Changes in support when you are with a Google CSS partner

One of the questions we often get, especially from large advertisers and agencies, is how support changes on shopping campaigns when you switch your merchant center from Google Shopping CSS to a CSS Partner. In this article we explain exactly how the support structure has changed after the introduction of the CSS Program.

This article was first published in November 2019, and updated in April 2020. If there are changes to the support structure we will update the information again.

Large advertisers, as well as agencies, have account managers at Google that can support with strategic and operational questions. Before the CSS partner program, these account managers could also help you with Shopping Ads related questions. After the introduction of the CSS program some changes were made in this support structure. Google account managers can not support anymore on Shopping Ads. Strategic and operational support is now handled by account managers of the CSS. That means even advertisers that are with Google Shopping CSS and are eligible for an account manager, now get a separate account manager that represents Google Shopping CSS. Advertisers that are with a CSS partner need to turn to their CSS partner for hands-on and proactive strategic support. It is good to be aware of this and to keep this in mind when you are selecting a CSS partner. 

Although account management activities have moved to the CSS, there is still a point you can always turn to when you have questions about policy, violations, approval, etc.: Shopping Ads Support. In case you have a question about your account in terms of for example warnings , disapprovals or suspension, they can help you. Whether you are advertising with Google Shopping CSS or a CSS Partner, you can always contact support via Google Ads Help via this form or these phone numbers.

In case of somewhat broader or more general Shopping Ads questions or issues (betas, campaign performance, benchmarks, new features) Google ads Support will refer to the CSS.

The changes explained

In the flow charts below we summarized how the current support structure differs from the situation that many advertisers and agencies were used to before the CSS Program:

Shopping Support: before and after the introduction of the Google CSS Program

The changes explained:

  • Advertisers and agencies do not get proactive strategic or hands-on Shopping support by their Google account manager anymore. Only if you have questions about general information, best-practices or industry insights they might help you, but in case of in depth campaign related support they will refer to the CSS (a Google Shopping CSS representative or the CSS partner)

  • Advertisers and agencies can turn to their CSS for hands-on and in depth support. As said, Google Ads account managers will not provide this service anymore. Google Shopping CSS and CSS partners are supported by a separate department within Google: Performance X. They support the CSS’es with improving the success of their business and the business of their advertisers (CSS switch support, betas, business development). Premium CSS Partners have access to more support dedicated from Performance X. 

  • Everybody has access to the same Shopping Ads support. Everybody can always contact Shopping Ads support via Google Ads Help, by using this form or these phone numbers. Whether you are a merchant, Google Shopping CSS, CSS partners or the Performance X team: everybody turns to Shopping Ads support in case of account issues.

2 things to check when you are about to switch to a CSS partner

1. Is the CSS a Premium partner?

Premium CSS partners get more proactive support from Performance X than normal CSS partners. This means they can provide you with a more proactive (think of betas, specialists, etc.).

2. What level of support can you expect from the CSS?

Does the CSS offer support? What if your merchant center gets error messages or disapproved? What if you would like some extra strategic support, best practices, benchmarks, etc.? What if you would like to sign up for new features and betas? Can you call or email your CSS partner?

And of course, at Producthero we have everything well-arranged ;). We are a premium CSS partner in all countries, and our experienced support team can be reached by phone or email. We have the technical and strategic expertise to support our advertisers and agencies in all countries.  

Conclusion

Instead of what you might think, the support structure is the same when you are with Google Shopping CSS compared to when you are with a CSS partner.

Strategic and operational support is now forwarded to the CSS. So instead of only looking at the best price when selecting a CSS partner, take this into account. A good question to ask yourself is if the CSS you have selected can match your support expectations, now and in the future. Do they have shopping expertise? Can you reach out to them if you have questions? Do you trust the CSS with access to your Merchant Center and campaign data if this is necessary? We think this distinguishes CSS A from CSS B and as the CSS program evolves the importance of this subject will grow.

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