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UK Online Retailers Ignoring Advertising Revenue Potential


A large proportion of British retailers are choosing not to sell advertising space on their own websites. The ‘Creating Value from Every Visit’ report revealed that only two of Britain’s top ten retailers choose to sell media space to third parties on their websites.  In the US where it is more established eight of the ten top retailers sell their media space.

To emphasize this ignorance British online retailers are among some of the most visited websites by consumers with an estimated £7.5 billion page views a month. However digital media revenues from selling search, display and trade advertising amounted to less than 150 million pounds for UK retail websites over the past year. To compare with another sector, news websites made approximately 400 million pounds in digital media revenues despite only receiving 3 billion page views.


Anit Balchandani, partner at OC&C, said; “Although the UK is one of the most advanced online retail markets in the world, British retailers are behind the curve when it comes to monetizing shoppers as well as browsers on their website.”

Reasons behind such low stats are that primarily online retailers in the UK are worried that advertising on their site could potentially deflect consumers away from their site. They consider promotional techniques on their website, create risk that consumer perceptions of their brand may negatively change being bad for business.

Research suggests that such scepticism by British online retailers is not needed. The OC&C’s research found that the presence of ads on retailer’s website had “very little impact on consumers.” Only 3 percent of consumers referenced, ‘having no sponsored links’ as an important purchasing factor.

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