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From A to Z: Amazon acronyms and terms glossary for sellers and vendors

When it comes to e-commerce, Amazon is undoubtedly the biggest player of them all. Did you know the Amazon logo was created with the “A” and “Z” connected by a (smile-shaped) arrow to represent the idea that Amazon sells everything from A to Z? With an expansive range of items, thousands of selling partners, and ever-growing reach, it’s been a long and sometimes confusing road over the past 25 years of business. And if you’re a seller or vendor, the storied A and Z are certainly not the only letters you’ve encountered.

If you’re using Seller Central and/or  Vendor Central, dealing with Amazon, interacting with others on forums, or even Googling terms and advice, you might have realized Amazon almost has its own language that is filled with terms and acronyms (abbreviations formed from a longer phrase).

It’s a jungle out there. So, we’ve gathered up some of the most commonly encountered acronyms and terms and spelled it all out. Hopefully, this will help make life a little easier, especially if you’re new to selling or the world of Amazon.

  • A+ – A detail page where the product description has enhanced content and branding, which includes graphics and images embedded into the page.  A+ content is specifically for vendors.
  • AAP – Amazon Advertising Platform (now known as Amazon DSP). The program advertisers use to buy and create display and video ads.
  • ACoS – Advertising Cost of Sale. The percentage of attributed sales spent on advertising. The formula for this is total spend / ad sales = ACoS.
  • Affiliates – A program by which referrals earn associates money for driving traffic and sales to Amazon through their marketing. Affiliates operate on many different sites, including individual blogs, forums, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
  • AMS – Amazon Marketing Services. This is now known as Amazon Advertising.
  • AMZ – Amazon. More specifically, Amazon’s stock abbreviation.
  • ARA – Amazon Retail Analytics.  A selection of reports for vendors, sometimes referred to as ARA Basic. These are available to all vendors and look at topics like sales and inventory.
  • ARAP – Amazon Retail Analytics Premium. An add-on option with more detailed and varied reports that look at a vendor’s traffic and customer behavior for vendors. Vendors must pay a fee to access these.
  • ASIN – Amazon Standard Info Number. Each Amazon product will have a unique 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that is used specifically for and within Amazon. ASINs can be further broken down into parent and child ASINs for products that have one overall item or style (the parent) with multiple choices when it comes to color, size, pack size, etc. (the child ASINs).
  • ASN – Advanced Shipment Notification. Used to communicate a shipment’s tracking number and information to Amazon in advance of delivery.
  • ASP – Average Selling Price. Calculated by net sales / number of products sold. 
  • Associates – This term refers to the Amazon referral program, and is now called Amazon Affiliates.
  • B2B – Business to Business. E-commerce between two businesses, rather than a business and consumer.
  • B2C – Business to Customer. E-commerce between a business and a customer.
  • BB – An abbreviation of the Amazon Buy Box, the button customers use to purchase a product on an Amazon detail page.
  • Brand Registry – Amazon’s program for brands to verify and control their brand.
  • Brand HQ – The system that sellers on the Amazon Brand Incubator and Amazon Exclusives program can access. Within Brand HQ, sellers can connect with other brands via a forum, expand their knowledge with Amazon’s eLearning courses and have the option to participate in “office hours” and ask an Amazon Associate those pressing questions. Brands can also submit Best Deals and merchandising opportunities such as category page placements.
  • Browse Node – Numerical codes to identify Amazon product categories. Nodes may be top-level and have many sub categories under them. Sub-cats are known to change. Amazon uses thousands of these per locale, and they are unique to locale (ie, UK and US numbers are not the same).
  • BSR – Best Seller Rank. The order and ranking of a product in the category where it is listed. The rank is updated hourly, and takes into account recent and past sales history. If there are no sales (ie, the product is new), the rank will be “None.”
  • Buy Box – The button customers use to purchase a product on an Amazon detail page. The phrase “winning the Buy Box” refers to the merchant (whether Amazon or third party) that a customer buys from when added to cart. Buy Boxes are won through complex algorithms related to stock, ratings, customer service rankings, etc.
  • Category Page – A landing page for a specific group of products within the Amazon website. Examples: Books, Electronics or Toys & Games.
  • CPC – Cost Per Click. This relates to sponsored ads and the amount Amazon charges the seller or vendors when a customer clicks on their ad. The calculation is total ad cost / clicks. 
  • COGs –  Cost of Goods Sold. The value of goods sold during a certain period of time. 
  • CRAP – Can’t Realize a Profit. If, based on Amazon algorithms, a product is deemed CRAP, it means there is a reason it won’t realize a profit: Shipping costs, too much inventory, pricing issues, etc. can result in this designation.
  • CTR – Click Through Rate. A metric that measures the number of clicks per impressions of an advertisement. The calculation for this is # of clicks / # impressions = CTR. 
  • DEA – Dynamic eCommerce Ads. A component of Amazon DSP, these ads will have eCommerce features built within the display ad, such as retail price and review ratings.
  • DOTD – Deal of the Day. On Amazon’s Gold Box or Deals page, a single item or small set of closely related items discounted for a period of one day only.
  • DP – Detail Page. A product page for an ASIN on Amazon. This displays important info such as price, title, bullets, description, customer reviews, etc.
  • DPV – Detail Page Views. A metric showing the number of impressions of a single detail page.
  • DSP – Demand Side Platform. Amazon’s display advertising program.
  • EAN – European Article Number. A 13 digit number system for identifying retail products in Europe.
  • EBC – A detail page where the product description has enhanced content and branding, which includes graphics and images embedded into the page. EBC content is specifically for sellers.
  • EDI – Electronic Data Interchange. A way for companies and businesses to send digital information to one another.
  • Existing Customers – Audiences who have purchased or re-purchased your brand or items on Amazon.
  • FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon. When Amazon is responsible for storing your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. FBA means Amazon will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.
  • FBM – Fulfilled by Merchant.  Also known as MF (Merchant Fulfilled), this refers to shipping products directly to the end customer yourself, as opposed to Amazon doing it.
  • FC – Fulfillment Center. An Amazon warehouse.
  • FNSKU – Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit. An Amazon product identifier for products that are fulfilled by Amazon.
  • Glance Views – Similar to DPV. The number of times a detail page has been viewed.
  • GLN – Global Location Number. Unique identification code of a physical location.
  • Gold Box – Amazon’s landing page, containing Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals, and a selection of categories’ best promotions and savings. Also known as Today’s Deals.
  • GTIN – Global Trade Item Number. Globally unique 14-digit number to identify items, products, and services.
  • IDQ – Item Data Quality. Refers to the condition of an item’s information, for example, if the product has bullet points and images.
  • Impressions – A measure of views or ad views. Determined by the number of single times a page is located and loaded.
  • MAP – Minimum Advertised Price. A special note on MAP by locale: In the US, if a retailer buys inventory from a manufacturer that has a MAP policy, they must not sell the product below that price. If they do, they risk no longer working with that manufacturer. However, this is not legal in Europe.
  • MF – Merchant Fulfilled. Refers to shipping products directly to the end customer yourself, as opposed to Amazon doing it.
  • MOQ – Minimum Order Quantity. The minimum amount Amazon must order from a vendor.
  • MTD – Month To Date
  • MSRP – Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price. Sometimes referred to as a “sticker price.” The purpose being to keep prices similar store to store. But retailers may not price items using MSRP, and customers may end up paying higher or lower prices based off supply and demand.
  • NIS – New Item Setup. The initial creation of a product, from accepting terms and agreements, to developing an ASIN and filling out detail page info.
  • NTB – New to Brand. Launched in 2019, Amazon’s advertising metric that determines whether an ad-attributed purchase was made by an existing customer or one buying a brand’s product on Amazon for the first time over the prior year. With NTB, advertisers receive campaign performance metrics such as total new-to-brand purchases and sales, new-to-brand purchase rate, and cost per new-to-brand customer.
  • LD – Lightning Deal. A promotion on Amazon offered in a limited quantity for a short period of time. Lightning Deals are available, one per customer, until either the deal’s promotion period expires or all the available inventory is claimed.
  • ODR – Order Defect Rate. The percentage of orders that have received negative feedback, an A-to-Z Guarantee claim, or a service credit card chargeback. It allows Amazon to measure overall performance with a single metric.
  • OOS – Out Of Stock
  • PDA – Product Display Ads. A type of display advertising where a product’s ad appears throughout Amazon on category and product pages.
  • POD – Proof of Delivery. When Amazon has not received an item a vendor has sent and needs proof that the item was delivered by the carrier.
  • PPC – Pay Per Click. A term often used for Amazon Advertising, in which advertisers pay a fee each time an ad is clicked.
  • PPV – Product Price Variance. When a vendor raises an invoice and the item price on the invoice differs from what Amazon has in the system.
  • PQV – Product Quantity Variance. When a vendor sends inventory to Amazon and the amount they shipped differs from the amount Amazon received.
  • Private Label – Products legally owned by a retailer or supplier and sold under their own brand name, but made by other manufacturers.
  • Q1 – First quarter. Jan-March of any given year.
  • Q2 – Second quarter. April – June of any given year.
  • Q3 –  Third quarter. July – Sept of any given year.
  • Q4 – Fourth quarter. Oct – Dec of any given year, also notable for containing Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.
  • RoAS – Return On Ad Spend. Used to determine the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Should tell you how many dollars you will receive for every dollar you spend on advertising.
  • ROI – Return on Investment. Performance metric to determine success of an investment relative to the costs. 
  • SB – Sponsored Brands. Keyword-targeted ads that promote a specific brand, and are on a cost-per-click basis.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization. A process to increase traffic and visibility to a website, brand, or product through a search engine on the web. Refers only to “organic,” or unpaid or free results, as opposed to paid placement, such as ads.
  • Sessions – One session is a group of interactions/page views/loads that one user takes on a website within a certain time frame. A useful metric when it comes to shopping or customer habits on Amazon.
  • SKU – Stock Keeping Unit. A unique code to identify a product.
  • SnS – Subscribe and Save. Amazon’s service that allows customers to routinely auto-order delivery on certain products at a discounted price. Bundling more of these products increases the discount level.
  • SP – Sponsored Products. Keyword-targeted ads that promote an individual product, and are on a cost-per-click basis.
  • Twister – Amazon’s detail page function for merging ASINs of various colors and sizes onto one page. This is more customer-friendly than having each seller or item with a specific size or color on its own detail page.
  • UPC – Universal Product Code. A 12-digit number displayed with the barcode on the vast majority of retail products.
  • VIS – Video In Search. Offers advertisers a content-rich medium in which to make a direct connection with Amazon customers through videos in mobile search results.
  • Warehouse Deals – Sold by Amazon Warehouse, a business of Amazon that sells quality “used” (usually just items with damaged packaging or returned) products and rents out used textbooks. All items are inspected and graded using Amazon’s rigorous 20-point quality inspection process and sold at a discount. Purchases are Prime-eligible and backed by Amazon’s 30-day return policy and customer service.
  • YTD – Year To Date

Need something explained? Notice something is missing? Feel free to contact us so we can address it and help other sellers and vendors.

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem is a Salt Lake City-based writer and editor who specializes in online marketing. As a former Amazonian in both the U.S. and U.K. locales, she worked in marketing for several different teams and product lines. Prior to that, she worked at Microsoft and was a journalist. She now enjoys helping businesses succeed and grow with next-level content.

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