Airhouse Glossary

A repository of acronyms, jargon, terms, and useful concepts for brands striving to optimize their ecommerce operations.

Find a topic:
B

Backorder

A backorder is an order placed for an out-of-supply product. Your product might currently be in production or on order from the manufacturer. Whatever the case might be, you don't have any physical inventory to ship to customers.

C

Commercial shipping

Commercial shipping is the bulk delivery of products from one business to another. Learn more about the basics, how it works, and how it benefits your business.

D

Delivery management

Delivery management is the action of employing logistics processes to ensure that items are efficiently delivered. For ecommerce businesses, the goal is to make sure that customers receive their orders on time and undamaged.

D

Direct shipping

Direct shipping refers to a method of fulfillment in which products are sent directly from supplier to consumer, circumventing a physical store or warehouse.

D

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands

DTC brands bring their product directly to customers, rather than going through an intermediary, like a department store, wholesaler, or retailer.

D

Drayage

Drayage is a valuable service for transporting imported merchandise over short distances. Learn what drayage means and how it can benefit your business.

D

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a method for fulfilling retail orders through a third-party supplier. Learn what it is, how it works, and the pros and cons of this method.

D

Dwell time

Simply, dwell time is the total amount of time a truck spends at a facility.

E

Ecommerce fulfillment

Ecommerce fulfillment is the multi-step process that gets products from the factory to front door and into the hands of the consumer.

F

Flat-rate shipping

Flat-rate shipping means paying one price based solely on the size of the box. It doesn’t depend on weight, so it can be a simple and convenient way for e-commerce businesses to send packages to customers.

F

Fourth-party logistics (4PL)

Fourth-party logistics, or 4PL, refers to outsourced fulfillment that takes a white-glove approach—managing 3PL operations for you.

F

Fulfillment center

A fulfillment center handles the entire process of order fulfillment for DTC and ecommerce brands—everything from picking and packing your products all the way through to shipping.

G

Ground shipping

Ground shipping is any form of shipping that takes place on land instead of by air or by sea. In most cases, it is the most affordable option for domestic shipping, and the packages travel by road or by rail.

I

Inventory management

Inventory management is the process of managing and monitoring a business's goods in stock.

M

Merchant

A merchant is a person or a company that sells goods or services. Learn what a merchant is, the varying types of merchants, and their role in direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies.

O

Order fulfillment

Order fulfillment involves many steps—from receiving inventory at a warehouse to shipping orders to customers and everything in between.

O

Order management

Order management is the system by which a company processes incoming orders of its products or services. Management extends from the moment the customer places the order to when they receive the service or product delivery.

P

Pick and pack

Pick and pack is a type of order fulfillment method involving selecting (or "picking") the right kind and amount of items from warehouse shelves and packaging (or "packing") them for shipping.

R

Retail logistics

Retail logistics are all the activities that get the products you sell to your customer in the allotted time set by the customer. It goes beyond merely packaging and shipping—it also involves ordering new items, managing inventory, collecting data, and more.

R

Retailer

A retailer is an individual or entity that sells goods directly to the general public. This direct-to-consumer (DTC) selling is distinct from wholesaling, where sales are made to businesses or institutions (usually for resale).

S

SKU management

SKUs, or stock-keeping units, are alphanumeric product codes used to identify items and search for stock of those items on invoices, lists, or order forms. Each product has its own unique SKU that is standardized across all distributors, whether it’s your online store or a brick-and-mortar retailer.

T

Third-party logistics (3PL)

Third-party logistics, or 3PL, refers to outsourcing logistics processes, such as sourcing, warehousing, fulfillment services, and inventory management.

W

Warehouse management

Warehouse management is the process of running the most efficient and effective warehouse possible. It encompasses all the principles, strategies, practices, and procedures required to manage a warehouse’s daily operations.

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