Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) let ecommerce retailers place ads on the Google Shopping platform. Merchants need to be using at least one CSS to advertise on Google Shopping. Google also offers advertisers using CSS an incentive of up to a 20% discount for clicks, making it all the more appealing.
Merchants are free to use more than one CSS. In fact, doing so can help increase your visibility on the Shopping carousel.
Different CSS providers specialize in different industries and products. If you’re a retailer with a varied catalog of products, working with different CSS partners can be beneficial.
Using more than one CSS doesn’t inflate CPC, either. The amount paid by an advertiser is based on what the next best bid placed by a competitor is valued at. Google charges the cost of the winning bid to the CSS who placed the winning bid, so it doesn’t matter if you have two or seven CSS partners bidding for you - Google treats all bids as coming from one source and you only pay once.
Having said that, make sure you find the right balance for your business and your industry. While it's beneficial to have multiple CSS accounts, that doesn't mean that adding more and more accounts brings greater benefit.
In fact, there is a point of diminishing returns, at which point you find yourself paying for more accounts without seeing greater savings. This point may be the third account or the sixth - it's different for each retailer. For more advice, speak to your ad management provider.
The benefits of using multiple CSS
The efforts of each CSS you use will be complementary to one another, meaning you get the best results from each of your CSS accounts.
Having multiple CSS accounts won’t let your ads for the same product appear more than once on the Shopping carousel. However, depending on the search queries used by shoppers you may qualify for the ad for a similar product to be shown. This can increase your chances of appearing on the carousel multiple times for similar products to the one searched for.
Different types of CSS may have different expertise: some may have better targeting, and others may be best for maximizing visibility. Combining these different features can help you optimize your Shopping campaigns.
Bidnamic’s research on multiple CSS accounts
To find out more, we looked into how having dual CSS accounts for some of our clients has affected their performance. We set up and ran these CSS accounts on behalf of the clients.
We saw a significant increase in impressions for several clients who had a dual CSS account with us. By using more than one CSS, our clients benefited from more visibility on the carousel and had their ads shown to the most interested shoppers.
Having a second CSS account also drove clicks, highlighting the fact that ads were only being shown to high-intent shoppers. These clicks were also generally at a lower CPC than usual for awareness search terms.
With increased impressions and clicks for the same (or even reduced) CPC, there really is no reason to not employ at least a second CSS account.
Tom is a Content Marketing Executive, producing content and case studies to simplify the Google Shopping experience, and help our clients discover if Google Shopping is the right channel for them. With an MA in English Literature, Tom has a passion for writing and sharing information with the masses.