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Digital Fashion Dictionary

Fashion vocabulary has changed. The terms below are a must-know to work in Digital Fashion.

AB Test, Alt Text, Anthropometric Measurements, API, Artificial Intelligence

AB Test means comparing the performance of two different messages to see which of the two performs better, by showing one message to 50% of the visitors of your website and the other message to the remaining 50%.

Alt Text is an HTML tag that you need to add to the images on your web pages. The alt text helps people with visual impairment to understand what the image is about.

Anthropometric body measurements of hips, waist, chest, shoulders, used to create the size chart and measuring systems for garments. In digital fashion e-commerce it is of paramount importance to communicate the garments measurements to online clients in a detailed manneer.

Artificial Intelligence has become relevant to Fashion E-commerce as it’s more and more utilised for: dynamically personalise web content, chat bot, fraud prevention. We say AI but more specifically we should talk about Machine Learning.

API it’s the acronym of Application Programming Interface, in simple terms it’s a set of tools you can use to create your own application using the features provided by another application. For example if you want to build your own product page for your online shop you can use the API provided by an e-commerce platforms such as: product price, product stock available, shipping cost calculation, address verification. These are all examples of APIs.

Blockchain, Bounce Rate, Brand DNA, Breadcrumbs, Breakpoint, Bricks and Clicks, Budget, Business Intelligence

Blockchain is a technology that is based on distributed nodes to verify the authenticity of the data instead of a centralised entity. One of the applications of Blockchain are the cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin

Bounce rate, is a metric in Google Analytics that tells how many people have seen only one page on your website and then abandoned your website.

Brand DNA it’s a set of attributes to describe the brand as it was a real person. Attributes are: the character, the values, the goals, the emotion, the aspect (graphic signs, font and colours) > Read more

Brand awareness is the measurement of the popularity of a brand, you can compare the popularity of brands by using Google Trends.

Brand DNA it’s a set of attributes to describe the ​ are the links at the top left of the page and just underneath the header that illustrate the hierarchical path of a specific page e.g. Home > Women > Topwear > T-shirts. They are important as they facilitate the navigation within the website.

Breadcrumbs are hierarchical navigation links at the top of a web page that help the user understand where he/she is.

Breakpoint is the width of a device screen in pixels where the layout of a website changes from desktop to tablet and from tablet to smartphone. You may try this effect by reducing the size of the window of your browser on a computer and see what happens to the web page.

Bricks & Clicks is a retail strategy based on both physical and digital channels. See also omnichannel.

Budgeting is the organisation-wide process through which the target of sales for the following year is defined. It is usually based on the previous year results plus a variation (positive or negative) based on the market trend and the actions that will be taken to influence the historical trend.

Business Intelligence, aka BI, can refer to an organizational function dedicated to measure the performance (BI team) or and information system used to collect sales data and other KPI and display them in a form of reports for the management

Carbon Neutral, CDN, Churn, Circular Economy, Content, Conversion Rate, CRM

Carbon Neutral means compensating the emissions of CO2 with activities like planting trees which use CO2 to produce oxigen

CDN is the acronym of Content Distribution Network. It’s a network of computers dislocated throughout the world that deliver web content such and text, images and videos from the nearest place to the user. It has the main advantage to speed up the time to view a page.

Churn means abandonment, i.e. a customer that abandons the product or brand. It is measured in percentage of customer abandoning the brand or do not return in store. It is a negative KPI which needs to be minimized by implementing satisfaction and retention activities. 

Content is king. It’s a new buzzword in the fashion industry and it means that in order to market your products brands need to create a significant amount of content to support the sales.

Conversion Rate ss a key metric for both traditional retail and ecommerce, it is the ratio between number of transations and visits over a period of time. E.g. 9 order out of a 1000 visits equals 0.9% Conversion Rate.

CRM, Customer Relationship Management it’s a marketing approach that aims at collecting as much information as we can on our customers in order to understand them better and offer them a personalised experience. It has the benefit of increasing customer lifetime value, increase loyalty and reduce churn.

Cross-border E-commerce represents those online sales from one country to another where there are customs in the middle. In European Union there are no customs between countries that are part of the European Economic Area. Instead if you want to ship a product from any EU country to China, US, Switzerland of MENA area you need to to a cross-border transaction. This usually entails several actors involved in the process such as an Exporter Of Record (EOR) and an Importer Of Record (IOR)

Digital, Dress Code, Drop-shipping, Digital Stratety

Digital as opposite to traditional or analog. e.g. Digital Marketing. An environment that is made o bits and bites, of ones and zeros. “Digital shift” in advertising was the moment when the budget invested in digital advertising budgets surpassed the one in traditional media ones. Read Digital Fashion Strategy.

Dress Code is a combination of specific garments and colours that are suitable for a specific situation or environment. 

Early adopters, E-commerce, E-commerce platform, Endless Aisle

Early adopters represent a cluster of people who have in common a positive attitude towards innovation and therefore they like to buy innovative products before the masses adopt it. An example could be smart clothing like Levi’s smart jacket > watch video 

E-commerce, Where E stands for electronic. Known also as online sales, E-commerce has been the growth driver of the luxury industry for at least the last 5 years #growth #driver

An e-commerce platform is a generally considered as web application that is able to manage an online catalog and process e-commerce orders.

Endless Aisle is a name for the omnichannel process where the sales associate in a bricks and mortar store sells the stock available on the website as well. This is necessary when a customer asks for a size or a product that is not available in store but it’s available online.

Exporter Of Record (EOR) An exporter of record (EOR) covers the same points as the IOR but applies to exports rather than imports. An exporter of record is responsible for all steps of the export process from the country the product is leaving. An exporter is a person or company that is authorized by customs and government authorities to export goods from one country into another. The exporter isn’t always the actual seller of goods, it can be an entity acting on their behalf.

Fabric, Forecast, Funnel

Fabric, a cloth manufactured by weaving or knitting textile fibres, can be made from organic material like cotton or wool or made of synthetic materials like Nylon. 

Forecast, acronym Fct, It’s the estimation of the total revenues for the current year made at the end of the first quarter and of the first half year. The forecast has to be measured against the budget

See Marketing Funnel

Gamification, Gross Merchandise Value, Gross Margin

Gamification means implementing the rules and the logic and reward system of games into marketing programs such as Loyalty programs. This has the effect of increasing the engagement with the brand.

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is the monetary value of the products sold on a website independently from who is the owner of the product sold. The term has become widely used when the market places increased their importance in the digital market as they don’t necessarily own the product they sell, but they intermediate an import volume of transactions hence the GMV.

Gross Margin is the result of the difference between the Net Sales and the Cost of Goods Sold. It represent a first indication of profitability of the business but it only accounts for the cost of production and not the cost of selling, marketing, G&A and other cost. 

H : Hypertext, Hover, Html

Hypertext is a text with link, in other words a text where the user can actively determine the flow of the story that he is reading.

Hover is part of html language and it’s the color of the links when you go over them with the mouse pointer.

Html means hyper text markup language and contains a series of instructions or commands that you can give to the browser to display the text in a specific way in the browser e.g. <font color=RED>This text is red</font>

Importer of Record (IoP), Influencer, In-season, Intellectual Property (IP)

Importer Of Record (Logistics) The importer of record is responsible for all supporting documentation that goes along with an import. This can include import and export licenses, permits, local rules and regulations paperwork, and more. Along with documentation, the IOR typically handles the payment of duties, taxes, tariffs, and fees, all of which require additional paperwork and forms to be filled out.

Influencer is a person with a relevant reach, i.e. a number of followers or people who is able to influence about purchasing habits.

In-season are the sales of items of the current season, generally meaning at full price. It’s opposite to off-season which means the sales of items from the prevous seasons, also called -1, -2 etc..

Intellectual Property (IP). Every text, image, design code that a company creates is potentially an asset to that company that they can use to generate revenue. For example a design of a new sneaker or a new performance textile. But also the logo of a brand is part of the intangible assets of the company. Read more >>

J : Jolly characters

Jolly characters are like “?” and “*” are used to represent more characters in some programming languages and in regular expressions, they are also sometimes called Wildcards.

K : KPI – Key performance indicator, Knit – Knitwear

KPI or Key Performance Indicator it’s a metric of particular importance to track the performance of the business. Number of sessions per period, Number of page views, Average order value, Boune rate and Conversion rate are KPIs of an ecommerce business. Read more >.

Knit – Knitwear is a technique used to manufacture textiles and it is different from woven textile as the the first one is made by making ‘knots’ in one continuous thread or yarn while the Woven fabric is created by interlacing multiple yarns by means of a loom. In cross-border e-commerce it is mandatory to state in the export documents whether a piece of clothing is knitted of woven. 

Lead generation

It’s a marketing activities that aims at collecting Names, Email addresses and other personal information of customers and prospects.

Marketing Funnel, Marketplaces, Mobile first, Micro & Macro conversions

Machine Learning refers to the ability of computers to learn about preferences and habits of humans. For example a computer system can learn what you are going to write next in an email and suggest what to write. Robots can also learn how to complete actions like picking up objects and moving them without breaking them or letting them fall or they can learn about financial markets dynamics and predict future performance.

Marketplace Is a website where multiple vendors (merchants) sell products to customers. The vendors are responsible for the stock while the market place is responsible for the technological platform including the payment.

Marketing Funnel is the graphic representation of the path that a user goes through from meeting a brand for the first time to becoming a brand advocate. Target consumer >  lead > hot lead > customer > loyal customer > brand advocate.

Meta-tags are html codes that users don’t see but search engines are able to read them and use them to index your web pages 

Metaverse is a virtual reality based on the current internet network, in other words a fully realized digital world. “The metaverse” is a proposed expansion to existing internet technologies but it’s not been implemented yet as a single ambient. There are several metaverses like Decentraland where you can build your own avatar and buy clothing and accessories for your avatar. In the metaverse the authenticity of products is managed by the blockchain and the currency is the cryptocurrency.

Mobile first means thinking of how a web application will look on mobile and, as a consequence, design the application to work well on mobile before the desktop version

Micro conversions and Macro conversions are the goals that you should track in Google Analytics in order to monitor the results of your marketing and conversion optimisation actions. Macro-conversions generally refer to the completion of the check out process (purchase), the micro-conversions are several different intermediate goals such as subscription to the newsletter, Follow the social media account, Add to cart, Add to wish list and so forth

Neural Network, NFC, Non-fungible Token

Is a computer program based on Artificial Intelligence that is able to make accurate predictions once trained. See external article.

NFC or Near Field Communication its solution that allows payment via mobile phone by making the the smartphone speak with the POS system.

Non-fungible Token aka NFT means non interchangeable piece, in other words a piece you cannot substitute with another. Fungible come from Latin “fungi vice” which means “serve in place of”. It is used to refer to a digital object which is “the original”, not a copy. NFTs are currently used for Digital Art Pieces and for creating unique identities in metaverses.

Omnichannel, Open to Buy, Organic traffic

Omnichannel can bedefined as governance of cross channels and seamless customer experience that includes communication, services and transactions

Open to Buy or OTB represent the quantity of products – and its monetary value – that a buyer is authorised to purchase for the next season. It means that the buyer of an ecommerce site is authorised to create stock for a certain amount and no more than that.

Organic traffic means the visitors of your website that arrived to your website from non paid adverts. More specifically the term “organic traffic” it is used in Google Analytics with the meaning of traffic coming from search engines not paid results. However also non-paid social networkd traffic is defined as social organic traffic 

Paid search, Performance Marketing, P&L

Paid search is a Digital Marketing activity that consists of buying keywords in order for your site to appear in the top paid positions of search engings.

Performance marketing are all digital advertising campaigns that are paid upon reaching certain results. They can be measured per click or per acquisition.

PNL stands for Profit and Loss statement and it’s a document that report the sales and costs for the year and the key financial performance indicators such as gross margin, EBITDA and EBIT.

Quick win

Quick wins are micro-projects or new features that can be implemented with a little effort and they bring a high return on investment. When evaluating Digital Projects for implementation we usually divide them in Quick Wins, Big deals and Nice to have.

Responsive design, RFID

Responsive Design is a web development and web design technique that allows websites to be suitable for Desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets simultaneously

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification it’s a technology based on microchips installed on products and systems able to read the chips e.g. a chip installed on the hang tag of a jacket and a mobile phone that is configured to read that chip on the hangtag.

Segment, Sentiment, SERP, Styleguide, Sustainability, System Integration

Segment or Marketing Segment is a group of people who are grouped together based on some common characteristics e.g. people who use iPhone6, German women between 25 and 35 years old, etc.

Sentiment (Social Media Marketing) is the opinion that is held or expressed on the social networks about a brand or a product

SERP it’s the acronym of Search Engine Results Page, which generally mean the first page of Google or other search engine. The SERP displays both paid – at the top – and non-paid – organic – results immediately below, and also snippets from Wikipedia and other sources.

Scope of work is a project management term that means what will be done during a project and what will not be done: out of scope Sentiment or Sentiment analysis is the collection of positive and negative signals coming out of the social networks

Social networks are online communities where people can share and comment on other peoples photos, videos and messages

Style guide is a document that defines the colours, font faces and font sizes of the brand. It is similar to a corporate image manual or brand manual but it is specific to the brand website and other digital properties such as the newsletters.

Sustainability is a stream of work for fashion companies who are committed to doing business without impacting negatively on the environment. It attains to developing products that are less armful to the environment e.g. recycled or recyclable, low in carbon emissions, low water consumption and so on.

System Integration means making different software speak to each other. An example is making your e-commerce platform speak with your ERP or Your Order Management system. Systems Integrators are agencies who install, customise and integrate different pieces of software.

Taxonomy, Tone of Voice, Top line

Taxonomy is the hierarchical organisation of the content of your website. At the top of the hierarchy there may be the navigation by gender e.g. Man Women followed by the category Ready to wear, Accessories, Shoes, New Arrival and so on.

Tone of Voice or Tone of Voice guide, is a document that define the register of the communications of the brand, in particular the communications with the customers for examples in the customer care emails, the tone of voice guide defines if the customer care operators need to use a formal registry or an informal one. E.g. Dear Mr. Benedict vs Dear John.

Top Line is the first line of the Profit and loss statement (P&L) which represent the total sales or Gross Sales. The bottom line is the profit i.e. the sales minus the all the costs, taxes and accruals. Most companies look at the EBITD as their bottom line for day to day tracking of the financial results.

User Experience (UX)

It’s a field of management studies that focus on improving the customer journey throughout the interaction with the brand, the interaction can be mediated by a web site or a sales assistant or other channel.

Web writing, Wireframe

Webwriting is a writing technique specifically suitable for web pages. It consists of starting an article or a post with the most important information and then add details and background information.

A wireframe is an outline of a website or an application. It’s a very simplified design of the final website that is used to define the information architecture of the app or website and to study the usability of it

Y:Y-Generation or millenials

Y-Generation also called millennials, echo boomers, internet generation, iGen. The generation of people born during the 1980s and early 1990s. children born during this time period have had constant access to technology (computers, cell phones) in their youth

Z : Gen Z

Gen Z are the born between 1996 and 2010, they are digitally savvy, they get their information from social networks like TikTok or YouTube. They expect brands to take a stand in favour of their values. Read more on Forbes

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