Can I work with multiple CSS partners?

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The short answer is yes. If you would like to know how this works, keep on reading to learn more about working with multiple CSS partners.

Why work with multiple CSS partners?

The most prominent reason to work with multiple CSS partners is to generate incremental sales. You may run any CSS channel in parallel with your existing campaigns. You can leverage the CSS’s expertise to optimize your product data and bid on distinct terms and impressions that do not occur in other campaigns. This is especially a great benefit if you have a high-variety product inventory, because you can choose a CSS for each specific product field based on their area of expertise, services, and charging models. Also, if you sell products to different customer segments or within different geographic regions, tailoring your campaigns to these specifics with multiple CSS partners is a great solution.

Please note that these benefits only apply to a managed service model, since that is the only service model that allows CSSs to manage and optimize your product feed for you. The CSS managed service model runs in parallel with in-house Google Shopping activity. With this service model, the Google CSS partner manages the Google Shopping campaigns on behalf of the merchant. The managed service model is typically set-up on a Cost-per-sale (CPS) payment model through an affiliate network. This arrangement can lead to additional shoppers and sales without competing with your current campaigns.

Furthermore, your products will be visible on multiple CSS websites, which can result in more traffic to your website.

Will I end up paying more if multiple CSSs place my Shopping ads?

This is one of the most common questions we receive from merchants regarding this topic. The answer is no. Google will not charge higher CPCs if a merchant is working with multiple CSSs. The bid price you pay is always based on the next best bid by a competitor.

Let’s say your CSS partner enters the Google auction and bids €0,25 on your behalf, and that bid wins the Google ad auction. Now let’s assume the next highest bid from a competitor is €0,20. This means you will pay €0,20 if someone clicks on your ad.

If your bids are placed in the same auction by a different CSS partner, Google will recognize it’s you and ignore these bids. This means you will never bid against yourself. Even if another CSS partner places a bid of €0,22 on your behalf, you will still pay the bid price of the next best bid by a competitor, in this case €0,20.

This is how Google explains their auction process: “A merchant will never be second-priced against itself in the auction for any offer, and that rule holds irrespective of the number, or identity, of the CSSs used by the merchant. Therefore, if two CSSs place bids on behalf of the same merchant, the winning offer and the price paid by the winning CSS will be the same as if those bids had been placed by one and the same CSS”. Google support” 

working with multiple css partners

How to get started

To find CSS partners that meet your needs, you can either use Google’s Comparison Shopping Partner portal or join an affiliate network. An affiliate network acts as a liaison between affiliates (CSSs) and merchants to help you choose the best CSS partner(s) from their network. Through the affiliate network, merchants can find CSS partners that are relevant to their business. Shoparize CSS currently partners with the following affiliate networks: AWIN, Webgains, TradeTracker, Partnerize, and Daisycon. Learn more about affiliate networks in this article.

What does working with a CSS managed service model on an affiliate network look like?

The CSS(s) that you choose will create a new Google Merchant Center account for you. You can then provide your product data and choose to make your entire product feed available or use a custom feed if you want to use this CSS for a specific product category. The CSS will optimize your product feed and manage your campaigns.

Shoparize shares campaign data and auction insights with you. You can also retrieve data about additional turnover, profit and incremental sales.

The CSS partner pays for the traffic that the Shopping campaigns send to the merchant’s webshop. After a sale has been completed on the merchant’s website, the CSS partner receives compensation through the performance-based CPS (or No cure, No pay) payment model. This compensation is made through the affiliate network interface.

How can you apply these benefits to your webshop?

Shoparize CSS is easy to set up through your affiliate network. You only need to accept Shoparize as a publisher to your affiliate program. A test period will show how much incremental revenue Shoparize CSS can generate for you on top of your current Shopping activities.

Learn more about working with multiple CSS partners in the managed service model by an affiliate network in this case study. You can read all about how Conrad enjoyed the full benefits of Shoparize’s managed CSS service and find out how Shoparize CSS did not cannibalize with a second Google Shopping account.

Take advantage of these benefits with Shoparize CSS. Allow Shoparize to help grow your business by improving the performance of your Google Shopping campaigns. Make the switch today, by following the steps in this article or sending an email to