[intro] When you have completed this guide you will understand what Product Variants are and whether your own products have them or not. If your Products do have Variants, you will also know the best way to build these Variants onto your Products for the best shopping experience for your customers. [/intro]
On the EKM platform, Variants are the variations of a Product. If a T-shirt is available in different colours and sizes, these are all variations - Variants - of that Product. When Variants are created on a Product, each possible combination of the Variant Choices become a Product in it's own right.
For example, if a T-shirt is available in three different sizes and four different colours (3x4=12), so each possible variation has become a Variant Choice:
If you have a Product with a lot of Variants, such as a T-shirt in 8 different sizes, 12 different colour choices for the sleeves and collar and another 12 different colour choices for the main body of the shirt, that equals 1,152 different Variants (8x12x12=1152). It's at that point you may notice the Product Page load slowly. This is because as a Product Page loads - and if the Product has Variants - the system has to calculate all of the possible permutations of the Variant Choices.
We recommend that before you start adding Variants onto your Products, you calculate the number of Variants on each to ensure that you don't negatively affect the Product Page. To do this, simply multiply the number of Variant Choices by each other - the total is the number of possible Variants that the Product has. For example:
A T-shirt with 5 different sizes and 46 different colours has 230 Product Variants (5x46=230).
A T-shirt available in 5 sizes with 10 different colour choices for the sleeves, and 10 colour choices for the body has 500 Product Variants (5x10x10=500).
[remember] We recommend that to ensure optimum page loading speed and thus a good user experience, that you limit your Products to having no more than 250 Variants each. If you have a Product with a lot of Variants, you need to divide it up and make it into two or more Products.[/remember]
For example, the T-shirt with 500 Product Variants mentioned above would need to be divided into four separate Products, so to do this, we would look at what the colours on offer:
Red, blue, yellow, grey, green, pink, black, white, brown, cream
Then we would divide those colours up into groups. As we're dealing with colours, I've divided the colour choices into two groups - Classic and Natural- as customers can easily distinguish between the colour groups:
Classic Colours T-Shirt
Available in 5 sizes and two colour options- five colours for the sleeves (red, blue, yellow, green, black) and five colours for the body (red, blue, yellow, green, black):
Natural Shades T-Shirt
Available in 5 sizes and two colour options- five colours for the sleeves (grey, pink, white, grey, cream) and five colours for the body (grey, pink, white, brown, cream):
This gives us two Products each with 125 Variants, but as the original Product had 500 Variants, we need to build two more Products that include all of the other combinations:
Classic Colours with Natural Sleeves T-Shirt
Available in 5 sizes and two options- five colours for the sleeves (grey, pink, white, brown, cream) and five colours for the body (red, blue, yellow, green, black):
Natural Shades with Classic Colour Sleeves T-Shirt
Available in 5 sizes and two options- five colours for the sleeves (red, blue, yellow, green, black) and five colours for the body (grey, pink, white, brown, cream):
Each Product has 125 Product Variants (5x5x5=125) - multiplying this by 4=500 - which was the number of Product Variants we had when the Product was a single Product before we divided it into four separate Products.
Dividing Product Variants like this ensures that your Product Pages will always load quickly and it also gives the customer the opportunity to see four variations of the original Product on the Category Page all at once as opposed to one variation of a single product.
[remember] If you have Products with Variants but want to export them using the eBay Integration feature, please bear in mind that only the default Product Variant will be exported and not the Product Variants. This is because how eBay and EKM build Variants onto Products are both completely different. With that in mind, you may want to create the Product Variants as individual Products in their own right if you have a lot of Products that you want to export to eBay.[/remember]
Creating Product Variants
You can create Product Variants within the Edit Product window and on spreadsheets by using the Import/Export System feature. We recommend that if you wish to use spreadsheets to add new Products with Variants to your EKM online shop that you create one Product manually within the Edit Product window before you begin, adding the Variants, Custom Attributes and Images.
You can then export this Product's details to a spreadsheet to use as a template when adding the rest of your Products with Variants to your EKM online shop. You can read more about the Import/Export System by clicking here.
1. You can build Variants onto your new Product within the Edit Product window by clicking More Options:
2. Then you need to click Variants:
3. Click the green Add Variant button:
4. This will then show you two options - Drop Down List and Colour Swatch. Click Create Variant next to the drop-down List to add the different sizes your Product is available in:
5. You now need to give your Variant a Name in the field, before clicking the green Add button:
6. Underneath Variant Choices (which in our examples are different sizes), you need to add each size choice in the Name field, before clicking the green Add button and adding the next size choice until all of your sizes have been added:
7. When you have added all of your Variant Choices, click the green Update button:
8. This will then display the Variants (sizes) and Variant Choices (small, medium and large) that you have just built onto your Product.
[caution]When adding Product Variants to the system, you need to ensure that they are all equal. If the t-shirt was produced in three sizes (small, medium and large) and three colours (red, blue and yellow), but a medium blue t-shirt was no longer available, you would still need to add this to your EKM online shop and ensure that this Product Variant is hidden from display or marked as being out of stock.[/caution]
Colour Swatches can only be added manually via the Edit Product window and not via spreadsheets and the Import/Export feature. If you are creating a Product to use as a template to add more products using spreadsheets and the Import/Export System feature, do not use Colour Swatch. Instead, follow the instructions above for adding Size and instead name the Variant Colour, with the colour choices as the Variant Choices - this will allow you to create similar products using spreadsheets.
1. Click the green Add button to the right in the Variants area:
2. Click the Create Variant button for Colour Swatch:
3. Give this Variant a name and click the green Add button:
4. Give the first Variant Choice a name and click the down arrow on the symbol in the colour column. This will open the Colour Picker window, where you can either enter the code for the colour in the # field or use the circle and slider to select the correct colour. When you have selected the correct colour, click the green Add button:
[tips]If you are not sure of the exact colour code for your Variant Choice, install the ColorPick Eyedropper Chrome Extension by clicking here. This handy extension is displayed in the top right of your Chrome browser and if you click it and hover over an online image, it will reveal the hex colour code which can then be added into the # field of the Colour Picker window in your EKM online shop, so you can rest assured that the colour matches the Product exactly.[/tips]
5. When you have finished adding your Variant Choices, click the green Update button:
You’ll then see the list of Variants that have been built onto your original Product - there's now a total of twelve Variants; the t-shirt is available in three different sizes and four different colours (3x4=12), so each possible variation has become a Variant Choice:
The Default Variant Choice is Blue-Large - this means that when customers first view the Product Page, Blue-Large will be the Variant that displays by default. You can change this simply by ticking the box to a different Variant Choice and saving your changes.
- Adding Products using the EKM Edit Product window - Basic and Advanced
- Import/Export System - Adding Products with Variants
[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. [/contact]