Changes in support when you are with a Google CSS partner

One of the questions we often get, especially from large advertisers, 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 what you can expect when you switch to a CSS partner. 

Medium and large advertisers, as well as agencies, have account managers at Google that support with hands-on and strategic matters. When you decide to move your shopping campaigns to a CSS partner, the level of support the Google account manager provides changes. They do not provide hands-on (account / feed) support to the CSS campaigns anymore and they will not proactively provide strategic support anymore. It is good to be aware of this change and to keep this in mind when you are selecting a CSS partner. 

The differences explained

In the flow charts below we summarized how the support structure differs between Google Shopping CSS advertisers and CSS partner advertisers:

The differences explained:

  • Advertisers under Google Shopping CSS get strategic support and hands-on support from their Google account manager from the Google sales team. The Google Shopping CSS team within Google supports the account manager and for practical hands-on questions the account manager often turns to the Shopping Support team at Google. With a CSS partner there is no hands-on support from the Google account manager anymore and strategic support is limited to providing general information, best practices and industry insights. 

  • Advertisers and agencies with a CSS partner can turn to their CSS for hands-on and strategic support. The Google account manager will not provide this service anymore. To have access to all the info a Google Account Manager has access to, the CSS partner is supported by Performance X Support (a separate department at Google that supports CSS partners). Premium CSS Partners have access to more support from Performance X. 

  • All shopping advertisers, agencies and CSS-es also have direct access to direct Shopping support from Google. Whether you are advertising with Google Shopping CSS or a CSS Partner, you can always contact support directly this form or these phone numbers. This team can help you with all your account/merchant center/feed related questions. 

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

1. Does the CSS partner have a waiver agreement?

A waiver agreement between the CSS partner and Google prevents your Google Account Manager from losing access to a Google Ads account where a CSS Partner Merchant Center is connected to. If this is not the case your account manager cannot see the campaigns anymore (also not the ones that are not associated with your CSS partner

2. Is the CSS a Premium partner?

Premium partners have more access to support from Google than normal CSS partners have. This means they can provide you with a higher level of support.

3. 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?

At Producthero we have everything well-arranged. We have a waiver agreement with Google, we are a premium CSS partner, 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 only looking at the best price when selecting a CSS partner, take also into account that the support structure changes. 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 need support? Do you trust the CSS with access to your Merchant Center and campaign data if this is necessary? We think this distincts the CSS A from CSS B and as the CSS programme evolves the importance of this subject will grow.

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