[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]
If a Product on your EKM online shop is available in different sizes or colours for example, it is a Product with ‘Product Variants’. ‘Variants’ are the different options customers can select from, such as ‘Size’ or ‘Colour’. Variant Choices are the names of each choice, such as ‘Blue’ or ‘Yellow’, for example. Combinations are one of many permutations from the Variant Choices multiplied by each other, such as ‘Blue - Large’:
[remember] On the EKM online shop platform, per Product you can have a maximum of:
- 4 Variants (Type, Size, Colour, etc.)
- 100 Variant Choices (Yellow, Blue, Green, Small, Medium Large, etc.)
- 250 Variant Combinations (Blue-Large, Blue-Medium, Blue-Small, etc.)
5 sizes (small, medium, large, XL, XXL) multiplied by 5 colours (red, blue, yellow, green, pink) equals 25 Variant Combinations (5x5=25).
If you have any Products on your EKM online shop where the Product Variants were built prior to December 2018 and the Product Variants exceed the limits quoted above, the Product will still display as normal. However, if you were to attempt to add more Variants or amend them in any way, you would be unable to do so. It is strongly recommended that you review these Products and their Variants as soon as possible, as these limits have been applied to ensure that the page loading time is not affected negatively. If the Product Page for that specific Product takes a long time to load, it definitely needs your attention and the Product Variants will need dividing down.[/remember]
Dividing down your Product Variants
When Variants are created on a Product, each possible Combination of the Variant Choices becomes a product in it's own right. On the EKM online shop platform, you can have Products with up to four Variant Choices as long as the combinations did not exceed 250. For example, if a T-shirt is available in three different sizes and four different colours (3x4=12), so each possible choice has become a Variant Combination:
[tips]Please bear in mind that if you have a product with a lot of Variants, this will change the way you have to display this product, as lots of Variant Combinations can negatively affect the page loading time and therefore, the user experience for any potential customers visiting your site. If you’re not sure how to display your products with variants correctly, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to advise you further.[/tips]
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 Variant Combinations (8x12x12=1152). If you were able to upload that Product and it’s Variants to your EKM online shop, you would notice that the Product Page would load incredibly 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 Variant Combinations (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 Variant Combinations (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 Variant Combinations 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 Variant Combinations, 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 Variant Combinations (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. First, you need to log into your EKM online shop and from the Dashboard, click the Shop tab:
2. Ensure that the Edit Content button is turned on, and then navigate to the Category where you would like to add this new Product with Variants:
3. Once on the Category page, click Add Product:
4. This will open the Add Product window. Give the Product a Name, Price and Description before clicking the Variants tab:
5. Click the Add Variant Button:
6. You will then see this window appear:
7. You can now choose what kind of Variants you want to add to your Product. Click Create Variant for the most applicable version for your Product before clicking below to select the relevant Support Guide:
- How to make Drop-down Variants
- How to make Variants with Colour Swatches
- How to make Variants with Sizes
- How to make Variants with Patterns
[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. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. [/contact]