This retail dictionary was created by us as a resource for retailers and students. We have tried to provide accurate and helpful explanations of the terms involved in this glossary. If you find an error or know of a better explanation of a term, please send us an email so we can correct it. If you have any specific questions or suggestions, please let us know. Have a great day.


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All of the definitions on this page are internal anchors that link to themselves

Accordion Insert

A magazine ad insert that is folded like an accordion.


A collection of financial info that is used to track business info and create financial statements.

Accounting interface

A go between for people and the way they access and control their financial info.

Accounts payable

Anytime a retailer purchases goods or services on credit, you will be liable to another company’s accounts payable department.

Accounts receivable - An account for money owed to a business. Money can be owed from customers or vendors.

Acid-Test Ratio - The acid test ratio is also known as the quick or liquid ratio. When performed, it measures how a company's current assets measure up to current liabilities. The equation for this ratio is:

Acid Test Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

Active listening - Active listening can be used in a retail context to listen and understand how your customers feel and what they mean. Often, you can follow up with a statement to check and make sure that you and your customer have a mutual understanding.

Activity reports - An activity report is a report containing any information that you find important to your business such as benchmarks or number of customers helped.

Actual product - The actual product is how the product you are selling exists in reality and includes the features, branding, and styles of the product.

Ad Copy - Any text or words in an advertisement.

Ad Slick - Gloss paper that ads are printed on to look good or the finished product of an ad that is ready for printing on said product.

Ad Specialty - Anytime a product like pens or rulers are used as a promotion, they are called ad specialties.

Adaptive selling - The process of matching ones own social styles to a customer in order to make them more at ease.