Meet Antony Chesworth, CEO at Online Shop Platform: EKM

EKM allows anyone to create and run their own successful online shop and spend their life doing something they love. The best way to describe it is that we are like a landlord, but instead of renting out shop units on the high street we rent them out online. People can come along and open a shop, add their own products, categories, etc, and all the complex stuff like managing servers, payment providers, conversion rate optimisation, etc is all taken care of which leaves them to concentrate on running their business.

We are the largest UK eCommerce provider and the most trusted too, with more 5-star reviews on external review sites like Trustpilot than any other eCommerce platform. It’s no wonder that most of our shop owners consider us their most trusted partner.
 
 
The Leading UK Ecommerce Website Platform
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
After I graduated from university back in 2000, I got a job in technical support at a local internet service provider and saw that people were trying to set up their own ecommerce websites but it was very difficult. They had just two choices, one was to use some software that you had to install on both your PC and the web server (hence them calling me for help) which was very complicated and difficult to do.

The other option (which still exists today) was to pay a web designer to build you a bespoke website, which would look awesome and be just what you want. But once completed the web designer would be off over the hills onto their next job and the shop owner would be left with a website that was quickly going out of date.

I figured there must be a better way, something that would mean your ecommerce website would never go out of date but also would be so easy to use that my own mother (who isn’t technical at all) would be able to use it to build a successful online business.

So I started programming in what would become EKM.com.

I had to move back in with my parents and live off jobseekers allowance and around £40k of credit card debt for around 4 years until I had amassed 100 customers. From that point on the company kept on growing and now we are the UK’s largest provider with over 80 team members and we have helped tens of thousands of customers to build a successful online shop. We have actually helped to create more eCommerce millionaires than any other company in the UK hence why we are sometimes known as “the millionaire makers”.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
We are fortunate to be in the eCommerce industry so for us as a business the pandemic has given us the opportunity to help businesses get through the worst of the lockdowns. We have helped tens of thousands of customers to not just survive but thrive and even as I write this, the sales across the entire shop network each day are higher than a normal black Friday (circa 2019). It’s pulled the entire eCommerce industry forward by about 5 years.

I am immensely proud that our company and team have been able to help so many people survive this and we have been a lifeline to so many businesses.
 

What can we hope to see from EKM in the future?

 
One of our values at EKM is EVOLVE which means we never stop evolving and improving our business, our team members and of course our customers’ online shops. So with that in mind, it’s very much more of the same but better!

We want to continue to keep helping people build and run successful online shops and help them to spend life doing something they love. We have loads of new features and technology coming out over the next 6 – 12 months including more tools for B2B customers, AR (Augmented Reality) which allows you to visualise the products you are ordering so you can see them in your own home, AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help us optimise shops to increase conversions and also help with content creation and we are making the process of designing your shop much easier… and lots and lots more!!!