Are you trying to choose between EKM and Shopify for your online shop?
In this post, I am going to be comparing the UK’s biggest largest ecommerce platform, EKM with the biggest ecommerce platform in the world, Shopify. To compare these two platforms, I am going to look at the following sections.
Neither platform has got where they are today without offering a variety of different packages that are suitable for businesses of all different sizes but for this post I am going to be looking at both of the basic packages.
choose your plan
Amount of space
Bandwidth per month
+ vat a month
Up to 500 Products
Up to £50k Annual Turnover
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
No Transaction Fees
69 Free Responsive Themes
Standard UK Support
1 Employee Account
No Turnover Limit
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
2% Transaction Fee
8 Free Responsive Themes
2 Staff Accounts
Both of the basic packages are pretty similar in terms of pricing and what you get for your money but there are two main differences between the two packages. With EKM, you are limited by the amount of turnover, so if you sell more than £50k in a year, then you will be moved up to the next package but you do get more support and resources on the larger packages.
The second main difference is that Shopify charge a transaction fee on every sale you make unless you use Shopify Payments. On the basic package this is 2% but this does fall on the larger packages.
Both platforms offer a free trial so that you can test it out fully before committing to a paid plan. With Shopify, you get a 14 day free trial. As a partner of EKM, I get to offer an exclusive 28 day free trial. To start a trial with either platform, simply click the button below:
2. Web Hosting
On paper both platforms offer really impressive sounding web hosting that includes unlimited bandwidth, storage, pci compliant servers and fast servers. But what does this mean in terms of real world performance? Well I decided to put both platforms to the test by taking three of their customer websites and running them through Pingdom’s speed test tool once a day for three days. Below are the average page load speeds.
There is not a massive difference in terms of load time with just over three quarters of a second load time between the two. In the full reviews I give more of a breakdown of the scores. While the load times are pretty close, there was on big difference between the two platforms and that was that EKM’s sites were more consistent than Shopify’s.
Aesthetics are an important part of your website and having a good selection of themes is important but you also want to be able to customise them so that they really fit your business and your brand.
EKM offer a far larger selection of free themes, with a total of 69 to choose from. There is good choice of different styles that a variety of different industries.
Customising an EKM theme could be a bit easier. Unlike most ecommerce platforms not all the design elements are in the same place, this makes it not so straight forward to do customisation. Even so, you can do quite a lot to change the look and feel of your theme, you have some control over the layout and can remove and add some sections.
Outside of layout, you can also change the colours and fonts on your theme. EKM also have a logo maker, which is useful if you don’t have one already.
Shopify only offer a small selection of 8 free themes but they do have a good selection of paid themes that range from $140 – $180. Many of the paid themes that Shopify offer are built by third-party developers, this means you get a wide variety of styles and influence.
Shopify were always known for their ability to easily customise their themes and that is still very much true. You have lots of control over the look of your site and can add and remove sections, change colours, fonts and you also have access to the Shopify stock image library, which offers lot of options to pad out your site with high quality images.
This can be really useful, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have many images of your own.
Out of the box, both platforms are perfectly capable shopping carts and you can easily build a successful store just using the basic features. But what if you want to add more functionality to your online shop?
If you want to add additional functionality to your EKM shop, you can install features that work in the same way as apps do in that you install them with a single click, they don’t have to be coded in to the website.
One that you do really need to install is the Advanced Inventory Manager feature but I will cover that more below. EKM is definitely aimed at online sellers who are operating business to customer ecommerce stores. The reason I say this is because many of the feautres are designed to add to the users experience, promoting your business to new customers or making the most of the ones you already have.
Things like Facebook Messenger for adding live chat to your site, free 03 business number, loyalty points and promo stickers can all be used to improve your customers experience, not only of using your website but of also contacting your business.
If you have an Ebay store, you can easily import or export your products, which makes managing your listings over both platforms a lot easier. With Google Tools, Facebook Pixel, Abandoned Cart Statistics and Search Statistics, you can really start to refine your marketing strategy so that you are targeting the right people with the right products.
Listing all the possible functionality options that you can add with Shopify is a little bit difficult as they have their own App Store with over 1000 apps in there. The reason why there is so many is that Shopify allows third-party developers to build apps and while this adds near limitless possibilities, there is a slight downside.
That downside is the cost, while most third-party apps offer free packages, if you want all of the features then you are going to have to pay! This does mean that if you are not careful, then you could soon find that your monthly bills are quite high.
If you planning on starting a dropshipping business then Shopify definitely has the edge on this one as EKM offer no specific integration with any of the major dropshipping companies. Shopify on the other hand offer quite a few and is the platform you should seriously look at if this is the business you are in or looking to start.
Both platforms offer a fantastic selction of payment gateways and all the major players are supported such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Klarna, Worldpay and Sagepay.
You may notice that Stripe is missing from the above list? The reason is that while the both offer it as a payment option, Shopify do it a bit differently as they have partnered with Stripe to create Shopify Payments and as I mentioned above, the only way to avoid additional transaction fees on Shopify is if you use this payment gateway.
I have to give EKM the edge on this one as the quality of their support is excellent and that is backed up by the amount of 5 star ratings they have from their customers on numerous sites. The reason why it is so good is because they do really want to help you and your business succeed.
Not only do get a welcome phone call to help you get started and answer any questions you may have but on larger packages, you also get your own account manager. But the support you get with the Basic package is still great, while they don’t offer 24/7 support, they do aim to get back to you as soon as they can and they aim to do it in 24 hours.
Finding their contact information is also really easy and during business hours you can contact them by phone, live chat or email. Outside of these hours you can either leave a message on the live chat or email them.
Shopify support on the other hand is a little less straight forward! While they promote 24/7 support, finding out how to contact the support is a little bit tricky. Whenever you click on contact support, you are taken to a section that has lots of really good documentation but you have to go through a bit of this to find out how to contact a real person.
If you don’t want to do this, then you can use their community forum and this is where lots of people go to ask a question. There are Shopify staff who answer questions in there along with many of the experienced users, who can offer great advice but sometimes you just want to speak to the company themselves.
5. Ease of Use
So that covers lots of the facts and figures about both platforms but what are they like to use?
EKM is one of the few platforms that uses a top navigation bar and while it is no better or worse than a sidebar navigation, there is one section that just doesn’t really work that well for me and that is the Shop section.
There is no real definition as to what its primary purpose is but you can add stock and categories as well as editing some design elements. This is a real shame to me as the rest of the admin dashboard works really well.
Shopify has a really well laid out and easy to use admin dashboard and all the sections are clearly laid out so that you know exactly where everything is. Compared to EKM’s set up tutorial, Shopify’s is a bit on the light side and doesn’t really cover enough areas, which means you have to go and find them for yourself.
Adding and Managing Products
Adding new products and categories with EKM is really easy, simply click the add product or category button and a pop-up will appear that gives you a complete tabbed set up with all the sections you need to add a new product.
But managing your stock is an area that EKM do need to improve a little bit, this is where what I mentioned in the features section comes in. To efficiently manage your stock, you do need to install the Advanced Inventory Manager feature as managing your stock without it really isn’t that easy. For me, this should be installed as standard and accessible in the same area that you add a new product.
To add new products on Shopify is just as easy, the only difference is that they have gone for a single page layout with all the sections you could need. Unlike EKM, managing your products is just as easy as adding new ones.
The main difference comes when you are organising your products, I have already mentioned that EKM use categories but Shopify use a system called collections, which is similar but a bit more complicated to use. You have quite a few options within the collections section and it is definitely worth reading the documentation before you start using it.
From my testing, EKM had the better order management system. Mainly because you can update order statuses and print packing slips off in bulk, directly from the order management page. With Shopify, I could only do this on an individual basis but I am sure there is an app that you can install to remedy this problem. Both platforms allow you to export your order in CSV format if you use third-party software.
Honestly, both of these platforms are really good choices when it comes to starting an online shop.
They also balance each other out quite well as there are somethings that EKM do better and others that Shopify does better, which makes picking between the two quite difficult.
I think how you choose which one is going to be better for you and your business is to give them both a try by taking advantage of their free trials. You will soon get a feel for which one you prefer using and that is the one you should go for.