Contact

Complaints about monopoly hold that ecommerce giants have on the marketplace, and the disadvantages that brings for smaller competitors have come to a head in the past five years. In Europe, the result is the proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA).

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the regulation, and more importantly, what it could mean for your Google Shopping campaigns in the future.

What is the DMA?

The Digital Markets Act is a proposed European Union regulation. Its purpose is to regulate the behaviour of large online platforms, known as Gate Keepers, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

One of the key areas of the act is the regulation of online marketplaces, like Google Shopping. The idea is that the bigger platforms will have to be more transparent in their business practices, with the aim of giving smaller businesses fairer access to the marketplace.

Despite being proposed in December 2020, the DMA is currently still under consideration by the European Union and it's not clear yet when the EU will agree on the final form – it needs to be ratified by all member states before it is adopted. Therefore, it's hard to predict an exact date for when the EU will pass the regulation to law.

Part of the initial legal challenge focused on the monopoly element around Google Shopping – namely that Google was both media owner and advertiser, which makes for a less competitive and less efficient environment for other CSS providers and consumers.

How is Productcaster involved in the DMA?

Productcaster’s CEO and owner, Martin Corcoran, was invited to Brussels in December 2022 to join 30 other key stakeholders (plus 1,500 joining online) to discuss the future of the search channel and feedback on Google’s plans to become compliant with EU, and likely UK, law.

His experience on the day and feedback was very clear – the Google Shopping channel will change substantially by March 2024.

So, what will the DMA mean for your Google Shopping campaigns?

Google knows that it needs to change and comply quickly, but how is yet to be decided. There have been calls for the Google Shopping boxes to be removed completely, citing them as economically ineffective as they supposedly limit choice for the consumer and competition.

We don’t think that this is likely to happen.

What is more probable is that CSS such as Productcaster will continue to work with Google to develop the existing Google Shopping Channel and drive better performance across the board. Which can only result in better service for businesses running Shopping campaigns and the end user.

Everyone wins.

What if you’re still using Google as your CSS?

As a leader in the CSS industry, we are very clear on this – we firmly believe that all brands should be using a 3rd party CSS. Brands that develop Google Shopping campaigns through an independent, marketing focussed CSS, like Productcaster find that they are more effective.

Not only that but working with a CSS like Productcaster saves businesses like yours up to 20% with each click (the fee charged by Google to use their service). We know this saving is real because we already represent 1,000s of brands across Europe – just look at Wayfair, New Balance, Ann Summers, Cult Beauty, La Redoute, Jo Jo Mama Bebe, Aldi – all saving money using Productcaster.

Switching to Productcaster is so simple and causes no disruption or downtime to your Shopping campaigns. And if you do have any issues, our first-class support team is on-hand to talk you through a solution quickly and efficiently.

If you'd like to find out more about switching your Google Shopping campaigns to Productcaster, either visit our FAQ section or drop us an email at info@productcaster.com.

 

 

Who are Bigvits?

Bigvits is an online retailer of food supplements and multi-vitamins, supplying premium US vitamin products to the UK and European markets. They offer a vast range of products, providing their customers with an extensive choice that they simply wouldn’t find elsewhere.

With such a wide range of products available online, it’s not surprising that Google Shopping is an essential part of their marketing activity. Bigvits allocates significant spend through the channel, so the team were very open to conversations with Productcaster about significant cost savings and campaign performance improvement.

What was the trial objective?

Simply put, Bigvits wanted to understand how far campaign performance could be improved, and what cost efficiencies could be made by moving away from Google’s own CSS to partner with Productcaster.

If performance improved and savings were made across the campaigns, the team could then either keep the budget savings and move it to the bottom line or choose to reinvest the cash into the Shopping campaign to drive sales.

So, how did we prove it?

The Productcaster team knew we had to deliver a fair test that would show the financial impact that Productcaster has on Shopping campaigns when compared directly with Google CSS.

The test was simple but effective:  For the duration of the four week trial period, we collected data on the key metrics of success according to the business

This data was then compared to the previous four weeks to observe the key differences and provide sound results.  In addition, to ensure we removed the effect of seasonality, we also compared this eight-week data period with the same period from the previous year, where Google had been the sole CSS provider.

What were the results?

The results were very encouraging to say the least.  The key results were:

In the words of our client

Ian Simmons, Bigvits’ Head of Ecommerce said, “Given our business model, it’s not surprising we rely heavily on Google Shopping to deliver a significant proportion of sales. So, any budget savings we make can have a major impact.

“The team at Productcaster approached me because they’d noticed that we were running campaigns through Google’s own CSS. They put together a trial that allowed us to test the impact Productcaster could have, and the results made the decision to switch a very easy one.

“I was quite surprised at how easy it was to move to Productcaster. I assumed it would be a lengthy integration process, or there’d be some advertising downtime, or both.  But we were up and running within an hour or two.

“The trial ran without any hitches – the only difference you could see was that our PLAs were now serving by Productcaster. And the end analysis demonstrated great results, which were qualified by the uplifts we’d seen.

“For me this has been a real eye opener, it’s not every day you can find savings like that in your marketing budget. The savings we’ve made are being reinvested into more activity, qualifying us for more auctions and delivering more traffic. That traffic gives us more opportunities to sell, which ultimately helps our bottom line.”

What’s the next step?

Bigvits continue to partner with Productcaster. As the UK has been a successful test bed for the switch, the Vyta Health Group are now looking at its European portfolio to see where Productcaster could offer similar improvements. And we’re delighted to have them onboard.

For more information on the benefits of partnering with the Google accredited Productcaster CSS, take a look at our FAQ section. Or to discuss your swap to Productcaster, just drop us an email at info@productcaster.com.