If you want to start selling online, you may choose to use an ecommerce software such as EKM, to make it easier to manage your new business. This guide covers some of the basics of EKM, including what products to sell, how to connect with potential customers, and account fees.
We’ll also cover how a specialist account, like the TransferWise for business might be able to help to save you money, so you can grow your ecommerce startup.
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To get started, you’ll just need to sign-up with your email address and set a password - and most account options are free for 14 days, so you’ll have time to figure out if it’s the right choice for you.¹
Set-up is simple. You can get started from scratch, doing everything from finding your domain name and building your website, to accepting payments and building your customer base through social media. EKM offer a helpful quick start guide that details all of the different steps you need to take to get your business moving. They outline that they can help you with:
Once you have opened your online shop, you then need to complete the set-up via EKM. Here is a quick overview of the process:
- Open an EKM domains account and claim your free domain. You’ll then point this domain at your EKM online shop after it’s built.
- Set up emails and get your SSL certificate.
- Design your online shop using the EKM themes and image builder.
- Set up your checkout flow, website categories and pages.
- Import product details into the site and manage your inventory within the EKM system.
- Choose and add a payment gateway - or multiple payment options for your customers, depending on your preference.
- Customise your aftercare, offers and marketing before you launch.²
For full set-up details see the EKM site.
EKM online stores can be built using a wide variety of templates which makes them suitable for selling more or less any product you can think of. That said, you’ll need to decide what to sell - before you can build a successful shop. Take some time to do some research to help you choose a niche, which you’ll enjoy working in - this time is a good investment for the future. To get you started, think about:
Some of the most successful e-commerce businesses start as side-hustles or hobbies - so if you’re starting out, it makes most sense to start off selling something that you’re passionate about and understand well. Maybe if you’re into screen-printing, or passionate about crafts, you could sell your creations online. Or, if you already have a blog reviewing books you’ve read, why not consider starting to sell books online at the same time?
EKM offers a feature called advanced inventory manager, which lets you easily manage your stock on the site. You can change product categories, carry out bulk price changes and make changes to your product pages as you need to - all from one single page.
- Adding categories & subcategories: organising your products is vital for effective navigation.
- Adding Products: You can easily add a name and a price for your product, and other fields - still all in the same window.
- Displaying and Hiding Products: You can easily choose to show or hide listings, with a few clicks, and choose how many products are listed on each page.
- Featured Products: maybe you have certain products that you need to sell, or you want to highlight products that have been selling well - maximizing potential sales.
- Copying Products: Included products in the wrong category? No problem, EKM makes it easy to copy-paste some or all of your listings - no need to manually re-enter listing information.
- Price Changes: Adjust pricing in seconds, for one or several products at once either by an actual amount or a percentage.⁵
If you’re still deciding which ecommerce platform will work for your new business, it pays to shop around. You’ll need to choose a platform that offers a wide range of features that will lead you to success.
EKM is packed with features, but we have picked out a few to give you an idea of what’s available:
- Hosting: EKM claims to have 99.99% uptime, meaning you can expect reliable hosting so you’ll never disappoint your customers.⁶
- Custom Domain names: Get a free domain name to help with name recognition to brand your business and increase your visibility to potential customers.
- SEO & Marketing tools: EKM support a great range of marketing options, such as simple SEO and your own custom made blog to connect with customers. You can even set up a loyalty system to encourage your customers to come back for more.
- Live Chat: EKM allows online retailers to chat live with customers, as well as automating messages to increase conversion - such as back-in-stock notifications.
When choosing the right online retail platform for you business it makes sense to look for as many tools and features to aid conversion as possible. EKM offers abandoned cart recovery, which means you can see and connect with customers who have started - but not completed - the shopping process.
This means If someone puts an item in their online basket but doesn’t complete the purchase, you can drop them an email reminder - a trick experts recommend to maximise your sales opportunities.
EKM makes it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for with both SEO tools, and powerful product search once a prospective client reaches your site. Team this with other smart tools like recently viewed product notifications and product reviews, to help convert visitors to customers.
When you claim your EKM domain you can also get an SSL certificate which will assure your customers that their payments are secure. This is the standard expected of great online retailers, and comes free with every EKM plan.⁷
There are a broad range of available payment methods and gateways, and how you get paid will depend largely on which you choose to offer through your online store. You can choose from options including:
- Bank transfer payment gateway.⁸
- Klarna payment gateway.
- Digital wallets - Amazon or PayPal for example.
- Credit cards - processing provided by Braintree, Stripe, Barclaycard, Worldpay and Sagepay.
- Less common gateways - a wide range including Skrill, Global Payments and Ogone.
- Offline methods: cash on delivery, cheque, telephone or fax.⁹
Receive money for zero fees with your own UK, Eurozone, Australian, New Zealand, and US local account details. You can even use them to receive money from platforms such as Stripe and Amazon.
You can even pay employees based abroad with low costs, and the increased convenience of payouts platform for global business, powerful open API, and Xero integration.
EKM help you take your business international, with the option to set-up multiple currency options. You can set a ‘base’ currency, and then select additional currencies to allow customers in that particular country to browse your shop, and see prices displayed in their local currency. The money received would then be converted back to your ‘base’ currency
If you are looking to sell predominantly in one market, for example in Europe or the US - then it may make sense to set your ‘base’ currency as either EUR or USD. And, TransferWise may be able to help you save on costs.¹⁰
Before you choose to use EKM to host your online store, you’ll want to know a bit more about what it costs you. Many of the fees vary depending on factors like which package you sign up for, and which payment gateways you choose to add. You’ll need to visit the EKM site to model the exact prices for the website you have in mind.
To get you started, here are a few key costs to consider:
Basic - £29.99 + VAT /mo
All account options offer a free trial period and require no contract, except for the EKM Pro account that requires a 6 month contract. Domain name is free for a year, with a £14.99 annual fee after that.¹¹
These are just some of the features of the account options offered - for full information refer to EKM site directly.
EKM offer varying levels of support, depending on the package you choose. For example, with the Standard account, recommended for start-ups by EKM - you get an account manager for 6 months, whereas with the Basic account you only have access to UK-based customer support.
An account manager will contact you and give you a demonstration of EKM and how it works. The support offered then varies depending on your account. For the Standard account, you’ll get sise-by-side assistance for 6 months to add your products and install features, among other things.¹²
When you’re weighing your options, you’ll have looked at a range of different ecommerce platforms to get your business up and running. One popular choice is Shopify.
Helpfully, EKM offer their own comparison of Shopify¹³ , which concludes you’re better off with EKM. However, which is best depends on your specific store type and projected sales volume - so take the time to do some independent research.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Shopify prices their monthly fees in US dollars which makes comparison a little tricky. However, EKM and Shopify are relatively similar in cost for the basic and mid-range option - while EKM wins on fees for their advanced package.
- With Shopify you’re probably going to pay a transaction fee, while there are ways to avoid these with EKM if you choose to.
- EKM themes are all free to use. Shopify charge for some - but you never know if you might find the one you want among their free options.
If you’re choosing between these two ecommerce platform options, take time to weigh up the likely costs for your specific online store including both monthly fees and transaction charges, before you decide.
If you’re about to jump into the world of ecommerce, you have an exciting journey ahead. With platforms like EKM, you can get your online store set up relatively simply and with no specialist knowledge or experience. Simply find a product niche you love and believe in, and create a great store around that with the tools provided.
Don’t forget to look at the TransferWise for business account as a great way to manage payments via bank transfers or through providers such as Stripe, cover supplier invoices and pay your team as your business grows.
- Sign-up for an EKM account
- EKM Quick Start Guide
- EKM Guides: Email Marketing
- EKM Guides: on-site SEO
- Advanced Inventory Manager: Create and edit categories and product listings
- Hosting: EKM Features
- EKM Features Overview
- Bank Transfer Payment Method
- EKM Payment Gateways
- Currency Settings
- EKM Account Pricing
- Account Manager: EKM Support
- EKM: Comparison to Shopify
Sources checked: 17-October 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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