The move is just the latest for publishers determined to move beyond ad sales as revenue sources. BuzzFeed earns an average commission of 25% on direct sales, it said. Bonsai receives a portion of that commission, but the companies declined to disclose its size. BuzzFeed declined to describe its commissions from affiliate links.
Nilla Ali, senior vice president of commerce at BuzzFeed, told The Wall Street Journal that people weren’t inclined to shop outside traditional e-commerce sites just two years ago, "but now with Instagram’s native checkout, and more influencers pushing products through their feed, consumer behavior has shifted,” she said.
BuzzFeed’s affiliate links led to $300 million in product sales last year, the company said.