Google Comparison Shopping Services (CSS)

Following an EU Commision anti-trust ruling in September 2017, which claimed that Google ‘abused its market dominance’ by illegally prioritising its own Google Shopping placements, the company has opened its shopping platform to other comparison platforms (known as comparison shopping sites, or CSSs), to supply shopping ad placements.

What does this mean for advertisers or merchants?

Advertisers or merchants who are currently using – or looking to use – the Google Shopping platform can now advertise with a CSS. Shopping ads will still appear in the Google Shopping results, but advertisers will be able to claim a rebate on advertising spend (up to 30%).

The buying or bidding process will remain the same, with placements sending traffic directly through to the advertiser’s site; the only difference will be in how the ads are rendered. The original ‘By Google’ tag that you see below each listing will be changed to namecheck whichever CSS is supplying the placement instead. You can see this in the example below.

How much can advertisers save?

Details of the rebates are show in the table below. These are paid as advertising credits in the following month. In addition to the rebates that advertisers or merchants can receive, Google will now offer discounts on CPCs too. This is to deter any further fines from the European Commission.

Merchand spend level Rebate %
€500 – €2,500 20
€2,500 – €10,000 25
> €10,000 30

As one of only a handful of approved Google CSS Partners, Stellar Search are in a unique position to help advertisers make significant cost savings on their Google Shopping spends.

To take advantage of this, we’ll need to do the following:

  • Account setup: set up a new Adwords account on your behalf – unfortunately, Google do not allow us to use legacy accounts, however you’ll keep all historical data in the old account
  • Merchant Centre: link your merchant feed to a new merchant centre under our CSS
  • Testing: we recommend testing a few shopping campaigns with a mix of different volume products before fully migrating to our Merchant Centre.

or email us: css@stellarsearch.co.uk.