More and more consumers are using Google Shopping to find products that they want to purchase. That sounds like an open door, but not so long ago the trend was different. For a long time it was customary to go to the webshop or comparison website of your choice - such as bol.com or decide.nl - and then start your search for a product. So that has changed. Consumers are increasingly starting their search for desired products directly on Google. Google Shopping anticipates on this, but it did result in a billion-dollar fine.
What is Google Shopping?
Go to Google.nl and search for a product such as "nike jordans". You see the Google Shopping results above or in between the search results:
The Shopping ads on Google were only accessible to web stores until 2017. Other parties, such as comparison sites, were unable to purchase a partnership from Google and could therefore not benefit if consumers searched for products via the search engine. That was according to the European Commission a form of abuse of power and reason for a fine of 2.42 billion euros. Google had to adjust everything:
Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition Policy: “Google has released many innovative products and services that have changed our lives. This is a good business. Googleechter was not used to attract customers with its price comparison service by making its product better than that of its competitors. Rather, Google has abused its dominant position as a search engine by promoting its own price comparison service in its search results and placing those of competitors at the bottom.
What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It has denied other companies the opportunity to compete and innovate on merits. And, more importantly, it has deprived European consumers of a genuine choice of services and has prevented them from taking advantage of it innovation fully exploitable. "
The answer was a CSS partnership, where CSS stands for Comparison Shopping Service. In short, it means that Google has disconnected its own Shopping division from the parent company and has set it up as a separate comparison machine, which can logically still be accessed and controlled directly from the Google homepage. External parties - this time not only web shops, but also comparison sites and in fact all other interested parties - can register as a partner and be integrated into that platform in this way.
See the explanation from Google itself:
Does my company need to purchase a CSS partnership?
The key question for many entrepreneurs with a webshop or comparison site is of course whether purchasing such a Google CSS partnership is worthwhile. After all, that partnership is not free, and the configuration of your campaign on Google Shopping is certainly not for beginners. Do you have to want this?
The answer is "yes" and that is thanks to the presence of other CSS partners who are already affiliated with Google. Big shopper is such a party and offers various benefits for entrepreneurs. You do not have to delve into the difficult configuration of Google, you can use lower rates (costs per click are by default 20 percent lower than if you advertise directly) and you can have any existing accounts transferred without you having to worry about your privacy or your data. By using such a partner, you can be sure that you get the most out of Google Shopping without running a lot of risk. In short: the perfect way to take advantage of the Google Shopping platform.