Why choose a CSS provider such as Productcaster?

12 June 2023

For almost four years, Summit has been enabling clients to access the Google Shopping auction for up to 20% less cost than their competitors who are not making the most of having a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS). We have done this through our proprietary technology: Productcaster

What is CSS? 

A Comparison Shopping Service is a price comparison site which has partnered with Google, to enable its retailer partners to appear in Google Shopping results at a cheaper cost, list products in Google’s free listings in the Shopping tab and appear alongside competitors on the Comparison Shopping Site.  

What is Productcaster? 

Productcaster is a CSS platform and it was developed by Summit in answer to the antitrust ruling from the European Union against Google in 2017, which meant that Google could no longer monopolise the Comparison Shopping space. This allowed alternatives to Google Shopping to appear in the Product Listing Ad (PLA) results within SERPs. 

Why work with a CSS provider?  

Working with a CSS provider means that you gain access to preferential CPC rates: you will save up to 20% on your Shopping CPCs. Google incentivises retailers to work with partners such as Productcaster by removing their margin from the cost of a Google Shopping click. Thanks to this, savvy retailers see more efficiency in their CPCs.  

The saving is seen in one of two ways: 

  • Decrease spend by approximately 20% to continue seeing the same level of performance as previously, or 
  • Maintain spend and increase performance (traffic and visibility) by approximately 20%. 

Why Choose Productcaster & Summit?  

Let’s take a look at our results… Over the past three and a half years, we’ve seen some great performance from retailers moving on to Productcaster, and our proprietary measurement framework developed by our data scientists has enabled us to prove the value of CSS for our partners. 

Strategy A: reduce cost, maintain sales revenue. 

-16% average CPC 

No change in traffic volume 

No impact on clickthrough rate 

Strategy B: maintain average CPC, increase traffic. 

+17% traffic 

+22% impressions 

+4% impression share 

We have worked with many of our partners since the start of CSS in 2018, which means that we have had the opportunity to analyse the impact of CSS over a long period as well as in the event that a client reverts their activity back to Google. We have observed the following when rollbacks take place: 

-29% impressions 

-11% sales 

-9% revenue,402x.png.pagespeed.ic.Oiz5Lu-YdJ.png

How to get set up on Productcaster 

Launching on Productcaster is simple, quick and risk free and we do all the heavy lifting for you to ensure everything goes smoothly. We do not require you to make any structural changes to your accounts meaning there is no risk of downtime. We simply need you to provide a consent form, your content API key, and a logo. Once we have all of this information, the switch is made and within 24 hours you will see all of your ads appear ‘by Productcaster’ instead of ‘by Google’ and you will start seeing the impact on your CPCs immediately.  

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If you want to take advantage of CSS before it’s too late for Peak 2021, get in touch with Lily today at or call on +447943226657.

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