Want to learn how to add product variants to your webstore? Read this article to find out how.
Product variants are useful when you sell a product that is available in different selections. A common example is a t-shirt that comes in different colors, such as white, blue, and red, and different sizes, such as small, medium, and large.
Product variants help keep your online store organized and easily searchable for your customers. Instead of creating an individual Item Record for each product, it is much easier to keep these similar products together. For example, let’s say a customer wants to look at all the colors you offer for a t-shirt. Instead of sorting through multiple records, they can click on one record on your online store that houses all of your different sizes or styles.
Base Products and Product Variants
In Artisan, product variants are created in product variant templates. Every product variant template needs what is called a base product.
A base product is the central “hub” for your product variants. In other words, your product variants are connected to the base product.
For this example, we created a store that sells Gildan t-shirts in different colors and sizes. They carry white, black, purple, and safety green. Sizes range from extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.
To begin, let’s create our base product. We’ll call this base product “Gildan Tees.” We’ll fill out the base product’s information, from Item Code to Retail Price.
Next, we’ll switch to the “Pictures and Menus” tab. Since we have multiple different colors, we’ll want to pick an image that shows different styles.
We’ll head back to our “Basic Info” tab and navigate to “Product Variant Template.” We’ll click on the dropdown arrow and click on “Edit List.”
Click on “Add A New Record.”
This will open the Variant Template screen.
Give your template a name. For our example, we’ll call it “Gildan 10307717 Basic Tee.”
We’ll set “Track QOH of Individual Variant Item Records?” to “Yes,” as we’ll want to be able to see which items are in stock, and how many.
The next part is deciding which fields you want to be individually editable in each Variant Item Record. The items in our example don’t require that many fields to be checked off, so we’ll just check off UPC Code, Discounts, Keywords, Pictures, and Custom Fields for now. We can edit this later if we want to.
Next is to create attributes for our template. We’ll call our first attribute “Color” and press enter on our keyboard.
IMPORTANT: Starting with 4.6, you’ll have the option to check off “Individually Editable Pictures.” You’ll be able to upload individual pictures for each attribute, which is especially helpful when dealing with a product that comes in multiple colors and sizes. We’ll show an example soon.
We’ll type in our colors and hit enter. Artisan will automatically create an SKU suffix, though it’s okay to edit this and rename this suffix if you wish.
Next, we’ll create our second attribute, “Size.”
IMPORTANT: Do NOT check off “Individually Editable Pictures“ for sizes. We’ll explain why soon.
We’ll create sizes X-Small through X-Large.
When we save our base product Item Record and head to our Item Records screen, we’ll see our new products beneath our base product (“Gildan Tees”).
What if you realize you need to add more variants to your attributes? In this example, we forgot to add the color red. Edit the base product and edit the template.
Enter the variant and save your changes.
Artisan will update your list of variants to include this new one.
Let’s start adding images to our products. Edit an item and head to “Pictures and Menus.” Select an image to upload.
We’ll edit our “Black X-Small” product and upload an image.
Remember when we checked off “Individually Editable Pictures” for the colors variant? Once this image is uploaded and we save the record, Artisan applies the image to all of the other sizes for this color. This certainly saves you some time, as you won’t have to upload this image for sizes XS-XL–Artisan does it for you!
For example, the “Small” black t-shirt now has the updated image as well.
The first variant in list of your second attribute controls the images for the other attributes in that size range. (Ex. XS is our first variant in our second attribute section. Any image uploaded to this specific item record will update the image for the other sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large).
Note: Shopify only allows one image per variant to display on your website. You can have up to six images for the base product.
You can add additional images in the product variants, but Shopify will not recognize them. They will not be uploaded or displayed on your webstore. This is a Shopify shortcoming. If you want to include additional images, we recommend uploading them to the Base Product so they will be displayed on your store.
The additional images from your Base Product will show before your product variant images. In this example, we uploaded two Additional Images to our store.
They show up in that order on the website, before the product variant images.
Now we’ll want to include these products in our Internet Store. We’ll head to our base product (“Gildan Tees“) and click on the “Internet Store” tab.
Under “Include in Internet Store?” we’ll select “Yes.”
Now, you can create a brief description and a longer description for these products.
Though it might not look like it, adding a detailed description is fairly easy!
The text in the < > are HTML tags. This controls how your text appears, such as bold or italic, or what color. For simplicity’s sake, this example is just a standard bulleted list.
<ul> is for Unordered List (our bulleted list).
Hit “Enter” on your keyboard and type <li>. This is a line in our bulleted list.
</li> ends the line. You must have </li> at the end of every line.
</ul> ends the section.
Save the Item Record and open the Artisan Task Manager.
Artisan Task Manager
The Artisan Task Manager helps upload (or remove) items on your Internet Store.
Your task manager must be configured before you can use Shopify with Artisan. Click here to learn how to do so. If you need help, please contact our Support Team.
The order you list your attributes in Artisan is how they will appear in your webstore.
In Artisan, we listed white first, then black, blue, safety green, purple, teal, and red for our colors. Then we listed XS, small, medium, large, and XL.
They appear in the same order on our website.
Product Variant Grid
You can pull up some information about your variants quickly with the Variant Grid. Pull up your variant items.
Click “Show Grid.”
This screen will show you various fields you can switch between in the pulldown. For instance, the QOH Field shows how many of each variant you have in stock.
You can edit certain fields IF you have them checked off or selected in your variant template. Since we have “Track QOH” set to “Yes,” we can edit these amounts if necessary.
If we check off “Retail Price,” for instance, we can edit it in the Grid.
Removing Item(s) From Internet Store
You might need to remove an item from your Internet store for a variety of reasons. Maybe your vendor discontinued a certain color. Maybe the item is out of stock in your store. Whatever the reason, you can remove items from your online store easily.
Out Of Stock
In your Internet Store Task Manager, make sure “Hide Out of Stock Items” is checked. Hit “Save” and “Run” the task manager. Any items in Artisan that are currently out of stock will not show up in your Internet store.
Include in Internet Store?
To remove all product variants from your Internet Store at once, edit your base product.
Go to the “Internet Store” tab and set “Include in Internet Store?” to “No.”
Run the Internet Store Task Manager so it refreshes your store’s information.
After a few minutes, refresh your webstore. All of the variants will now be deleted from your Internet Store.