Google Shopping: Benefits, Special Features, and Implementation of a CSS Partnership

How do you place your products where purchase-ready users look for them? Google Shopping ads can help by displaying your products at the very top of search results, above the organic listings. In this article, we’ll reveal how to maximize the success of your placements and protect your profit margin, when you publish your Shopping ads through an external CSS.
Timo Zuppelli • mrge
10. Mai 2023
5 min read

Key Take Aways

Executive summary: 5 key take-aways for quick readers

  1. With CSS, retailers can place their products at the very top of Google search
  2. By working with CSS other than Google, retailers save on commission payments
  3. High data quality and quantity improve the campaign
  4. Create ads that visually stand out from the competition
  5. Analysis and testing are essential for existing campaigns

What is a CSS?

Comparison Shopping Services (CSS), which have been a fixture in e-commerce and performance marketing for years, allow retailers to place ads to ensure that their products are displayed at the top of search results, giving them a strong presence in the minds of users who are ready to buy.

To run these Shopping ads, retailers need to work with CSS. Google itself acts as a CSS (called GSE = Google Shopping Europe), but there are also external CSS partners, such as the shopping24 Commerce Network offered by mrge.

When retailers use GSE as their CSS, Google retains a percentage of their advertising budget, which is deducted from the bids in the ad campaigns. This means that the advertising budget cannot be fully utilized where it generates the most value for the advertiser – in paid ads. On the other hand, if retailers use an external CSS partner such as shopping24, they are only charged a set monthly or annual fee. This allows 100 percent of the advertising budget to flow into campaigns, thus promoting the retailer’s products effectively.

Good to know: Retailers can connect product data feeds through Google’s Merchant Center to advertise products using a CPC (cost-per-click) pricing model. This is possible via any CSS, not just GSE!

5 tips for using CSS to achieve maximum reach

1. Provide a high-quality product data feed: Your product feed should give Google the data it needs, in the right format. You can get the exact details from your CSS or via the Comparison-Shopping Services Help Center. In addition, your data should always be up-to-date and contain all relevant information. An up-to-date price, for example, is mandatory. Generally speaking, high data quality and quantity improves the chances of targeting your products to the relevant target group.

2. Set yourself apart from the competition: For example, highlight your Shopping ads visually to attract more attention. A good way to do this is to add product and star ratings to your ads. 

Another option to set yourself apart is to use Merchant Promotions, which allow you to integrate special offers, such as discounts, into the Shopping ads. This way, you differentiate yourself from competitors at first glance and can secure the attention of users.

3. Choose the ideal campaign structure for your shop: To optimize your return on advertising spend (ROAS), choosing the right campaign structure is important. You should divide your products into campaigns, ad groups, and product groups in a strategic manner. For instance, you could categorize them by brand, category, and/or margin. Additionally, you must consider budget distribution and CPC allocation carefully to ensure the best results. By organizing your campaigns in this way, you can make the most of your advertising budget and achieve better ROAS.

4. Integrate remarketing lists and optimize your campaigns: This considerably boosts your chances of making a successful sale. Remarketing lets you use Shopping ads to repeatedly and specifically address users who have already visited your website. This increases the probability that they will notice and select your offer.

5. Test, test, test: Of course, there’s more than one way to become successful with CSS and Google Shopping. Every shop is different and needs a unique strategy. You should analyze and test exactly what works best for you. And even a functioning strategy should be examined and adjusted again and again. Especially in e-commerce, you should never stop testing new possibilities and trends in the shopping arena. This way, you’ll continuously optimize your performance and achieve long-term profitability.

(Re-)start now and make the most of Google Shopping

With shopping24, mrge has a CSS partner who can support you and your online shop – nationally and internationally. Whether you want to manage your own campaigns through our CSS at a fixed annual price, or also delegate the management and playout of Google Shopping campaigns: Contact us today for professional, customized advice on your goals and requirements!

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