British magazine publisher Dennis is quietly building an ecommerce empire, and not through affiliate revenue — through online car sales. Owning the customer transaction is a major point of difference for publisher e-commerce strategies, which typically center on revenues from affiliate links.
The publisher generated $43 million (£31 million) in 2017 from selling used and new cars via its site Buyacar.co.uk, double from the previous year. By the end of 2018, its car commerce business is forecast to hit $83 million (£60 million), roughly 45 percent of its entire revenue, according to the publisher.
But Dennis hasn’t even scratched the surface of car commerce. “As an overall percentage of (the) market, what we’re doing is still very small,” said Pete Wootton, managing director of digital for Dennis. “We want to massively scale the business because we believe it will generate revenue in the hundreds of millions [of pounds] in the next few years. Next year, I believe we’ll make £100 million [$138 million].”