Digital Dialog Discourse: 21 Definitions to Clarify the Meaning of Digital

In a previous post, I discussed the ‘Language of eCommerce’ and the challenges created within organizations in the absence of a common, shared set of definitions around the digital dialog. This can create confusion, miscommunication and even conflict. Promoting a shared common language can go a long way in breaking down obstacles and miscommunication across organizations.

For retail, hospitality, entertainment and restaurant companies utilizing digital and online channels to sell products or connect with their customers, the following set of 21 expanded definitions of common terms can be useful in bringing clarity to the digital discussion:

  1. eCommerce Website eCommerce stands for Electronic Commerce. Websites that sell goods and services utilizing computer networks including the internet and social commerce are considered eCommerce websites. This can include those selling business-to-business (B to B), business-to-consumer (B to C) or consumer-to-consumer (C to C).  
  2. Web Analytics The collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of data on how visitors interact with your website. The practice is used to understand how to improve performance on your website or areas to focus on for future development to increase growth or profits.
  3. Intuitive Design A design practice with results that are easy to use, proven that when a user sees it, they know exactly what to do without hesitation. Users can focus on a task at hand without stopping to think about it.
  4. Conversion Rate Within the context of eCommerce and digital, it is the percentage of users who take a desired action, often measured as the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase transaction.
  5. Opt-In Email A web marketing term which defines the practice of providing the option to people to receive email such as advertising or newsletters on a particular topic.  Laws state the opt-out practice should be one click and clear to the customer.
  6. Website Traffic The amount of visits and visitors to your website. Different referral sources (traffic sources) can send different types of traffic to your site and conversion rates by source can vary significantly.
  7. Click Through Rate (CTR) It is the percentage of clicks on a link by a user compared to the number of impressions or views it receives. It is most often used to measure the success of an online marketing campaign, such as an email or banner.
  8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) A methodology and process of ongoing tactics, techniques and strategies employed in an attempt to obtain high-ranking placement on a web search engine’s unpaid results page, with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of visitors to a website  
  9. Paid Search Advertising within a search engine or partner site’s sponsored listings areas, paying a fee each time the ad is clicked and sometimes when the ad is displayed  
  10. Organic Search Natural search engine placement that occur as a result a query, based on factors such as search term relevance rather than paid placement.
  11. Mobile App App stands for Application. It is software developed specifically to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer, as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer. Some businesses design and develop one or more mobile apps completely independent of their main websites while others integrate functionality, databases and design elements attempting to unify the user experience across platforms.
  12. Website Platform A single or group of technologies that are used as the base of the website where other processes, applications or technologies are built upon. It can be the basic computer hardware and software operating system where applications can be run. Typically, a set of standards and best practices are adhered to and upgrades are routinely added. Additional functionality brought by plug-ins can usually be employed to enhance robustness based on the specific business needs.
  13. Social Media Online communication channels, websites and applications that allow users to create and share content and information or to participate in social dialog and networking. Social commerce is a subset where social networks are employed in an attempt to reach the large audience.
  14. Cloud Computing A form of internet-based on-demand computing that allows for shared resources such as servers, software applications, and services. Data can also be stored and processed. Users often pay for and use only what they need during the time needed, also benefiting from the lack of need to overpay for under-utilized infrastructure and continual upgrades. The concept usually is one of shared-services and pay-as-you-go.
  15. Digital Marketing Marketing products or services to potential customers via digital technologies and channels such as email, display advertising, social media ads, search engine marketing and mobile texts. It features added dimensions beyond traditional print marketing such as the ability to track and analyze return on investment and metrics such as open and click through rates as well as conversions.
  16. Responsive Web Design A design approach with the premise that website design and development should automatically respond and scale to the user’s screen size or browser. Prior to the practice, websites were designed to be viewed and used optimally on a desktop or large format screen. The explosion of smartphones and tablets rendered those larger format experiences to be less that optimal, sometimes non-useable. 
  17. User Generated Content (UGC) Content that is produced and shared by user contributors of an online platform, service or website, such as blogs, tweets, product reviews, digital images, videos and audio files.
  18. Banners A form of online digital image advertisements placed on websites or search engines. Depending on their size and shape, banner ads may also be referred to as buttons, inlines, leaderboards, skyscrapers or other similar terms.
  19. Content Management System (CMS) a computer application that facilitates creation, maintenance and modification of digital content with the end result usually to publish to a website. The user interface is often simple and intuitive, facilitating the ability to support multiple users working in a collaborative environment
  20. Dynamic Content Web content delivered on a page that changes based on varying user request elements such as time, preferences and personal information shared. It utilizes a Content Management System to display different content to different visitors.
  21. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact or locate a specific person or to identify an individual in context. If the information can be used to distinguish one person from another or render previous anonymous data identifiable to a person, it is considered PII.
Posted by Linda Mihalick on: 
Mar 9 2017