We're delighted to announce that SearchStar is officially a Google Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) Partner. This is a huge deal, and means that we can save our advertisers and partners a minimum of 20% on their current Google Shopping media spend, and potentially up to 44%.

Following a series of EU-driven regulatory events, Google has had to open up its shopping ad results to competition. Being constantly focused on delivering the maximum value for our clients, the SearchStar team has been working flat out to produce our own CSS site.

A drumroll please... for ShoppingStar!

Crucially for our 'fiscally savvy' clients and partners our CSS Partner status means that they can enjoy an almost unbelievable saving of 20% on their Google Shopping CPCs. Additionally, and even more unbelievably, they can also currently get an additional rebate on their spend, of up to 30%.


Last year, Google was fined €2.4 billion for unfairly favouring its own comparison shopping service: Google Shopping. Following this EU antitrust ruling, Google has been forced to start competing directly with non-Google comparison shopping services on the search engine.

Non-Google CSSs, like ShoppingStar, are currently able to buy Google Shopping at wholesale rates that are 20% less than the same inventory via Google Ads. In addition, Google has created temporary rebates of 20-30% available for qualifying advertisers in an effort to generate competition quickly.

What This Means for Advertisers

Currently, when you spend £1 on Google Shopping, you’re actually bidding 80p for the advertising space, and giving 20p to the advertising sales team.

The Comparison Shopping Scheme cuts out the advertising sales team and enables you to pay only the 80p. The additional pump-priming 20-30% rebate, temporarily available for qualifying advertisers, further cuts this 80p to 56p (30%) or 64p (20%).

These massive and absolutely unprecedented savings represent an unmissable opportunity for Google Shopping advertisers. By advertising through a third-party, rather than Google Shopping, you can save significantly on your Google Shopping advertising costs.

If you are using an agency who is not a CSS Partner, or are running your Shopping ads in-house, we strongly urge you to get in touch with a CSS Partner ASAP.

What Changes?

There are no fundamental changes to the way you run your Google Shopping ads if you use a CSS. All activity is still managed through AdWords and there are no significant changes to your settings.

The only visible change is that your advertising will be linked to a CSS Merchant Centre. That means that the link in the advert will change from ‘by Google’ to the name of the CSS you choose to use. Your customers will still land directly on the product page of your advertised product.

In Summary

The benefits of buying your Google Shopping advertising through a CSS are compelling:

  • Have your ads delivered by a certified and specifically trained Comparison Shopping Partner
  • Make huge savings (at least 20%) on your Shopping Ad spend by purchasing through a certified CSS
  • Better realise the potential of Shopping Ads and move ahead of the competition

There’s no obligation to use a CSS under the EU ruling. However, if you don’t you will lose ground in Google Shopping as your competitors move theirs over to a CSS.

To talk about how you can take advantage of our CSS immediately call Steph Iles or any of the SearchStar team on 01225 58 38 38 or email css@search-star.co.uk.