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Generate incremental sales, save money and Increase Google Shopping Ads category share with CSS services

Recent Google Shopping developments

Comparison shopping sites (CSSs) provide consumers with a great way to compare prices, product specifications, reviews and offers from a range of brands. Over the years, developments in Google search and the launch of the Google Shopping comparison engine resulted in CSSs becoming less visible. But in late 2017, Google opened its Shopping ads to CSSs, dramatically improving opportunities for retailers to increase their category share, save money and drive additional sales.

Google started running Shopping at a profit, taking a margin of spend (believed to be around 20%) from every bid before entering that bid to the auction to win a Shopping ad position. However, CSSs didn’t have to charge a margin; so, if you bid £1 through a CSS the full £1 went into bidding.

Google is currently encouraging retailers to test working through CSSs, providing an incentive called SpendMatch. This provides a rebate based on monthly spend through a CSS back in your AdWords account – but this is capped and time-bound, so acting fast is essential. But as you can use the rebate and the margin saving to increase your bids and drive more traffic, or reduce spend, what’s not to like?

New services developed quickly

These changes have seen CSSs and, increasingly, digital agencies develop new services for retailers aimed at paid search teams and affiliate programmes. The main services are:

  1. CPA: Additional sales to your existing shopping ads on a CPA basis managed entirely by a CSS. You still run your existing Shopping Ads through AdWords yourself, or via your digital agency.
  2. Self-Managed: Your Shopping Ads account runs through a CSS managed by you or your PPC agency.

Genie Shopping Network, which runs long-established comparison site Crowdstorm, was one of the first companies to be whitelisted for Google Shopping. We are part of Genie Ventures whose agency business, Genie Goals, won the Google Award for Shopping Innovation in 2017. 

How Genie Shopping took’s Google Shopping revenue to the next level is a leader in the electronic goods industry. Founded in 2000, the company has grown aggressively and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, driving an estimated £600m in revenue in 2016. 

Genie Shopping needed to prove to them that running the CSS CPA service alongside AO’s existing activity wouldn’t result in us competing against its paid search team and driving up costs. So:

  1. Sales would be additional to’s existing Google Shopping sales
  2.’s existing Google Shopping CPCs would not increase
  3.’s category impression share and sales would increase overall
  4. Genie Shopping would drive quality customers to

The results from January to May 2018 were extremely positive, showing the CSS CPA service provides additional sales without competing against a retailer’s own Google Shopping campaigns.

  1. Sales were additional and revenue generated by Genie Shopping from Shopping Ads increased 263%
  2.’s existing Google Shopping CPCs did not increase
  3.’s category impression share grew over the period and, when adding the impression share generated by Genie, grew significantly overall
  4. The customers Genie Shopping drove to over-indexed in the ‘wealthy’, ‘Older well off’ and ‘Younger mid affluence’ profile groups.

Genie Shopping can do the same for you

To find out how you can get involved in either of our CSS Google Shopping services and appear on our comparison shopping sites, contact

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