Questions to consider when choosing a CSS for your business
Posted on February 6, 2019
So you’re thinking about using a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS)? The CSS landscape is having a major renaissance this year, providing even more opportunities for retailers to position their products to a wider consumer audience and cash in on deals to ensure that they land prime Google Shopping Ads space.
The current landscape exists as a result of the €2.4Bn fine handed to Google in 2017 as a result of them abusing their dominant position in the shopping ads space. Great news for retailers are Google were required to open up their Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to other suppliers (with the company opting for other EU CSS) – this solution was termed the ‘Remedy.’
Since the launch of Google’s CSS Programme in 2017, the Google Shopping Ads space has undergone a series of rapid changes. Here are just a few questions you should ask before signing up with a new CSS partner for your business:
I read that Google previously offered a Spend Match incentive, does this still apply?
Merchants signing up with a CSS other than Google Shopping were previously offered a Spend Match incentive during 2018, however this was only applicable up until the end of December last year. One of the benefits of choosing an established CSS partner, such as Kelkoo Group, means that you can make marked savings on your Shopping Ads campaigns – without having to factor in set up costs. We offer a minimum of 20% savings and guarantee an improvement on your ROAS.
What is a Comparison Shopping Partner?
Comparison Shopping Partner status is awarded to CSS looking to effectively connect with shoppers and merchants through Google Shopping Ads, with at least 20 merchants operating on their site.
How do I know if my CSS partner has Premium status?
A CSS must have a minimum of 100 merchants to gain Premium Partner status. Kelkoo Group were the first CSS to achieve this. We currently have around 5,500 merchants utilising our ‘Google Shopping Ads by Kelkoo’ service across 14 countries. Choosing a CSS with Partner status guarantees you an improved level of service and expertise.
Does my current CSS partner qualify for the CSS Programme?
As from January 31st, Google has implemented several factors for any CSSs looking to take part in Google Shopping Ads. Now, the website must offer sorting or filtering options of product search results by price and at least one other dimension relevant for consumers (for example brand, merchant, shipping time) in addition to having at least 50 different merchant domains within the country that they use Google Shopping Ads in order to qualify.
I recently saw news coverage on the influx of ‘fake CSSs’ in the online Shopping market? How can I spot these and should I be concerned?
The changes to the number of merchant domains for CSS to operate within Google Shopping Ads were implemented in part as a response to the coverage on ‘fake CSS’ sites. Opening up Google Shopping Ads to increased numbers of merchants not only benefits retailers, it provides an innovative and fair environment for consumers to browse and purchase products online. Here at Kelkoo Group we have been very vocal in our support of these changes, and continue to place the consumer first.
Who are Kelkoo Group?
Offering over 20 years’ experience in the digital and e-commerce space, Kelkoo Group offers 14 CSS’s, including much loved-European brands Kelkoo, Le Guide, Ciao, Shopwahl and Webmarchand. This enables us to cover a vast range of products, meeting with consumer demand for more choice and differing pricing alternatives. We have 2700 publishers, with well-known brands Amazon and Ebay amongst our network partner listing, and reach 40 million e-shoppers monthly. Our product suite is designed for ease of use, with the retailer in mind. Our extensive digital experience and knowledge, obtained from our in-house algorithms, truly sets us apart.
What additional functionalities does Kelkoo Group offer, aside from providing a CSS for my business?
In addition to a CSS solution, Kelkoo Group offers unique competition analysis, enabling you to identify the top keywords for your Google Shopping Ads campaigns within your market. This enables retailers to benchmark their campaigns against their key competitors, by comparing Google Shopping Ads rankings, prices and any other offers that could affect the performance of your online store.
I’m considering expanding my business in other markets, how do I know if my CSS is compliant?
In order for your CSS to qualify, they must offer at least 50 different merchant domains within the country that they use Google Shopping Ads. Kelkoo Group is compliant in 16 EU territories, offering full office and language support for your online store.
Should I consider other outlets to help me position my business online?
Partnering with Kelkoo Group will enable you to create a tailor-made strategy in line with your needs. We offer a portfolio of products including Bing Shopping Ads for targeted, transparent marketing, white label technology to support you with the inception and creation of your own CSS site and custom options with on-hand support from our multilingual development teams.
Our technology can be developed to meet with your requirements. We offer a Competition Analysis tool can to provide more intelligent, automated reporting to further inform bidding strategies, overall campaigns and product pricing.
Get in touch and we will be happy to discuss what your potential roadmap could look like, in addition to exploring test campaign solutions.
What changes can we expect to see in the CSS landscape this year?
We expect 2019 to be an even bigger and better year for CSSs and online shopping, with the changes to the Google Shopping Ads space designed to benefit both retailers and consumers.
Once I sign up, what will happen to my current campaigns and Google AdWords accounts?
Kelkoo Group provides full support during your migration and set-up process. You will be able to maintaining your existing Google account management. No changes will be made to your current ecosystem, meaning that you can capitalise on incremental spend match and be up and running in 48 hours. We offer hosted, managed or hybrid models for all Google Shopping Campaigns, depending upon your business needs, providing comprehensive competition analysis and automated business engines.
What changes can I expect to see in the Google Shopping Ads market over the next few months?
Google is continuing to make changes within the Google Shopping Ads market to ensure that genuine CSSs compete in the auction system and meet with their strict criteria. Choosing a partner such as Kelkoo Group will provide your business with the support it needs to navigate these changes and improve your ROAS and business performance.
Why not arrange a call with our sales teams today and make the switch to Kelkoo Group.