If you've been looking for an affordable ecommerce platform with all of the needed features packed in, EKM might just be the system you want. In this EKM review, we'll outline how the UK-based development and support team makes it rather advantageous for some online stores. We'll also talk about EKM's features that make it stand out.
Not only is EKM affordable, but it has an in-house support team, a focus on built-in features (as opposed to apps,) and an interesting service that scans your website for outdated information.
EKM Reviews: The Features
One of the things that EKM has going for it is the fact that the users are given tons of ecommerce features after a simple setup. An the surface, you gain access to tools for building your website, designing certain elements of the site, and marketing to your customers. Uploading products takes just a few minutes, and converting your visitors is done with marketing features and funnels.
The payments are secure and included with EKM, and all order management is handled within the EKM dashboard. Another thing to consider is hosting. The website hosting is included with all EKM pricing plans, so you know that you're getting a secure and fast server. Along with great customer support, you can't go wrong with the features inside of EKM.
Let's take a look at some of our favorites:
EKM's Evolution Mode
One of the more difficult parts about running an online store is ensuring that all of the content is up-to-date. Are your promotional banners old? Is some of your inventory out of stock? Do you have broken links?
All of these situations cause your customers to enjoy your interface less. That's why EKM has a completely unique program where it scans your website for outdated information. This is all done by the employees at EKM, so you can sit back and relax, knowing that you'll get notifications when something looks off.
Beautiful Designs with Solid Building Tools
EKM has dozens of themes for you to get your design started. They are all categorized in different industries, such as furniture stores or clothing shops. Some of the main categories include Fun, Modern, Corporate, Artistic, and Minimal. The themes are easy to work with and you don't have to pay for them as an EKM subscriber.
All of the EKM shops are optimized for mobile screens. You can also quickly customize for your own brand and set up items like product filters and galleries.
EKM's Built-in Banner Maker
In my experience building online stores, I've found that designing promotional banners takes a surprising amount of time out of your day.
I typically work in Photoshop, but EKM provides an awesome built-in banner builder without any additional cost. You're able to make perfectly sized and optimized banners with customizable text on each one. It allows you to upload your own images or choose from the many stock images in EKM. This is sure to save many ecommerce professionals time in the long run.
EKM's Email Marketing and Loyalty Points
For the most part, EKM cuts out the need for third-party marketing tools. For instance, instead of using Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, you can utilize EKM's email marketing tool. It syncs with your store for quick product insertion, and you can send emails with new blog posts or exclusive offers.
The loyalty points system is also included within EKM. This way, your company awards points to customers whenever they buy items, all without the need for a third-party tool.
EKM's Live Chatting and Abandoned Cart Saver
There are several tools to convert your visitors into paying customers. One of them is a live chat that pops up for your customers and shows you the items being looked at by those customers. This way, you can guide them along their way and answer any questions they may have.
Another conversion feature involves reducing abandoned carts. EKM automatically retargets the customers that have left their carts with some items in there. This is done with simple emails showing the shoppers that they can still check out later.
Finally, back-in-stock notifications can be sent out to your customers that may have missed out on an item because you ran out of inventory.
EKM Reviews: The Pricing
The EKM pricing is only shown in British Pounds. You can make your monthly payments in other currencies, but you'll have to check Google to understand the current exchange rate for that currency.
In addition, each EKM plan comes with a 14-day free trial. This gives you the freedom to play around with the features and understand if it's the right solution for your online store.
Another thing to keep in mind is that EKM doesn't take a cut of your sales–it sticks to the monthly payments for using the system. In addition, there's no contract, so you can stop paying for EKM whenever you want. The only additional fees you have to worry about involve your payment gateway.
Luckily, EKM has an online checkout system included–but you do have the option to connect your own payment gateway (just make sure you know everything about the fees involved).
As for the pricing plans, here's what you can choose from:
- EKM Basic Plan – For £32.49 + VAT per month, you receive all of the primary features (most of which are outlined in the previous section,) support for up to 500 products, a domain name, SSL certificate, basic account manager, UK-based support, shop health analytics, and a single user account. This plan is recommended for shops with up to £50,000 in sales per year.
- EKM Standard Plan – For £64.99 + VAT per month, you receive everything in the previous plan, support for unlimited products, priority customer support, full analytics, and five user accounts. This plan is recommended for shops with up to £150,000 in sales per year.
- EKM Advanced Plan – For £194.99 + VAT per month, you receive everything in the previous plan, support for unlimited products, an ecommerce consultant, 24/7 emergency support, a high-performance server, and up to 15 user accounts. This plan is recommended for shops with up to £1,000,000 in sales per year.
- EKM Pro Plan – For £541.66 + VAT per month, you receive everything in the previous plan, support for unlimited products, a custom website build, exclusive payment rates, a strategic account manager, marketing account management tools, and enterprise level performance on your website. This plan is recommended for enterprise-level stores.
As you can see, there are quite a few options depending on how large your store is. You get pretty much everything you need to run your small to mid-sized store at the Basic plan level, with plenty of options for upgrades as your store grows.
Keep in mind this is a UK-based company, so there is the matter of converting your payments to Pounds (if your company is outside of the UK,) and also worrying about being able to speak with a support representative if outside of the UK.
Overall, the pricing is fair for the number of features you receive from EKM. Just the fact that your store can have 500 products, an SSL certificate, and a basic account manager is enough to justify that Basic Plan's price.
EKM Reviews: The Customer Support
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the EKM customer support team is based in the UK. This could be a huge advantage for you if you live in the UK. Also, in my opinion, in-house support teams like that are almost always much better than outsourced teams. So, you can rest easy knowing that your support reps are well-trained and ready to answer all of your questions along the way.
I also like that some of the plans have more advanced account managers, along with a full website customization for those on the Enterprise plan.
In terms of the online resources, EKM provides a blog for an email newsletter to learn more about the features and gain tips about ecommerce in general.
The knowledge base is filled with user guides on topics like themes, building your shop, and setting up your marketing strategy.
A community forum is there for you to chat with other EKM users, and the video guides are great for those visual learners out there. Other than that, you have access to a nice quick start guide, and you can contact the customer support team through email, phone, or a Facebook message.
At the time of this article, EKM's phone lines are open Monday through Friday, 8AM to 6PM and Saturday through Sunday, 9AM to 5:30PM. Once again, these are UK-based times.
EKM Review: Security
As with all ecommerce platforms, we want to make sure that your transactions are secure. The same can be said about your customer information and your entire website. How does EKM stand out in terms of security?
To start, it's important to know that EKM's hosting is provided with your package. This means that you have no need to go out and find your own hosting provider. It also means that you get to run your site on extremely fast and secure servers, with an almost 100% uptime guarantee and server monitoring 24/7. Since EKM is your host, you don't have to worry about any maintenance, security, or handling site speed.
You simply run your store and let the folks at EKM handle everything for you. We've also found that these servers are often far more secure because the ecommerce platforms have a significant amount of manpower and money invested in them. Therefore, the server monitoring and hardened security should help you feel at ease.
EKM also states that its ecommerce hosting network has top-notch firewalls and advanced routers to make sure that all of your customer data is protected at all times.
EKM Reviews: The Pros
Finding an ecommere platform is a lot to handle, especially when you often have to read through lengthy articles to get all of the information you need. That's why we wanted to give you an outline of some of EKM's advantages.
- EKM's statistics are rather impressive, with clean analytics showing timelines, best-selling products, and worst-selling items.
- The online store themes are modern and bright, allowing for you to get your shop up and running in no time–without wondering if it looks professional.
- You receive some unique marketing tools for things like SEO, loyalty programs, and blogging. All of this is packaged into the EKM system.
- You typically don't have to worry about installing extra apps, since EKM tries to include all of the most important features into the actual product.
- EKM has a live chat module for interacting with your customers at any time.
- You get an SSL certificate and are able to collect payments through options like Klarna and Amazon Payments.
EKM Reviews: The Cons
This EKM review showed us that the platform does an excellent job of giving you pretty much everything you need to run an online store. There are a few cons, but not many:
- EKM is located in the UK, so that means the customer support team is local to the UK and you might run into some difficulties if trying to run a store outside of the UK.
- Although the themes are great, I would like to see some more drag-and-drop improvements in the site builder.
- Other ecommerce platforms have more integrations with payment gateways.
EKM Review: Payment Processing
We stated the number of payment gateways as a con in the section above. Having said that, EKM still offers over 20 options for you to choose from. This isn't exactly all that limiting.
Some of the options include Klarna, PayPal by Braintree, Sage Pay, and Amazon Pay. You'll notice that some of the payment gateways are excellent for UK businesses and international companies that may not be able to use something like Stripe.
All of the payments that go through your gateways are PCI compliant. You'll also enjoy a free SSL certificate and fraud detection at all times.
What's also great is that payments are already configured on your EKM store. There's technically no need to set anything up yourself.
Finally, you have the option to sell to customers all over the world by offering multiple currency options.
How Does EKM Compare?
EKM is an excellent solution for those interested in selling internationally and locally. We especially like it for those living in the UK, since customer support is located there.
But how does it compare to some of the top ecommerce platforms on the market? After all, these are the systems that we see all over the internet–so does EKM put up a good fight with the big dogs?
EKM vs Shopify
EKM has some tools that are rather similar to Shopify (read our full Shopify review). For one, Shopify has a logo builder, while EKM provides logo and banner makers. Shopify seems to have a better designer and a larger collection of themes, but I still think EKM beats out Shopify in terms of its quality of designs.
Shopify also has better customer support, with 24/7 global support and a huge collection of documents online. EKM is no slouch in the customer support department, but you may find the UK hours a bit limiting.
One area where EKM shines is with its built-in features. A mainstay of Shopify is how the platform relies heavily on its App Store. The basic platform is solid, but you often have to integrate with a wide range of other apps. This could start getting expensive, or you might simply clutter your dashboard with too many apps. EKM, on the other hand, provides the majority of necessary features as built-in tools.
Finally, EKM's pricing is higher than that of Shopify's, at least for the first two smaller plans from Shopify. EKM also only seems to sell those plans in British Pounds. That said, one might argue that EKM has far more built-in features to justify the price.
EKM vs Wix
Wix (read our full Wix review) has always been a low-cost leader in the website building world, so even its third-tier Business VIP plan is cheaper than EKM's lowest option. So, if you're looking for the cheapest deal, Wix is your choice.
However, EKM wins on almost all other fronts. For instance, the themes are better, and it's actually a complete ecommerce platform–whereas Wix accepts payments, but you often have to piece together apps to make it a full online store.
Wix technical support doesn't offer the greatest advice in my experience, but it does have tons of documentation and a team that isn't only focused in the UK. However, the EKM team is far more knowledgeable about its product.
EKM vs BigCommerce
This comparison is interesting because BigCommerce and EKM both try to build as many features as possible into the platforms. They both also have some of the most beautiful website themes on the market. I'd argue that BigCommerce and EKM are the most similar in this list of comparisons.
Although BigCommerce is slightly cheaper, it's not by much.
EKM vs WooCommerce
WooCommerce (read our full WooCommerce review) is great for those who want full control of their online store. This means you have to find your own hosting, get a theme, design the website, and handle tasks like site management and security. It's for slightly more experienced webmasters, but you could potentially save money since there's no monthly fee. However, development and hosting fees can build up if you're not careful.
EKM provides everything you need in a nice package–all for a monthly fee. Therefore, you can focus more on your business and not hosting and maintenance.
Other than that, EKM has more built-in features, while WooCommerce leans on plugins and extensions. The themes for both are pretty nice.
Who Should Consider EKM for an Online Store?
First thing's first: UK-based companies should immediately consider EKM as one of your top options for an ecommerce platform. The local, dedicated support is some of the best in the business, and you have the opportunity to receive all the features you need for a store.
I also like EKM for companies all over the world looking for a system without a bunch of third-party apps. Managing all of those apps is tedious, so it's nice to have all of your features included.
EKM Reviews: Our Conclusion
If you have any questions about this EKM review, share your thoughts in the comments below! And don't forget to check out our EMK tutorial if you wish to create a store using this platform.