Bottom line: EKM is one of the top-rated e-commerce platforms in the UK. As a cloud-based e-commerce web hosting service provider, EKM provides you with ample built-in features to seamlessly move your offline business online. From creating your online store to product management, marketing, and dropshipping, there’s a lot you can do on EKM.
Who should choose EKM? Small- to medium-sized businesses with yearly revenues of £1 million or less could benefit greatly from the platform.
What we like about 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 theme scan be edited without any coding knowledge, the Legacy Themes need 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’t appreciate 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.
- 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.
What fell flat
- 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, which may be steep.
- UK-based support only: While EKM’s customer support is great, their team is based exclusively in the UK 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.
- Limited usability: 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’s Editorial Review
With over 70 customizable themes, a profusion of features to enable hassle-free e-commerce operations, top-notch security, and updates that make life easy for sellers, EKM proves to be a worthy contender in the e-commerce space. Although its pricing plans are on the steeper side, it is still a great place to get started with your e-commerce journey.
Although EKM has a lot going for it, it does fall short of expectations in some aspects. Find out the best and worst of EKM to understand if it will or will not work for you.
Plans and Pricing
EKM offers four pricing plans, and even the most basic ones are crammed with a ton of rather nifty features.
Lite £19.99 per month
- Good for: Startups
Basic £79 per month
- Good for: New online stores
Standard £69.99 per month
- Good for: Small businesses
Advanced £209.99 per month
- Good for: Small businesses, international sellers, major brands
All of EKM’s plans offer live chat support, essential features, shop health reports, and unlimited products.
EKM offers everything you need to design, create, and maintain your e-commerce store on its cloud server, and it comes with unlimited bandwidth. What I love about EKM is that all its plans come with a set of highly efficient essential features, including:
A well-designed store is the calling card for any e-commerce business, so I tested the waters with EKM.
First off, the dashboard is easy on the eye and clutter-free, which is a big plus in my books.
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.
Moreover, you do not need any coding experience to get started.
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.
The drag-n-drop editor sometimes lags and isn’t the smoothest to use. However, if you’re very picky about the appearance of your store, you may not end up liking the pre-existing themes. But, EKM does offer you a whole lot of scope for customization, even though these themes are free. So you can tweak them to your liking.
If quick and easy store designing is what you’re looking for, then you’ll be pleased with what EKM offers.
Adding products to your EKM store is no sweat, either!
You only need 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 discount 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.
Then again, EKM does offer great inventory management to its users. So, this comes as no surprise!
Abandoned cart recovery
You’ll agree that abandoned cart recovery is crucial to the success and performance of any e-commerce store. A Forrester study reveals that brands can lose up to $18 billion in sales revenue due to abandoned carts. So this is a must-have feature in all e-commerce platforms.
And EKM provides you with 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 opted 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. You simply need to enable the functionality from the dashboard.
Click on Settings > Cart > Enable Abandoned Cart Saver > check all the boxes > hit save.
That’s not all. You can also edit both the content and the template to customize the email for your customers.
EKM covers all the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), 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.
But that’s about it.
And to be honest, such basic SEO support will pinch you hard, especially if you’re paying for the Advanced or Pro plans. While you can always enlist the help of your dedicated account manager to implement SEO best practices, it still isn’t enough.
But these e-commerce SEO best practices can save your day.
PayPal and ClearAccept are the two payment gateways that come integrated with every EKM website account. But there are 15 other payment gateways, including popular ones like Stripe, Patriot, and others, that you can integrate with your account.
EKM lets you add manual payment, and you can take your pick from the following:
- Bank transfers
- Purchase orders
- Payment on delivery (POD)
The fact that EKM did not charge any payment processing fee of its own was another plus. All users had to bear were the charges levied by their payment gateway of choice.
However, a recent bone of contention between EKM and its users is that ClearCourse, the company that bought out EKM from former owner Antony Chesworth, promotes its own payment provider. Users are now charged extra on every website sale if they use another payment gateway.
If you’re on the Basic and Standard plan, you can connect with EKM’s support team between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. GMT. While the team is experienced and deft in handling queries, their working hours aren’t conducive to customers outside the UK.
EKM will only provide you with priority customer support if you’re on the Standard plan. That’s a good thing, but you still won’t get 24/7 support unless you’re on the Advanced or Pro plan.
However, you can always hit up their live chat for quick query resolution. It would appear that EKM takes customer support very seriously given that they are highly responsive with great TATs and also offer a dedicated account manager.
I only wish they would come up with a toll-free number so customers outside the UK won’t end up paying for long-distance calling charges.
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 the process is.
Plus, AIM is quite efficient and lets you take full control of your stock. You can edit orders in bulk, adjust the rates, taxes, bulk discounts, or even add special offers as you please.
You do not need to install third-party inventory management software and that allows you to save big on money, time, and effort.
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.
Manage your sales and marketing funnels by building stellar campaigns and sending newsletters using EKM’s built-in email marketing capabilities. There are ample built-in templates to take your pick from. Simply build a mailing list, chalk out your campaign, and schedule it.
The entire process can be automated to your advantage.
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.
Imagine how you can use automated email marketing to grow your business without paying an extra penny for it.
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.
It gives you a detailed report of your shop health, including how your content and images are performing.
With EKM’s product analytics you can evaluate:
- 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.
Given the limiting factor of the pricing plans, EKM’s reporting and analysis lie somewhere between great and acceptable.
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 is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)-compliant. Any new store made on EKM comes with its own SSL certificate for ultimate protection. This means your customers’ data is in safe hands.
EKM’s internal team is always vigilant to ensure your security is never compromised. Since your e-shop is hosted on their cloud, you can rest assured it is as secure as possible and under 24/7 surveillance.
EKM puts a lot of emphasis on making life easy for its users. You can reach out to them via the following:
- Phone: Easy to connect, although it’s only operational between8 a.m. to 6 p.m. GMT.
- Email: Raise a ticket by dropping your email ID and query. The team usually replies within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the kind of priority support your pricing plan entails.
- Live chat: Needs a support personal identification number (PIN), but connects fast.
- Facebook Messenger: Is highly responsive with a rather quick turnaround time.
You have to use a support PIN to get connected to the customer support team, but the process is fairly easy and quick.
Apart from that, 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. Going by recent customer reviews, however, it appears that EKM has recently become very restrictive and controlling of the content posted there.
Another downside to EKM’s customer support, as I mentioned earlier, is their entirely UK-based team and a phone number that isn’t toll-free. If you do not reside in the UK, it will take some schedule adjustments on your end to make a support call.
While EKM’s Evolution Mode is always working in the background, a few recent additions to the platform have made life easier for sellers. These include the following:
- 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 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.
- 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 the products to help them make well-informed shopping decisions. The PitchPrint addition is a boon for you if you sell customized products.
- Quickbooks for easy accounting: This accounting software allows you to sync your order-related data, making accounting a hassle-free affair. No need to sweat over the number. You can sit back and let QuickBooks take care of it for you.
- ClearAccept AMEX for affordable payment processing: 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. ClearAccept is! In fact, it’s the cheapest of the bunch and works with AMEX credit cards. And by the looks of it, EKM has upped its payment processing game with this integration.
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 on certain aspects. If you want an end-to-end e-commerce solution that can take care of your business from start to finish, there are a few popular options available on the market (Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce) that you can explore.
Take a look below:
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
£19.99 per month
- Unlimited products
- Free domain name
- Basic Evolution Mode
- Unlimited bandwidth
Consider BigCommerce if: You’re a company with yearly revenues of £1 million or less, looking for an all-in-one platform without a bunch of third-party apps.
Frequently Asked Questions About EKM
Where is EKM based?
EKM is a UK-based e-commerce company. It is headquartered in Preston and has its registered office in London, UK.
How much does EKM cost?
The basic plan is priced at £34.99 + VAT per month, while the most expensive plan will set you off by £599.99 + VAT for 30 days. You can also opt for the 14-day free trial period to get the hang of the platform before buying a plan.
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 EKMPowershop?
EKMPowershop 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?
You can contact them over phone, email, or live chat. However, you will be required to punch in the unique support PIN that comes with your account.
You can also drop a query on EKM’s Facebook Messenger for a prompt response.
Who are the typical users of EKM?
UK-based small business owners with revenues up to £1 million use EKM because of its many useful features and extensive support services.
What languages does EKM support?
EKM integrates with third-party translators and can accommodate over 40 different languages.
However, since it’s a localized service provider operating in the UK, its primary language of communication is British English.
Does EKM offer an API?
Yes! EKM’s built-in API is what users can utilize to interact with other apps. This API is so powerful it allows commonly used and custom-made apps to be integrated into your account for enhanced functionality and efficiency gains.
What other apps integrate with EKM?
EKM integrates 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.
Apart from chat, you can call the BigCommerce support center or email them.
How I Rated EKM
I test e-commerce providers based on the following factors:
- Value: What do you get for each plan — and does it hit that sweet spot of cost ratio to features?
- Ease of use: Is it simple to use the platform with intuitive tools, familiar interfaces, and supportive tutorials or tours?
- Features: Does the platform offer tools that support your business, including marketing integrations, plug-ins, reporting, and management? How effective are the features?
- Security: Which measures does the platform take to protect your business? Does it offer Payment card industry (PCI) compliance and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates?
- Support and improvements: How well does the platform help when you need it? And will it continue to grow with your needs?
Learn more about our review methodology.