Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govBusiness & IndustryE-Stats › Definitions


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS)
– An annual survey that collects national dollar volume estimates for sales, sales taxes, purchases, year-end inventories, sales/inventory ratios, gross margin, and accounts receivable balances of retail stores by kind of business.

Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM)
– The Annual Survey of Manufactures provides detailed annual statistics on the location, activities, and products of United States manufacturers. The survey encompasses all establishments that are classified in SIC Division D, Manufacturing , and have at least one employee. We conduct this survey annually and the reported data are for activities taking place during the survey calendar year. For Economic Census years, data collection is part of the Census of Manufactures.

Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (AWTS)
– The Annual Wholesale Trade Survey provides annual sales and year-end inventory data, inventory valuation methods, purchases, and gross margin data for the United States.

Brick-and-mortar retailers
– This is a business model by which a company integrates both offline (bricks) and online (clicks) presences.

Business-to-business (B-to-B or B2B)
– This term describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. In regards to the E-Stats report, this by definition is transactions by Manufacturers and Merchant Wholesalers.

Business-to-consumer (B-to-C or B2C)
– This term describes activities of businesses serving end consumers with products and/or services. An example of a B2C transaction would be a person buying a pair of shoes from a retailer.

– This term describes transactions sold on-line whether over open networks such as the Internet or proprietary networks running systems such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

– In regards to the E-Stats report, this term describes market value of e-commerce activity for selected services industries.

– In regards to the E-Stats report, this term describes market value of e-commerce activity for merchant wholesale trade and retail sales.

– In regards to the E-Stats report, this term describes market value of e-commerce activity for commodities shipped from a plant.

– This is the annual publication of Census Bureau's estimates of e-commerce activity in key sectors of the U.S. economy. Visit the E-Stats website for more information.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
– This is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e. from one trading partner to another trading partner without human intervention.

Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
– This is an industry group comprising establishments primarily engaged in retailing all types of merchandise using non-store means, such as catalogs, toll free telephone numbers, or electronic media, such as interactive television or computer. Included in this industry are establishments primarily engaged in retailing from catalog showrooms of mail-order houses.

Merchant Wholesalers
– This term describes wholesalers which take title to the goods they sell. For example all of these are merchant wholesalers: industrial distributors, voluntary group wholesalers, exporters, importers, cash-and-carry wholesalers, drop shippers, retailer cooperative warehouses, and cooperative buying associations.

Manufacturing Sales Branches and Offices (MSBOs)
– This term refers to establishments maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing their products. Sales branches will typically carry inventories, while sales offices typically do not.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
– This classification system is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. Visit the NAICS website for more information.

Selected Service Industries
– In regards to the E-Stats report, this is a special group of service industries created to represent e-commerce from data collected in the Service Annual Survey.

Service Annual Survey
– This is an annual survey that collects operating receipts sources of receipts; and selected industry-specific items. Conducted since 1982, this survey provides annual estimates of the dollar volume of receipts for selected personal, business, social, health, and professional services in the United States. For selected industries, separate estimates for receipts of taxable firms and revenues of firms exempt from Federal income taxes are produced.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe.
[Excel] or the letters [xls] indicate a document is in the Microsoft® Excel® Spreadsheet Format (XLS). To view the file, you will need the Microsoft® Excel® Viewer Off Site available for free from Microsoft®.
This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | E-Stats - Measuring the Electronic Economy |  Last Revised: May 28, 2015