'BuzzFeed,' Bonsai Partner To Expand Ecommerce Business

As it moves toward developing and launching its own branded marketplace, BuzzFeedhas partnered with commerce-enablement platform Bonsai to create shoppable content across its editorial ecosystem.

BuzzFeedwill earn an average commission of 25% on sales from Bonsai’s merchant network and its own customer lifetime value.

Utilizing Bonsai’s end-to-end ecommerce solution, BuzzFeed will provide readers with in-article shopping across editorial-style content via natively-shoppable widgets. Readers will not have to leave BuzzFeed to consider and complete purchases.

Products from brands like HipDot and Bellessa Boutique are some of the first to be featured.

“The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated issues already challenging publishers. Not only did it highlight the volatility of ad-supported business models, it revealed that exclusively affiliate-led ecommerce models don’t provide publishers the depth to weather a storm,” stated Saad Siddiqui, CEO of Bonsai.



Bonsai’s solution has shown that click-through rates increase by 8 to 10 times when compared to traditional affiliate links. The company proposes to bring better attribution to BuzzFeed through the partnership, thereby boosting value across BuzzFeed’s ad inventory through more precise audience targeting.

The BuzzFeed-Bonsai partnership comes as publishers are looking for new and inventive ways to deepen and recapture lost revenue.

“What we’ve seen through the ongoing pandemic is the benefit of diversifying our commerce capabilities in the same way we’ve diversified our business model, and the power of leaning into our digital advantages as consumers increasingly shift to online shopping,” stated Nilla Ali, BuzzFeed’s senior vice president of commerce.

Ali continued: “By partnering with Bonsai, we can continue to foster affiliate relationships, but also build our own shopping experience with a more seamless path to purchase, better attribution and a diverse product mix that serves our audience.”

Looking to the future, BuzzFeed plans to offer a selection of highly-curated products through its upcoming marketplace, with a focus on brands that have an established relationship with Bonsai. The planned marketplace is slated to be distributed across third-party platforms and will feature Bonsai’s social commerce integrations.

Earlier this year, Bonsai teamed up with Complex Networks on the launch of an ecommerce shop called Complex Shop. 

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