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The channels and methods e-traders choose to market their products in the UK have far-reaching implications for the overall success of their businesses. Researching successful territory marketing channels is a key first step for any developing organisation. This section examines the most popular and effective marketing mechanisms in the UK, and has the aim of assisting you in making the best overall choices for your business.


Natural search provides by far the biggest share of revenue, at 33%, for an e-retail website according to IMRG’s Quarterly Benchmark. Interestingly, this also remains true irrespective of device; desktop (37%), tablet (34.8%) or smartphone (33.7%). Direct traffic, at 22% is the next biggest source of revenue and obviously the most cost effective. Revenue from paid-for traffic accounts for 19.4% of the total and whilst having a direct cost, still provides a strong Return on Investment (ROI). For example, for every £1 spent on Pay-Per-Click (PPC), the average ROI is £5.51.

Email marketing

Email marketing is renowned as one of the most effective and developed methods for driving sales in the UK. From IMRG / Capgemini data, one clear emerging trend is that email marketing continues to grow in popularity and become a more important tool for the online community. The development of mobile commerce has been identified as one of the key drivers of this growth and a strong correlation has been identified between the growth in mobile commerce over recent years and the increase in visits and revenue generated from email marketing.

IMRG / Capgemini data indicates that during 2010, revenue generated from email marketing accounted for 7.7% of UK e-retail sales, and by 2015 this had reached 12.0%, representing almost 50% growth in terms of penetration in just four years. Visits to e-retail websites through email marketing have decreased, from 14.5% in 2014 to 14.4% in 2015.


Advertising investment in the UK print press has declined , as consumers use of media has changed. 2014 saw a modest fall in print ad-spend of 0.2% to £2.4bn. Publishers aren’t necessarily losing out though as they ramp up their digital output; with most national newspapers now having a digital format.


TV and radio

On average, 90% of the UK population tuned into the radio each week in the 12 months prior to March 2012, and radio marketing revenue grew 7.2% to £575m in 2014. Interestingly, in the OFCOM Communications Market Report of August 2015, it was reported Radio’s share of overall ad-spend is up marginally at 3.2% in 2015. National ad revenue for commercial radio stations has also increased, up by 17.3%, to £243m. This spend is by brands with a national footprint. Ad-spend by local brands is down 6.6%, a reflection on the growing importance and cost effectiveness of targeted, localised, internet advertising.


Data from OFCOM has shown that one recent development in radio listening has been substantial growth in listening via a mobile device as a proportion of total listening - an increase from 13% to 20% over the last year.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is also becoming an increasingly developed method of marketing within the UK. Affiliate marketing and lead generation channels generated an estimated £16.5bn worth of sales in 2014 according to IAB UK. On an ROI basis, performance varied depending on digital channel used. For example, on the desktop / laptop, an ROI of circa £19.96 was achieved whilst on smartphone this was higher at £20.94, as reported by IMRG.


In total, UK businesses spent £1.1bn on affiliate marketing in the UK in 2014 according to IAB UK.

Further information

To access the Full Report, follow this link here to register and download.

Territory Overview

Territory Overview

Territory Overview This section forms a general overview of the UK as a trading location, and contains information related to population, component parts, gross domestic product and population distribution.
eCommerce Environment

eCommerce Environment

eCommerce Environment This section concisely documents statistics and facts related to the use of online and mobile in the UK and specifically examines these channels as they relate to online retail.
Business Environment

Business Environment

Business Environment This section examines the UK political and socio-economic environment and how it will affect your online business.
Finance and Payments

Finance and Payments

Finance and Payments This section documents the key financial information you should take into account before trading in the UK.


Legal This section provides an overview of the legal framework of the UK.
Corporate Forms

Corporate Forms

Corporate Forms This section explores the main corporate forms that exist within the UK and the requirements for operating in each.


Logistics This section examines significant trends, advances and practices in UK logistics and delivery.
Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Customer Experience This final section offers information and advice on inspiring consumer confidence and promoting customer retention.

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