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How to Build a Commerce Media Business Part 2: Revenue Components

May 22, 2023 by Chris Carlson

In this article we seek to lay out the critical components of a commerce media business and the key considerations to drive decision making, primarily from the perspective of content publishers. However, as an agency, a brand or a retailer it provides a roadmap for the drivers of commerce media and where each of these players can build opportunity. It is intended to provide insight into the structure of the teams and outcomes they drive so publishers, agencies, brands and retailers can structure their commerce business lines to work effectively and achieve the best possible outcomes.  


Core Components of a Mature Commerce Business


The affiliate business line is what most people think of when they think about a commerce business in digital media. Affiliate business lines earn commission by directing consumers to a retail site and receiving attribution and accordant commission for a transaction. There are many approaches to this business model, ranging from promotion via editorial, commerce and sponsored content, to display ads and links. 

To receive commissions, a publisher must not only drive a consumer to a retailer where the consumer completes a transaction, but the publisher must also have a commission relationship in place with the retailer. This can happen directly with the retailer or via affiliate networks like CJ,, Awin and Rakuten Advertising.

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