You can add variations to a product that comes in more than one option, such as size or color. Each possible set of options for a particular product is a variation for that product.
Product variations can help you:
- assign different images for every product option in your store (frequently used for apparel and shoes)
- automatically adjust prices with customer selections
- track inventory with unique SKUs to prevent overselling
- adjust the weight to get more precise shipping rates at checkout
For example, a t-shirt that comes in two sizes (small and medium) and two colors (yellow and gray) has four variants:
When a shopper selects a variation for a product in your store, the product price and image are updated automatically.
Each product can have an unlimited number of options and variations. The options can be different from product to product. For example, one product can use size and color, and another product can use style and material.
We do not recommend using price modifiers when you create variations with fixed prices. It’s better to set separate prices for each variation.
You can create a product variation using the steps below:
- Create a new product or choose an existing product that comes with different options (such as colors, sizes, shapes, etc.) in Catalog → Products.
- In the Options tab use the Drop-down menu or Radio button input types for each option, so you can further create variations.
- Click Add new selection to add the selection values to every option. In our example we add "Yellow" and "Gray" for "Color" and "Small" and "Medium" for the "Size":
- Switch to the Variations tab.
- Click + New Variation:
- Select the color and size for this variation:
- Set the SKU, Price, Weight, and a different image for the variation.
- Click Manage to set the stock of the product variant. Set the number in stock and the quantity for the low stock notifications:
Learn more about low stock notifications.
- Click OK.
- Repeat the steps for all necessary variations:
- Set the stock of the base product to Unlimited:
- Click Save.
Here is a shortlist of answers to frequent questions along with some tips to use variations effectively in your store.
If I add a variation to a product, does that count as an additional product?
No. You can add as many product variations as you need, they don't count towards product limits. We count products based on the number of products shown on the Products page in your Control Panel.
Can I have different stock for each product size?
An item should have its own SKU and stock quantity so that its stock level can be automatically reduced upon sales. You can set a separate SKU and quantity in stock for every product variation in your store, i.e. for every combination of different options (usually it’s a combination of color and size).
Let’s say, you sell shoes and offer them in certain colors (Black, Red) and sizes (5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 7, or Large, Small, Medium, etc). You want to track the inventory level of every variation of the product (e.g., Red 7) to know when it’s time to replenish its stock and make this variation unavailable for online purchase when its stock reaches zero. For this, first, add options Color and Size to that product and create Color + Size variations out of these options’ values, then assign a unique SKU and specify the stock quantity for every product variation.
Learn more about managing the stock of products with options (variations).
What if variation options differ between products?
There may be cases when you do not have consistent options across variations. For example, you have gray t-shirts in sizes XS, S, M and L, and yellow t-shirts only in size S and M. You need to make sure your customers do not order yellow t-shirts in XS or L sizes.
For such situations we recommend that you create the variations for unavailable combinations of product options (for yellow t-shirts in XS and L in our example) and mark them as "Out of Stock":
Here is how it looks in your Control Panel:
Here is how it works when customers choose an out of stock variations in your store:
Is it possible to use the same SKU for the base product and its variations?
Yes, you can use the same SKU for a product and its variations if you don't need to track inventory for variations separately. However, it’s better to set a unique SKU once you change a variation stock, price, or weight. Once the variation is treated as a separate item, it should have its own SKU.
How to set the default variation?
A default product variation will show in the product details page based on the product's default set of options. For example, if "Gray" is the default option for "Color" and "Small" is the default for "Size", the variation "Gray, Small" will be this default variation. Your clients will see this when visiting your product details page for the first time:
If you do not need any preselected defaults, just tick the setting Do not preselect default value for product options in the Options tab where you edit product details:
Read more about preselected default values.
Can I assign unique UPC/EAN codes to product sizes?
Yes, you can assign unique UPC values to product variations, like colors and sizes:
- From your store admin, go to Catalog → Products page.
- Create or select a product with variations.
- Go to Options, then Variations tab in the product editing page.
- Click on Manage link under the Stock column.
- Add the UPC value for this variation in the UPC field:
- Save the changes.