Don’t Waste Ad Spend on Out-of-Stock Items in Google Shopping and Paid Search

Disruptions to supply chains have become commonplace.

As Amazon has stopped receiving “non-essential” products from sellers, out-of-stock items are increasing across all businesses. If you sell on Google Shopping, you might be overwhelmed by the number of out-of-stock products right now.

Don’t worry, you have this guide to ensure you’re not wasting ad spend on out-of-stock items on Google Shopping and for Paid Search.

1. Keep Your Product Feed Up to Date

Halt advertising for products as soon as they go out-of-stock — not days or weeks later. By updating stock statues frequently, you can ensure ad spend goes to products that can actually be purchased.

Don’t worry though — if a product is in stock when an order is placed, but sold out while it’s being processed — you will not be charged.  Google should automatically pull your stock status from your landing page.  If you need items to stop or start serving faster, then follow these steps…

Change Availability Status on Google Shopping 

To update products in the feed, simply switch the availability status to “[out-of-stock]”. When the product is back in stock you can switch it back to “[in stock]”. You can learn more about availability attributes here.

Note that if your landing page says “out-of-stock” but your product feed has the “[in stock]” attribute – Google will disapprove of your product. Google does this to ensure that you aren’t paying for clicks on out-of-stock items.

Resubmit the Feed 

Don’t forget to resubmit the feed after you’ve edited it. If you forget, your last stock status will stay relevant for 30 days. Keep in mind that after you submit the feed, the changes will still take a few hours before they are reflected in your Shopping ads. 

2. To Pause or Not to Pause

Google Shopping Ads

Do not pause Shopping ad groups due to stock status (as we’ve just seen, Google won’t serve ads if the products are out-of-stock.)

Google Search Ads 

Search ads, however, won’t pause automatically. If a paid search ad group usually gets a lot of clicks, but points to a particular product that’s out-of-stock, consider pausing that ad group until the stock status is resolved.

You can do this manually, or there are scripts available online — just make sure you thoroughly test it before you put it into action!

The Impact of Out-of-Stock Items 

Stock status can have a huge impact on your ad performance.

  • A large number of out-of-stock items will have a detrimental impact on revenue, and consequently profit.
  • If top-sellers are out-of-stock, you could see a deep decline in overall sales and conversion rate.
  • If you have a large number of high-priced items out-of-stock, it can lead to a drop in average order value.

Need advice on managing your low stock items? Reach out, and speak to an Omnitail analyst about your options! We’re happy to help. 

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