A Complete Guide on How to Make a Product Unavailable on Shopify

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Managing Product Availability on Shopify
  3. Enhancing Customer Experience
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQ Section

In the rapidly evolving world of e-commerce, staying ahead means not just managing your available inventory but also effectively handling items that need to be temporarily removed from sale, without entirely losing visibility on your Shopify store. Whether it's because an item is on display at an art exhibition or you're waiting for a restock, knowing how to make a product unavailable on Shopify while still engaging interested customers is crucial.


Did you know that effectively managing the availability of your products on Shopify can dramatically improve your customer experience and potentially increase future sales? Imagine you have a high-demand product that's temporarily out of stock or an exclusive item showcased elsewhere. You wouldn’t want to completely remove this item from your store, as it can lead to lost interest or reduced SEO visibility. Instead, learning how to make a product unavailable while encouraging customers to reach out for more information can be a win-win situation. In this guide, we'll explore how to execute this strategy effectively, enhancing your store's flexibility and customer engagement.

By the end of this post, you'll understand several methods to manage your product’s visibility on Shopify, ensuring that your customers are well-informed and still able to express their interest in unavailable items. We'll cover inventory adjustments, theme customization, and communication strategies that keep your audience engaged even when their desired products aren't immediately available for purchase.

Managing Product Availability on Shopify

Shopify offers various options to manage product availability seamlessly. By adjusting inventory settings or editing your store's theme code, you can effectively indicate product availability status to your customers without relying on external apps.

Adjusting Inventory Settings

A fundamental aspect of managing your product listings involves adjusting their inventory settings. For products that are temporarily unavailable, you can set the inventory count to zero. However, in order not to mislead your customers with a "Sold Out" badge, Shopify allows you to continue listing the product by enabling the "Continue selling when out of stock" option. This method keeps the product visible on your store without the ability to purchase it, which can be particularly useful for items that will return to stock or are displayed elsewhere temporarily.

Editing Your Store's Theme Code

For a more customized approach, editing your store’s theme code allows you to replace the "Buy" button with a message that prompts customers to contact you for more information about the unavailable product. This method involves adding a specific tag to your product and then modifying the theme’s liquid files to change what's displayed based on that tag. For example, by inserting a conditional statement in the product template, you can show a "Contact us for availability" message instead of the purchase button for products tagged as unavailable.

Please note: Always duplicate your theme before making any changes to avoid disrupting your live store. This ensures any errors can be corrected without affecting your customers' shopping experience.

Engaging Your Customers with Alternative Actions

When a product is unavailable, encouraging customer interaction becomes vital. Instead of leaving them disappointed, offer alternatives such as the option to place a deposit, join a waiting list, or simply get more information by contacting your store. This not only maintains interest in the product but also opens communication channels with potential buyers, providing an opportunity to offer personalized customer service.

Enhancing Customer Experience

Even when products are unavailable, ensuring a positive customer experience is essential. Here are some additional tips to enhance engagement:

  • Clear Communication: Always be transparent about why a product is unavailable and when it might return to stock.
  • Promotional Sign-up: Encourage customers to sign up for notifications for when the product is back in stock.
  • Alternative Recommendations: Offer recommendations for similar products or collections that might interest them.
  • Showcase Previews: For items coming soon, use the "Unavailable" status as a teaser to build anticipation, displaying them as "Coming soon" with the option for customers to express their interest.


Making a product unavailable on Shopify doesn't have to mean losing potential sales or customer interest. By thoughtfully adjusting your inventory settings, customizing your theme code, and engaging with customers through alternative actions, you can manage your store's offerings in a way that maximizes customer satisfaction and sales opportunities. Remember, the goal is to keep the lines of communication open and maintain interest in your products, even when they're not immediately available.

Whether you're showcasing a product elsewhere or waiting for a restock, these strategies will help keep your customers informed, interested, and ready to act when their desired items become available.

FAQ Section

Q: Can I make a product unavailable without editing the theme code?
A: Yes, you can adjust the inventory to zero and utilize the "Continue selling when out of stock" option without editing the theme code. However, for more customized messaging, editing the theme might be necessary.

Q: How do I notify customers when a product becomes available again?
A: You can encourage customers to sign up for restock notifications via email by integrating apps that offer this functionality or by manually reaching out to customers who expressed interest.

Q: Is it possible to hide "Unavailable" products from my store entirely?
A: Yes, you can either set the product as unavailable in your Shopify admin or completely remove it from your store. However, keeping it visible with an explanatory note or alternative actions can be more beneficial for engagement.

Q: Can I make only certain variants of a product unavailable?
A: Yes, Shopify allows you to manage the availability of individual variants. You can adjust the stock level of specific variants to zero while leaving others available.

Q: How do I customize the message shown for unavailable products?
A: Customizing messages involves editing the theme's liquid code to include conditional statements that display your custom message for products with specific tags indicating their availability status.