Product variations are options/date/customizations that a customer may need to specify when purchasing a product. For example, if selling T-shirts, the customer needs to specify the color and size of the shirt. Also, if engraving is an option, a customer would need to type the text they want written on the T-shirt. These are examples of product variations and we will go into more detail in this article.
Types of Product Variations
First, we need to identify and differentiate the 3 types of "Variations".
A product with Product Choice is 1 parent product with different child products within it. In these children products, all possible combinations (i.e.: size and color) all have their own SKU and inventory. In addition to SKU and Inventory, each Product Choice has its own Name, Prices, Images, Descriptions and Weight. Clearly inventory for Blue T-Shirts is going to be different than the White T-Shirts.
When creating a new Product Choice, there are options to control the display of the choices to the shopper:
- Drop Down List - displays the options in a traditional drop down list.
- Image Drop Down List - displays an enhanced drop down list that when expanded, includes a swatch previewing the choice. This is excellent when the option is color or fabric.
- Radio Button List - displays the options in a traditional radio button list. This is ideal for products with only a few choices so all the options can be displayed clearly.
A Product Modifier has an adjustment in the product's price, but does not actually select a different SKU. For example (sticking with our T-Shirt example), the merchant may offer "Team Logo" as an option. The option modifies the base, selected product, but does not actually change it. The logo is added to the original T-Shirt.
Product Choices and Modifiers are options that the customer would select that changes a products attributes. For example, Size and Color.
Product Inputs include HTML Areas and Text Input boxes. Use the HTML area to display custom HTML on the product page. Use the "Text Input" to request input from the customer. Perhaps for custom engraving or (continuing our example) entering the name of your team logo.
Importing Choice Options
The following is a simple example that illustrates how you would go about importing choice options.
Sample Product Choice Import Spreadsheet
The first row is where you would list the "Name".
The SKUgroup column is where you would link each child product to the parent.
The illustration below shows the fields that you would want to include for the child products (included in the sample spreadsheet).
Any other fields, you would only be required to add them to the parent product; for example: (manufacturer/vendor/product type etc)