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Ecommerce Product Variants 101


What are Product Variants?

In ecommerce, Product Variants allow you to offer various purchase options for products such as sizes, colors, materials or even price points. Product Variants are probably something you encounter every time you shop online, but you may not have known the ecommerce term.

Product variants can get pretty complicated, but the Product Variants Add-on for iThemes Exchange makes selling products with multiple purchase options simple and easy.

Popular Types of Variants

Say you own a t-shirt shop. Instead of having to add multiple products to your store for each t-shirt color or size, you can offer all the multiple product options from a single product in your store.

Common types of product variants include:

  • Sizes
  • Colors
  • Materials
  • Prices

The Benefits of Offering Options and Choices through Variants

We all like choices. And you like to make sales. What are some of the benefits of utilizing product variants?

  • Customers expect an easy-to-navigate, organized store. Product Variants make it easier for customers to navigate your store by combining products with multiple options and choices. Customers shouldn’t have to consider the complexity of your inventory.
  • Variety broadens product appeal. If the product comes with multiple options, customers can get exactly what they want and feel more satisfied about their purchase.
  • Customers get personalized purchases. Offering a combination of product options means customers interact more with the product before they purchase.

Planning Ahead: Your Product Variants Workflow

The iThemes Exchange Variants Add-on handles the complex work for you, but you’ll save time if you do a little planning ahead using this outline.

First Things First: Variant Starters

1. Sizes and Colors

Do you have multiple sizes and color options? These product variants are the most common and straight-forward. The Exchange Product Variants Add-on even has built-in sizes and color options.

Get organized by knowing all the sizes you’ll be offering. Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large are included as defaults it the Product Variants options, but you can add more.


Know your product colors. The Variants Add-on includes a color picker, so you can add true color swatches using the hex values, rgb (red, green, blue), or hsb (hue, saturation, brightness).


2. Custom Variant Options: Drop-downs and Radio Buttons

Outside of pre-built variants like colors and sizes, you can add custom variants to be displayed in either radio buttons or drop-downs. What other variants does your product include?

product-variant options

3. Image-Driven Options

With iThemes Exchange, you have the option of adding variant images. Note: These are different than your variant gallery images (more on that later).

For example, if you wanted to allow customers of your t-shirt shop to add a logo to their shirt, you could include their options with images.

variant images

Variants of Variants

The last two workflow items are saved for last — because this is where it starts to get more complicated. Variant Pricing and Variant (Gallery) Images are variants based on variants. Don’t worry, it sounds complicated, but this only means these variants depend on the others.

4. Variant Prices

Does a product option cost more? For example, larger t-shirt sizes may mean an additional fee.

This is where variant pricing comes into play. The Variant Pricing tab populates a drop-down of your current variants so you can assign a price any combination.

As you can see, Variant Pricing comes last in the workflow since your prices are assigned to all the variant options you’ve built up until this point.


5. Variant (Gallery) Images

Your product images are important, so you’ll want to make sure you have several high-quality, well-lit, detailed images for your product gallery.

When you’re preparing to add your product, you’ll need two main types of images:

  • The default image gallery: You’ll have a base gallery of images that displays for the default variant selection. Think of these as the default images that represent your product.


  • Additional variant images: These are images that will display to illustrate variant selections. In the example of our t-shirt shop, we added photos of each color t-shirt to the gallery to match the color selections.


What about Inventory? Matching Physical Inventories to Your Online Store

The final step before launching your new variant product is some good ol’ inventory work. Again, Exchange makes this so simple.

Take a count of your physical products according to each of your variant options (sizes, colors, custom options, etc.).

Click the Inventory tab to enable inventory tracking for this product and then enable inventory tracking for variants. Exchange will populate all of your variant combinations so you can add your inventory numbers.


Our Product Variants Add-on for Exchange makes managing all your variants so, so simple. So get the Product Variants Add-on for your Exchange-powered site!

Get the Product Variants Add-on



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