Controlling stock of products with options

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The "Product Options" feature allows to set multiple options to a product like size, color, stock and other attributes.

But sometimes it’s not enough to use price modifiers and gallery images to present your products. If you want to provide your customers with a quicker way to decide what product variant to buy you can use Product Variations.

This feature is available for all Ecwid Stores starting from the Business and higher tier plans Upgrade to get this feature

Ways of using variations

With the Product Variations feature you can organize various sets of the available options into separate nested product. You can:

  • upload separate images to each of the variants so your visitors can see how the product looks like once they select all options they need (frequently used for apparel and shoes);
  • add individual price which will be updated automatically with customer selections;
  • track inventory of every variation by assigning unique SKUs to them. This allows to prevent overselling since every variation with a unique SKU will be considered as a stand-alone product;
  • add the accurate weight to get more precise shipping rates on checkout;
  • save space in the product limit available on your premium plan with Ecwid as variations do not count towards product limit, so you can have any number of product variations.

Each possible set of options for a particular product is a variation for that product.

For example, you might sell a T-shirt that comes in two sizes (small and medium) and two colors (yellow and gray). Since the product has two sizes and two colors, that means this product has four variants:

Artboard.png

How to create variations

  • Create a base product for your classy T-shirt in your Ecwid Control panel → Catalog → Products, Add new product.
  • Create 2 options for the T-shirt (size and color). On the product edit page, switch to the “Options” tab and create 2 options by clicking the “Add new option” button.
You can use the "Drop-down menu" and "Radio button" options to create variations.
  • Add selection values to every option: click the “Add new selection” button. You should add “Small”      and “Medium” for the “Size” option and “Yellow” and “Gray” for the “Color” option.

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-09-21_11-56-32.png

  • Create variations. Switch to the “Variations” tab and add combinations of the options.

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-10-09_17-31-36.png

  • For example, you can create variations with the following selections:

Variations

Size

Color

Quantity in stock

1

Small

Yellow

100

2

Medium

Yellow

100

3

Small

Gray

50

4

Medium

Gray

50


Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-09-21_11-53-59.png

  • Save the changes.

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-10-11_16-52-48.png

Now, your clients are free to choose the options for your product and you can track the inventory for each variation separately to avoid overselling. You can check how the Product Variations are shown on your storefront in this video:

You can find another example of a product with variations set up in our demo store here.

Helpful tips

  • We do not recommend using price modifiers added to the options selections when you create variants with fixed prices. Price modifier will be added to the base product price (or product variation price if it was set) as usual.

 

  • If a product with selected options doesn't match any created variations, it will be considered as a product without variations at all (as if no variations were created for this item). In this case, the base variation will be shown on your storefront if you defined a quantity for the base product (e.g., Unlimited):

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-10-03_10-12-15.png

Base variation's price, image, SKU and quantity matches up with the main product values.

For example, you have another color for your T-Shirt: a Green one but you didn’t created a variation for this color. In this case, Ecwid will show a base product for this green t-shirt:

Unisex_short_sleeve_t-shirt_2017-10-09_17-47-00.pngYou might want to keep your customers notified that at the time being it’s not possible to purchase the green T-Shirt.

If this green t-shirt is not available for selling you should do one on the following:

- create separate variation and set a zero stock for it (in this case, you’ll be able to update the stock of this variation once green t-shirts are back in stock. You need to create a separate variation with the following selections:  Size: Any; Color: Green; quantity stock: 0

- set the base product quantity as "out of stock" (quantity is set to 0).

Unisex_short_sleeve_t-shirt_2017-10-09_17-47-00.png 

In both cases, if your customers choose the variation which in fact is not available, they will see the “Out of Stock” label on the product description page:

Unisex_short_sleeve_t-shirt_2017-10-09_17-47-00.png

 

  • If you do not want to track some parameter of the variations you can use “Any” instead of choosing the specific option value.

For example, you’d like to sell personalized t-shirts with custom designs. You can create an additional option and name it as “Custom Print”.

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-10-11_17-44-37.png

You do not need to track the inventory of the custom printed t-shirts since only size and color of your t-shirts does matter. So you can list “Any” as a parameter for “Custom Print” option.

Ecwid_Control_Panel_2017-10-11_17-57-26.png

This trick allows you to reduce the number of variations. You can set only 4 variations:

Variations

Size

Color

Custom Print

1

Small

Yellow

Any

2

Medium

Yellow

Any

3

Small

Gray

Any

4

Medium

Gray

Any

 

Instead of 8: 

Variations

Size

Color

Custom Print

1

Small

Yellow

Yes

2

Small

Yellow

No

3

Medium

Yellow

Yes

4

Medium

Yellow

No

5

Small

Gray

Yes

6

Small

Gray

No

7

Medium

Gray

Yes

8

Medium

Gray

No



  • Variations are processed from top to bottom. The first matching variation is applied. Ecwid will search your inventory for the variations by processing all available variations from top to bottom. If available, the first matching variation is applied. Otherwise, the base variation will be chosen.

 

  • You can use the same SKU for a product and its variations If you don't need to track inventory for the variation separately. Once you change a variation quantity or another significant parameter (price, weight), Ecwid will ask you to set a unique SKU for this variation. We base such a logic on a reasonable presumption: if a variation has its own inventory, it is treated like a separate unique item. For this reason, the variation should have a unique SKU.

 

  • It is possible to set a default product variation. It will be shown on the product details page by default. The default product variations depends on the product's default set of options. For example, if the "Color" option has "Gray" value selected as a default and the "Size" option has "Small" value selected as a default, than the variation with Color = Gray and Size = Small will be treated as a default. Your clients will see this default variation when visiting your product details page for the first time.

In order to make sure that your customers won’t accidentally buy the default product variation, set Ask customer to select the options value for the “Adding products to cart without selected options” in your Control panel → Settings → Cart.

  • It is possible to offer tiered pricing for each variation based on quantity tiers. You can find detailed instruction here: Bulk discount pricing.

 

  • You can also assign separate low stock notification to each variation you create. This message is automatically sent to you when a variation in your Ecwid store has reached a low stock limit.

Variant limits

The variations don't count towards product limit of your store's subscription plan. Ecwid counts the number of base products shown in your Control panel → Catalog → Products. Your shop can contain any number of product variations.

How to manage variations in bulk

It is possible to easily manage your product variations in bulk using a special app from our App market, Bulk Product Editor. The app allows to:

  • Bulk update all your products, or filter which you want to change,
  • Change their properties like price, weight, quantity and more,
  • Add/remove options, and add/remove selections to these options,
  • Delete/ Auto generate variations,
  • Bulk enable/disable products in your store.

Printful

If you decided to start your printing business with a drop-shipping service without storing any inventory, dealing with any manufacturers, or worrying about shipping you might be interested in our integration with Printful service that helps you easily sell custom print products online with very minimal effort. All products that are created with Printful's product push generator will automatically have product variations.



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