Shopping ads on Google are designed to help people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily. And, with the help of Comparison Shopping Services, Shopping ads also help merchants to reach potential customers.
As e-commerce continues to accelerate, supporting job growth and small businesses across Europe, we wanted to take a look at the growth of Comparison Shopping Services (CSSs) in Europe, and their work to connect merchants with even more shoppers.
Merchants are attracting more customers
When consumers search for products on Google — like a toaster — they may see a series of ads showing products to buy. These ads are placed by CSSs and shoppers can then either click through to the merchant to buy or visit the CSS to compare more.
People find these results helpful and traffic to these ads has continuously increased over time (in 2021, consumers clicked on 30% more shopping ads from CSSs than in 2020). And almost all CSSs have increased the number of merchants they work with or increased their activity with existing merchants.
European businesses are expanding
In 2021, the number of CSS businesses advertising on Google grew by more than 20% alone and many of these are hiring new employees, or expanding into new countries or markets.
In total, there were more than 350 active Comparison Shopping Services groups in Europe who advertise on shopping ads at the end of 2021. Together, they operate more than 800 CSS websites across multiple countries in Europe, creating new business opportunities and job growth.
Google is supporting the CSS industry
Since 2017, Google has developed tools and invested in dedicated support for Comparison Shopping services. This includes the CSS Partner Program, an official recognition from Google who meet additional quality criteria based on minimum number of merchants, knowledge of Shopping ads, and other indicators. To date more than 100 CSSs have been certified. The programme also provides access to technical specialists, and customized training sessions.
Additional training programmes, educational events and tools have been developed, including the CSS Center which helps CSSs manage hundreds or thousands of associated merchant accounts efficiently.
We look forward to continuing to invest in and support the growth of Comparison Shopping Services in Europe, and to ensure that our users can continue to find the most relevant offers and answers.