Product attributes and variations

Product attributes such as size or color make it easy for customers to buy the product variations they need; for example a red T-shirt size L.

What is an attribute

Product attributes describe product properties which allow identifying variations of the same product, such as the size and color of a T-shirt.

Combining the different variations of a product in a group makes it easy for customers to select the variations they need in your online store.

Attributes make it easy for customers to select a variation of a product

Unlike Options and choices  attributes are an integral property of a product and cannot be separated from it.

Attributes or Options?

Attributes describe a product property.

Options and choices  are usually optional items, such as add-ons. They can also be used to build custom products such as custom computers from different components.

Each have their own strengths.

However in some cases it can be better to use Options as a replacement for Attributes. This is especially true if you use multiple attributes and all possible variations are always available.

For example if you’re a T-shirt manufacturer, you probably have access to T-shirts in all colors and sizes all the time. In that case options are more useful, as they don’t require you to define all the different combinations of colors and sizes you have available.

That’s because you have all variations available at all times.

However if you only have limited variations available and only in limited quantities then attributes are the better choice.

Example: You sell RED and GREEN T-shirt’s. RED T-shirts are available in sizes S and M. GREEN T-shirt are available in sizes M and L. If you use attributes then customers will not be able to select a RED T-shirt size L in your store, as it is not be available.

If you use Option and Choices, the customer can combine Red and L.

Add an attribute to a product

Attributes are only supported by  physical products .

To add an attribute go to the Overview page of the physical product and tick the checkbox This product has attributes such as color or size.

Then on the left side choose Attributes / Variations.

Now click on the Add Attribute button to get started.

New attribute

The new attribute window opens.

Display name: the name of the attribute that will be shown in the store, such as color.

Internal name: the name of the attribute that you will use to manage your attributes. For example different brands may use different colors, so you need different internal names to identify different attributes such as colour brand 1, colour brand 2.

Share attributes between products: this allows you to use the same attribute for multiple products, so you don’t have to create a new attribute for every product. When you tick this box the attribute will be listed in Add existing attribute.

Images: an image which will be shown with the attribute until the customer selects a variation with a different image

Display style: defines how the attribute will be displayed in your store. When you choose the image selector customers will be shown on image of each variation to pick from, for example. This could be an image of the actual product or simply a color.

Add a description

Click on the next button to go to the description page.

Description: a short description of the attribute which will be shown together with the attribute in your store.

More information: here you can enter more information about the attribute. To see this information a customer will have to click on a link with the attribute.

Click on the next button to go to the values page. Here you enter the different values of the attribute. The values for the attribute Size for example could be S, M, L and XL.

Adding values

To add a value click on the Enter name a field.

Each value can have multiple properties assigned to it.

Price: this price will be added to the product price, when a customer selects this value

Weight: this weight will be added to the product weight, when a customer selects this value

Images: this image will replace the attribute image displayed in your store when a customer selects this value.

Description: this description will replace the attribute description when a customer selects this value.

Click on the save button to add the attribute to your product.

The attribute table

When you add the first attribute to a product all the values of the attributes will automatically be added to the attribute column.

Each row represents a separate product, a variation, complete with its own SKU and stock level. It is a product in its own right.

You can hide or delete values which don’t apply to the product. This does not affect the saved attribute. Only the current product will be affected.

Overriding price and weight

The two columns in which the prices and the weights for the different variations are displayed allow you to override the price calculated by combining the product price with the value prices.

If you enter a value here it will become the price of the variation when a customer selects it. All calculated price will be shown crossed out.

Pre-selecting a variation

To pre-select variation so that it will be displayed to your customers in your store as already selected, put a tick in the checkbox in the pre-selection column. You can only pre-select one variation.

Add existing attribute

If you have created attributes which can be shared between products, they will be listed in the existing attributes list.

To add them to your product click on the Add existing attribute button.

Adding multiple attributes

Each attribute you add inserts a new column in the attributes table.

As Santu cannot know how the values of the second attribute align with the values of the first attribute, you have to manually assign the values in each row.

To do this click in the appropriate value field of the table and start typing the name of the value. As soon as you see the required name you can click on it to insert the value in the field.

This allows you to define only the available combinations of attributes. Customers will not be able to create variations in your store, which you cannot actually supply.

Another advantage is, that you can apply stock control to your variations, so that variations which are out of stock can longer be purchased.

If you are a manufacturer and don’t have to use stock levels, or if all possible variations of a product are always available, then it might be better for you to use Options and choices  to describe your products, as they do not require the combination step.

Variations and Base price

If you have enabled Base price for the product, you will see an additional quantity column. Here you can enter the quantity of the product.

This allows your store to calculate the appropriate base price for each variation.

See Physical products for more information on Base price.

Customising variations

Variations can also have their own product images, description, longer description, discount price and more. To change these values go to the My products list after saving your product and click on the Show variations link of your product.

Now you will see all the variations you have created. Click on the Edit button to update the information of a specific variation.

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