Knowledge Base

MBS Glossary

These are terms used either in ManageByStats or Amazon, or both, and are specific to these two platforms and, in some cases, online retail in general.

Use the glossary for any word you’re not sure of.


2FA - See Two Factor Authentication.

ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales) - A key metric to measure the performance of your Amazon Marketing Services campaigns.  It's the ratio of ad cost to sales revenue. For example, if you spent $2 on advertising and those ads resulted in sales of $20, your ACOS would be 10%.  The lower your ACoS, the lower your ratio of ad cost to sales revenue.  (See also; Target ACoS)

Ad Clicks - The number of clicks on your Amazon Sponsored Products Ads.

Ad Costs $ - The cost of Amazon Sponsored Products Ads for a product or product line for the specified date range.  Amazon reports this number daily, and MBS collects it from Amazon. The number from Amazon tends to be a little higher than the final cost of Amazon Sponsored Products Ads, because Amazon adjusts the number down over the next 2-3 days based on cancelling the cost of clicks they find to be “false” clicks – where someone clicked your ad multiple times or clicks were made for incorrect reasons.  Note that MBS also adjusts the numbers based on adjustments from Amazon.

Ad Impressions - This is the number of times your Amazon Sponsored Products Ad was displayed.  This does not mean that the ad was seen or noticed by anyone – as it may have been at the bottom of a page where the viewer only looked at the top of the page, etc.  Similar to newspaper ad impressions (they count for every paper sold), Amazon ad impressions count for every time they are loaded on a website listing or page.

Advertising, Ads - In Amazon Sponsored Ads, the next level down from Ad Groups.  See Ads by SKU and ASIN.

Advertising, Ad Groups - In Amazon Sponsored Ads, the next level down from Campaigns.  View and set default bids for Ad Groups, see comparative date ranges, view historical record of bid changes.

Advertising, Campaigns - In Amazon Sponsored Ads, this corresponds to the top-level Campaigns section in Seller Central.

Amazon Payout - Shows the exact amount Amazon will pay out to you for these sales.  This is what is left for you after discounts and various Amazon fees have been taken out.

Amazon Sponsored Products Ads - Keyword-targeted ads that promote your individual listings that appear in search results and on product detail pages on Amazon.  When a shopper clicks the ad, they are taken to a product listing page, custom landing page, or Store.

API (Application Programming Interface) - In computer programming, an API is a set of clearly defined methods of communication among various components.  In basic terms, APIs allow applications to communicate with one another. For example, Amazon offers and API, which can be used by other developers, such as ManageByStats, to connect to Amazon and retrieve information.

AS (Attributed Sales) - Sales that can be attributed to a specific Ad or Campaign.

ASIN - Stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number.  It's a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that’s assigned by Amazon.com and its partners.  It's used for product-identification within the Amazon.com organization.

ASIN, Parent and Child - ASINs can have Child ASINs, for example with versions of a product.  If Child ASINs exist, then the main ASIN is considered a Parent ASIN. For example, a shirt that offers color variations.  The main entry would be the Parent ASIN, and each color option would be a Child ASIN.

Average Customer Review - Shows the average customer review score for a product.

Brand - On Amazon, a Brand is a top-level grouping of products.  MBS shows the Brands and the ASIN to which they’re assigned.

Brand Registry - The official registration of your brand with Amazon.  Brand Registry is now in its second version. Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers on Amazon.  See more on Amazon’s page.

BSR (Best Sellers Rank) - The Amazon Best Sellers calculation.  It's updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.com.  Category and subcategory best seller lists were created to highlight an item's rank in the categories or subcategories where it really stands out.

Buy Box - The Buy Box is the top right section on a product page where customers can directly add items to their shopping carts.  This is the white box on the right side of the Amazon product detail page, where items are added for purchase. Since many sellers on Amazon.com can sell the same product, they must compete to “win the Buy Box” for a certain product.  For stats, the BuyBox% stat shows the percentage of shopper sessions where your listing had the Buy Box.  Amazon refers to this as the Buy Box Percentage.

By Statement - This is the precises statement period used by Amazon.  For each Seller it can be different, but when viewing stats the “By Statement” period will always precisely match the Amazon Statement Period of the same date range.  Due to delays in closing transactions or other processing delays, other date periods may differ slightly when comparing to Amazon. By Statement will always match.

Cache (Browser) - A temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages and other info.  As you jump from Web page to Web page, caching those pages in memory lets you quickly go back to a page without having to download it from the Web.  This can also, on occasion, create issues, if an error or some other anomaly with a page is cached. In these cases, if you have an error on a page that won’t correct, clearing your browser cache can often fix it.

Chrome Plugin - Plugins are software that adds functionality to a Web browser.  The Chrome browser offers many options for creating Plugins. MBS uses a Chrome Plugin to provide several additional tools that work seamlessly with ManageByStats.  In order to use the Plugin you must be using a Chrome browser.

Click-through Rate (CTR) % - Clicks divided by Impressions.  At what rate did users see your ad and click through to your listing.

Conversion Rate - Shows what Amazon refers to as the Unit Session Percentage.  It’s essentially how many units were sold, divided by the number of shopper sessions viewing your product listing.  If your conversion rate is 20%, then you sold 20 units for every 100 shoppers viewing your listing.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) - Shows your cost of good for the products sold, using the Cost information you assigned to the product.  MBS counts the cost on units sold, and does not subtract the cost of units refunded – as often refunded units cannot be resold.

CPC (Cost Per Click) $ - The cost for each click varies over time, depending on competition from other advertisers, time of day, ad placement, etc.   The Average Cost Per Click just gives you the average cost you were charged.

CSV - A file where data fields are separated by a comma (Comma Separated Value).  This is a very common format for data files. We’re used to seeing these files displayed in spreadsheets, where the data is in rows and columns.  In the actual data file the values are separated by commas.

Dashboard - A dashboard is a software equivalent of the dashboard in a car, plane, etc.  Dashboards present multiple bits of key information that give you a gauge of how your business is performing.  This is typically at-a-glance info that is critical to operations.

Dashlet - In MBS you populate your Dashboard(s) with custom Dashlets.  These are little panels of information, like gauges on a car dash.  Several types of Dashlets are available, and each can be customized according to need.

Email - In SellerMail, this is one exact instance of an email sent to one recipient.  This is the same as any other email definition – a single email that has been sent.

Email Rule - In SellerMail and Email Rule is a rule with a Name and ID, selected filters and conditions, and some mail-merge text (fixed text and possible one or several variables mixed in with the text).  In SellerMail all your Email Rules are listed in the SellerMail > Email Rules tab. When an email is triggered to be sent, the Email Rule is consulted and used to create the Email.

FNSKU - An acronym for Fulfillment Network SKU or Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit.  The FNSKU is the way that Amazon identifies a product as unique to the seller that has sent it to the Amazon fulfillment center.  It's the alphanumeric number that's used to generate the barcode that you put on your product when you send inventory to the FBA warehouse.  Each “Fulfilled by Amazon” SKU you add to Amazon will have it's on FNSKU Barcode.

Google Authenticator App - Google Authenticator is a software-based authenticator that implements two-step verification services using One-time Passcodes.  When installed it can be used to authenticate users on login. MBS uses the Google Authenticator App for verification in it’s two-factor authentication.

Impressions - See Ad Impressions.

Inbound Shipping - The cost incurred for shipping a product.  This is typically per unit, and is any charge not covered or recorded in Amazon.  Amazon shipping fees are part of the reporting into ManageByStats collects. Inbound Shipping would be any cost to the Seller that Amazon is not aware of.

Keywords - Search terms that are key for a particular product or service.  Customers searching for items on Amazon use keywords to find products to buy.  Ranking for the keywords customers are most likely to use to search for products like yours is vital for buyer traffic to your listing.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) - A metric (stat or other indicator) that is a key measurement of performance.  For example, Profit could (and likely would) be a KPI for a business.

Margin - The difference between the seller's cost for acquiring products and the selling price.  To calculate Margin, first find your gross profit, or the difference between the revenue (example, $200) and the cost (example, $150). To find the margin, divide gross profit by the revenue.  In this case, 50 / 200. To make the margin a percentage, multiply the result by 100. In this example the margin is 25%.

Marketplace - On Amazon there are multiple Marketplaces, and they’re usually tied to a geographic region.  For example, the UK Marketplace, or the IN Marketplace. The term Marketplace is more specific than a shop, though a marketplace qualifies as a shop.  See also Shop.

MFT (Marketplace Facilitator Tax) - A Marketplace Facilitator is defined as a marketplace that contracts with third party sellers to promote their sale of physical property, digital goods, and services through the marketplace.  As a result, Amazon is deemed to be a marketplace facilitator for third-party sales facilitated through www.amazon.com. In states where it's required, Amazon collects and remits this tax on behalf of the Seller (for a small fee), and reports it as MFT.

MWS (Amazon Marketplace Web Service) - An integrated web service API that helps Amazon sellers to programmatically exchange data on listings, orders, payments, reports, and more.  Data integration with Amazon enables high levels of selling automation, which can help sellers grow their business.

Negative Keyword - A word or phrase that allows you to filter out who your ads will be served to in the search results page.  After you’ve decided that a term is irrelevant to your campaign, you can add that term as a negative keyword.

Net Revenue - Shows the corrected revenue after removing discounts.  If you have many discount sales, the Net Revenue stat is a much better and more accurate stat for seeing real revenue.

Number Of Customer Reviews - Shows the total number of customer reviews.

Order ID - The unique ID given an order in Amazon.  The Order ID identifies each order placed in Amazon, and may include multiple products.

Plugin - See Chrome Plugin.

PPC - Pay Per Click.  See Amazon Sponsored Products Ads.

Product Charges - The price the item was sold at.   It does not include sales tax and shipping fees, and it also does not take into account coupon code discounts etc.  For example, if your product has a sell price of $15, but the buyer has a $10 discount coupon and only pays $5 plus $0.75 in sales tax, the Product Charge would still be $15.

Product Line - A ManageByStats exclusive feature.  Product Line is a grouping category provided in MBS, which lets you create a Line and assign similar products to it.  Product Lines fall between the level of Brand and Product.

Product Sales Revenue - Shows the revenue generated by the units shipped and paid for – the ones counted in Quantity Paid For.  Amazon counts the full revenue (before any discounts), so this is what this stat shows. If you sell 3 units that cost $100 each, this stat will show $300 even if you give a 50% discount and only $150 is collected from the customer.

Product Tags - Also, SKU Tags.  Another grouping feature exclusive to ManageByStats.  Product Tags can be created and assigned to similar products, then used for filtering in SKU Selectors for reporting.

QR Code - Now in widespread use, a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan.  QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application.

Quantity Ordered -  Shows how many units have been ordered – even if they are pending orders, and even if they have not been paid for.  As best we can tell, Amazon doesn’t collect the payment until they ship the item, and this can sometimes take a day or two – or more.

Quantity of Refunds - Simply shows the number of units refunded.

Quantity Paid For - Shows how many units have been paid for – even if they were ordered earlier, and were just shipped and paid for now.  Amazon provides financial information on each order after it has been shipped and paid for, so this provides actual useable detailed financial information and does not count pending orders (which may or may not end up being shipped and paid for).

Restock Lead Time - The time needed from the time a restock order is placed until it is in the warehouse and available for sale.

ROI (Return On Investment) - A ratio between the net profit and cost of investment.  A high ROI means the investment gains favorably to its cost.

Sales Rank - Shows your products’ Amazon Sales Rank average for the time period shown.  Sales Rank can vary by the hour at times, so this is the average Sales Rank for the time period you are viewing, for the product, product line or brand you are viewing.  See also BSR.

Seller Central - Amazon’s interface for those who sell products on Amazon.

Seller ID - The unique ID Amazon assigns to a Seller Central account.  Note that for regional marketplaces this will be the same ID.  For example, if you set up a Seller Central in the US you’ll be assigned a unique Seller ID.  If you then add CA (Canada) and MX (Mexico) for that account, CA and MX will have the same Seller ID.

SellerBlast - An email campaign tool in ManageByStats.  SellerBlast is unique from the trigger response email system, SellerMail, in that SellerBlast allows you to create and schedule campaigns to multiple recipients.

SellerMail - Automated email responder in ManageByStats.  SellerMail sends emails in response to selected events, such as a product purchase, shipment, etc.

Sessions - Shows number of visits to your Amazon.com pages by a user. All activity within a 24-hour period is considered a session.

Shop - An individual Seller Central account or a Marketplace.  MBS treats each Seller Central account or Marketplace as a Shop, for purposes of counting the number of shops managed by a single MBS login.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) - Typically used when talking about inventory management.  Managing inventory with SKUs is important for any business that sells products.  SKU’s are assigned by the Seller to products, and are distinct from ASINs, which are assigned to the product by Amazon.

SKU Tag - See Product Tags.

Split Testing - The technique of using two or more variations of a promotion or other item in order to test which performs better.  You could split test an email, for example, by creating two emails with variations of the body and subject, etc, then seeing which one gets the best results.

Stock Cover Trailing - The number of days of stock available based on sales for the trailing number of days.  For example, Stock Cover Trailing 30 Days would give you the number of days worth of Stock you currently have available, based on how much you sold over the prior 30 days.  In other words, the “Trailing” value is used to anticipate the coming sales volume, and that is then used against the remaining stock to estimate how long until you run out.

Supply Quantity, Total - This is the total number of units in supply, including any units that are showing as on their way to Amazon, even if they have not yet arrived.

Supply Quantity, InStock - What’s in stock and ready to ship, not in transit or moving between warehouses.  These are units that are available at Amazon for shipping to customers.

Target ACoS (TACOS) - This is the ACOS you want to achieve.  You can set it in MBS.  See the Advertising section of this Knowledge Base for more.

Two Factor Authentication - Also known as 2FA, or Two-step verification, is a method of confirming a user's claimed identity by utilizing something they know (password) and a second factor other than something they have or something they are.  For example a phone might be used as the second step, such that when the user enters their password to log into an app, they also receive a confirmation text on their phone. In this way only the authorized user can access the app.

Unit Session % - See Conversion Rate.

VA (Virtual Assistant) - A helper or assistant, either full- or part-time, hired to perform needed tasks with an online business, freeing up owners and others to concentrate on higher-level functions.  In almost every case a VA is live person somewhere in the world, though “virtual” has become the common term.

Widget - An application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) - An editor that lets you create content as it will appear.  In other words you can format the text of an email and see it as it will appear, using the option toolbars above the email body, much like in Word or other writing programs.