Our Solution to Google's Comparison Shopping Site Program

As a result of the anti-competitive legal dispute with the E.U., Google created a program that opens up the Google Shopping platform to other shopping comparison services (CSS). The goal is to prevent Google from favoring its own CSS (Google Shopping) on the main search results page (SERP).

In response, Google is offering lower CPCs - alongside ad credits - to qualified advertisers who use the new Comparison Shopping format.

CSS providers can now list their product ads on the Google SERP. However, they cannot show product ads within the Google Shopping tab. As the value proposition of the CSS providers is limited (and Google performs most of the heavy lifting) many agencies have become CSS providers. Around 99 percent of traffic will go directly to the merchant - less than 1 percent of users click through to the CSS itself.

Shopalytics search
sample css ad

Financial incentives provided by Google are a great short-term opportunity for retailers

CSS providers will have between a 10 to 20 percent cost advantage in auctions compared to regular Shopping accounts.
In addition, Google offers ad credits ("SpendMatch") of up to €32,000 every 30 days to certified CSS partners (based on the retailer's ad spend via CSS).

When using multiple providers, data scarcity will inflate costs and offset the benefits

Data will be divided by the number of providers, leading to more scarcity and sub-optimal bidding decisions.
Between multiple CSS's and the regular Shopping campaigns, the highest bid wins the auction: creating CPC inflation.

Financial incentives provided by Google are a great short-term opportunity for retailers

The Crealytics CSS solution -"Shopalytics" - optimizes CSS and regular Google Shopping campaigns together. By using multiple domains, we can run multiple CSS instances in order to maximise the ad credits awarded via SpendMatch. This allows for data aggregation across regular Shopping campaigns and multiple CSS's in order to avoid scarcity and improve bidding. We prevent overbidding and cost inflation by calculating a single bid per SKU…and applying it across all campaigns.