lingo photoE-commerce is a growing field and the terms can get confusing really fast. Let’s take a moment to review.

While there are a variety of e-commerce options across the web, you’ll notice they all fit into three main categories:

  • Other Amazon, Etsy or eBay-like marketplaces and platforms
  • Mobile apps and social plugins
  • Standalone Webstores
  • Shopping carts that add-on to your existing website

Throughout this blog, you’re going to see a lot of recurring terms and they aren’t going to always mean the same thing. For instance, any website from which you sell goods could be called a webstore, store or storefront. Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, for instance, all often refer to your seller page as a storefront (eBay Stores, for instance). But for the purposes of keeping things less confusing, I use the term webstore only to refer to a website that is exclusively devoted to e-commerce and not to a seller’s page on a larger marketplace.

In the same way, any checkout process can be considered a shopping cart. Many marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon, specifically call their checkout process a shopping cart and a shopping cart is one of the main features of any standalone webstore. For our purposes, however, we’ll be using shopping cart to refer specifically to a standalone cart process that you can add to an existing website.

Making things even more confusing, just about every service we cover has an accompanying mobile app for buying, selling or both. But some of what I would call webstores or shopping carts refer to their entire service as an app, likely because the word is very popular right now. Understand that, when I mention an app, I’m referring to a mobile application for your tablet or smartphone.

How do you personally distinguish linguistically between the wealth of tools available today?