EKM Review 2021
Ecommerce website builder with excellent support.
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:
- 1Simplicity: Installation and management is straightforward.
- 2Experience: EKM has been helping business owners set up their stores for 15 years.
- 3Support: 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 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:
Cost Per Month
£32.99 +VAT P/M
£50,000 per year
£64.99 +VAT P/M
£150,000 per year
£1 million per year
Whatever you pay for your EKM ecommerce website, you get some essential features. The main ones are:
A domain name
Klarna payments – for instant debit and credit card payments
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:
What It Gives You
EKM Evolution Mode
Your online store upgrades, evolves, self-optimizes.
Your ecommerce website comes with in-built email marketing.
EKM’s platform is designed with SEO in mind.
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 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:
You can find the complete list of EKM themes here.
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:
- Google +
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.
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:
First Data Merchant Solutions
V12 Retail Finance
Ogone Payment Services
The offline available from EKM are:
Payment On Delivery
For more information on how to use these for your ecommerce website, check out this article from EKM’s help site.
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.
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.
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:
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
Free to Install
Free to Install
Ease Of Use
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
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
Dedicated Ecommerce Consultant
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!):
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:
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?
Over 30,000 online stores are built on EKM. It’s the UK’s most popular ecommerce website builder and more people are signing up to it everyday.
Do I get free hosting with EKM?
You get free hosting with EKM, whatever plan you sign up to. It comes with 99.99% uptime, meaning you’re business gets maximum connectivity.
Is EKM free?
EKM offers a 14 day free trial, so you can test its software. You can then choose from one of four plans, starting from £29.99 plus VAT per month.