When you create a new product in MicroBiz you get asked whether the product is simple or configurable.
A configurable item is a product where:
- the customer has options to choose from
- you stock the options
A T-Shirt is a good example. Most times the customer has the option of sizes like Small, Medium, Large or colors like Blue, Purple, Green. You have the various options in stock for the customer to buy.
Each customer option like Small,Blue or Medium Green has a simple product record associated with it where we track stock levels. These simple products are called Simple Variants as they are variations of the Configurable Parent item.
This is different from custom options (coming soon to MicroBiz) where you do not stock the options - such as monogramming or custom shirts. For custom shirt only the cloth would be stocked. All the collar,pocket and cuff sizes and options are not in stock on your shelves.
And different from a simple product as a simple product has no customer choices. A soccer ball might be a good example of a simple product. The customer has no choices - they either buy that soccer ball or not.
Creating a Configurable Product in MicroBiz
When you create a configurable attribute in MicroBiz there is 1 important difference between MicroBiz and Magento. In MicroBiz we will create all the simple varaiants for you automatically you just need to tell us which ones. So when you create a configurable item in MicroBiz you will be prompted to
- Select configurable Attributes - so what options will the customer have is it a color choice? A size choice? This is the same as Magento.
- Select Attribute Options - and which options should we create products for: small, medium large? red, green blue?
In the configurable item example above Small, Medium, Large and Blue, Purple, Green are configurable options. To set up configurable options you can create a new attribute of type dropdown and set the configurable option to yes. The attribute name might be Patagonia 2015 Colors or Adult S,M,L the attribute options would be Small, Medium, Large or Blue, Purple, Green.
You can make as many configurable attributes as you like. Some retailers find it sufficient to make a single 'Sizes' attribute and a single 'Colors' attribute. For busier retailers or retailers with lots of different kinds of products those attribute option lists can get big very fast and this will generally slow you down when you are making products. It may be faster if you group your sizes into specific size runs like
- Adult XS-XL (XS,S,M,L,XL)
- Mens Shoes 38-48 (38,39,40,41..)
- Juniors 1-13 (1,3,5,7,9)
Colors can likewise get out of hand quickly. Some suppliers change their color lists every season and so you can keep your lists tidy and sane if you make a separate Nike Spring 2015 and Adidas Sneaks 2014 and so forth.
To Create a Configurable attribute make sure
- Field Type is Dropdown
- Is Configurable is Yes
- Config Attribute Role - you can tell us if this is a size, color, subsize or something else (none) - this helps us organize how they display on screen and will be used in matrix data entry when the feature becomes available.
- MicroBiz Field Visibility - does the option field display on the product record in edit product - automatic will only show the field if its in use or you can choose to always show the field in simple variants , configurable parent or 'All'.
Attribute Option Labels
There are 2 sets of labels for your attribute options in MicroBiz
- Admin Web View - these are the labels that will sync to your web site so you may want to avoid cryptic abbreviations like 'KKH-HCK' as the web site customer might not know what something like this means.
- Default MicroBiz View - this is what you see throughout MicroBiz. Since this is only viewed by store employees its possible to use shorter labels in this field like 'BLK' for Black and 'WHT' for white or 'XL' for Extra Large. This shortens the simple product description when we append the attribute options HAT550-BLU-XS vs HAT550-BLUE-EXTRA SMALL and will be easier to work with when matrix data entry when the feature becomes available.
- Can I add options to an existing configurable item? Yes, if you initially create the item in Red, Blue, Green and then decide to carry Yellow it can be added from edit product. Edit the configurable parent sku, go to the Associated Items Tab and click Add Simple Variants and select the colors and sizes you would like to add. Save closes the add variants screen. Then Save the product record as well.
- Can I add Configurable Attributes to an existing configurable item? Yes, if you created the item as 36,38,40,42 and then saw that the item comes Regular or Short - go to the Associated Items Tab and click Add Simple Variants and the Add Configurable Option button. Select the new attribute and some attribute options. Save closes the add variants screen. Then Save the product record as well.
- Should I only make the sizes I will be stocking? - Yes and no .. generally its best to create the items you might stock - so if you might reorder or special order a size or color it might be good to create these colors and sizes. But if its unlikely or there are lots of them limit it to what you're carrying.
- Do you sync optional attribute labels from Magento to support multiple languages ? Not at this time. You will have to maintain labels for additional languages directly in Magento.
- Can I change the price on some simple variants? Yes, each simple variant can be edited directly from the
- Why can't I see my simple variants like I can in Magento? In MicroBiz we default the simple variants to Not Visible Individually and we default the Manage Product grids to show visible only. To change the grid click More Options and click Visibility Show All. To change the product settings edit the configurable parent and from the Settings Tab change Make Simple Items Visible to yes.