The Order Desk Glossary: Terms & Phrases Explained

In This Guide

Order Desk


As with any learning process, when you're working with a new platform or workflow you may come across some terms or phrases that aren't necessarily clear to you. To help alleviate some of that frustration, we've gone ahead and outlined some of the common words and concepts you'll see when working with Order Desk or our integrations. 

For quicker results, use ⌘+F on Mac or Ctrl+F on Windows to search for the term you're looking for on this page.

Order Desk

  • Import Template - A structured input form you can create to import your spreadsheets into Order Desk. When you create a new template, you will be required to format all spreadsheets with the same column numbers, column heading, and column heading order.
  • Export Template - A structured output you can create to make an external record of data that exists in Order Desk, either to a CSV file, email, or FTP server.
  • Email Template - A formatted email that you can customize with dynamic information.
  • Receipt Template - A specifically formatted document that can include dynamic content and can be saved or attached as a PDF.
  • Integration - An exchange of data between two applications or services.
  • Demo/Trial/Locked - A demo (sometimes called "trials") allow you to set up and test a store before purchasing a subscription. A locked store is a no longer editable store that still contains data, remaining in that state until the store is on a paid subscription or linked to a paid store.
  • Rule Builder/Rules - The logic processing tool in Order Desk. The Rule Builder allows a merchant to set up automated workflows.
  • Workflow/Order Process - The procedure an order will follow as decided by the user (you).
  • Code/SKU - A unique identifier for a single inventory item.
  • Print Details - The information sent to a print on demand service to accurately render the print.
    • print_sku - The item that the order will be printed on, using the SKU assigned to the item at the printer.
    • print_url - The URL to the artwork to be printed, stored in a cloud storage service like Dropbox.
    • print_location - The location where you would like your artwork printed on an item.
  • Submit - The process of sending an order to a fulfillment service.
  • Custom CSS - An advanced modification made using the Cascading Style Sheet language, commonly used in Order Desk to adjust the appearance of your Order Desk store in your web browser (changing colors, hiding menus, etc.).
  • Custom Settings - The section of the Store Settings where special settings code provided by Order Desk support can be added.
  • Inventory Sync - The importing inventory records from a shopping cart into Order Desk's inventory page and/or the process of overwriting stock counts in one system with the stock counts in Order Desk.
  • Sync Order Details - The process of syncing updated inventory item information (print details, variations, etc.) into existing orders.
  • Order History - The record of all the events that have occurred on an order.
  • Order Metadata (Metadata) - Information associated with an order. Some integrations will import orders with specific metadata, but metadata can also be added to orders through rules.
  • Item Metadata - Information associated with an item. Some integrations will import order items with specific metadata, but metadata can also be added to items through rules.
  • Checkout Data - A space for storing any details about an order. This versatile field can be used of storing information to send to a fulfillment service, notes about an order, or data for a rule to target.
  • Class - In shipping, the selected shipping option from a carrier, usually pertaining to the speed and cost of a shipment.
  • Folders - The sorting an organization system within Order Desk for grouping orders.
  • Loop - An issue in the rule builder where the logic of the rule is circular, and therefore can't ever finish executing. For instance with the event "When a PDF is created" that's action is "Create a PDF" will run endlessly.
  • Custom Script - The ability to post order data through the rule builder using JSON.
  • Product Code Match - A process for changing the item code/SKU for an item when it submits to a fulfillment within the fulfillment services integration settings.
  • Code Replace - A process for changing the item code/SKU for an item when it submits to a fulfillment service within the item itself.
  • Bundles - A single product made up of multiple individual SKUs.
  • Location - The place an order is being filled and/or where a given SKU is being warehoused.
  • Appointments - Actions set to run on scheduled intervals.
  • Custom Events - A rule builder event that can be set to affect a specific folder at a set time interval.
  • Custom Buttons -  A interface element that, when clicked, can have a designated series of actions run.
  • API Browser - A utility for reviewing the information sent to Order Desk by the integrating service's API.
  • Local vs UTC timestamps - A local timestamp is the timestamp converted into the store's timezone. A UTC timestamp is a timestamp in standard UTC time format, a universal time measuring system used in computing.
  • Report - The term often used for the document generated when performing an export out of Order Desk.
  • Sample File - A file used to set up an import template. This will include all the column headers for future spreadsheet data that will be imported into Order Desk.
  • Field and Value - The field is the label for the what kind of information is being added, the value is the unique data.
  • Order Confirmation URL - A link that the recipient of the email or exported file can click, taking them to an order confirmation page linked to the specific order in Order Desk. On this page, they can confirm they got the order details and add shipment info after they have fulfilled the order.
  • Custom Parameters - In an export template, these are a set of predefined options that can inform the structure of the data and the logic for how the export functions.


  • Dropshipping - A fulfillment system where merchandise purchased by a merchant to be shipped to their customer who purchases the order from the merchant's store.
  • App - Software that provides a service through digital means. For example, Order Desk is an app.
  • Courier/Carrier - A service that transports an order between a fulfillment service and a customer.
  • Vendor/Supplier - An entity that provides a good or service to a merchant which enables the merchant to conduct their business.
  • On Demand/Print on Demand/Printer - A service that prints an artists design onto a specified medium (shirt, canvas, postcard) when an order is received. This means each order is printed as it comes in; no excess inventory is kept on hand. Many of these services will also handle order fulfillment on behalf of a merchant.
  • Inventory/Merchandise/Stock - The items sold by a merchant.
  • SKU/code/part number/product ID - A unique identifier for an inventory item.
  • Price - The amount charged to a customer for a good or service.
  • Cost - The amount of capital or resource expended by the merchant for a good or service.
  • Taxes/VAT Taxes - The percentage of an order total allocated to a local or regional government, where legally applicable.
  • Split - The process of separating on order into multiple sub orders; often used to submit separate order components to different fulfillment services.
  • Merge - The process of combining multiple orders into a single order.
  • Incoterm - A set of internationally settled commercial agreements established by the International Chamber of Commerce to maintain compliance with international commerce laws.
  • Return Address - The mailing destination for returns, typically used of an order undeliverable to its intended recipient by the carrier.
  • Labels - The document with shipping information for the carrier, typically affixed to the parcel.
  • Thermal Labels - An ink-less label printed using a heating mechanism on a special paper.
  • PDF - (Portable Digital Format), a widely used file type that can be universally viewed on any device.
  • EPL - A programming language used by printers with the purpose of printing labels.
  • ZPL - A programming language used by printers for describing the layout and structure of a page, most commonly used for labeling.
  • CMS - (Content Management System) a tool for sharing, organizing, and planning content.
  • Stock Counts/Numbers - The total amount of a given SKU available to be sold.
  • Payment Status - The condition of a payment while it's being processed.
  • Fulfillment Status - The condition of an order between being placed and being delivered.
  • Packing Slip - A document included with a shipment, often including order details, totals, and shipping information.
  • PO - (Purchase Order) A document placing an order from a supplier with stock, quantity, and pricing agreements.
  • Invoice - A document requesting payment for goods received or services rendered, or goods/services to be rendered.
  • Variations/Variants - A modification, difference, or deviation from a base product, typically with its own SKU.
  • Gateway/Payment Processor - The services that processes financial transaction details, facilitating the transfer of funds between banks.
  • Pick List - A document used by a fulfillment service to determine which items from an inventory to include in an order.
  • ERP - (Enterprise Resource Planning) A piece of software used to integrate services and utilities to automate a process or workflow.
  • Marketplace/shopping cart - An online storefront where products can be displayed and orders placed.
  • 3PL - (Third Party Logistics) The process of outsourcing elements of a logistics or supply chain process to outside parties, typically for warehousing, distribution, and/or fulfillment.
  • Kits/bundles - A single product made up of multiple individual SKUs.
  • Listings - A description of an item in a shopping cart. From the listing, an item can be added to a cart/basket as the customer builds their order.
  • Shopping Cart/Basket (separate from the storefront itself; the actual storage place for pre-purchased orders) - The storage place for items on an ecommerce website prior to the placement of an order.
  • Customers - The party who purchases an order.
  • Merchants - The party who sells an order.
  • Refunds - A partial or total return of funds for an order from a merchant back to a customer.
  • Product - An item being sold by a merchant and purchased by a customer.


  • API - A set of methods in which a person can connect/communicate with the application. So for Order Desk to have an API, it means if someone follows the methods we allow, they can communicate with Order Desk's application to issue commands or get information such as "Get a list of orders", or "Update this order".
  • Webhook - An HTTP(s) URL (endpoint) which receives information, usually for the purpose of notification. An example would be a shipping notification. So a vendor will send a message (via https) to our webhook URL with information about a shipment such as tracking number and order ID. We can then save this information to the given order ID. 
  • JSON - (Javascript Object Notation) A data format. Similar to a CSV. It's a set of defined rules specifying the format in which information (text) must be given or is expected. So a CSV can be converted to JSON format. 
  • Twig -  A template engine for PHP. A simple programming language to allow you to create templates with dynamic (changing) values such as the customers name.
  • FTP - (File Transfer Protocol) A method in which files can be transferred from server to server.
  • PHP - Hypertext Preprocessor (used to be Personal Homepage) is a programming language which Order Desk (predominantly) runs on.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) - A method of securing logins by requiring two forms of authentication. An example would be a password and a code that is emailed to you.
  • Attributes -  Attributes in Twig.
  • String/Querystring - The line of text that comes after the domain name. Usually something such as the search query. Example https://domain.tld/index.php?this=is&the=querystring
  • Loop - A programming term that refers to iteration over a list of items. You loop your way through. 
  • Rate Limit - The act of restricting the user to given limits for actions they do. For example, someone sending too many API requests may be restricted to only 30 requests per minute.
  • S3 (bucket/logs) - Amazon's service for storing files. We use this to store things such as logs, pdfs or images.
  • SMTP Server - (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The set of rules which define how an email must be structured. And an SMTP Server is a server which listens to this protocol for emails. 
  • Endpoint - An endpoint is simply a URL. A webhook URL will be an endpoint.
  • HTML - (Hyper Text Markup Language) The standard mark up language for creating web pages and emails.
  • CSS - (Cascading Style Sheets) A sheet defining the style sets for a given document and the elements within that document.

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