The best online retailers: what are they doing right?

Retail is a very broad sector. But each retail market ultimately has the same objectives, and seeing results from their digital channels is increasingly becoming their main focus. Online product purchases are continuing to grow, with consumers predicted to spend over £115bn on eCommerce in 2020!

So there’s huge opportunity to be had for online retailers, and as SEO is the main driver of organic online traffic, it’s so important for e-tailers to be performing well on Google; 48% of all shoppers beginning their search for products on Google.

Whether they also have physical stores or not, the online retailers that are dominating online are all heavily investing in their SEO strategy – and so should you be! SEO could be the difference between hitting revenue targets or losing thousands of potential dollar.

In fact, digital channels make up as much as 22% of total retail sales in the UK alone.

Who are the biggest online retailers?

Each quarter we release Pi’s Market Leaders showcasing the biggest online retailers across Fashion, Homeware, Electricals and Beauty. Go check out who won the top spots last quarter.

How can you compete?

Competing online may seem like a losing battle. The market is already so saturated, not to mention the behemoth of Amazon (and Google itself!) taking much of the online share of voice across numerous (if not all) retail sectors.

Optimising for the web doesn’t have to be an arduous struggle. Knowing what SEO content to produce, and how best to prioritise your most valuable pages is a great jumping off point.

It’s also essential to have data on your own performance and your competitors performance (competitor analysis) – identifying where the opportunity is and then focusing your efforts. Pi’s SEO software shows you exactly who your competitors are, no guesswork! And they are completely unlimited, so you can identify the competition in any space you want to perform in.

Whilst it may seem like it’s all about online (and conversion wise, it kind of is), activities offline are also super important for brand awareness.

Ikea offers some great examples of clever offline brand awareness campaigns to compliment their strong SEO. Lets take a closer look at their performance online and off, to understand their success.

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The homeware market: Ikea

On our Homeware Market Leaderboards, Ikea consistently appears, quarter after quarter. They may not take the top spot, but they perform well across all homeware subcategories:

Ikea’s share of voice

Online retailers Ikea share of voice


This is no easy feat, boasting visibility across a diverse sector such as homeware; many brands will focus their SEO efforts solely on furniture or DIY, but Ikea gots them all!

Of course, they also have a very strong brand name – who could forget the discernible Swedish meatballs and flatpack furniture that makes you want to kill your partner. But Ikea haven’t just relied on their prevailing motifs for the endurance of their brand, they’ve constantly innovated to stay relevant.


Christmas 2019 saw Ikea’s rapping dinosaur TV ad reminding people of the surprisingly high standards of plastic toys – but also the need for a home make over.

Singing adverts have been done to death, but by partnering with East London grime legend D Double E, Ikea created an advert that made that common advertising trope anew.

This partnership was also particularly shrewd as it reinforced their dedication to pop culture.

Pop culture

In 2019 Ikea also did a campaign where they recreated well known living rooms, such as the Friends living room, The Simpsons and Stranger Things. This was a PR dream, and oh so retweetable.

Online retailers Ikea strange things

Investing in tech

Aside from their digital dominance in the SEO space, Ikea have invested in virtual reality. You don’t even have to visit the physical store and measure up – just pop on your VR headset, or open the app and start placing furniture!

Online retailers Ikea VR

This is a really exciting innovation, and also convenient (if you have the equipment of course). By jumping on the VR bandwagon, Ikea have kept their brand relevant in the digital age.

Omnichannel for online retailers

Ikea is a perfect example for cleverly spreading your marketing across channels. They have invested in traditional marketing with TV ads, they’ve thought about their social strategy by creating viral worthy content, and even adopted the newest tech. All this activity is great, but is also backed up with a super strong SEO strategy online – any potential customers they don’t reach with their brand awareness campaign, they’ll pick up online through organic searches.

As consumers are becoming less loyal to brands, opting for the best price or conveniences, having visibility for your relevant search terms when these promiscuous consumers come looking for the best deal gives you the best chance of capturing and converting.

Download the eCommerce guide

Ecommerce SEO guide