The UK online ad industry continues to suffer from one of the highest rates of ad blocking globally, with 39% consumers using the software.

The result, according to a global study by, is some £2.9 billion in lost revenue in 2017 – a 15% hike on the £2.5 billion lost in 2016.

However, the ad blocking effect could be most damaging to e-commerce sites, with 32% of consumers across Europe browsing these sites with the software installed. A similar proportion of pageviews (38%) are generated by shoppers who use ad block plugins and have started the purchase process in an online store.

With almost two in five (38%) of online shoppers transacting seeing no ads before purchase, there’s a significant lost opportunity for advertisers on retail sites to hit a receptive audience.

UK vs. RoW

The report continued to highlight how the UK’s ad blocking rates stack up against Europe and the rest of the world.

The UK’s rate of 39% reflects a broad trend across its neighbours in Europe, where just under a third (32%) of internet users use some form of ad blocker plugin.

However, while on the high end of the scale, the UK was matched by The Netherlands and Ireland, while with 46% Poland takes the worst hit, followed by Greece (44%), Norway (42%), Germany (41%) and Denmark (40%).

Across the globe, however, the scourge of ad blockers isn’t quite as severe. Both the US and Japan recorded rates of just 26%. Meanwhile, the lowest rates were found within LATAM, with Paraguay recording just a 5% prevalence and Venezuela and Peru scoring 10% and 13% respectively.

Once again, according to the chief commercial officer of Maciej Sawa, the solution circles back to improving user experience.

“Ultimately user experience is key, so it is extremely important for the entire digital marketing industry to keep the consumer in mind and ensure that their journey is relevant, contextual, and meaningful ­– if we are to ever convince them not to install ad blockers .”