on your own site, on a social media platform with e-commerce capabilities, or another marketplace.

Multi-pack – A multipack is a package of several of the same product (e.g. 5 blue button-down t-shirts) or versions of a product with the same SKU (e.g. 5 women’s purse in 5 different colors).

Net Profit  – It represents the money you have left over after expenses are paid. It is also commonly referred to as net income. Net profitability is an important indicator for ecommerce and retail businesses to measure, since increases in revenue don’t always translate to increased profitability. Net profit tells you your true bottom line – how much money you are actually left with at the end of the day.

OA – Online Arbitrage. It means sourcing products online with the specific aim of exploiting a price mismatch between two marketplaces. This way you can resell them at a profit. If you are an Amazon reseller, this means buying products at cheaper rate from any online marketplace preferably local or wholesale websites and selling them for profit on websites like Amazon and eBay at a much higher price.

ODR – Order Defect Rate. It is a performance metric that Amazon uses to rate the seller’s customer service standards. Naturally, Amazon sellers will want to provide an excellent level of customer care and avoid receiving a high ODR.

It is calculated by the number of orders with defects (i.e. negative metrics) divided by the number of overall orders received within a given time period.

OOS – “Out of stock.” Refers to an item being out of stock in a retail store or Amazon itself being out of stock on an item. 

PK – Pack. Pack refers to how many items come in a multi-pack of a product on Amazon. One pack means one item, two packs means two items per package, three packs means three items per package, and so on and so forth.

PL or WL – Private Label or White Label. Private Label means creating and selling your own version of a product under your own label. Meanwhile, White Label refers to an item you purchased from a manufacturer and branding it as your own.

PM – Private Message or Personal Message. It could also stands for Direct Message (DM) or personal chat. Facebook users often use the abbreviation term “PM” to describe both personal messages and private messages.

PM – Profit Margin. It reveals how much your Amazon business retains of every dollar from each sale made. It is expressed as a percentage, which means the higher the percentage, the more profitable your business is.

*SellerMobile Profit & Cost Analytics allows you to monitor your true profits and margin. Our dashboard aggregates all the important #s — account storage & Amazon fees, PPC spend, shipping, taxes, processing costs, promotions, and cost-of-goods — to get you true profit calculations!

PPC – Pay per click advertising. With PPC, advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the ad, versus when a user sees the ad. Advertising costs on Amazon vary widely. The average CPC — or how much a seller pays for someone to click their ad — is around $0.77. This amount, however, is an average, so you may have higher or lower PPC costs on Amazon.

*Simplify and streamline your PPC campaigns in one convenient place using SellerMobile’s PPC Tool.

Prime – It is a subscription membership to Amazon that offers customers premium services for a yearly or monthly fee.

Q1 – 1st Quarter Of The Year:  January – March

Q2 – 2nd Quarter Of The Year:  April – June

Q3 – 3rd Quarter Of The Year:  July – September

Q4 – 4th Quarter Of The Year:  October – December. Also, the busiest and biggest season of the year, bringing in huge sales and profit to nearly all Amazon sellers.

RA – Retail Arbitrage. It is a relatively simple concept: You purchase a product for a lower, or slightly discounted, price and then sell the same product at a higher price, therefore flipping it for a profit. Unlike in online arbitrage, retail arbitrage means sourcing products from brick and mortar.

Replen – Replenishable Item. An item that can be purchased and sold repeatedly, usually from the same supplier.

ROAS – Return on ad spend. It is a measurement of how many dollars you will receive for every dollar you spend on advertising.

It is calculated by the total sales divided by your total spend.

ROI – Return on investment. It is the most common profitability ratio. Return on investment isn’t necessarily the same as profit. ROI deals with the money you invest in the company and the return you realize on that money based on the net profit of the business. There are several ways to determine ROI, but the most frequently used method is to divide net profit by total assets. So if your net profit is $100,000 and your total assets are $300,000, your ROI would be .33 or 33 percent.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization. A9 or A10 is the proprietary search algorithm developed by Amazon. It has one job – answer the customer’s query with products that are most likely to sell.

Sessions – Visits to your Amazon page. If a visitor has been back to your website on three different days in the month, this is recorded as one visitor but with three sessions – helping you work out how many repeat visitors you have.

SC – Seller Central. It is the web interface used by brands and merchants to market and sells their products directly to Amazon’s customers. If you have a Seller Central account, you’re considered a marketplace or third-party seller. It is technically your main dashboard when logged into your Amazon Seller Account.

SKU – Stock keeping unit. It is a product and service identification code for a store or product, often portrayed as a machine-readable bar code that helps track the item for inventory. A stock keeping unit (SKU) does not need to be assigned to physical products in inventory.

SS – Seller Support. Basically customer service for Amazon sellers.

TACoS – TOTAL advertising cost of sales. It measures advertising spend relative to total revenue generated, giving advertisers a much more accurate picture of how their ad spend performed.

TIA – “Thanks in advance.” Normally seen in Facebook posts when asking a question and hoping to receive an answer.

Ungated/gated – These categories will require you to go through an approval process before you can sell your products. Each process may vary depending on the category you are trying to get “ungated”. Regardless of whether you are selling in an open or gated category, being approved to sell does not automatically mean that you can sell every product that is listed in that category. There are many Amazon FBA restricted brands and they are restricted for a variety of reasons.

UPC – Universal Product Code. A UPC (Universal Product Code) or “Barcode” is a 12 digit code that is unique to the product being sold in a store or online. It is used to scan products at the point of sale and follows the GS1 specifications. GS1 is a global standard for barcodes and if your code doesn’t follow the GS1 standard then it’s not legitimate and can violate Amazon’s terms of service.

Wholesale – A wholesaler sells merchandise at the lowest price possible, usually to retailers who will resell the goods to consumers.

YTD – Year To Date. This refers to any measurement that may be for the current year to date. Basically, measurements of sales, profits, income, or expenses in the Amazon seller community.

For example if it is June 15 then YTD would be January 1 through June 15.

Pretty sure, there is still a multitude of jargons that we need to add onto our Amazon Seller Glossary. Leave your comments below for any Amazon seller terms that we missed. For now, this list will certainly come in handy as you grow in your business!

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