About Productcaster CSS
What are the costs?
We provide a bespoke quote for each prospective client based on their support needs, whether you are looking for simple SaaS or more strategic support. We have fixed monthly fees which will make Productcaster CSS the best option for you.
How do you switch to Productcaster CSS?
Switching to Productcaster CSS is extremely easy! We only need your Merchant Center ID to submit a switch request to Google. Converting your Merchant Center to Productcaster CSS can be instantaneous once accepting the switch request if your Merchant Center is being switched away from Google. If switching from another CSS partner, a grace period may be set by the existing CSS before the switch is complete.
About the Google CSS Program
Will you have access to my data?
It is a requirement for a CSS partner to have access to your Merchant Center as this allows us to host your products on our Comparison site, which is necessary for a CSS to operate. We don't require access to your Google Ads account and will not be able to see any of your campaign/performance data, however allowing this access allows us to leverage additional support/insights tools from our dedicated CSS Google team for you.
What are the differences between the CSS partners?
It is important to know that the financial benefits that Google provides are the same for every CSS partner. The service level, fee models and USPs of each partner are the biggest differentiators.
Another difference to consider is the type of CSS model, whether that is using a CPC model to enhance your Shopping performance, usually on a fixed monthly subscription fee, or working with a CPA partner on the affiliate model to place ads along side your own Shopping activity charging commission on an acquisition basis. You can also work with partners who offer different types of service level from self service to hybrid support or a fully managed service.
In which countries am I able to advertise in via a CSS partner?
CSS Shopping adverts are currently available in the following 21 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
What is a Premium CSS partner?
Productcaster is a Premium CSS Partner. A Premium CSS partner represents more than 500 merchants with shopping campaigns, and receives enhanced support from Google, which enables us to provide a higher service level.
What is a Google CSS partner?
A CSS partner is the only way to advertise on Google shopping ads. Each Comparison Shopping Service is a website which collects product offers from retailers, and can place Shopping ads on behalf of merchants which are part of the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
What is the Google CSS Program?
In 2017, Google received a record fine of 2.4 billion Euro by the European Commission for abuse of power. What Google did was considered 'illegal under EU competition rules' in accordance with this ruling. Google created a platform for advertising with shopping ads on its search results page, which was only accessible to web shops, hereby depriving other parties (comparison sites) of the opportunity to compete fairly. If Google did not implement steps towards embracing comparison sites, the fine would have been increased by around 5% of its worldwide revenue per year. Google then initiated those steps with the launch of the Google CSS program.
Advertising via a Google CSS Partner
How can I measure the 20% discount after switching to a CSS?
When looking at the value of using a CSS, we generally ask merchants to look at their average CPCs and their average clicks over a set period of time, rather than asking “have we saved 20% on CPCs”. Calculate whether you'd have paid more for the traffic gained if you had continued to sacrifice that 20% to Google as a fee for each additional click than you would have by paying the flat subscription cost to use Productcaster. We can help you assess this with our measurement framework.
The 20% discount on the CPC, how does this work?
When using Google's own comparison engine (Google Shopping Europe - GSE) to place Shopping ads on to the Google search results page, Google apply a 'hosting' fee of up to 20% per click to do so. This fee comes from the CPC you pay making your bid to auction less competitive. When using a CSS, the charging model is different; whether you pay a flat subscription fee or a cost-per-acquisition commission for the CSS service, you can utilise your entire CPC as your bid. This makes your bid more efficient, allowing you to enter more auctions and gain more traffic for the same cost, or to retain similar levels of activity with a reduction in CPCs driving better ROI.
Will I lose my support via Google if I switch to a Google CSS partner?
You will still retain any Google Support teams you currently work with directly. You will also still have access to the same support channels as you did before switching to a CSS partner. However, as a Google Premium partner, Productcaster has access to additional dedicated support and engineering teams that we can leverage for you.
How does advertising via a CSS partner work?
Depending on the type of CSS and the model, a merchant can place their ads on to the Google Shopping results spaces via a CSS partner, which removes the additional fees charged by Google when using Google's own comparison engine (Google Shopping Europe - GSE). This makes your bid to auction much more competitive, reducing your CPCs by up to 20%. A Merchant can choose what level of service they want when selecting an appropriate partner and can either continue to manage their own activity as normal, with the added CSS CPC benefit, or they can opt for partner that manages activity and places those product ads on behalf of the merchant.