​EKM Review 2019

ekm logo

Ecommerce website builder with excellent support.

Val​​​​ue
Functionality
Features
Customization
Support
  • You get a dedicated account manager .
  • Ecommerce stores comes with a free domain name.
  • EKM’s hosting has 99.9% uptime.
  • EKM charge 20% VAT on each of their monthly plans.
  • There is a sales revenue limit for each plan.
  • More expensive than other hosted platforms.

What is EKM?

EKM is a UK ecommerce platform. It’s perfect for small businesses who need expert support when building their website. EKM has been called the UK’s answer to Shopify – the most popular online store builder on the planet.

Like Shopify, EKM makes it simple to take your business online. It also has lightning hosting, unlimited bandwidth, limitless file storage. If you want help building an ecommerce store, check out EKM now. You get a free 14 day trial and a library of resources.

But that’s not all.

We’ve covered all the great things about EKM. Find out if it’s the ecommerce platform for you. 

EKM Benefits Overview


As a hosted ecommerce website builder, EKM provide you with a package of benefits. These are perfect for small business owners. Why? Because you can set up an online store quickly, and with minimal hassle. You also get great support at every step of your ecommerce journey. 

The top 3 benefits are: 

PROS

  • 1
    Simplicity: Installation and management is straightforward.
  • 2
    Experience: EKM has been helping business owners set up their stores for 15 years.
  • 3
    Support: You get great support seven days a week.

Check out EKM’s official website to find out even more about the great benefits this platform offers. 

EKM Pricing

EKM markets itself as a platform with no hidden charges. This is partly true. EKM is clear and up front with the costs of its monthly plans. What isn’t correct about EKM’s claim is that each plan fee is plus VAT. This means that you have to work out the true price yourself. 


These are the different plans available from EKM: 

Plan

Cost Per Month

Key Features

Revenue Limit

Basic

£32.99 +VAT P/M

  • 500 products

  • 1 user account

  • Analytics

£50,000 per year

Standard

£64.99 +VAT P/M

  • Unlimited products

  • 5 user accounts

  • Account Manager

£150,000 per year

Advanced

£194.99 +VAT

  • An ecommerce consultant

  • 15 user accounts

  • High performance server

£1 million per year

Pro

£541.66 P/M

  • Bespoke shop design
  • Marketing Account Manager
  • Enterprise performance

Unlimited

Whatever you pay for your EKM ecommerce website, you get some essential features. The main ones are:

  • A domain name  

  • SSL certificate

  • Evolution Mode

  • Klarna payments – for instant debit and credit card payments

  • Quick servers

  • No transaction fees

  • A UK customer support team

  • Unlimited bandwidth and file storage

You can find the full list of essential features here

EKM Features Summary


EKM’s greatest feature is the platform’s commitment to development. Not only can you grow your website as your business upscales, your online store updates itself. 

The top 3 features are: 

Benefit

What It Gives You 

EKM Evolution Mode

Your online store upgrades, evolves, self-optimizes.

Marketing

Your ecommerce website comes with in-built email marketing.

SEO Friendly

EKM’s platform is designed with SEO in mind.

Dashboard


Your EKM dashboard is simple to navigate. This is helped by the black and white contrast between background and text, which makes it easy to understand the information. You may not be a fan of the green on the dashboard, but that’s only a personal preference.

Here’s what the dashboard looks like: 

ekm dashboard

Themes


EKM has approximately 100 themes on its marketplace. Each is made with selling your products in mind, and can be customized to give you the theme that you want. They are also free.

The themes are simple and classy. We looked through all of them and they were all easy on the eye. But don’t mistake this simplicity for being basic, EKM’s themes just do exactly what you need them to.

Have a look at a sample of EKM’s themes:

ekm themes

You can find the complete list of EKM themes here


Content Management


Unlike other platforms, EKM doesn’t have an inbuilt blogging function. In order to set up a blog your EKM ecommerce store, you will need to add a plugin to your website. You two options for doing this:

1. Create a Blogger Blog
2. Install the WordPress Blog

Whichever option you chose, it’s quick and painfree to add it to your website. This article from EKM’s great support site walks you through the process.

But we feel that having to add a blog this let's EKM down, as even on the cheapest plan, you are paying over £30 a month. Other hosted platforms, like Shopify, include a blog as part of the package.

Once you get past this, EKM is really helpful with blogging. The platform has helpful advice on how to create content for your blog, then how to promote it.

You get plenty of options for images: 

  • You can make your own with EKM’s Image Builder
  • There’s a function to upload images in bulk
  • You can add Pixlr and edit your own product images
  • Or you can create your own product images

​Page editing is available through the WYSIWYG Editor Controls. This has a similar layout to Word, making it a breeze to use. Here’s a sample of what you can expect from it.

Plugins & Extensions


​We’ve touched on plugins a little. Unfortunately there is too much more to say on them. You can add the major social plugins:


  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Google +
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

EKM does offer selection of integrations. And these will add value to your ecommerce website. Some of the best are:


  • LateShipment: An invoice auditing tool
  • ChannelGrabber: This enables you to integrate your store with other platforms, such as eBay
  • Bunting: A personalisation and optimization tool

But when you compare EKM to the plugins, extensions, and integrations to other platforms, such as WordPress and Shopify, it really falls short.

Checkout


​​You can begin making sales and receiving payments within 48 hours of building your EKM store. Your ecommerce website comes

Accepting payment is incredibly simple on EKM. You can start accepting payment within 48 hours of creating your site. There are are 20 different payment gateways for you to choose from, and a range of offline options.

Here are the available online payment gateways and their top features:

Provider

Features

Integrations

Barclaycard

  • A hosted payment page, which you can display your logo on

  • Barclaycard ePDQ online payment gateway

PayPal

  • Affordable

  • Chargeback protection

  • Website Payments Pro

  • Express Checkout

  • Website Payments Standard

Amazon Payments

  • Mobile ready

  • State of the art fraud detection technology

  • Pay with Amazon

First Data Merchant Solutions

  • Accepts all major credit and debit cards

  • UK customer support

  • Data security compliant

  • First Data Connect

Realex Payments

  • Multicurrency

  • Dynamic currency conversion

  • Realex's online payment gateway

Nochex

  • No annual or monthly fees

  • Funds are available immediately

  • Nochex's online payment gateway

HSBC

  • Award-winning card fraud protection

  • Flexible payment processing

  • HSBC's online payment gateway

Gate2Shop

  • Over 80 global payment options

  • Real time reporting

  • Gate2Shop's online payment gateway

V12 Retail Finance

  • Interest free options to choose from

  • Paperless

  • ​V12 retail finance solution

Ogone Payment Services

  • 24/7 support in a variety of languages

  • Numerous payment options

  • Ogone's online payment gateway

Sage Pay

  • Virtual terminal

  • Disaster recovery

  • Sage Pay iframe
  • Sage Pay form

Klarna

  • No charge backs

  • No return fees

  • Fully integrated with your EKM ecommerce store

Worldpay

  • Simple interface

  • Option for regular net settlements

  • WorldPay's online payment gateway

CardSave

  • 24/7 customer support

  • Transactions processed by Streamline

  • CardSave Simple Pay Page

Global Payments

  • Bespoke product solutions

  • Supports 14 currencies

  • Global Payments Gateway

Skill

  • Promises to increase revenue by 8%

  • 85% basket conversion

  • Skrill Redirect/Form method
  • Skrill iFrame
  • Skrill Digital wallet

NETBANX

  • Multi-lingual system interface

  • Produces online statements

  • NETBANX's online payment gateway

eWAY

  • A uniquely responsive checkout flow
  • No contract required
  • eWAY Rapid 3.1 gateway

PayVector

  • Payments are totally secure

  • Scale it to meet your business needs

  • PayVector payment gateway

Cardstream

  • Includes a virtual terminal

  • Has a QR code feature

  • Cardstream

The offline available from EKM are:

  • Bank Transfer

  • Cheque

  • Fax

  • Payment On Delivery

  • Purchase Orders

  • Telephone

For more information on how to use these for your ecommerce website, check out this article from EKM’s help site.

 

Shipping


EKM allows you to including a range of delivery options. Adding the one you want is simple. All you need to do is find the settings tab, go Delivery Method, and add a delivery method. This guide explains everything you need to do.

You start without any pre-set delivery methods, so this is a process you have to go through.

EKM supports many international regions. You can find the full list of countries and how to add them to your store here. A big drawback to EKM is that it’s a British platform which doesn’t offer delivers to the United States and Canada. 


Inventory Management


One negative of EKM is that the Basic plan has a limit of 500 products. This may not be an issue for smaller businesses and you can scale up, as all other packages have unlimited products. However, the jump from £29.99 plus VAT per month to £59.99 P/M plus VAT to have over 500 products is unwelcome.

If you have an existing online store with eBay you can import your products to EKM. It’s easy to do. All you need to do is follow these instructions.

Adding products and categories is hassle free. You use EKM’s Product Window to manually add products and then edit their features, such as product codes and images.

Like everything you need to do with your EKM store, there’s plenty of guidance to help you add products. Simply follow the instructions in this article.


Customer Management


Storing customer data must be done correctly. Before you make any decisions on the data you will store, read through EKM’s GDPR guidelines. This explains how to process your customer data.

The fields of data you can store on your customers includes:

EKM customer management

Installing EKM’s Customer Login feature lets your customers create their own accounts. This gives them control over the data you hold on them, along with access to their previous orders. 

Ecommerce Comparison Features

Shopify Logo
Woocommerce logo
Magento logo
BigCommerce logo
Wix logo

Buy Now

Overall Rating

Price

From $9

Free to Install

Free to Install

From $29.95

From $2.99

From $5.00

Themes

100+

1000+

1000+

120

15

500+

SEO Tools

Ease Of Use

Functionality

Customization

Security

Support

Our Review

Marketing


​EKM has its own email marketing platform. It comes with a range of helpful features:


  • Stylish and responsive templates
  • An email marketing account manager
  • Audience segmentation
  • Tracking
  • Simple to understand analytics


The downside it that you have to pay extra to use EKM’s email marketing. The cheapest pay as you go tariff is £4.95 for 300 credits, while the lowest cost monthly plan is £12.99. It’s not a hidden cost but it is a fee for something we’d expect for free.

We mentioned already that EKM integrates with all the major social media platforms. It also integrates with Google Analytics. This means you get access to their marketing software.

However, EKM offers nothing like the level of marketing integration you get from platforms like Magento and Shopify.

There’s no MailChimp. No Buzzfeed. No Conversio. And many other gaps. This means you’re tied into EKM’s software, tools, and vision of marketing. Considering the price, we think this makes EKM pretty poor for marketing. 


SEO


​EKM has a some useful features to optimize your store and help it rank well:


  • Simple to add meta tags
  • Quick to introduce custom URLs
  • Custom title tags
  • XML sitemap


However, that’s the limit of what you get. How does this compare to other platforms? Pretty poorly. Shopify is made with SEO in mind, while Google has gone on record to say WordPress is good for SEO. 


Hosting


​Hosting is one of EKM’s greatest benefits – as you would expect from a hosted platform. It’s one of the most secure ecommerce website builders and places few restrictions on you. Among its top hosting assets are:

  • 99.9% uptime
  • Run on its own secure servers
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited web space
  • A custom SSL certificate


You won’t have any complaints with EKM’s hosting.

Analytics


EKM’s advice on analytics? Link Google Analytics to your online store. It’s not good enough. Every business uses Google Analytics. This means for you to be ahead of your peers you need something more. For EKM to be ahead of other platforms it needs to offer you something different.

So what’s its own reporting like? Mediocre at best. Compared to the likes of Shopify, Magento, and WordPress, it does nothing unique or special. With a lack of integrations available, it means you have to lean on Google Analytics. The result? EKM’s analytics offering is weak.

Development


​Despite being a hosted solution and closed platform, there is plenty of customization available with EKM. Products are easy to customize, while it’s simple to create codes and other tools.

For developers, EKM allows you to access the CSS coding and HTML for all the templates it offers. Check out EKM’s API to find out more about the development facilities offered.


Support


While there’s much to like about EKM, one thing stands above all others. The support. It’s what the platform has made its name on, it’s the USP. Even with the Basic account account you get 24/7 support. You can call or email EKM and you’ll get a quick response.

As EKM’s plans scale up the level of support increases impressively:

Plan

Support Offered

Standard

Account Manager

Advanced

Dedicated Ecommerce Consultant

EKM Pro

Strategic Account Manager

Marketing Account Management

EKM’s support site is super helpful too. It has a range of articles that cover a wide range of topics. It’s resources go the extra mile too. For example, you get instructions on how to write a blog.

Existing EKM customers agree that the platform’s support is excellent too. Check out what this person said (just 6 hours before this review was written!):

EKM customer support review

How to set up an EKM store


You can have your EKM store up and running in hours. It takes you no time at all to set it up yourself. Or, if you have selected the EKM Pro plan, you can get a specialist to do it for you. Check out the video below where Sarah, one of EKM’s Account Managers, explains how to set up an EKM store:

YouTube image
ekm logo

EKM is sold as the UK’s answer to Shopify. In truth, it’s not as good as the Canadian powerhouse. The marketing and reporting features aren’t at anything like the same level. You also get nowhere near the same level of integrations and addons.

But if you are a small business which is new to ecommerce, the support offered by EKM is a gamechanger. The resource material available is excellent and plentiful. And having your own dedicated account managers is reassuring and helpful. It takes a lot of the pain out of running a business and gives you access to expert advice.

Thinking of setting up a ecommerce business but lack confidence? The EKM will hold your hand every step of the journey. Sign up to a free 14 day trial today and make your dream of running an online business a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many businesses have built their website with EKM? 

Do I get free hosting with EKM? 

Is EKM free?