Google Merchant Center Inaccurate Availability Warning Or Suspension

Google is replacing the “Delivery issues” policy violation within Google Merchant Center with a new policy violation named “Inaccurate availability (due to inconsistent availability between the landing page and checkout pages on your website).”

This can happen when your product landing page availability does not match what a user sees on the checkout page of your e-commerce site. Google said can happen when one or more of your products show as unavailable for purchase at checkout even though they are displayed as being in stock on your landing pages.

Google says this is a “bad customer experience if product availability changes from “in stock” on the landing page to “out of stock” or “unavailable” after the product has been added to a cart, and customers will be less likely to try and purchase from your store in the future.”

This can result in your Google Merchant Center account being warned or suspended due to this error.

Here are some of the reasons why this may occur according to Google:

  • Use of IP detection / geolocation. Don’t change the availability of your product based on a user’s location. If you only target certain locations within a country, use regional pricing and availability.
  • Non-functional buy button. The product appears to be available on the landing page, but after pressing the buy button, it shows as out of stock or unavailable.
  • Product cannot be shipped to a home address. During checkout, after providing the shipping address, the product is no longer available and cannot be directly delivered to a user’s doorstep, excluding PO Boxes. If you have a product that’s only available for in-store pickup or that ships to a pick-up point, check the shipping cost guidelines to see whether these options are allowed in your country of sale. Otherwise, ensure your product is excluded from online offers by using the excluded destination [excluded_destination] attribute. Alternatively, you may consider trying local inventory ads.
  • Products are not available to check out within the whole country of sale. If you sell products that are only available in some of the regions of the country of sale, check to see whether regional availability and pricing is available in your country of sale.

In other news, WebP added as a supported image format in Google Merchant Center.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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