What Does The Google Shopping CSS Partner Program Mean For Your Webshop?

What Does The Google Shopping CSS Partner Program Mean For Your Webshop?

Since 2017 it has been possible to join a CSS (Comparison Shopping Service) partner as a Google Shopping advertiser. Many of these CSS partner programs offer cost savings of up to 20%. But how exactly does this cost saving work and what can this cost saving mean for your webshop?

European Commission vs Google Shopping

The Google Shopping CSS partner program was created after the European Commission imposed a record fine of 2.42 billion euros on Google for abuse of their dominant position. According to the European Commission, Google gave priority to their own comparison sites Google Shopping by always showing the shopping results above other comparison sites. Since then, Google has allowed comparison sites to appear in the Google Shopping search results as a CSS partner.

The European Commission requires Google Shopping to be independently profitable. Google Shopping now does that by deducting a fixed margin percentage of 20% from every bid advertisers make before submitting it to auction. This margin is included in the cost per click paid by the advertiser. So if you make a bid of € 1.00 it is actually worth € 0.80 at the auction, € 0.20 commission goes to Google Shopping.

Because you no longer pay commission to Google Shopping, your bid of € 1.00 will also participate in your auction for € 1.00.

Switch to a CSS partner

Once you have found a CSS partner, you will need to give them access to your Google Merchant Center account and sign a CSS self-service agreement. The CSS partner then submits a request to Google to convert your CSS partner into the Google Merchant Center, Google processes these requests every Thursday.After Google has accepted the CSS partner change request, your CSS will change in the top right of your merchant center.

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