It isn’t the first time that Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) have come under examination from retailers and agencies who are trying to get the best possible outcome for their performance. Back in August 2018, Productcaster reported on the key strategies to get the most out of CSS for a retailer’s business and provided a need-to-know overview of concerns, opportunities and the benefits of working with a CSS.
This time around, Productcaster lifts the lid on why some retailers are choosing to use multiple CSS and discover the pros and cons of each route. Either by using multiple CSS or working solely with one CSS partner.
Pro: Visibility Across Multiple CSS
The appeal of using multiple CSS has the obvious benefit of being visible across numerous CSS sites. Undoubtedly this provides more product reach, yet by what significance is to be disputed. The reason behind this being Google does not display multiple listings of the same product through different CSS partners, drastically reducing the benefit of using multiple CSS with the purpose of increasing visibility alone.
Con: Different Charging Models
Whilst looking for the perfect CSS to match your own brand, you may also want to consider the best charging model that suits your business. Some charge a fee on a per-click basis, whilst others charge on the sales they drive through the campaigns.
Having multiple CSS means having to manage these different charging models effectively and being aware where you’re getting the best deal for your business. As spend increases into busier periods, getting caught out through a CSS’ charging model could effectively reduce the savings you could have originally made. Productcaster operates on a flat fee model meaning you won’t have to worry about those extra savings you could have made and the money goes straight into your back pocket.
Pro: Different Levels of Service and Expertise
A retailer with a varied product inventory may find some benefit in working with multiple CSS who in turn specialise in each of their product fields. For example, a client who is looking for a CSS partner who specialises in fashion may automatically discover them due to research into their competitors who are listed on the CSS platform. A professional CSS that reflects a business’ own personal brand may be an attracting factor as it mirrors the same level of service a customer could expect on their own site.
Different CSS providers may also offer different expertise and as a result, help you acquire new customers through their knowledge. However, this could arguably also be achieved by working with your preferred CSS as well as multiple CSSs.
Con: No Incremental Increase in Traffic or Sales
There is little evidence to support by operating multiple identical CSS partners a brand will see an increase in traffic or sales. To contribute to this you also cannot link the same merchant centre to multiple CSS partners. You would be required to create a new merchant centre and Google ads account in order to action this. New accounts would have no history associated with them so performance would be poorer. This also tends to take a lot of time to setup.