EKM is a U.K.-based online shop provider that helps you build your e-commerce presence from scratch. You can design your online shop, start business-to-business (B2B) selling, host your website, dropship, and manage your online presence end-to-end under one roof.
The standout feature that sets EKM apart from its competitors is the expertise it brings to the table. With EKM, you get a dedicated account manager who guides you from start to finish. This holistic one-on-one guidance gives EKM an edge over key market players like Shopify and BigCommerce.
The U.K.-based e-commerce company also scores brownie points with its Evolution Mode. The self-acting feature keeps your website optimized and updated at all times so your users can enjoy a seamless purchasing experience — all without lifting a finger! For me, Evolution Modesteals the show.
|EKM standout features|
|Best for||Small businesses with annual revenue of £1 million or less|
|Promotion||14-day free trial|
What Are the Pros and Cons of EKM?
Although EKM has a lot going for it, it does fall short of expectations in some aspects. I decided to test it out myself to better understand its features and where it ticks all the right boxes. Find out the best and worst of EKM to understand if it will or will not work for you.
Pros of EKM
- Responsive and free themes: EKM offers more than 70 different themes for your shop design, all available free of charge and optimized for responsiveness on multiple devices. While the Aerial themescan be edited without any coding knowledge, the Legacy Themesneed basic coding skills, making the latter more customizable than the former.
- Expert guidance: You’ll get a dedicated account manager to help you with everything from building your shop to implementing sales strategies. Your account manager also collaborates with EKM’s core team of 70 e-commerce experts to give you the best guidance you could ask for.
- Built-in features: No matter which pricing plan you’re on, with EKM you get access to plenty of useful e-commerce features to run your store, including end-to-end sales and marketing support. That means you don’t need to rely heavily on third-party app integrations. EKM’s feature-rich portfolio helps you save big bucks!
- Evolution mode: How do you keep up with the changing needs of your customers? EKM’s Evolution Mode is always active and running, keeping your storefront optimized at all times. From keeping tabs on your inventory to updating your banners, repairing broken links, and making site optimizations, Evolution Mode takes care of it all.
- Fluid interface: Who wouldn’tappreciate a fuss-free user interface that is easy to use and allows seamless navigation? I found working on EKM’s dashboard a breeze. Even otherwise exacting tasks, like product upload, took only a few minutes of my time. That’s a big win if you ask me.
- Abandoned cart recovery: I love EKM because it offers that all-important abandoned cart recovery option in all its pricing plans. Most other e-commerce players do not provide this feature in their basic plans.
- Go hands-free with the Pro Plan: If you do not want to be involved in creating and running your online shop front, Team EKM will do it for you! Just opt for the Pro pricing plan (£599.99 per month)
- Hidden products: If you’re into B2B selling, you might want to filter your audience depending on the products up for sale. EKM makes life easy with its Hidden Products feature, which hides your chosen product from the catalog. Only select customers can view and purchase these products via a shared link. You can easily enable and disable the option from the dashboard.
Cons of EKM
- Expensive pricing plans: Although there are four pricing plans to choose from starting at £19.99 per month, each is bound by an annual turnover limit. So if your yearly sales exceed the limit, your plan will be automatically upgraded to the next one. That means you could end up paying £64.99 to £194.99 per month, which can be quite steep for many sellers.
- U.K.-based support only: While EKM’s customer support is great, their team is based exclusively in the U.K. and their operational hours may not match yours. The turnaround time for query resolution will vary depending on your location. Don’t count on 24/7 customer support.
- Not the easiest to use: Although the site builder does not require coding proficiency, optimizing your EKM involves a steep learning curve, especially if you’re new to the game. Understanding what features work well for your business and how to use them to your advantage may require a fair amount of trial and error before you can efficiently connect all the dots.
- Lack of scalability: If you’re just getting started or want to migrate your offline business online, EKM is one of the best options for you. But if you want to go global and deal in large order volumes, you need to go with WooCommerce or Drupal. Volume and scalability aren’t EKM’s strong suits.
EKM may be the best e-commerce platform for: Small businesses looking to go online while still operating within the U.K.
|Price||£34.99 + VAT per month||£69.99 + VAT per month||£209.99 + VAT per month|
|Best for||Businesses with up to £50k in sales per annum||Businesses with up to £150k in sales per annum||Businesses with up to £1m in sales per annum|
|Customer service||U.K.-based support||Priority U.K.-based support||24/7 emergency support|
|Scalability||1 staff account||5 staff accounts||15 staff accounts|
|Order management||Advanced inventory manager||Advanced inventory manager||Advanced inventory manager|
|Reporting||Basic shop health report||All-encompassing advanced analytics||All-encompassing advanced analytics|
|Security||High-level security with secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates||High-level security with SSL certificates||High-level security with SSL certificates|
|Point of sale (POS)||No direct POS integration||No direct POS integration||No direct POS integration|
|Transaction fee||1.4% + 20p||1.4% + 20p||1.4% + 20p|
|Tax calculations||Can be enabled at checkout||Can be enabled at checkout||Can be enabled at checkout|
Apart from these three pricing plans, EKM also offers a Lite and a Pro plan. With the Lite plan, you’ll pay £19.99 + VAT per month with all essential features, unlimited products, live chat support, shop health reports, and an employee account. But you won’t get features such as a free domain name, gift cards, and emergency support.
Although considerably more expensive than the others, the Pro plan is worth its weight in gold since you get end-to-end support from EKM. EKM will create a shop for you and offers support with a dedicated point of contact for e-commerce objectives and marketing expertise to grow your business. In other words, you can sit back and let the EKM experts take care of everything for you.
Although EKM’s pricing plans are fairly simple, remember that it accepts payment only in pounds. If the exchange rate fluctuates, the price you pay every month will vary, too.
However, since you’re not contractually bound, you can choose to discontinue any time you want to stop using EKM.
A well-designed store is the calling card for any e-commerce business, so I decided to test the waters with EKM.
First off, the dashboard is easy on the eye and clutter-free, which is a big plus in my books. Moreover, you do not need any coding experience to get started.
The left-hand side panel allows you to customize each section of your e-store. You can take your pick from a selection of 76 neat and professional-looking themes. I opted for the Aerial themes, which offer easy drag-n-drop functionality and are highly customizable.
While designing, you can change the view from PC to tablet and mobile to understand how your shop will look on different devices. I was also able to check for modifications and make necessary adjustments every single time.
Another stellar feature you can use to your advantage is the banner maker. It comes in handy when making sales banners, announcements, and just about anything else. EKM gives you the option to customize the copy for each banner. As for the images, you can choose to upload your own or use EKM’s stock photo library. I opted to add my own images.
But the drag-and-drop editor sometimes lags and isn’t the smoothest to use and I didn’t see a whole lot of options for customization. That said, it’s a trade-off when you get to design a store without coding.
If quick and easy store designing is what you’re looking for, EKM delivers.
Adding products to my EKM store was no sweat. I just had to fill in basic details, including the name, description, and price.
If you do not wish to display a certain product on your store, simply disable the “Display Product” option in the top right corner. That way, the product will still be listed on the backend, but it won’t be visible to your customers.
I also liked that the platform allowed me to display multiple prices for multiple packages.
The duplicate listing feature is also a great addition to the product upload category. You can create one product listing, duplicate it, and change the details for all your other products.
This scores major brownie points for me, given the time and effort saved, especially when you want to upload products in bulk.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery can net you sales you’d otherwise lose, and EKM provides this feature in all of its plans. Most other popular e-commerce shop builders offer abandoned cart recovery only in their higher-priced plans.
With EKM, even if you opt for the Basic pricing plan, you can rest assured that customers who’ve abandoned their shopping carts before checking out will receive automated email reminders.
All I had to do for abandoned cart recovery was to enable the functionality from the dashboard. You can also edit both the content and the template to customize the email for your customers.
Click on Settings > Cart > Enable Abandoned Cart Saver > check all the boxes > hit save.
EKM covers all the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) I was looking for, including meta descriptions, meta titles, and alt text for images to optimize your listing. Every site also gets an extensible markup language (XML) sitemap that allows Google to index all your web pages.
PayPal and ClearAccept are the two payment gateways that come integrated with every EKM website account. But I was able to choose from 15 other payment gateways, including popular ones such as Stripe and Patriot.
EKM also gives you the option of adding manual payment methods. You can take your pick from the following:
- Bank transfers
- Purchase orders
- Payment on delivery (POD)
The Advanced Inventory Manager (AIM) is a built-in feature you get with your EKM account. To access it, click on Features > Feature Library > Made by EKM > Advanced Inventory Manager and install it with one click.
I love how easy it is to use the inventory management system. I was able to filter products based on various qualifiers, such as out-of-stock inventory, and show or hide a product just by toggling.
Plus, AIM is quite efficient and lets you take full control of your stock. I found it simple to edit orders in bulk, adjust the rates, taxes, and bulk discounts, or even add special offers.
EKM also gives you the option to integrate eight other third-party apps for managing your inventory, including Avasam. Avasam is a dropshipping platform that lets you dropship easily using your EKM storefront.
EKM offers email templates, automation, and helpful analytics. I found it easy to manage sales and marketing funnels, build stellar campaigns, and send newsletters using EKM’s built-in email marketing capabilities. All I had to do was build a mailing list, chalk out your campaign, and schedule it.
EKM allows you to analyze the performance of your email marketing campaigns based on the key performance indicators (KPIs) you determine. Not only are you able to engage with your customers, but you can also make strategic decisions based on your email marketing insights.
Reporting and Analytics
Depending on the plan you’re on, EKM provides you with periodic reports that tell you how well your business is performing.
I was able to generate a detailed report of my shop’s health, including how my content and images were performing.
But the one feature I found extremely useful was product analytics. I could evaluate my:
- Best sellers
- Poor performers
- Most profitable products
- Least profitable products
You can use this data to develop a sales strategy that drives the results you want. I value the fact that EKM gives you detailed reports on abandoned cart search history and web and stock-related statistics.
However, the top-of-the-line, real-time statistics are only available on the Advanced and Pro plans.
There are seven third-party service providers that EKM relies on for its shipping and delivery, including Click&Drop, ShipStation, JustShipIT, and Parcel2Go.
You can opt for any of these, depending on the functionalities you want and your budget. You can also go for free or discounted delivery rates should you wish.
A remarkable feature, and one I found really helpful, was the unusual product shipping. If your product does not fall under the standard weight and dimensions category, has an unusual shape, or requires precautions while shipping, you can adjust the charge based on its uniqueness.
On the whole, EKM gives you enough options to ship your products. The only drawback is that most of them work better at a local level than on a global one.
EKM’s internal team is always vigilant to ensure your security is never compromised. Since your e-shop is hosted on their personal cloud, you can be rest assured it is as secure as possible.
EKM exceeds the industry standard with 24/7 server monitoring, a 99.99% uptime guarantees, and frequent backups. The EV SSL is standard, though.
You can get help from EKM using the following channels:
- Phone: It was quick and easy to get connected with EKM over the phone, although phone support is only operational between8 a.m. to 6 p.m. GMT.
- Email: When I emailed, I got replies within 24 to 48 hours.
- Live chat: I had to input a support personal identification number (PIN), but connected fast.
- Facebook Messenger: I found Facebook Messenger support highly responsive with a turnaround time of just minutes.
Apart from direct support, you can access their video library, blog, and user forum to get your query resolved.
EKM also offers community support for business owners through its Facebook page. This is a great way for users to help each other out, though I found evidence that EKM is somewhat restrictive of the content posted there.
New features manager for easy navigation
EKM has many built-in features that cover several aspects of online selling, including sales, marketing, and SEO. The new features manager classifies these features into groups, making it convenient for you to look them up.
Each feature also comes with a short snippet explaining what it’s all about, which is especially helpful for new users who may not be well-versed in e-commerce.
PitchPrint for 3D previews
EKM is always working towards improving the shopping experience for your customers. EKM’s collaboration with PitchPrint ensures that shop owners can give their customers 3D previews of customized products to help them make well-informed shopping decisions.
Quickbooks for easy accounting
You can sync your order-related data to Quickbooks to minimize accounting hassles. This integration comes at no extra cost.
ClearAccept AMEX for affordable payment processing
This feature is probably the best of the lot. EKM does not have a POS of its own. While it does integrate with a number of service providers, including PayPal and Stripe, these platforms aren’t always the most affordable. But EKM does offer ClearAccept, which is the cheapest of the bunch and works with AMEX credit cards.
Compare EKM Alternatives
While EKM does offer a whole set of features that new users and small business owners will find very useful, it does not deliver in certain aspects. Suppose you want an end-to-end e-commerce solution that can take care of your business from start to finish. In that case, there are a few popular options available on the market (Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, WooCommerce) that you can explore. I’ve compared each of these to EKM to give you a better understanding of which solution works best for you.
Take a look below:
Frequently Asked Questions About EKM
Where is EKM based?
How much does EKM cost?
What type of pricing plans does EKM offer?
EKM offers four simple monthly pricing plans. There are no yearly subscriptions at discounted prices.
You have to pay on a per-month basis and can choose to discontinue any time you wish.
What is EKM Powershop?
EKM Powershop is EKM’s content management system (CMS) designed to cater to small businesses that want to go online. Like EKM, it offers a 14-day free trial period and multiple benefits to get started.
While you don’t need coding experience or selling expertise to use EKM Powerhouse, it comes with a dedicated account manager to make your online selling experience easy and seamless.
How do you contact EKM customer support?
Who are the typical users of EKM?
What languages does EKM support?
Does EKM offer an API?
What other apps integrate with EKM?
EKM apps integrate with 3Sixty for marketing, Ad Lister and Cloud Commerce Pro for sales, Click & Drop, JustShipIt, and others for shipping, PayPal, Stripe, and several others for payment processing.
Access the full list of apps EKM integrates with from the Features Library on your dashboard.
How I Rated EKM
My rating process involves a thorough understanding of the different features EKM provides, followed by a comparative study of its competitors. I looked at the various facets and features offered by Shopify in comparison to other major players in the industry by way of direct testing and through third-party services to ensure an accurate rating. I even created a dummy store and added relevant apps to get a thorough understanding from a user’s perspective.
While I did a comprehensive overview, I gave more weight to certain parameters that I felt were paramount. These include ease of use, security, impressive customer support, flexibility, scalability, and last but not least, the price.
I have to conclude that EKM has a lot to offer in terms of features and functionalities. However, it also involves a steep learning curve that can be daunting to someone new to the e-commerce space.
Would I recommend EKM? Yes, especially If you’re a newbie making your foray into the e-commerce industry or want to transition your offline business online. EKM can help you make the leap with very little effort.