Maximising Sales with Comparison Shopping Partners: The Advantages of Collaborating with Shopping Affiliates

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At Hot Dog Solutions, we’re not just another digital agency. We have decades of experience in both ecommerce and retail more generally. We also understand the power of partnerships.

One such partnership that has proven to be beneficial is with comparison shopping partners (CSS Partners). But what exactly are CSS Partners and why should you consider working with them? Here’s a quick rundown.

Shopping Partners on a Pay on Results Basis

Comparison shopping partners, also known as CSS partners, can widen your brand’s reach within the shopping space and appear across comparison sites to support brand awareness.

They can strategically compete with other brands across relevant search terms on a CPA-only basis, gaining increased impression share. Moreover, they can utilise a CPAi strategically to target less efficient products or high stock items.

Ensuring Incrementality with CSS Partners

Google recognises the unique product identifier (EAN or GTIN) in the feed and ensures that the same product from the same retailer doesn’t appear more than once in a single set of results, regardless of how many CSS partners you work with.

The CPA that a CSS partner works towards should ideally be below your in-house cost of sales target but high enough to enable them to compete in the Google Shopping auction.

Furthermore, CSS shopping campaigns don’t create direct competition with the retailer; they only compete with other CSS partners, ensuring no effect on any existing in-house Product Listing Ad activities.

Best Practices for Partnering with CSS Affiliates

While CSS partners can take a share of internal activity, the overall gain is often greater when implementing the use of these partners. Here are some tips:

  • Vary your CPA rates. To safeguard your internal efforts, it’s recommended to have the CSS partner on a lower CPA than average for the internal channel.

  • Be clear with partners on the dos and don’ts that align with your brand goals.

  • Decide how many partners you want to work with—like if you want to focus on one main CSS partner or have a variety across certain platforms, such as Google or Bing.

  • Understand that CSS partners won’t increase a brand’s CPC costs. Google is set up to not increase bidding on search terms if multiple CSS partners are bidding for the same product/brand, which means it will not raise CPCs in situations like a new competitor bidding on the same branded search terms.

At Hot Dog Solutions, we’re ready to help you realise better performance through better partnerships on a pure pay on results basis.

Let’s connect and explore the potential of comparison shopping partners together.

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