Creating Variable Products

A variable product allows you to offer variations on a product rather than maintaining multiple instances. A common variation is size: you might want to offer a pint or a quart of a product for example. Rather than creating two separate products, you could create a single variable product with pint and quart options, each with its own price. You can create a variable product as follows.

In your vendor dashboard, click Products and open the product you'd like to make into a variable product. If you're starting from scratch, click the Add New Product button on the Products tab.

The default product type is "simple," meaning that there are no variations. To create a variable product, first change the product type to "variable."

Now scroll down to the Attribute and Variation section and click the Add Attribute button.

Enter a name for the attribute in the Name field. Then enter whichever variations on that attribute you want to offer in the Value(s) field. Add values by pressing enter after you've typed each value. Be sure to select the "Used for Variations" checkbox. You can create additional attributes by repeating the process. When you're finished, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Product button.

After saving the product, return to the Attribute and Variation section to generate variations. Click the Add Variation select menu and select the option "Create variations from all attributes." If you want to specify a default variation, you can do so by selecting it in the "No default Size" select menu. If you do specify a default, it will be selected automatically on the product page. If you do not, customers will be prompted to select a variation if they try to add the product to their cart without a variation selected. Click the Go button when done, and click OK when prompted. All possible combinations of attribute values will be created as variations. If, for example, there are two attributes (say size and flavor), each of which has three values, nine variations would be created.

After creating or modifying a custom attribute (such as weight) and adding values to it (such as specific weights), click the Save Product button. If you refresh the page and the values for an attribute have disappeared, try re-entering the values and then clicking the Save Product button. You can also use the Save Attribute button for this purpose, but it only applies to the most recently added attribute, and so is not appropriate if you've added multiple attributes.

Each custom attribute must have the "Used for variations" option checked so that the appropriate combinations of attributes are created as variations.

Once all attributes have been added and each has the "Used for variations" option selected, variations can be generated by selecting "Create variations from all attributes" in the Add Variation menu and clicking Go.

Your variations should now be visible.

Click the tip down arrow next to each variation to modify its price, stock quantity, or other attributes. If you want to manage inventory separately for each variation, you'll need to select the "Manage stock?" option within the variation to reveal the stock quantity field. When you change a product from simple to variable, the price field for the product disappears and you must set a price for each variation.

Click the Save Variations link at the bottom of the Attribute and Variation section when you are finished.

If you have numerous variations that have the same price, you can apply one price to all variations by opening the "Add variation" menu above the variations, selecting "Set regular prices," and clicking Go. You'll then be prompted for the price you'd like to apply to all variations.

Your variations should now be visible on the front end of the site. It's a good idea to confirm that the correct price and stock quantity is displayed for each variation. Return to the variation settings and correct the prices if necessary.

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