EKM vs Shopify (2022) – Which One is Better for UK Businesses?

EKM and Shopify are two very popular options for UK business to start selling online, but which one is better out of the two?

EKM vs Shopify: What is the Difference?

EKM is a fully hosted ecommerce platform that is primarily targeted at the UK market and operates on a tiered pricing system. Shopify is a global ecommerce platform and operates on a fixed pricing structure with transaction fees, which vary depending on the package.

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ekm ecommerce logo

Basic: £34.99/m (£50k*)
Standard: £69.99/m (£150k*)
Advanced: £209.99/m (£1m*)
Pro: £599.99/m (£1m+)

*Annual turnover limit


Basic: $29/m (2%^)
Standard: $79/m (1%^)
Advanced: $299/m (0.5%^)
Plus: $2000/m

^Transaction fee

As you can see, both platforms offer a selection of 4 packages for businesses of all sizes, from start ups to enterprise level ecommerce businesses.

The main difference between the platforms pricing structures are that:

EKM uses turnover based pricing, which means once you hit the annual turnover limit on your package, you are automatically moved on to the next package but you do also get access to better support and more input from EKM’s Evolution Team. One additional thing to be noted is that the EKM Basic package does have a limit of 500 products.

Shopify charges a transaction fee on all payments taken through third-party platforms such as PayPal or Amazon Pay, this starts at 2% on the basic package but does not apply if you are using Shopify Payments as your gateway. This gives you more flexibility over which plan you choose to be on but can work out expensive, especially if a lot of your payments are taken through third-party platforms.

Overall, EKM does work out the cheaper of the two platforms, especially when your business starts to grow.

Free Trial

Both EKM and Shopify offer a free trial so that you can test the platform out before committing to a paid plan. With EKM, you get a 28 day free trial using the button above and Shopify offer a 14 day free trial.


One of the main selling points of any ecommerce platform is the features that they offer for their users, so what do these two platforms offer?


Ecommerce Tools

  • Free 03 Business Phone Number
  • Facebook Messenger for Live Chat
  • Customer Reviews
  • Related Products
  • Promo Stickers
  • Product Attributes
  • Recently Viewed Products

Marketing & SEO

  • Email Marketing built in
  • ChannelGrabber (Cross platform selling)
  • Google Tools (inc Analytics & Shopping)
  • Loyalty Points
  • Discount Manager
  • Social Share
  • WordPress Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s


  • Order Breakdown
  • Best and Worst Selling Products
  • Search Statistics
  • Web Statistics (Premium)

Payment Gateways

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • LayBuy
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay
  • Nochex
  • Barclaycard EPDQ

With the EKM platform, you do get to pick and choose many of the features that you have on your website as they work in a very similar way to apps. This is because they are single click installation/removal and in total, there are over 40 of these to choose from and most of them are free to use.

One of the best features of the EKM platform is their Evolution Mode. With this, you get a review of your site by EKM’s specialist Evolution team, who will give you advice on how you can improve your site from design to functionality. The best thing about evolution mode is that if you agree to the changes, the team will implement the for free on your behalf if you are on the Standard, Advanced or Pro packages.


Ecommerce Tools

  • Dropshipping Integration
  • Flexible Shipping Rates
  • Multi-Language
  • Product Reviews
  • Digital Products
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Shopify Management App

Marketing & SEO

  • Google Adwords Credit
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Discount Codes
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Auto Generated Sitemap
  • Social Share
  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s


  • Product Reports
  • Traffic Sources
  • Google Analytics
  • Day, Week and Monthly Reports

Payment Gateways

  • Shopify Payments
  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • Amazon Pay
  • Klarna
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay

While the standard features are very good, it is the amount of third-party apps that are available within the Shopify App store that is really impressive. With over 3000 to choose from, covering everything from ecommerce features, marketing and SEO to order and inventory management.

Due to the vast amount of Apps on offer, it really isn’t possible for me to even begin listing them here.

Shopify App Store

Unfortunately though, not all of these apps are free to use. Many do offer free trials or plans but if you want access to all of the features that the app has to offer, then you will need to opt for the paid plan.

The paid plans do range in price from a couple of dollars a month to around the $100 a month range. Always be vigilant when installing apps as you could soon find yourself with a hefty monthly bill!

Theme Selection & Customisation


Towards the end of 2021, EKM overhauled their theme selection and customisation options to bring their users a more updated and easy to use tools, which give users more control over how their sites look and feel.

As of updating this post, there is currently only 1 theme available that works with the new theme customisation tools but hopefully more will be added throughout 2022. They still have 25 themes that work with the old theme customizer but these will be fazed out/replaced with new themes.

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can have a custom theme built by the EKM team for £1999.99 + vat.

As mentioned above, a new theme customizer has been introduced and this really has improved one of the areas where EKM was lacking as users now have considerably more control over the look and feel of their site as they can now:

  • Easily rearrange existing sections by dragging and dropping them
  • Choose to add or remove sections from the homepage
  • Change any text directly within the customizer
  • Change font type and theme colours
  • Easily edit footer content and links
EKM New Theme Customiser

Overall, this has been a big improvement with EKM’s theme customisation and they are adding small tweaks and improvements all the time. The only thing I would like to see added would be the ability to pick and choose what items go into the main navigation menu.

As the new customizer is a live preview, you can see exactly how things will look before you publish them to your live site and you can also check how your site looks on mobile devices along with tablets and desktop.


The free offering from Shopify is quite a bit smaller with only 9 to choose from but they do have a large selection of paid themes that range from $140 to $180.

Outside of the Shopify ecosystem, you can have a custom theme made by a developer of your choice or go to a third party marketplace such as Themeforest, that has over 1200 paid themes to choose from.

But customisation is one of the reasons why Shopify became so successful as not only have very well designed themes but also a very good the customisation tool, which allows you to make all of your changes in one place, it is also nice and easy to use.

Shopify Theme Customisation

When it comes to homepage design, not only can you re-arrange the existing sections but Shopify offers a good selection of additional sections to help you make a completely custom page. Unfortunately this page builder doesn’t currently extend to other pages on your site.

There are also plenty of other options in the customizer, including being able to change fonts, colours and also edit the code of the theme, which can be very useful if you know CSS and also the Liquid language that Shopify uses.


One of the reasons why people choose a hosted ecommerce platform such as EKM or Shopify is that they get help and support to run their website. But how good is either platforms offering?


One of the areas the EKM prides itself on is its support and they offer a lot, not only do you get access to their highly rated UK based support in the form of live chat, email and also over the phone but they also work with you to help you start and grow your store.

Support isn’t available 24/7 (although the Advanced and Pro packages do include 24/7 emergency support) but standard support times are great for UK business as it is available 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5.30pm on Saturdays.

When you sign up to EKM, you get a 30 minute welcome call to help you get started and ask any questions but on all but the basic packages, you also get your own dedicated account manager:

  • EKM Standard: Dedicated account manager for 6 months
  • EKM Advanced: Dedicated account manager full time
  • EKM Pro: Account manager and team to help run your site


Shopify does offer 24/7 support across a selection of mediums such as live chat, email and over the phone but unlike EKM, it is more challenging actually contacting them as you need to know how to navigate the help section in order to find these options.

Dedicated support is only available when you are a Shopify Plus customer, all of the standard packages offer the same level of support.

One useful area within Shopify is their customer support forum, which can be a great source of knowledge and a good place to as non-urgent questions.

Hosting & Performance

On paper, there is little to choose between the two platforms when it comes to their hosting as both offer:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • Most Importantly Fast Servers

Now this all sounds fantastic but I don’t take these platforms at their word, instead I like to put them to the test. To do this I took three of their customer example sites and ran them through Pingdom’s speed tool using their London, UK server and Google Page Speed Insights, once a day for five days to get a nice spread of data, so how did they do?

ekm ecommerce logo

Pingdom: 1.12 Seconds
Google Mobile: 55/100
Google Desktop: 83/100

Average Load Time

Pingdom: 1.14 Seconds
Google Mobile: 41/100
Google Desktop: 84/100

As you can see, the two platforms are extremely close in terms of performance with EKM just getting the edge on mobile devices.

Both platforms performed really well and it put them towards the top of my performance testing and if you want to see how the two compared against the competition, check out my fastest ecommerce platforms post.

EKM vs Shopify Video

Ease of Use

Now I do know that ease of use is subjective to the person using the site so the following is just my opinion and should only be used as a guide.

Getting Started


Getting started with EKM is very simple as all you need is an email address, create a password, select which plan you would like to try, input some basic business details such as name and address and you are good to go!

Once you have signed up, you will be greeted by a comprehensive set up guide that takes you through pretty much everything you need to know in order to get started and as mentioned above, you also get a 30 minute welcome call from one of the the team to help you get started and also answer any questions you may have about the platform.

EKM New Navigation

The EKM admin dashboard is a little different to most ecommerce platforms as they have opted for a top bar navigation menu, with 7 sections:

  • Dashboard (home page)
  • Shop (changes to Products if using new theme)
  • Orders
  • Analytics
  • Design
  • Features
  • Settings

If you are using one of the new EKM themes, the dashboard does become much easier to use as it changes the Shop section to Products.

The reason why this is an improvement is because in the previous set up, the Shop section contained options for creating/editing products and categories but also some theme customisation options. All design options have now been combined with the new theme customizer and the Products section is just for managing your inventory.


Getting started with Shopify is equally as easy as you only need an email address, your shop name and create a password to get started.

Once you have completed to sign up process, you will be greeted by a set up guide but it doesn’t contain that many steps and misses out on quite a few of the important things you need to do in order to get up and running.

Shopify Admin Dashboard

Fortunately, they do have a very good video series in the form of the Shopify Academy that will take you through setting up your online store. There are also some useful hints and tips in these videos.

The main Shopify dashboard is very well laid out and easy to navigate around as the main sidebar navigation menu is clearly labelled and all of the headings and sections are clearly defined as to what they do. This make it very easy to learn where everything is and the uncluttered layout is also aesthetically pleasing.

Inventory Management

Being able to manage your stock efficiently and effectively is a hugely important part of running an online store and for me there are three main areas to this and they are:

  • Adding products
  • Organising your Products
  • Managing your inventory


Most of EKM’s inventory management is done in the shop section and the add new product page appears as a pop up, like in the image below:

EKM Add New Product

The pop up to add a new product is easy to use a follows a logical flow through the different sections and once they are all completed, clicking save will add the new product to your store.

Adding a new category is very similar to adding a new product, only with less sections that you need to fill out. With EKM, you can add parent and sub-categories, which makes creating a hierarchy really easy to do.

As standard, managing your inventory is not the easiest thing to do in EKM as you need to navigate through the shop preview that appears in the Products section of the dashboard and find the product you want to edit, which isn’t the best workflow.

Fortunately, EKM does have an installable feature called the Advanced Inventory Manager and this makes managing your inventory so much easier as you can quickly access your inventory all in one place.

The Advanced Inventory Manager is a great feature and in my opinion, it should be used as standard in the Products section of the dashboard as it would make the EKM a lot easier to use.


Shopify have gone for a single page layout for their add product page and it has a very nice flow from section to section and this makes it very simple to add a new product to your store.

Shopify Add New Product Page

Organising your products is little tricky as the Shopify collections system is completely straightforward due to their being a few different options on how to do this.

Using the manual collections is very similar to a traditional category systems but the automatic one is based of rules that you set up using product tags and to get the working effectively, it is worth reading through the documentation.

Setting up sub-collections is also not particularly straightforward as you need to do this when you are editing your navigation menu, not in the collection creation or edit page.

You can manage your inventory levels on the inventory page but if you want to make changes to the pricing, SKU code or any other field from the product, then you can select the products you want to edit from the product overview screen and then click the edit product button, which allows you to make updates in bulk.

Managing Orders

EKM – You can manage orders in bulk or on a individual basis with EKM. From the order overview page you can print orders directly and there are four options for the layout of the invoices/packing slips, you can also update the order statuses. If you use any third-party software for your order, then you can export all of your order information in CSV format.

If you need to manage or update an individual order, you can do this from the overview page or by going into the order.

Shopify – The order management system in Shopify isn’t the best as standard as you can only print off packing slips, if you want to print invoices or any other paperwork, you will need to install an order printer app to make it more useable.

While being able to print off order information isn’t great in Shopify, they do have some useful bulk management features including being able to change order statuses, capture payments and export order information.


EKM Summary

Theme Selection & Customisation
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

EKM Pros

• Excellent Support
• Evolution Mode
• Theme Selection
• Order Management System
• Very Good Performance

EKM Cons

• Needs more themes for new customizer
• Products sections of dashboard could be improved
• Some features could have better integrations


Shopify Summary

Theme Selection & Customisation
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Shopify Pros

• Theme Customisation
• 24/7 Support
• Easy to use Admin Area
• The App Store
• Very Good Performance

Shopify Cons

• Transaction Fees
• Automatic Collection system is a bit complicated
• No option to bulk print invoices



EKM vs Shopify: Which One is Best Ecommerce Platform for UK Businesses?

As you can see from the summary above, picking between these two platforms is very difficult as they are both great options for starting an online shop.

However, I do think that for UK businesses, EKM does just have a slight edge as they are focused on the UK domestic market and their Evolution Mode can be very helpful, especially for people who aren’t experienced with running an ecommerce website.

But I would highly recommend trying both platforms out for yourself and taking advantage of the free trial that both platforms offer to test them out for yourself, so that you can see which one you prefer using.

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Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!

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