How to choose availability status: A Google Merchant Center guide
Updated on July 12, 2023
| 2 minute read
Resources > How to choose availability status: A Google Merchant Center guide
It sounds a little silly, right? Either it's in stock or it isn't? Well, just like everything else on Google Shopping, it's a little more complex.
What is [availability]?
Availability is an attribute within the Merchant Centre, used to tell users and Google whether your product is in stock, out of stock, available for pre-order, or currently in backorder.
If you're unsure how the latter three differ, you're not alone. We'll use this short guide to describe and explain how to differentiate between these values.
If you're currently accepting orders for this product and can fulfil the purchase request, choose [in stock]. It's important that you only choose this value if you can guarantee you can deliver the product in a timely manner, and to all of the locations you support in your product data and account delivery settings.
[out of stock]
This attribute should be used when the relevant product is not available for purchase and you do not know when or if it will be back in stock.
This value should be used for products which haven't yet been released but customers are still able to purchase. In this instance, you must provide the [availability_date] to indicate the day that the product will become available for delivery.
Products marked as [backorder] aren't currently available. However, if you're still accepting orders and can dispatch the item as soon as it becomes available again, you should select this value.
Selecting availability value: top tips and best practices
To avoid product disapproval, ensure the availability status for each product matches in both the product landing page and Google Merchant Centre.
Only use the [out of stock] attribute when there is no availability, or when availability is uncertain.
If you want to prevent your product from appearing to users in certain Google destinations (e.g. Shopping ads, free listings, etc.), use the [excluded destination] attribute.
For example, if you want your product to show up in free listings and not in Google Shopping, rather than setting the availability to [out of stock], we recommend using the [excluded destination] attribute.
While it makes no difference to the Google Shopping user experience, it helps Google to understand who and where to serve your product ad.
If you have any more questions, or wish to discuss any of the above, fire over an email to your Customer Success Manager - or just ask on your weekly call!
Harrie-Anna works in our Customer Success team as an onboarding specialist, helping client accounts to smoothly transition to our technology. She also takes part on organising Bidnamic parties and our employee book club.