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Ecommerce Terms and Acronyms Glossary
Ecommerce Terms and Acronyms Glossary

Learn about common terms and acronyms used in the online retail industry as well terms specific to the Zentail platform.

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Written by Ziggy
Updated over a week ago

The online retail industry is filled with different terms and acronyms. You can use this glossary as a brief reference guide, or for further insight about how eCommerce operates. Below is a list of common terms and their definitions.

Zentail Terms

Group Terms

  1. Master SKU: One of the SKUs in the group used to note that they're grouped together. For example, if shirt-small is the Master SKU then if shirt-medium and shirt-large would both show shirt-small as the Master SKU so you know they're grouped together.

  2. Variant SKU: Any SKU in a group that is not a Master SKU. In this example, shirt-medium and shirt-large are the Variant SKUs in this group.

  3. Parent SKU: Zentail does not create a Parent SKU in your catalog. Instead, you'll have a "Product Group Attributes" tab to manage product data that's shared by the group.

  4. Amazon Parent SKU Override: This is a field you can set on the Master SKU if the group already exists on Amazon. You may have created the shirts group under a "shirts" Parent SKU on Amazon. As part of your onboarding, your Zentail Implementation Analyst will ensure your Parent SKUs are properly imported.

  5. Pivot Attribute: The attribute that differentiates SKUs within the group. Common pivot attributes are color or size. This is also known by some channels as the variation theme.

Alias Terms

  1. Alias SKU: A SKU that inherits its inventory from another SKU.

  2. Alias Reference SKU: The SKU that updates the aliases. Inventory edits should be made here.

Kit and Bundle Terms

  1. Kit SKU: This is a SKU whose offering is composed of one or more other (component) SKUs. It could be a multipack or a bundle. Kit SKUs can have quantities derived from its components, or prepackaged, assembled quantity.

  2. Component SKU: Any SKU that is part of a Kit SKU. Together, they make up the Kit Contents.

  3. Bundle: A Kit SKU comprised of two or more different products. For instance, a shirt SKU and a tie SKU could be part of a kit SKU.

  4. Multipack: A Kit SKU comprised of multiple units of the component SKU. For instance, a two ties. The Multipack Quantity is the number of units of the component SKU included in the multipack.

Merged SKU Terms

  1. +MF+ SKU: Any SKU in Amazon Seller Central with +MF+ added to the end of the SKU value is a Zentail-generated merchant fulfilled SKU, for SKUs that are in Zentail as an FBA SKU and do not have a MF SKU override filled in.

  2. isFBA: This is an attribute in Zentail that will mark the SKU as an FBA SKU or not. True means it is an FBA SKU and Zentail will send a separate inventory feed for the MF SKU and the FBA SKU.

  3. Surviving SKU: The SKU that is sent to all other channels after a SKU merge is completed to combine the FBA and MF SKU. The default surviving SKU from a merge is the FBA SKU but you have the option to make the MF SKU the survivor as well.

  4. Merged SKU: The SKU in a SKU merge that is archived and deprecated for use as the result of a SKU merge. The quantity for the merged SKU is being managed on the surviving SKU post-merge.

  5. MF Survivor: MF Survivor denotes a SKU merge where the merchant fulfilled SKU is the surviving SKU of the merge rather than the FBA SKU. This will be the SKU that is sent to all other channels.

Other Zentail Terms

Purchase Order

A purchase order in Zentail is an order of products for a Vendor. This is prepared by the seller/merchant and is used to acquire more goods for selling.


A Shipment is an incoming delivery of new products for the merchant to sell. This is received by the seller/merchant.

FBA Shipment

FBA Shipments are shipments that are prepared with products to send to FBA, to make available for sale out of an FBA warehouse. This is prepared by the seller/merchant.

General Ecommerce Terms

1st party sales. These are sales attributable to the channel, not to a marketplace seller. Amazon's 1P sales in 2015 represented roughly 40% of their total sales (GMV, see below). When you buy a product that says "ships from and sold by" on the Amazon webpage (ASIN, see below), that's a 1P transaction. When you sell product to Amazon

3rd party sales. These are sales attributable to marketplace sellers. When you buy a product on Amazon that "ships from and sold by {seller name}",  or is "sold by {seller name} and Fulfilled By Amazon", that's a 3P transaction.

Advertising Cost of Sale, this term is used by Amazon for their Sponsored Products advertising program. ACoS is calculated by dividing your ad spend by your revenue attributable to that ad spend. For example, if you spend $100 and generate $1,000 in revenue, your ACoS is 10%.

Amazon Standard Identification Number. This is a 10-character alphanumeric value that uniquely identifies a product listing on Amazon. Example: B000GAWSDG

When a sale occurs but there is no inventory available to fulfill (ship) the order to the customer. This is also referred to as overselling.


Duplicate ASIN
Sometimes the same exact product has more than one ASIN because one or more seller created an alternate ASIN either intentionally or accidentally by providing slightly different information about the product -- typically an incorrect UPC.

eBay Category ID
The location in eBay's taxonomy where a product is categorized. For example, 31387 is the eBay Category ID for the following taxonomy: eBay (homepage) > Jewelry & Watches > Watches, Parts & Accessories > Watches

International or European Article Number. This is a 13-digit barcode number which is a superset of the 12-digit UPC. Learn more at Wikipedia.

Fulfilled by Amazon

Gross Merchandise Value. This is top line revenue for a channel, seller, geographic region or the entire industry. Example: Amazon's GMV was $225 billion in 2015. This means $225 billion worth of products were purchased across their online properties.

Google Shopping.

Global Trade Item Number. This is a family of product identification numbers developed by GS1 which includes UPC and EAN.  Learn more at Wikipedia.

Minimum Advertised Price. Also known as Minimum Advertised Pricing, MAP is the lowest price a retailer can advertise the product for sale, such as in an ad campaign or other advertisement.


Multichannel Fulfillment. This refers to non-Amazon orders that are routed to your FBA warehouse.


Merchant Fulfilled. This usually quantities that are fulfilled by the merchant themselves as opposed to quantity fulfilled by Amazon or other 3PLs.

Minimum Order Quantity. This is the minimum number of units a customer must purchase. Note, Zentail does not currently support this.

Manufacturer Part Number. A series of numbers and/or letters that's been assigned to a part by the manufacturer. The MPN identifies the part as belonging to and originating from that specific manufacturer. Each part the manufacturer makes has a different MPN.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. This price is what the product manufacturer believes the item should sell for.

Also spelled multi-channel, this is concept of selling products on multiple sales channels. This most commonly refers to multiple online sales channels, most notably Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

Also referred to as dynamic repricing, this is the use of software to adjust the price of your products on a given listing (typically on Amazon) based on the pricing offered by other sellers for that same exact product.

An RMA is a Return Merchandise Authorization - You would generate an RMA if you require the customer to send back an item in order to receive a refund.

Shopping Cart
This refers to the platform used to create a customized ecommerce website. Shopping carts typically have a robust ecosystem of template (theme) designers and 3rd party apps (commonly referred to as "extensions" and "plugins") that provide additional functionality. Examples include Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento.


Universal product code. This is a 12 digit number that is encoded on the barcode of a product. In an effort to ensure products are assigned by sellers to the correct listing, most marketplaces require a UPC code to be provided. 

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