Global Trade Glossary

View global trade and ecommerce focused terms and definitions. 

Master Distributor

Master distributors sell only to resellers, not to the general public. Because they don’t sell to end users, they are able to secure the lowest prices from their vendors.


A new ASIN is created whenever a new item is uploaded to Amazon’s catalogue. It consists of a block of 10 letters and/or numbers that is unique to the item. ASINs are found on the product detail page, and can be helpful in searching for items.

Marketplace Seller

Marketplace sellers sell their products either through physical or electronic marketplaces. They have an agreement with their marketplace provider that the marketplace provider will facilitate sales.

Direct To End User

A distributor sells directly to the end-user, cutting out the middle man and selling for a lower price.

Seller Central

A website for sellers to manage sales, fulfillment, advertising and more on Amazon.

Vendor Central

A website for vendors on Amazon. Registering with Vendor Central places Amazon as a full-time distributor of the vendors’ products.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and involves the process one takes to increase visibility of a website or web page, using keywords and other strategies to increase both quantity and quality of traffic through organic search results.


PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it refers to an advertising model for driving traffic to websites. When an ad is clicked, an advertiser will pay the publisher. Advertisers will often bid on keyword phrases that will be attractive to their target audience.

eCommerce Platform

An ecommerce platform is a software that makes it possible for online businesses to manage their websites. It includes features like shopping carts, checkout procedures, transaction processing, payment receipt, inventory management, and even SEO tools.

Order Fulfillment

Order fulfillment refers to the steps taken once a product is purchased. It involves receiving, processing, and delivering orders.

Single Point Billing

Single point billing allows a company to consolidate bills, sending one bill to one company, instead of multiple bills to multiple companies. It allows for a streamlined billing process, and is often used when selling to retailers through a master distributor.


MAP stands for minimum advertised pricing, and it refers to the lowest price a retailer is allowed to advertise a product. The retailer can sell it for lower in their store if they choose, but they can’t advertise a price lower than the MAP.


A purchase order, or P.O. is a commercial document that a buyer uses to officially commit to pay the seller for specific products or services. It includes variables like types of product, quantity, and agreed prices.

Third-Party Fulfillment

Third-party fulfillment happens when a company outsources a part of fulfillment of their products -- from storing merchandise to packing orders, to shipping orders, and more.

FOB Pricing

FOB pricing stands for freight on board pricing, and refers to the shipping terms between buyer and seller. A seller will pay transportation costs and insurance to ship goods. Once the buyer takes possession of the goods, they take over additional costs.

Merchant/Product Manager

A product manager develops products for an organization. The product manager is also responsible for business strategy, the functionality of a product, and launching the product.


The process of electronically buying or selling products and/or services online.

Brick & Mortar

A brick-and-mortar business has a physical presence in a building. They may also have an online storefront, but brick and mortar refers to the physical place of their business.


Web content refers to what a user experiences on a website. It includes text, video, sound, animations, and other forms of content, and is often used to directly or indirectly sell products or services.

Channel Sales

Channel sales is using a third party to sell your product for you. It is the opposite of direct sales, in which products and services are sold directly to clients.


A vendor is a person or company that sells products or services.

Company Owned Website

Some companies use a third party eCommerce platform to sell their products. A company-owned website is different in that the company’s website is owned and operated by them, including the managing of their sales. A company can use both a company-owned website and a third party eCommerce platform.

Net Margin

This refers to the profit margin a seller receives after they subtract the additional costs of selling, inluding marketing, manufacturing, shipping, and more.

Keyword Search

In successful keyword search, a company will identify words that relate to their product or service being sold that are also often used in internet searches. They will then use these keywords in their marketing content.

Product Tour

Product tours guide users to see the features of products and services they’re considering purchasing. They are a form of interactive content, in which the user can watch video, select topics to learn about, and more.

A+ Content

A+ content refers to additional content about a product that helps buyers understand the product better. It includes rich images, charts, detailed product descriptions, narrative copy, video, diagrams, and more.


UPC stands for Universal Product Code, and refers to a barcode symbology used in the United States, Canada, and other countries to track items in stores. Each UPC consists of 12 numbers that are associated with a unique product.


Click-to-brick allows online stores and brick-and-mortar stores to merge. Products can be purchased online, and picked up in the store.


ARA, or Amazon Retail Analytics, is an Amazon Vendor Central dashboard for vendors to manage their reports. It provides a way to streamline procurement, revenue, and inventory.


A self-service product input site for Amazon sales, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) provides tools to vendors that help drive traffic to their product detail pages and branded pages.


An eTailer is a company or person who provides services or products only online.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is used to create interest in a company’s products or services. It involves creating and sharing videos, blogs, social media posts, and more in a way that invites a target audience to learn more. Content marketing uses frequently searched words to attract search engines.


A blog is a website that is regularly updated with posts often written in a conversational style. It is most often run by one person or small group.

Pick, Pack, and Ship

Pick, pack, and ship refers to the process of fulfilling an order, and is exactly as it sounds. It involves picking a product from the warehouse, packing it for shipping, and shipping it to the customer.

Virtual Feed, Direct Fulfillment

A master distributor stores products in a warehouse for another company, receives feeds, creates orders, and then packs and ships products to the customer.


Logistics refers to the entire process of moving products - from order to packing to shipping and more.

User Review

When a person uses a product or service, they can leave reviews on various websites, detailing what they liked or didn't like about their experience. Potential customers can use these reviews to make decisions about purchasing the product or service.


Traffic refers to the number of users who visit a website. This is a common way to measure a website’s ability to attract an audience size to support their goals.

Lightening Deal

Lightning deals are found on Amazon, and refer to a special discount offered for a short period of time, and in a limited quantity.

Vine Program

The Vine program is part of Amazon, and involves a group of pre-selected reviewers who have been hand-picked to give honest reviews of new products.

Content Monster

The content monster is a sometimes-humorous term referring to the need to continue creating more and more content, like bg posts, videos, articles, and more.


Margin is a percentage that compares profit to sales to determine how well a company is handling finances. It involves a ratio of a company’s profit divided by its revenue.

Drop Shipping

When a company uses drop shipping, it means they don’t keep products in stock. Instead, they send customer orders to the manufacture, another retailer, or wholesaler. That party then ships the product to the customer.

Co-Op Advertising

Co-op advertising involves a retailer sharing an advertisement that mentions the manufacturer. The manufacturer then repays the retailer for the advertisement, either in full or in part. Ths helps both parties reach their target audience more effectively.

Rich Media

Rich media uses technology like streaming video that interacts with users instantly.

Standard Content

Standard content refers to basic information about a product, like weights and dimentions, description of the product, necessary specifications, and more.

Shipping Container

A shipping container is used to transport products. It is large and usually made of metal or other strong materials that can withstand everything that comes with handling, storage, and shipment by boat, train, or truck.

Content Aggregator

Content aggregators are organizations or individuals that gather web content to reuse and resell to ecommerce sites.

Freight On Board (FOB)

Freight on Board (FOB) is a shipping term that refers to the point where the seller transfers ownership of products to the buyer, indicating which party is responsible for paying shipping costs. The seller is responsible for paying the freight, while the buyer pays transportation costs from the warehouse to any following locations.

Gross Margin

Gross margin is a percentage, and it is determined by calculating the difference between revenue and costs of goods sold divided by revenue.


FAQs stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and is often used in websites to share information commonly needed by customers or potential customers. The company writes the answers to questions their customers frequently bring up, and puts them all together on a FAQ page to share the information in an easy and clear way.


Below-the-line costs refer to operating and interest costs and taxes. These costs are not taken off the invoice. Marketing costs are considered to be below-the-line costs.


B2B stands for business-to-business sales, and refers to the process of one business selling products or services to another.


VAT stands for Value Added Tax, and refers to an indirect tax added by foreign governments at the different stages of production and shipping. It is used widely in European countries.


Scaling in business refers to a company’s ability to grow without being hindered. It means developing a procedure or process that can grow as the company’s need grows.


B2C stands for business to consumer sales, and refers to the process of a business selling products or services to consumers.

Bonded Warehouse

A bonded warehouse can be managed by private enterprise or by the state. It is a building or warehouse that holds dutiable items without incurring duty payments. While items are held in the bonded warehouse, they can be manipulated or undergo manufacturing operations.


SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit, and helps in inventory management for retailers. It is a number of a product stored in a specific location.


PLU code stands for price look-up code, and refers to a system of numbers that identifies bulk products. Usually, PLU codes are used in grocery stores, often for produce.


HR refers to the human resources department in a company. The responsibilities of HR handle everything worker-related, including hiring, training, promoting, paying, firing, handling complaints, and more.


Each country has different regulations for products involving environmental impact, product safety, distribution, and more. Compliance refers to to meeting those regulations.


APAC stands for Asia-Pacific, and refers to a collection of countries in or near the Western Pacific Ocean.

Product/Market Fit

If a product is going to be successful, there needs to be a need for it. When evaluating product-market fit, a company determines to what degree their product will satisfy market demand. Getting this step right will help a company get early buy-in and positive feedback for a more successful launch.


If you have an e-commerce site in China, you need an ICP, or Internet Content Provider. It is a required license that allows you to legally host your website on a server in China, as well as to legally operate in the country.

Market Segment

A company will divide a market into sub-groups based on certain characteristics, such as age, interest, gender, location, and more. This helps the company market in more successful and strategic ways.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a program that allows a website owner to view website traffic and activity. It can be used to make strategic marketing decisions.


Shopify is a shopping cart solution for retailers. Users can use it to sell products, process orders, store data, and more.

Marketing Asset

A marketing asset refers to content a company uses to promote their product of company. It can include brochures, email campaigns, presentations, pamphlets, photos, videos, ebooks, andbooks, and more.


A consumer or business may purchase a product or service because of how they think it will make them feel. This is apirational - making a buying decision based on how they want to feel.

Monetary Size

Monetary size refers to the amount of currency in general circulation.

End User

The end user is the person or company who uses the purchased product; it is not the person or company who buy to resell.


Analytics refers to the statistics that measure traffic on the internet. These can be analytics from Google, analytics from a company's website's platform, analytics from social media platforms, and more.

Revenue Stream

Revenue stream refers to the source of revenue a company receives. It can include recurring revenue, transaction-based revenue, service revenue, or project revenue.


Autofeed refers to the automatic transfer of information from master distributors to ecommerce sites.


Master distributors use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to streamline communication for customers. Items between two parties that were traditionally communicated on paper, like invoices, are handled through electronic communication.

Need Based

Need based refers to products and services consumers and businesses purchase based on need, not want.

Economies of Scale

Economies of scale are used to save money by reducing the cost of a product or service. This is done when parts of products are purchased in larger quantities, resources are combined, and more.