What is Google CSS (Comparison Shopping Service)?
CSS stands for Comparison Shopping Service. It is a product comparison service where you can show Shopping ads and free product ads on Google in multiple European countries. In 2019, Beet launched our own CSS solution to be able to offer this service to our clients. The solution is structured in the same way as Google Shopping. On Google, ads from CSS compete for placement with ads from Google Shopping using the same algorithms.
The solution is very similar to Google Shopping, and on Google, shopping ads from CSS compete with shopping ads from Google for the same placement and using the same algorithms.
Man of a Kind
The story behind Google CSS
On 27 June 2017, the European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion for abusing its leading position as a search engine to give illegal advantages to its own price comparison service. Google was then given a 90-day deadline to end this practice, as well as a fine of up to 5% of Alphabet's average daily global turnover. (Alphabet is Google's parent company).
Following the Commission's decision, Google has made Shopping ads on Google's general search results pages in the EEA and Switzerland equally available to all eligible comparison shopping services (CSS).
To become a Google Comparison Shopping Services Partner, you need to develop a price comparison platform and integrate it with Google's existing infrastructure. Extensive requirements surrounding solutions, high development costs and the fact that you need to have at least 50 linked domains per country have created high barriers to entry, and so far it is primarily Google's Premier Partner agencies that have developed CSS solutions.
Google CSS vs Google Shopping
Beet offers clients opportunities to advertise with Shopping ads on Google using our CSS solution. This has several advantages over advertising on Shopping directly through Google.
Advertising through CSS is managed via a Google Ads account, as it is with regular Google Shopping advertising, but you need to connect a separate Merchant Center. Ads that appear on Google look identical, whether you advertise using CSS or Google Shopping.
Why choose Google CSS through Beet?
Every time someone clicks on a Google Shopping ad, the advertiser pays approximately 20% of their intended click bid directly to Google as a fee. When you choose to advertise using CSS, this fee is not charged, which gives you approximately 20% lower click prices at each bidding auction.
The main purpose of our CSS solution is to offer it to our agency clients, but we also offer partnership opportunities.