CSS (Comparison Shopping Services)

An Intro To CSS

CSS partners are a great way to help you compete in Google Shopping results, allowing you to reduce your CPCs by as much as 20%.

What Is CSS?

A Comparison Shopping Service (more commonly known as CSS) is an online platform that enables consumers to compare product prices and features against other retailers.

It does this by showing your shopping ads on search results alongside competitors selling the same or similar products. 

You will most likely already have seen advertisers who use a CSS. At the bottom of their shopping ads it will either say “by Google” in which case they are not, or if they are using CSS it will say the name of the CSS, such as “by Klarna” or “by Product Hero” for example. 

They were introduced in 2017 after the European Competition Court found Google to be anticompetitive in shopping results.

Benefits Of Using A CSS

By using CSS you can save up to 20% on your Google Shopping CPC bids. 

Under Google’s CSS, 20% of your bid through Google Ads will go towards paying for the CSS service (Google Merchant Center), and the remainder goes towards your Ads. 

As an alternative, opting for a third-party CSS could present opportunities for savings. Partnered CSS’s offer the flexibility to negotiate a flat fee or percentage for their service less than that of Google.

The actual savings, however, will depend on a number of factors. If you are bidding significantly above the market average, then you may not incur any savings. However, if you bid competitively at a market average, you will see savings.

A recent study of CSS partners showed that the average savings that advertisers saw were a decrease in CPCs (by 5.1%) and increase in ROAS (by 8.3%). 

CSS Partner

Here at DemandMore we work with a CSS partner called Shoptimised, giving all of our client’s free access to a CSS, allowing them to reduce their CPCs just by switching to us.


What are the benefits of CSS (comparison shopping services)?

The main benefit of moving to a CSS is that advertisers will see a reduction in their CPCs. The headline figure is that you can see a reduction in CPCs by as much as 20%, however, most industry studies have shown the figure to be in the 5-9% range.

What is a CSS?

CSS stands for comparison shopping service. They are comparison websites that allow you to compare the prices of similar products. You will most likely have already seen them in Google Shopping results. They will say “by Klarna” or “By Product Hero” for example as opposed to “by Google”. If you click on the ad you are however taken straight to the website where the product is being sold as opposed to a comparison website.

How can you find a CSS provide?

Here at DemandMore we offer a free CSS service to all of our clients through our partner Shoptimised. If you are looking for a CSS partner you can also find a comprehensive list in Google’s CSS Partner directory

What accreditations should a CSS provider have?

Your partner should be a Google certified CSS provider. There are different tiers of partnership, standard, partner and premier partner. The CSS that we work with and provide to our clients is a premier partner.

Do I still use a good merchant centre if I use a CSS?

Yes, when you work with a CSS provider, you still use a Google Merchant Center to store all of your products and manage your feed. Your CSS provider will create you a new merchant centre and the only difference will be that it says “Shoptimised CSS” in the top corner as opposed to “Google CSS”.