Preston-based EKM offers free online shops for local businesses

7 May 2020

Amidst COVID-19 closures, Preston-based ecommerce company EKM has introduced Obodo, a new free product centred around helping small businesses reach their local customers with a free online shop.

Local businesses have experienced devastating losses as shoppers are ordered to stay at home and most turn to online purchasing. While online sales soar, businesses without an online presence are struggling to cater to their customer base, some closing indefinitely.

‘While we have seen a lot of online small businesses thrive in the COVID-19 era, unfortunately we have also seen many brick and mortar local businesses shut their doors with no way to reach their customers’, said Antony Chesworth, founder of both EKM and Obodo.

‘We decided to use the resources we have and do something to help those struggling businesses’.

EKM, founded by Chesworth in 2002, is known as the UK’s leading ecommerce platform. Over the past 18 years EKM’s team of ecommerce experts has helped over 80,000 businesses build a successful online shop.

The free new product, Obodo, is aimed at local community businesses who primarily serve a customer base within 15 miles of their brick and mortar shop.

The service will provide a simplified version of the platform small business owners have come to expect from EKM; with the ability to upload products, take secure payments, and provide delivery and click & collect services for customers in their local area.

Obodo allows customers to choose from a range of free themes purpose built for specific industries, like bakeries, butchers, greengrocers and more.

‘Helping small businesses has always been the driving force behind EKM, and we have always been passionate about doing the right thing’, said Chesworth.

‘I hope that Obodo will help businesses not only now, when an online presence is more important than ever, but for years to come’.

For more information or to sign up for a free online shop, visit

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