Google Shopping: why choose third-party CSS?

As an e-retailer, you are continually looking for ways to increase your online sales and maximize your advertising investments. In this context, Google Shopping presents itself as an essential platform. Indeed, it offers an attractive showcase for your products, directly in Google search results .
An effective strategy is to leverage the benefits offered by third-party CSS (Comparison Shopping Services) . Third-party CSS allows e-retailers to present their products on Google Shopping while benefiting from advantageous prices. By using third-party CSS, you can save on click costs and increase your ad ROI.

Take a look at what third-party CSS is and how it will save you money.

Google Shopping: operation and key figures

How Google Shopping works

Google Shopping works like a virtual storefront. local seo services When someone searches for a product, Google displays a series of results in the form of product thumbnails. Each thumbnail contains an image of the product, its price and the name of the store. Clicking on a tile redirects the user to the seller’s website to complete the purchase.

Google Shopping presents itself as a product comparator. It displays items from various e-commerce platforms. Users benefit from a wide variety of options for each search. Product- specific filters make navigation easier. They allow precise selection according to individual needs such as sorting by price, brands, sellers and many others.

Google shopping: key figures

Google Shopping dominates the online commerce landscape. Millions of buyers use this platform to compare prices and find the best deals. Thousands of companies display their products there, attracting a wider customer base. book marketing agency

In terms of numbers, Google Shopping generates a significant share of paid search ad clicks. In 2022Google Shopping ads accounted for 68% of clicks on e-commerce ads on Google, according to a LyfeMarketing source. This clearly demonstrates the popularity and effectiveness of Google Shopping as an advertising platform for businesses.

Indeed, it offers considerable visibility and allows you to reach a large audience of online buyers.

When it comes to conversion rate, Google Shopping Ads has an average conversion rate of 1.91%.

These figures confirm the major role of Google Shopping in the online commerce landscape, as a platform favored by buyers and advertisers to promote products.

CSS: how does it work?

To show Shopping ads on Google’s general search results pages, the use of CSS is required.

If you are a merchant, you must use the services of a CSS (Comparison Shopping Services) to display Shopping ads on the Google search results page. By integrating your list of products into the comparison tool, the products will be displayed in the search results and more specifically in the context of comparisons and shopping ads.

CSS (Comparison Shopping Services, also called SCP, price comparison services) distribute Shopping ads and product listings on Google on behalf of merchants in various European countries. Comparison shopping services set bids to serve Shopping ads on Google search results pages on behalf of the merchants they represent. Google.

CSS uses a separate Merchant Center account for each merchant they represent. Each account allows you to import a merchant’s inventory and run Performance Max and Shopping campaigns on their behalf.

In countries where the CSS program is availableShopping ads shown on Google’s general search results pages indicate which CSS is showing the offer. By clicking on this link, users are redirected to the CSS website.

Google CSS versus third-party CSS

How Google CSS works

Google CSS, or Google Comparison Shopping Service, serves as the default platform for Google Shopping. It displays companies’ products in Google search results. Businesses pay Google for every click on their products.

Google, pinned by the European Commission

The European Commission took Google to task in 2017 by issuing a fine of 2.42 billion euros for abuse of a dominant position in the context of price comparison tools. At the same time, the Commission forces Google to open its system to other external players, which gives rise to third-party CSS.

Google’s advertising space has changed its face and the SERPs have since been equipped with a discreet “by Google”. CSS external to Google can now appear through ads at reduced CPC rates.

Third-party CSS: an alternative to Google CSS

These services work similarly to Google CSS, but are run by independent companies. Advertisers provide these services with a listing of their products, and these services show the products in Google search results.

Aside from a link to the CCS at the bottom of the ad, there is no noticeable difference in the display of the ads, whether for Google CSS or third-party CSS.

The ads always appear in the same space and the ad format remains the same. Additionally, product feed management remains the same, with both types of CSS flowing identically through existing Google Merchant Center accounts.

The advantage of a third-party CCS over Google CSS lies in the commission percentage on sales. With third-party CSS, you save the 20% commission taken by Google.

When an advertiser bids 1 euro per click via Google’s CCS, only 80 cents of this amount will be auctioned. Via a Google CSS partner, 100% of the auction is carried out. This means a 25% increase in bidding without overbidding.

Using a third-party CSS can therefore allow you to save investment budget for, depending on your issues:

  • increase your turnover by reinvesting it in your campaigns
  • reinvest it in other levers relevant to your digital strategy
  • save money.

 What impacts on your Ads campaigns in Google shopping?

CSS change often requires adaptation timeAdvertising campaign performance may experience some disruption during the first two weeks. This period corresponds to the adaptation phase of the new CSS, hence the importance of choosing the right timing to do this. We avoid sales periods or major promotional operations.

After this initial time, performance begins to improve. The new CSS is starting to take effect and advertising campaigns are enjoying the benefits of third-party CSS. This results in improved performance and increased sales.

If you decide to migrate, it is important to choose a trusted CSS and partner. Migrating to a third-party CSS is a technical project that requires a high degree of involvement from advertisersagencies and CSSs.


The choice between Google CSS and third-party CSS will depend on the specific needs of each advertiser. However, given the fees imposed by Google, it is financially more advantageous to choose a third-party CSS.

Also Read: Grace Verzosa Ambat: Everything you need to Know

Depending on your issues, you can reinvest this investment budget in your campaigns to increase your turnover or simply save money.


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