July 17, 2024

Online business ideas in the UK in 2018 are abundant due to the country’s thriving e-commerce market, which is expected to reach 219 billion by 2023.

Some of the key benefits of starting an online business in the UK include:

  • Low start-up costs
  • Access to a large customer base
  • Flexibility and scalability

There are many different types of online businesses that can be started in the UK, including:

  • E-commerce stores
  • Online service businesses
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blogging

The best online business idea for you will depend on your skills, interests, and budget. It is important to do your research and choose a business model that you are passionate about and that has the potential to be successful.

Online Business Ideas UK 2018

Starting an online business in the UK in 2018 offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs. Key aspects to consider include:

  • E-commerce: Online stores selling physical or digital products.
  • Services: Providing services such as consulting, design, or marketing online.
  • Affiliate marketing: Promoting other businesses’ products or services for a commission.
  • Blogging: Creating and monetizing a blog with valuable content.
  • Online courses: Developing and selling educational courses online.
  • Dropshipping: Selling products online without holding inventory.
  • Subscription boxes: Curating and delivering boxes of products on a regular basis.
  • Freelance work: Offering specialized skills on a freelance basis through online platforms.

These key aspects provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse online business ideas available in the UK in 2018. By considering these aspects, entrepreneurs can identify opportunities that align with their skills, interests, and market demand, enabling them to establish successful online ventures.


E-commerce has emerged as a dominant force in the UK’s online business landscape in 2018.

  • Product diversity: Online stores offer a vast selection of products, ranging from physical goods like electronics and clothing to digital products like software and ebooks.
  • Market reach: E-commerce platforms provide businesses with the ability to reach a wider customer base both domestically and internationally.
  • Convenience: Online shopping offers convenience to consumers, allowing them to make purchases from anywhere with internet access, 24/7.
  • Lower overhead costs: Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, online businesses often have lower overhead costs, such as rent and utilities, which can translate to lower prices for consumers.

The growth of e-commerce in the UK presents significant opportunities for businesses looking to establish an online presence and tap into the growing consumer demand for online shopping.


In the UK in 2018, providing services online has become a significant aspect of online business ideas due to the increasing demand for specialized skills and expertise.

  • Consulting
    Consulting services offer expert advice and guidance to businesses and individuals in various domains, such as management, finance, and technology. Online consulting provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness for both consultants and clients.
  • Design
    Design services encompass graphic design, web design, and product design. Online platforms enable designers to showcase their portfolios, connect with potential clients, and offer their services remotely.
  • Marketing
    Marketing services assist businesses in promoting their products or services online. Digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing are some of the key areas where online marketing services are in high demand.
  • Education and training
    Online education and training services provide individuals with the opportunity to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones through virtual courses, workshops, and tutorials.

The growth of the online services industry in the UK presents opportunities for skilled professionals and businesses to establish a strong online presence and cater to the growing demand for specialized services.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has become an increasingly popular online business idea in the UK in 2018, offering numerous benefits and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

  • Revenue generation
    Affiliate marketing allows businesses to generate revenue by promoting other companies’ products or services on their own platforms or channels. This commission-based model provides a flexible and low-risk way to monetize online content or websites.
  • Product diversification
    Affiliate marketing enables businesses to offer a wider range of products or services to their customers without the need for additional inventory or production costs. By partnering with other businesses, affiliate marketers can expand their product offerings and cater to a broader customer base.
  • Performance-based marketing
    Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy, meaning businesses only pay commissions when sales or leads are generated. This model aligns incentives between affiliates and businesses, ensuring that both parties benefit from successful collaborations.
  • Flexibility and scalability
    Affiliate marketing offers flexibility and scalability for businesses of all sizes. Affiliate programs can be easily integrated into existing websites or platforms, and the level of involvement can be adjusted based on resources and goals.

Overall, affiliate marketing presents a compelling online business idea in the UK in 2018 due to its low start-up costs, potential for revenue generation, and flexibility. By partnering with reputable businesses and promoting products or services that align with their audience, affiliate marketers can establish a sustainable and profitable online venture.


Blogging has emerged as a prominent online business idea in the UK in 2018 due to its accessibility, low start-up costs, and potential for passive income generation. Creating a blog with valuable content offers several key advantages:

  • Content marketing: A blog provides a platform for businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders and build a loyal audience by consistently publishing informative, engaging, and valuable content.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing blog content for relevant keywords can improve a website’s visibility in search engine results, driving organic traffic to the blog and associated business.
  • Lead generation: Blogs can be used to capture leads and grow an email list by offering gated content, such as downloadable resources or exclusive content, in exchange for contact information.
  • Affiliate marketing: Blogs can be monetized by partnering with other businesses and promoting their products or services through affiliate links, earning a commission on sales generated.
  • Display advertising: Once a blog attracts a substantial audience, businesses can generate revenue by selling advertising space on their website to other businesses or advertisers.

Successful blogging requires creating high-quality content that resonates with the target audience, promoting the blog effectively through social media and other channels, and consistently engaging with readers to build a community.

Overall, blogging presents a viable online business idea in the UK in 2018, offering opportunities for businesses to establish a strong online presence, generate leads, drive traffic, and monetize their content through various methods.

Online courses

In the landscape of “online business ideas UK 2018,” developing and selling educational courses online has emerged as a lucrative and impactful opportunity. By leveraging the power of the internet, individuals and businesses can create, market, and deliver educational content to a global audience, generating revenue while empowering learners.

  • Expertise Monetization
    Online courses enable subject matter experts to monetize their knowledge and skills by packaging them into structured educational programs. This allows them to reach a wider audience and generate passive income from their expertise.
  • Skill Development and Career Advancement
    Online courses cater to the growing demand for skill development and career advancement. Individuals can access affordable and convenient education to enhance their professional qualifications, learn new skills, or pursue personal interests.
  • Flexible Learning and Accessibility
    Online courses offer flexibility and accessibility, allowing learners to study at their own pace and on their own schedule. This makes education more accessible to individuals with busy schedules or geographical limitations.
  • Global Reach and Impact
    Online courses transcend geographical boundaries, enabling businesses and educators to reach a global audience. This expands the potential impact of educational content and facilitates knowledge sharing on a wider scale.

The development and sale of online courses offer a compelling business opportunity in the UK in 2018. By creating high-quality educational content, leveraging online platforms, and effectively marketing their courses, individuals and businesses can establish a sustainable and profitable online venture while contributing to the dissemination of knowledge and skill development.


In the context of “online business ideas UK 2018”, dropshipping has emerged as a compelling option due to its low start-up costs and operational simplicity. Dropshipping involves selling products online without holding physical inventory, as the supplier handles the storage, packaging, and shipping of orders directly to customers.

  • Low Start-up Costs
    Dropshipping allows entrepreneurs to start an online business with minimal upfront investment, as they do not need to purchase and store inventory. This makes it an accessible option for individuals with limited capital.
  • Convenience and Flexibility
    Dropshipping offers convenience and flexibility to business owners, as they do not need to manage physical inventory or deal with the logistics of shipping. This allows them to focus on marketing, customer service, and business growth.
  • Scalability and Growth Potential
    Dropshipping enables businesses to scale and grow rapidly without the constraints of physical inventory. They can easily add new products to their offerings and expand their market reach without the need for additional storage or shipping capacity.
  • Product Range and Variety
    Dropshipping provides access to a wide range of products from suppliers, allowing businesses to offer a diverse selection to their customers. This can enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales opportunities.

Dropshipping presents a viable and lucrative online business idea in the UK in 2018, offering entrepreneurs the potential for success with low start-up costs, operational simplicity, and scalability. By partnering with reliable suppliers and effectively marketing their products, businesses can establish a profitable online presence and cater to the growing demand for convenient and accessible online shopping.

Subscription Boxes

In the realm of “online business ideas uk 2018”, subscription boxes have emerged as a lucrative and innovative concept, capturing the attention of entrepreneurs and consumers alike. Subscription boxes offer a unique way to deliver curated collections of products to subscribers on a regular basis, creating a sense of anticipation and loyalty.

  • Convenience and Personalization

    Subscription boxes provide convenience to consumers by delivering tailored products directly to their doorstep, eliminating the need for shopping and saving them time. They also offer a personalized touch, catering to specific interests, dietary needs, or hobbies.

  • Discovery and Exclusivity

    Subscription boxes introduce subscribers to new products and brands they might not have otherwise encountered. They often include exclusive items or limited-edition products, creating a sense of exclusivity and value for subscribers.

  • Community and Engagement

    Subscription boxes foster a sense of community among subscribers who share similar interests. They encourage engagement through online forums, social media groups, and other platforms, creating a loyal customer base.

  • Business Opportunities

    Subscription boxes present significant business opportunities in the UK in 2018. They offer low start-up costs, scalability, and the potential for recurring revenue streams. Businesses can partner with suppliers, curate unique product offerings, and leverage digital marketing channels to reach their target audience.

The subscription box model aligns well with the growing trend of personalized and convenient online shopping experiences. By understanding the key facets of subscription boxes, entrepreneurs can explore this lucrative business idea and tap into the vast potential of the UK e-commerce market in 2018.

Freelance work

In the landscape of “online business ideas UK 2018”, freelance work has emerged as a prominent and viable option for skilled individuals seeking to establish an online business. Freelance work involves offering specialized skills on a project-by-project basis through online platforms, enabling individuals to monetize their expertise and build a flexible career.

The connection between freelance work and online business ideas UK 2018 is multifaceted. Firstly, freelance work aligns with the growing trend of remote working and the increasing demand for specialized skills in various industries. Online platforms provide a convenient and accessible marketplace for freelancers to connect with potential clients globally, reducing geographical barriers and expanding earning opportunities.

Secondly, freelance work offers a low-cost entry point for individuals looking to start an online business. Freelancers can start with minimal investment, as they do not need to invest in inventory, equipment, or physical office space. This makes freelance work an attractive option for entrepreneurs with limited capital or those seeking a flexible side hustle.

Moreover, the rise of online platforms has simplified the process of finding and connecting with clients for freelancers. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer provide a pool of potential clients, enabling freelancers to bid on projects that match their skills and interests. This streamlines the process of acquiring work and allows freelancers to focus on delivering high-quality services.

In summary, the connection between freelance work and online business ideas UK 2018 is significant. Freelance work provides a flexible and cost-effective way for skilled individuals to establish an online business, leveraging the power of online platforms to connect with clients and monetize their expertise. As the demand for specialized skills continues to grow, freelance work is expected to remain a prominent and lucrative online business idea in the UK in 2018.

FAQs on Online Business Ideas UK 2018

This section addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to online business ideas in the UK in 2018, providing concise and informative answers to guide aspiring entrepreneurs.

Question 1: What are the key considerations for choosing an online business idea?

When selecting an online business idea, it is essential to consider factors such as your skills, interests, market demand, competition, and financial resources. Researching industry trends, identifying target audiences, and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses can help you make an informed decision.

Question 2: What are the benefits of starting an online business in the UK?

The UK offers several advantages for online businesses, including a large e-commerce market, a supportive regulatory environment, access to funding, and a skilled workforce. Additionally, the UK’s strategic location provides opportunities for expanding into international markets.

Question 3: What types of online businesses can be successful in the UK?

Numerous types of online businesses thrive in the UK, including e-commerce stores, service-based businesses, affiliate marketing, blogging, online courses, dropshipping, subscription boxes, and freelance work. The choice of business model depends on your skills, interests, and market demand.

Question 4: What are the challenges of starting an online business in the UK?

Competition, market saturation, and rapidly changing technology can pose challenges for online businesses in the UK. Effective marketing strategies, continuous innovation, and adaptability are crucial for overcoming these challenges and achieving success.

Question 5: What resources are available to support online businesses in the UK?

The UK government, industry organizations, and educational institutions offer various resources to support online businesses, including funding, mentorship, training programs, and networking opportunities. These resources can help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges and maximize their chances of success.

Question 6: How can I stay updated on the latest trends and developments in online business?

Attending industry events, reading trade publications, and following industry experts on social media can help you stay informed about emerging trends and best practices in online business. Continuous learning and adaptation are essential for success in this rapidly evolving landscape.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the considerations, benefits, challenges, and resources associated with starting an online business in the UK in 2018. We encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to conduct thorough research, leverage available resources, and embrace innovation to find success in this dynamic and rewarding field.

Tips for Online Business Success in the UK in 2018

To achieve success in the competitive landscape of online business in the UK in 2018, consider implementing the following tips:

Tip 1: Identify a Niche Market

Focusing on a specific niche market allows you to target your marketing efforts and cater to a specific customer base. Conduct thorough market research to identify a niche with unmet needs and develop products or services that fulfill those needs.

Tip 2: Build a Strong Online Presence

Establish a professional website that clearly communicates your value proposition and provides a seamless user experience. Utilize social media platforms to engage with potential customers and promote your business.

Tip 3: Leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimize your website and content for relevant keywords to improve your visibility in search engine results. This will help drive organic traffic to your website and increase your chances of converting visitors into customers.

Tip 4: Implement Effective Marketing Strategies

Identify the most effective marketing channels for your target audience and allocate your marketing budget accordingly. Consider a combination of content marketing, social media advertising, and email marketing to reach and engage potential customers.

Tip 5: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Exceptional customer service is crucial for building customer loyalty and driving repeat business. Respond promptly to inquiries, resolve issues efficiently, and go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

Tip 6: Stay Updated with Industry Trends

The online business landscape is constantly evolving. Keep abreast of the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and best practices to stay competitive and adapt to changing market dynamics.

By incorporating these tips into your online business strategy, you can increase your chances of success in the UK market in 2018. Remember to conduct thorough research, stay adaptable, and continuously strive to provide value to your customers.


The exploration of online business ideas in the UK in 2018 reveals a dynamic and promising landscape for entrepreneurs. With the vast opportunities presented by e-commerce, service-based businesses, and various other models, individuals with skills, passion, and a drive to succeed can establish thriving online ventures.

To achieve success in this competitive market, it is essential to identify a niche market, build a strong online presence, leverage SEO, implement effective marketing strategies, provide excellent customer service, and stay updated with industry trends. By embracing these principles and continuously seeking innovation, entrepreneurs can harness the potential of the UK’s flourishing e-commerce market and establish profitable and sustainable online businesses.