It was 2.4 billion euros. A proud amount, which many a company would like to achieve as turnover per year. But it was not a turnover, it was a fine from the EU for the fact that Google had once again favoured itself over the years, to the detriment of others. It was about the preferential treatment of Google Shopping search results in the hit list. The EU put a stop to this. Since then, these ad spaces have been released for price comparison portals of all kinds. Online retailers can now profit from this.
CSS Shopping – how does it work?
The penalty alone shows the amounts at stake here. No wonder, since Google is a kind of eye of the needle through which most users pass on the web to find what they are looking for. For almost every search term, Google not only displayed hit lists, but also ads from Google Shopping – right at the front, of course. There, traders could offer their goods after they had registered for the service. The internet giant received a commission for this.
Due to the EU decision, this is no longer so simple. Google is now no longer allowed to award itself the places for products, but has released them by auction. The own department for Google Shopping Europe (=GSE) was spun off as a company. Now it has to bid with other retailers and comparison portals for the best places.
For owners of online shops, this gives them the chance to participate more easily without having to register with a quasi-monopolist. They can go to a Google CSS partner of their choice and thus freely select the provider. The in-house service GSE, for example, takes a commission of 20% per click. Other competitors are free to choose their own margins. Traders thus have the chance to secure front-ranking positions while their prices are somewhat cheaper.
Experts recommend that shops optimise their processes. Shopping should be made easy for customers. Short customer journeys and easy-to-read order barcodes can be extremely useful.
CSS Shopping – how does it pay off?
Research has shown that on Google Shopping, most ads still come from the GSE service. There is definitely still potential for external CSS partners. The question for merchants is always what conditions the partner offers.
Some work purely on a success commission basis. Others, on the other hand, take a fixed base amount and the rest per click. As a seller, you should definitely calculate what is more favourable for your cases.
Furthermore, make sure that the sales website offers a perfect user experience and a barrier-free customer journey. Otherwise, what’s the point of being at the top of the search results if the customer bounces before buying because the menu navigation is confusing or the shop doesn’t look trustworthy?