If you’re looking to set up a new online shop to sell your wares, going into 2018 you have a few options available to you. The first and most traditional route is to hire a web designer or agency, who can build a custom e-commerce store for you, to spec, to your exact minute requirements. You could also look at an open source option such as OpenCart or Magento, and go it alone, completely DIY using your own website hosting package.

Whilst these approaches do both have their merits, they’re often unsuitable for new businesses due to their high setup cost, both in terms of money but also time. So although going down these routes may be best for some and do of course have their place, it’s often best to reserve this time and cost initially as a startup. Instead focussing on offering a functional, great looking online shop to your clients, with a minimum of hassle and fuss.

This is where a 3rd option comes into play, a hosted e-commerce platform. It’s hosted ‘on the cloud’, ready for you to use, and build your online shop with straight away.

One such company, and one of our valued partners, is EKM (formally EKM Powershop). EKM offers a system with which you can build your own successful online shop – which is not only reliable, fast and secure, but even automatically evolves and optimises itsself to maximise your sales and success.

Their offering is surprisingly full-featured given the competitive price. All plans include a free domain name, SSL certificate and live chat. SSL certificates are not only ideal for e-commerce websites, but are now expected when entering personal data into a site, so SSL is a most welcome feature from a security viewpoint. Their live chat extension also ensures your customers can get in touch with you easily with just a couple of clicks.

In terms of design, it’s not difficult to find a website theme to fit your exact needs, since EKM has over 200 of them. This is a pleasant point when you feel like a refresh or just want to adapt your companies branding.

Features aside, one thing we really like to praise is their approach to customer care. Many companies are guilty of treating their customers simply as numbers, but EKM does away with this outdated mantra, and instead chooses to actively help customers, basing their own success on that of their customers shops.

One practical example of this, is their new feature “Evolution Mode”. In essence, this means that your online shop will be reviewed by their team on a regular basis. Their findings and recommendations will be fed back to you, and even then implemented for you! This in turn allows your e-commerce store to flourish. It also results in a great looking website which never goes out of date, as opposed to having to upgrade every couple of years.

Another instance of customer care being placed at the forefront of their service, is their team of account managers. Upon signing up, you’ll receive your own dedicated account manager, who will assist with getting your first sales through and growing your online shop, particularly within the first 6 months.

In partnership with EKM, we’re pleased to offer a free trial of their software, extended to 28 days for OST readers – click here to learn more.

We’ve also a number number of guides, tutorials and blog posts in the works, so be sure to stay tuned for helpful info on how to grow your online shop.

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