Variants in Shopify are useful when your product has multiple properties. These variants are easy to add in a few simple steps. Some notes to keep in mind when creating variants in Shopify:

  • Limited to 100 variants for each product
  • Products can only have 3 options for variants, e.g. Colour, Size, Material
  • You can only increase variant and option limits with the use of third party apps on the Shopify app store

In this blog we will cover how to add a variant for a T-shirt.


Creating a variant

To start adding variants, you begin by adding a product. In the new product screen go down to the “Options” section and tick: “This product has options, like size or color”.

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Now you need to enter the names you want for the product options. In this example we have chosen “size” and “color” for how our T-shirt will vary. Without the use of any plugins, you will be limited to a maximum of 3 options for your product. Once you have the option names chosen and entered, give these options values for each variant product. Make sure the values you enter don’t result in over 100 variants being made or else you will require a plugin to extend this limitation.

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When you have created the options you will notice a list of variants will be created below. You can customise this list to remove different variants e.g. don’t stock Blue shirts in a size Small.

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Press "save" when you have finished creating variant products and they will be added to the store as long as you are within the parameters.

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Once you have created the variants, you can freely add more options to create more variants at any time. Just remember to remove any unnecessary products and keep the created variants within the limits.


Duplicating Variants

It is possible for you to duplicate variants to save time on having to re-input all details for creating a variant again. To do this, you should select the product containing the variants you wish to duplicate and find the variants on the products page. From there, select the variants you wish to duplicate and select “Duplicate” . You will have to edit the duplicates in order to make them unique as Shopify will not allow duplicate variants. You will not be able to save a non-unique duplicated variant.


Batch Duplication

Batch duplication allows you to duplicate products in large batches as long as the products share an option value. For example, two different size shirts that share the same color option value can be duplicated and have a new color value added.

If an item/variant already existed before the duplication then it will be skipped and the other products will be created to avoid multiple duplicates of a product being created. You can batch edit the products to save on updating items one by one but this method isn’t much more time efficient than other methods.


How can a PIM help me?

Using a PIM can remove the need for the manual addition of products and allows for the easier creation of variant products. The PIM also allows for product updates to be performed in a fraction of the time without having to navigate through Shopify’s interface and menus.

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When the PIM is populated, you only have to run the connector once and all live products on the PIM will be uploaded to Shopify, automatically generated and placed in the correct categories.

A PIM also allows you to quickly add media, like images, without needing to access each individual product at a time. The process is sped up by image data being stored in the PIM, which avoids having to navigate your computer’s directories to find the correct image/s to use.

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Once all your variants are created and populated with data for Shopify, the next step is to upload them to Shopify using the connector from OneTimePIM.

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Once run, you will be able to open the recent task from the connector to see it has successfully uploaded the variant products. You will also be able to check the time the task has taken. This time can differ depending upon quantities of data and network limitations. This time for updating products will be faster if no new products are being added en masse.

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After the connector has ran you should be able to see that the products now exist on your Shopify page and have been set up based on data input.

Here is a short video to demonstrate just how easy it is to add variants to your Shopify account: