Shopping Ads by Comparison Shopping Services

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Following the European Commission’s ruling in September 2017, Google has now allowed Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) to bid alongside Google Shopping’s direct campaigns and place shopping ads on behalf of Advertisers.This recent development presents significant opportunity for both advertisers and publishers.

Update in the Advertiser's Program Terms

Programme terms for advertisers have been updated to include an option to allow shopping ads placement by CSS partners. If you are an advertiser, simply set this to a ‘Yes’ if you wish for Awin’s approved CSS partners to begin optimising your Google product searches. If you are not familiar with shopping ads and/or how it will benefit you, please read the Frequently Asked Questions by Advertisers.

If you are a publisher and would like to serve shopping ads on Google main search page, please follow Awin’s Best Practices for Comparison Shopping Services.

Frequently Asked Questions by Advertisers

What are shopping ads? Are they different than search ads?

Shopping ad (formerly knowns Product Listing Ad) is datafeed-based advertising system. Unlike search ads which bid for a specific keyword, the bid set for shopping ads is at the product group level such as category of products or a unique product. Shopping ads feature product pictures. Search ads do not.

How can advertisers benefit on shopping ads placement?

Shopping ads generally perform better than text-based ad. The main reasons being the image-featured ad appear at the top of search engine result pages (SERPS), which increase visibility of the products, and consumer who is looking for a certain product already showing a purchase intent.

Do I need to use a Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) to place shopping ads?

Yes, only CSSs can place shopping ads. You can use Google Shopping or any other CSS partners of your choice. You can also participate via several CSSs at the same time.

What are the difference between ads placed by Google Shopping with ads placed by CSS?

Hardly no difference. The only visible difference is the “By…” line added at the bottom of the ad - “By CSS” when the ads are served by CSS or by “By Google” when the ads served by Google Shopping.

How about if I already run Google Shopping?

You can work with both CSS and Google Shopping at the same time, and the most efficient bid will win the placement. Advertiser is never second-priced against itself.

Can I run with multiple CSS? Will I end up paying more for shopping ads if more than one CSS advertises on my behalf?

Yes, you can work with multiple CSS partners with no impact on CPCs. Google will do their best to show your product only once at the same search query.

What are the benefits of working with CSS over Google Shopping?

It can be cheaper for you. Google Shopping takes about 20% off your bid as their margin. Other CSSs generally do not charge margins, this means that their bids will be about 20% cheaper. Furthermore, from 1st November to 31st December all merchants will receive a fixed kickback of 5% of their spend on shopping ads through a CSS partner[1].

Can Awin recommend any CSS for me?

Of course. Here are a few tips for choosing for CSS partners:

  • Ads are directly linking to your site.
  • Payment model. Some CSSs offers performance-based model. You only pay for the sales generated through the shopping ads. Low risk, high ROI.
  • Awin works with some of Google’s certified CSS partners[2]

Awin’s Best Practices for Comparison Shopping Services

  • When joining an advertiser programme, be sure to check the advertiser profile terms to see exactly which advertisers are happy to have their products promoted via CSS.
  • If you run CSS activity alongside other publisher activity on a single account, you maybe required to split the CSS activity into a separate account.


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