With So Many Online Shopping Sites, How Do They Make Their Money?

With so many online shopping sites, how do they make their money? It’s a common question, and it has a common answer: advertising. But that’s not the whole story. Here’s a closer look at how some of the biggest online stores make money.


The most obvious way that online stores make money is through advertising. When you click on a link to an online store, you’ll see mostly ads along with regular Web content. You may also see some ads when you click on the reviews for a product. But the truth is, without ads the Web would be a pretty dull place. They provide a necessary function by showing you relevant content.

That said, while ads may be the most obvious way that online stores make money, it’s certainly not the only one. Some online stores make money through affiliate marketing, meaning they’ll reward you if you click a link and make a purchase after reading their content. Some make money through display ads, where they’ll put ads on your blog or website. And quite a few earn money from products and services they promote on social media.

Subscription Fees

One of the latest popular ways for online stores to make money is through subscription fees. Some of the biggest names in retail, such as Hello Fresh, take advantage of the fact that people are always looking for the next top deal. By offering a money-back guarantee if you sign up for a trial offer, they encourage you to give their service a try. Once you do, you’ll start seeing ads for subscription boxes, which can be a little intrusive but are generally considered acceptable when delivered to your front door.

If you want to get even more specific, you can sign up for a Hello Fresh trial offer and get $10 off your first box. You’ll see an offer like this every few minutes on their site, encouraging you to click and subscribe. Once you do, you’ll start getting offers to buy diet plans, meal replacement bars, and meal delivery service for busy people. All of these are examples of subscription fees that help online stores make money.

Pay Per Click

Another way that online stores make money is through pay-per-click ads. When you visit a blog or website that has these ads, you’ll see a small pop-up window. Generally these ads are served by third-party advertising networks who make money off their clients when you click on an ad or make a purchase after viewing it. Some of the most popular networks that serve these ads are Google Adsense, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads.

If you’re curious about how much money you can make with pay-per-click ads, you can use tools like Google Ad Planner, which can be found in your Google Ads dashboard. Just enter the URL of a website you’re interested in seeing how much money they’re making and how much traffic they receive, and the tool will show you the financials for that site.

With these three ways to make money — advertising, subscription fees, and pay-per-click — online stores have plenty of options for how to make money from their websites. Some of the biggest names in retail and e-commerce earn handsome profits because of it.