To play Google Shopping ads through a CSS partner, there are two ways to switch a previous GSE account to CSS. Advertisers must choose between Full Switch and the Association model.
With the Full Switch, an advertiser’s Merchant Center Account (MCA) is fully integrated with the CSS partner’s Multi Client Merchant Center (MCC). There are some technical aspects to consider when making this move. For example, if only a sub-account is moved rather than the full MCA, access rights may be lost during the move. A positive aspect of the full switch is that the CSS partner has insight into the product data, can identify the causes of problems himself, and there is transparency with a percentage-based payment model. However, the dependency of the advertiser on the CSS partner is higher than with the simple linking according to the association model and requires trust between both parties.
If an advertiser chooses the Association Model, its MCA is linked to the CSS partner in a relatively straightforward manner. In this case, the advertiser’s setting can remain unchanged, and the effort required to move is minimal – in fact, all that is needed is an email from the CSS partner to Google requesting the switch. If only a sub-account from an MCA is switched, the same risks of loss of access rights apply as with the Full Switch. The advantages of the full switch method just mentioned (full access and insight into the product data by the CSS partner) do not come into play here straight away. However, the CSS partner can be given access to the customer account or data feed via appropriate user invitations or by setting up an API interface.
In terms of handling and cooperation, Full Switch and Association hardly differ. It is more a question of trust, control and flexibility whether an advertiser moves its entire account to the CSS partner’s MCC or „docks“ via Association. Another method is to create a CSS subaccount: Opening a subaccount directly with a CSS price comparator is a good idea if you want to work with more than one CSS price comparator. This does not require any verification from Google. Nevertheless, the product links must lead to the target address in the webshop stored in the subaccount.