Adding Product Variants
The format of the variants can be confusing at first, but remember that each variant is essentially it’s own product and so has it’s own line on the sheet. All fields are filled with colon separated values and you must be certain to enter as many values as there are combinations or the import will fail.
Firstly you must have the master product line with either add or edit product set as the action, and the variant lines must appear immediately below this, all the variants must be together.
Add Product Variant
To add a new product variant, the ID value must be in blank and it must be used in conjunction with an edit product or add product action. The options must immediately follow the product on the spreadsheet, which is the default behaviour when you export. For example;
Add product | Add product variant | Add product variant
Edit product | Add product variant | Add product variant
For example, to add necklace with 3 colours and 3 sizes you would enter the variantname field for each line as;
The variantitem 1-5 fields contain the individual option name, listed in the same order as you listed the name field above.
You must be sure to enter a line for all possible combinations or the file will not import. You can see an example sheet here. Finally we must set the default variant, all variants must have this set to no apart from the one you wish to appear by default which must be yes.
Once you have set up the basic structure the following fields can also be added for each variant with a separate value for each variant;
The following fields cannot be set per variant though, they can only be set at the master product level;
So for example you can't relate a variant to another item, only a master product, and you can't set separate meta information per variant, this is set on the master product only
Edit Product Variant
Used to modify existing product variants, the ID must be present and it must be used in conjunction with an edit product action in the same manner as Add product variant described above. e.g;
Edit product | Edit product variant | Edit product variant
Special note - edit variants If you have assigned separate images or information such as weight to each of your product variants then you must take extra care when importing these items as you can potentially remove all of the images and other attributes that are assigned to them. Put simply you cannot actually edit variant, what the system does is to delete and then read the variant, which in the process will remove the variant information. The only way to work around this is to either edit the variants manually or include all fields in your file that are specific to each variant on every import.
Delete Product Variant
To remove a product variant, the ID value must be present and it must be used in conjunction with an edit product action as described above.
Adding Product Options
Product options work in a different way to variants in that each option has it’s own line on the sheet, but all of the choices within that are on that line.
For example to add a drop-down option for colour you would enter the following columns;
OptionName - The name of the option, such as size or colour.
OptionSize - Used for TEXT to set the maximum length of text that can be entered into the text box, when used with TEXTAREA specifies how many rows are provided for text.
OptionType - Either DROPDOWN, TEXT, or TEXTAREA. TEXT creates a single line for text, TEXTAREA creates a textbox.
OptionItemName - The choices within an option as colon seperated values, e.g Small:Medium:Large
OptionItemPrice - The extra cost for each choice, entered in the same order as the ItemName, for example to charge no extra for small, £2 extra for medium and £4 extra for Large you would enter 0.00:2.00:4.00
OptionItemOrder - Used to specify the order that the choices appear in, entered in the same order as the Item name. 1 appears at the top, 2 below that and so on. For example to have Small at the top, Medium in the middle and Large at the bottom you would enter 01:02:03
The final 3 are only required for drop-down options:
Should I use options or variants?
Options and variants are both ways of letting customers select things such as the size or colour of an item. The key differences in options and variants are that variants can have a different stock level, weight, image, and other attributes. When using variants the price and image will update as different variants are selected. However there are limitations on how many variants you can add.
You can add a total of 5 variants, with 30 options in each. It is not practical to actually use this many. Each variant is effectively a product in it's own right, so when loading an item with variants you are actually loading more than 1 item at a time.
In a product with 2 variants with 2 options in each you are loading 2x2 = 4 products.
In a product with 3 variants with 3 options in each you are loading 3x3x3= 27 products.
The maximum number you can add is 5 variants with 30 options in each, 30x30x30x30x30 = 24300000 products.
Bear this in mind when deciding how many variants to add.
Options are more basic and so do not suffer the limitations with how many you can add, but additional costs will show as (+£x.xx) on the drop-down, images can’t be updated and different attributes cannot be assigned.