Variant options are an integral part of the AmeriCommerce online stores platform. Using variants will reduce the amount of products needed. This provides a simpler, easy to use site for potential customers to browse.
Basic Terms and Definitions
Variant - Smaller differences of a product. Differences such as alternate colors, size, weight, etc...
Variant Group - The functionality that groups Variants together. Here you can set how the variants display, such as in a dropdown or radio button list.
Default Item Text - An option on the variant group. If filled in, the variant choice dropdown will have this text selected as the variant upon page load. This variant is not selectable on the Product Display page.
Surcharge Type - Allows additional or reduced pricing on the variant.
Variant Package - Enable this option if you have a required variant on an item. Does not allow any other variant options associated with the group. Also hides this variant group from the product display page.
Variant Matrix - Used with multiple variant groups on a product. The system creates a quantity input table with all the possible variant combinations. This allows customers to order multiple variant combinations at once. This is great for Wholesale stores.
Variant Swatch - A small picture associated with variant options. These show a visual information about a variant, such as color or style.
You need to create the Variant Groups before assigning variants to products. Log into the admin panel, then go to Catalog > Variant Groups. You can choose to Edit a variant group, or click the New button to begin a new group.
Here you will want to name the group, and set the display type. The options are:
- DropDown (default option)
- Checkbox List
- RadioButton List
Now that you have the Variant Groups created, now it is time to set up the variants. To begin, Edit the product you'd like to add, and choose the Options/Variants tab. Here, you can click New Variant, or Edit an existing variant.
First, choose the Variant Group this will fall in. The Label is the actual option that the customer sees and chooses. Use the Surcharge and Surcharge Type fields to increase/decrease the price with the variant. You can do this by a flat dollar amount or percentage.
The Weight and Weight Type field is also there to add or remove some weight from the package if need be. Finally, the Variant Sort Order option changes what order the variants display in.
There are options to include a Variant Swatch and/or a Variant Photo. The Variant Swatches display on the product display page, above or to the right of the Variant option. These are smaller pictures showing a visual representation of the product. Use it to display differences such as color, pattern or style. You can also set the Variant Swatch Color to be a hexadecimal color instead of uploading images.
Choosing a variant option will replace the main product photo with the Variant Photo.
There are a couple more options that can be chosen. You can choose to Hide a variant option here if desired. Setting the variant option as default will select this option when the Product Details page loads. Additionally, you can add an Attribute to a specific variant, useful for filtering.
The Is Variant Package option is intended for specific situations. This will make it the default variant option, and will remove the options to change the variant. The variant option will still show on the shopping cart page and invoices.
Multiple variant combinations can be ordered with the Variant Matrix display. If enabled, this will create a quantity input table of all the possible variant combinations. The product will need to have at least two Variant Groups associated with it for the option to work.
To enable, go to Themes > Edit Theme > Product Details > Basic Settings. Here there is an option for Use Matrix Style Variant Display. Enable this option for the Variant Matrix.
There is also functionality in the Variant system to allow inventory tracking of variants. You will want to read our Variant Inventory Tracking KB for more information on this.