Multiple Shopping Ad partners

The Google Shopping changes in September 2017 were all about opening up the market to allow fair and open competition. Previously, you had to use Google Shopping to get your ads on Google Search pages but now you have access to over 70 Comparison Shopping Services, (or CSSs). So how do you choose which CSS to use? The good news is that you shouldn’t have to pick just one!

Let’s get some basics out the way, and then we can go into the detail of how the Shopping Ads work and why the optimal setup is to always run multiple CSSs.

Is there a limit to the number of CSSs that can advertise my products?

Nope! You’ll find best results from having a mix of CSSs.

Will I end up paying more for Shopping ads if more than one CSS advertises on my behalf?

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.

So having RedBrain, or any other CSS advertise alongside your existing Shopping campaigns won’t inflate your CPCs!

Is there much variety in how CSSs charge fees?

Absolutely! Some CSSs will charge you based on how much you spend like Google Shopping, others will charge you a fixed amount per
click. Other CSSs have innovated and are creating new fee structures – for example the RedBrain Managed service doesn’t charge any
fees and instead works on a commission basis from sales.

Can a CSS operate multiple CSSs?

Yes! RedBrain has been running price comparison sites across the US, UK and 20 other countries for 8 years. In that time we’ve launched over 4,000 price comparison sites ranging from IdealPrice where you can find anything, to more niche comparison sites like Catwalk – our UK Fashion price comparison site.

Each one of our price comparison sites qualifies as a separate CSS and we’re already running multiple CSSs across Europe! Each CSS gives you an extra chance to further increase your impression reach.

Do I earn multiple Spend Match creditsif I work with multiple CSSs?

Yes! Each separate CSS you work with allows you to earn multiple Spend Match credits.

Even if you want to keep working with your existing CSS provider, by also moving some activity to RedBrain you benefit from multiple CSS credits.

Now that we have some of the basics out the way, we can start to look at the more creative ways you can leverage multiple CSSs to get the most out of Shopping Ads on Google.

In the below example, we’ll look at 3 CSSs working on behalf of one retailer:

RedBrain Self Managed
The retailer has decided to migrate their Google Shopping campaigns to a RedBrain self managed account.
RedBrain Managed
The retailer has also decided to work with us on our Managed service - we create a product feed for them and handle all the bidding on a CPA deal.
Other CSS
A different CSS partner the retailer wants to test activity with

The first stage in the comparison is to understand what happens with the product data. For both the RedBrain self managed and Other CSS, the retailer puts their own product data into a Merchant Centre account that they control. With the RedBrain Managed service, we work with your original product data but then optimise it so that we can serve
more Ads on more search terms.

If all three CSSs started with a product like this:

Original Feed

Title: iPad
Price: 499.99
URL: https://some-store.com/ipad
Color: Grey

Then you would end up with the following data in the 3 Merchant Centre accounts:

RedBrain Self Managed

Title: iPad
Price: 499.99
URL: https://somestore.com/ipad
Color: Grey

RedBrain Managed

Title: Apple iPad Pro 2018, 32GB, Space Grey
GTIN: 00888462760799
Brand: Apple
Price: 449.99 (updated tomatch site)
URL: https://somestore.com/ipad
Color: Space Grey
Product Type: Smartphones > Apple, iPhone Operating System (iOS)

Other CSS

Title: iPad
Price: 499.99
URL: https://somestore.com/ipad
Color: Grey

Why is the Merchant Centre data so important? Well, it decides whether the advert for your products will show when a user searches on Google. Google matches the product titles and other attributes to search queries, so if you have the same product in two different CSSs with two different titles, you’re eligible to show on more queries!

Also, do you know much about Quality Scores? By changing the titles and adding in more information between different CSSs, your quality scores will change. The more detailed information you put in the feed, the higher the quality scores for each of your products. In the example above, the RedBrain Managed service would receive a higher quality score as it has provided more information and better attributes. Quality scores are really important for bidding – did you know that a 10/10 quality score means that you can buy traffic 50% cheaper than someone with a 5/10 quality score?

So, by using multiple CSSs you’re able to get significantly improved impression reach, and also compare each CSSs impact on your CPCs and traffic costs through Quality Scores!

One last thing to remember, fundamentally a CSS partner should primarily be a price comparison site! By working with multiple CSS partners you’re extending the reach of your product listings outside of Google. Our price comparison sites have over 25 million unique customers a month browsing the products from our retailers. Even if a CSS partner isn’t
winning impressions for you on Shopping Ads right now, by working with multiple partners you’re always getting more traffic for your products.

Let’s chat about running RedBrain alongside your existing activity