How can you benefit from CSS program for Google Shopping Ads?

Switching your Merchant Center from Google CSS to a CSS partner like offers you a 20% reduction in CPC. In this article, we will explore the exact implications of this discount on your campaign and how you can leverage it to enhance your results.

Understanding the Discount Mechanism

A CSS partner, such as, is granted a 20% CPC (cost-per-click) discount to level the playing field against Google Shopping CSS. Similar to Google AdWords, shopping campaigns operate through an auction system, where advertisers can place bids on the desired cost-per-click.

In practical terms, this implies that a €0.80 bid via a CSS partner holds the same weight as a €1.00 bid through Google Shopping CSS. As a result, an advertiser must bid 25% higher via Google Shopping to match a bid made through a CSS partner.

Identifying the Discount

A common inquiry is how the discount appears in your account. The 20% CPC discount isn’t refunded or shown in your Google Ads account; rather, it offers a bidding advantage compared to Google CSS. The outcome is equivalent to remaining with Google CSS and raising your bids by 25%. This leads to improved positions for your product displays and inclusion in more auctions due to your increased bid, ultimately resulting in an increase in your campaign(s) displays.

Upon switching to a CSS partner like, you’ll notice a significant rise in clicks:

This surge in clicks is accompanied by a decrease in the campaigns’ CPC:

Utilizing the 20% Discount

Two primary strategies can be employed with the CSS discount: boosting the revenue of your shopping campaigns or enhancing their profitability.

  1. Boost Revenue

If your shopping campaigns have an ideal ROI (return on investment) / ROAS (return on ad spend) and you’re seeking increased volume, it’s best to keep your bids unchanged. After switching, you’ll observe a noticeable increase in displays and clicks. The additional volume in shopping campaigns comes from less targeted search terms (higher in the funnel), leading to a lower click-through ratio (CTR) and conversion rate. Opt for this strategy if you have some wiggle room in your ROI and are targeting growth.

  1. Enhance Profitability

If your campaigns’ ROI is tight and you’re aiming to reduce costs to boost profitability, you’ll need to slightly lower your bids (10%-20%). Employing this strategy, numerous accounts have maintained volume while reducing costs.

We advise most advertisers to begin with strategy 2, focusing on improved profitability and volume retention while closely monitoring campaign revenue.

Automated Bidding (Target ROAS / Target CPA / Smart Shopping) with Google CSS partner

Campaigns managed through Google Ads’ automatic bidding (target ROAS / target CPA / Smart Shopping) also receive the bidding advantage after switching to a CSS partner like However, automated optimizations provide less control over campaigns, making it harder to manage CPC and impressions compared to manual bidding. If you maintain the same CPA or ROAS target, the bidding algorithm will adapt to the new situation, eventually leading to more conversions and revenue at the same CPA or ROAS.

By setting a lower CPA target or a higher ROAS, you can achieve similar conversion or revenue results with a lower investment when connecting to

It is essential to note that campaigns using automatic bidding may require some time to adjust after switching to a CSS partner. During the initial period, the algorithm needs to get used to the new situation, and the results may be temporarily disappointing. The algorithm may not immediately recognize the sudden change in bidding power, leading to a significant increase in impressions and clicks shortly after the switch. However, the algorithm will soon start to compensate and require some time to find the new bids. Do not be alarmed if it takes some time for the campaigns to regain their balance.

Keep in mind that with automatic bidding, the Google system will always set the bids to achieve your set goal (ROAS or CPA). As a result, it may not be as evident as with manual bidding that the CPC will visibly decrease or the volume will increase. Ultimately, the automated bidding system decides what happens. The CPC may not decrease, or the volume may not increase, but after a while, the automated bidding will convert the extra bidding power into more conversions or revenue in accordance with your ROAS or CPA goal.

In conclusion, leveraging the CSS program for Google Shopping Ads, such as, can provide significant benefits to your campaigns. The 20% discount on CPC can be utilized to either increase revenue or improve profitability, depending on your goals and ROI. Automated bidding campaigns will also benefit from the switch to a CSS partner, although it might take some time for the algorithm to adjust and deliver optimal results.

To make the most of the CSS program, closely monitor your campaigns and adjust your bidding strategies as needed. Whether you’re aiming for growth, profitability, or a combination of both, the CSS program offers a competitive advantage that can help you optimize your Google Shopping Ads and achieve better results in the long run.



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