Configurable products are products that come in variations for the customer to choose like a polo shirt that comes in small, medium and large sizes in red and green. The configurable product polo shirt has 6 variants or associated simple items. 

Inventory is tracked for configurable items - it is expected you have one of most sizes and colors in stock for your customer to choose from. This is different from custom options on an item. There is no separate inventory for the custom option variations and it is best used for products that are customized or configured before the product is delivered to the customer like whether the customer wants initials embroidered on a towel. That's better as a custom option as there are no towels in stock with initials already on them. The towel is customized at purchase. The red size large polo shirt is in stock and the customer makes their choice from variants that have already been manufactured. 

Basic Steps

  • Catalog Manage Products >> New Product
  • Select Inventory Product class and Configurable Product Type.
  • Now select an attribute set that contains attributes for the sizes and color you need. For example, pick the apparel attribute set to create an item that comes small, medium large.
  • I select the attributes you need for your product such as 'North Face Colors' and 'Adult 2XS-3XL'.
  • The attribute options for any attributes you select are displayed below the attributes. Select the attribute options you need for the product you are creating such as North Face Colors 'Sky Blue' and 'Grass Green'. Select the sizes you want to create. Generally its best if you make all the sizes you might order and sell - not just the ones on your initial order. 
  • Click Continue
  • This brings you to the edit catalog product screen.Enter a product name, SKU, cost and price. Assign the product supplier and category and fill in any other details that are important and click save and continue. 
  • The application will create 7 product records:
    1. North Face Men's Hydry Polo - this is the configurable product - if you sell this the application will ask you to select a size and color - but you can also use it in report and to look at data about the polo in general - all activity and stock balances for all variants are displayed on the configurable 'parent' item.

      ..and then 6 simple items which are associated with the Configruable item:

    2. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Small - Red

    3. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Medium - Red

    4. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Large - Red

    5. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Small - Blue

    6. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Medium - Blue

    7. North Face Men's Hydry Polo Large - Blue

  • You can add Barcodes in the Alternate ID tabs for all the simple products
  • Configurable attributes are appended to the end of the configurable product name automatically.
  • If you wish to set a beginning stock you can set it for each simple item. Configurable items stock level are the sum of their simple items and are not set directly.

Creating Configurable Items - Details and Options

  • Whatever price, supplier, categories, discount rules that you set on the configurable parent item will be updated on the associated simple items. 
  • You can change the simple items directly and make them different from the configurable item - so if you need to change the cost or price such as on men's big and tall size item you can.
  • If possible the configurable parent SKU should match the manufacturer's product ID or Style. In the example above the North Face Polo has a manufacturer style of A3XC and that would help them and you to identify when the item is ordered or arrives in a shipment from the supplier.Depending on your settings the simple items will automatically be given SKUs of A3XC-1, A3XC-2 or A3XC-S-Blue,A3XC-M-Blue and so on.
  • You can override the SKU on the Configurable Product's Alternate ID's Tab. You can also change the manufacturer UPC for all simple items on that tab.
  • The product name of the simple items is the product name of the configurable parent plus the configurable options so North Face Men's Hydry Polo becomes North Face Men's Hydry Polo S-Blue and so forth.
  • When you change the replacement cost or price on the configurable item you will get asked if you wish to change the price for all the associated simple items. In most case you do. If you have multiple stores it will change it in all stores for all associated items but you can change the price by store in the Prices Tab.

The organisation of your attributes and attribute sets can make this easier.

Let's say we're making a North Face Polo that has arrived in small medium, large in blue and red and we have 4 attribute sets that each contain the following attributes: 

Apparel Attribute Set

Footwear Attribute Set

Skis & Boards Attribute Set

Team Sports Equipment Attribute Set

Example Attributes

  • Adult XS-3XL
  • Men's Waist 28-48
  • Shirts 14 -18
  • Women's 2-18
  • Men's Jackets 36-54
  • Hats 6 7/8 - 7 7/8
  • Youth 2XS - XL
  • Toddler 6Mo - 4T

Example Attributes

  • Women's Shoes 5 - 12(US)
  • Women's Shoes 35-43(EU)
  • Men's Shoes 8-16 (US)
  • Men's Shoe Widths 2A -6E
  • Kids Shoes 5.5K - 10K

Example Attributes

  • Ski Length 141cm - 181cm
  • Snow Board 152cm - 159cm
  • Surf Boards 5' 10" - 6' 4"

Example Attributes

  • Soccer Balls 1-5
  • LaCrosse Gloves
  • LaCrosse Helmets
  • Youth Hockey Sticks 38" - 60"

  • Basic Color List
  • North Face Winter Colors (2014)
  • MT Hardgear 2014 Colors

  • Basic Color List
  • Adidas Turf Shoes Colors
  • Nike Colors (2014 Spring)

  • Basic Color List
  • Solomon Ski Colors
  • Custom Stain Options

  • Basic Color List
  • Brine Helmet Colors