E-Commerce Glossary

Shopify

One of the leading e-commerce platforms in the world. Powers more than one million online stores in 170 countries generating $40 billion annually for its online merchants.

Founded in 2004 by three “dudes” looking for a better way to sell snowboards online for their Snowdevil brand. In 2006 the system they built debuted as Shopify. Today, users include solo entrepreneurs to big brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Red Bull, and Turtle Beach. Driven in part by the pandemic, in Q2 of 2020, Shopify stores actually surpassed sales at eBay. The original Ruby-on-Rails developer of Shopify, Tobias "Tobi" Lütke, is the CEO to this day. Snowboarding? 2004? We think they called each other either dude-- or brah. Just sayin’.

WordPress

A popular, free open-source content-management system (CMS) that is used to build websites and manage site content including blog posts, forums, and online stores.

Released in 2003, today it is the platform for 60 million sites. Strictly speaking, it is not built for e-commerce and requires a “plugin” to sell products online. WooCommerce, also free, was built specifically to add this capability to WordPress and is widely used. Shopify, as well as other software, can be used as a plugin to power e-commerce on WordPress. Shopify is also a kind of CMS where the “content” products and services.

Bundling & Kitting

Merchandising strategy where products are combined or “bundled” and sold as one SKU, often at discount. Also called “kitting,” as in putting together a “kit” of products.

Gone are the days when e-commerce product fulfillment was simply “pick, pack & ship.” Trendy and trending e-commerce merchants are offering “subscription boxes” and bundling products with a single theme. Think of a “Pink Room” box for a young girl that arrives with only pink items: rug, bath robe, candles, bath beads, hair ties, etc. A delight for the girl, a potential nightmare for the warehouse.

Popups

The “box” or partial- to full-page overlay that often “pops up” the first time you land on an e-commerce site with an offer for a discount, sale item(s) or newsletter signup.

Popups are meant to grab the shopper’s attention and highlight an offer, such as a discount you'll receive in exchange for sharing your valuable email address. Can be confusing because the same type of attention grabber could be called: Popover, Overlay, Modal (think computer “dialog box”), Light Box, Interstitial, Hover Card, and plain old Alert. Whatever they are called, they are effective. And sometimes annoying.

Responsive Web Design

With responsive web design a site will adapt and deliver the best viewing experience to a user whether on desktop, laptop, tablet, phablet(!) or phone.


The variety of electronic devices we use today demands online stores look and work great regardless of device or screen orientation. Think of the content we consume, from text, images, and photos, to videos, online calculators, and more. You can imagine this to be a tough task. Ever visited a website on your phone and experienced left-to-right scrolling or content cut off? That is non-responsive design and can kill a potential sale.  

Responsive design is not an “add-on” component or cost for clients of Text Connects. All the sites we build are responsive. Period.

UX

User Experience or UX refers to the continuum of what a shopper experiences from beginning to the end of visiting and purchasing online.

Websites were once judged by their UI (User Interface), the human-computer interaction. Savvy merchants now also focus on the end-to-end User Experience. This goes well beyond great product selection and site design. It includes site search, shopping cart functionality, order packing, even branding of the box an order arrives in, and more. UX cuts across all areas of the business to exceed shoppers’ expectations.