How do you feel when you like a product at first glance, and later you realize it is out of stock? That isn't very pleasant, especially when you require that product and it's rare in the market. Sometimes, such products are actually out of stock, and sometimes merchants don't update their inventory.

As a result, Google Merchant Centre has recently updated its policies because the product unavailability issue was becoming prevalent. The new policy released by the Google Merchant Centre is ''inaccurate availability.''

This is the replacement policy of the ''Delivery issues.'' The new policy will be effective after 1st September 2021. Let's find out everything about the new 'inaccurate availability' policy released by Google Merchant Centre.

A Brief Overview About The Inaccurate Availability Policy

The online merchants create landing pages for their newest arrivals or products that are having multiple offers. These landing pages are shared everywhere, like on social media platforms, forums, etc.

Sometimes, merchants use such tactics to get higher traffic and higher revenue even when the product is unavailable. Sometimes, due to heavy demand, the product gets out of stock within minutes, and the landing pages are not taken down.

The merchants' landing page shows the product is available, but while checking out, the product is unavailable.

As per the ''inaccurate availability policy,'' if the landing pages developed by the online merchants are showing that products are available, but consumers cannot add them to the cart due to unavailability, it directly leads to violation of the Google policies.

The Google merchant center says it ruins the customer purchase experience when they see the product is available, but they cannot purchase it.

The Potential Reasons Why Merchants May Be Violating This Policy

With the introduction of this new policy, Google also released the reasons why merchants might be violating this policy.

  • Buy button Isn't Working
    The landing page shows the product is available, but the product becomes unavailable after clicking the 'Buy' button. Merchants should ensure that the 'Buy' button on the landing page and final checkout page is working appropriately.
  • Products Aren't Available For All The Regions
    If the merchants target specific regions, consumers from other regions won't be able to buy the products. In such cases, consumers using the VPN cannot purchase the product because of the shipping guidelines.
  • Product Isn't Deliverable To Some Home Addresses
    If any consumer adds the product to the cart and provides the shipping address, the product is shown as out of stock or cannot be delivered. Sometimes, the product cannot be delivered at the doorstep; it can only be collected via the PO boxes or nearest pickup points. It's the responsibility of the merchants to display whether the product is available for doorstep delivery or not.

Final Thoughts

If you're running an e-commerce business, you should ensure that leads generated via the landing pages can buy the desired products. If the product gets out of stock, take down the landing pages from all the platforms.

If you're ignoring the ''inaccurate availability'' policy, Google might suspend your e-commerce website permanently.

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