Attributes are features or properties of a product. For example, if you sell t-shirts, you might create attributes like "Size" and "Color."
Each row in the table above is a Variant (variation) of the same basic product. The purpose of Attributes and Variants is to make it easier for you to create and maintain your on-line inventory.
You could create each of the above t-shirts as separate product, but an easier way is to:
You can then edit the list of variants to remove the ones that you don't carry and change other information, such as pricing and inventory.
A variant is just a product that you have on hand and sell. If you sell a "Zoo T-Shirt" in three sizes and two colors, you stock and sell six variations of the same basic shirt. The master product/variant idea is a way that Miva Merchant helps you organize your on-line store. Your inventory remains the same either way.
Here's how variants look in the admin interface:
In the > Catalog > Products tab, click Show Product and select All.
In Miva Merchant, Attributes are product features such as size and color. Options are individual selections. For example:
These buttons let you control whether the current option is selected as the default when customers view the product in your store. If you click Set, the current option is set as the default.
Code: a required field that identifies the attribute or option in the admin interface. You could enter "Size" or "Color" here.
Prompt: the attribute or option name that customers will see when they visit your store. It can be the same as the Code. If you charge more for a particular option, you may want to put the extra cost into the Prompt. This may be less convenient for you, but it makes it easier for the customer to understand that they are being charged more for that option.
Image: Attributes and options can have an associated image that will show up in the product page.
Type: Select the type of control you want customers to see when they select an option. The choices are: Radio Buttons, Drop-down List, Checkbox, Text Field, Text Area, and Swatch - Drop-down List.
Note: In addition to selecting the type of option control your customers will see, the Type drop-down list can also be used to select an Attribute Template. See Copy below.
Price: Enter a retail price for this attribute, if any. Note that this will be added to base price of the product. For example, if you entered $10.00 as the price when you created the t-shirt product (add/edit product > Product tab > Details section > Price field), and you enter $5.00 as the attribute price (monogramming for example) then the price of the t-shirt with this attribute will be $15.00.
Cost: Enter the wholesale cost of this attribute, if any.
Weight: Enter a weight for the attribute, if any. Note that this weight will be added to the weight that you entered for the product.
D: Default option. This checkbox only applies to options. If you check this box, this option will be selected by default when customers view this product in your store. You'll only see this checkbox when you first create the option. If you edit the option, you see the Set and Unset buttons.
R: Required. Applies only to the attribute. If you check this box, customers must select one of the options in this attribute before they can click the Add to Basket button.
I: Enables inventory tracking at the attribute level. If you enable inventory at the attribute level, the system will automatically check to see if inventory is in stock for the variants that you have created.
You may also want to enable Track Out of Stock Level and Hide Out of Stock Product to prevent customers from ordering out of stock items.
The purpose of this button is to let you attach the same image to multiple variants. This sounds terribly complicated, but it's really not that bad.
Before you can even see this button in the Attributes tab, you have to do several things:
In the example below we've got an Attribute called "Fabric" and we've checked the Inventory box on the Attribute.
Our t-shirt comes in three sizes and two colors. We sell six variants (variations) of the same basic tshirt:
Now we want to attach some images to the variants. We could add images to the variants directly:
But we're not going to do that. By editing the variants directly, we could add different images to each variant. But in the case of our t-shirt, a small blue t-shirt looks exactly like a medium blue t-shirt, which looks exactly like a large blue t-shirt. So in this case we're going to take a shortcut and use the Add Image(s) to the Option's Part Products button.
To Use the Add Image(s) to the Option's Part Products Button
7.1. In the Attributes tab, select Option white.
7.2. Click the Add Image(s) to the Option's Part Products button.
7.3. In the Image Picker dialog box, upload a picture of a white t-shirt, assign it to an Image Type (optional) and click Select (1) Image.
8.1. Go to > Catalog > Products tab.
8.2. Make sure that Show Products is set to All.
8.3. Edit one of the t-shirt variants:
8.4. Select the Images tab.
A variant is a generated combination of Attributes. For example:
Edit the t-shirt and select the Attributes tab
2.1. Create Attributes for Size and Color.
2.2. Click the Generate Variants button.
When you click the Generate Variants button, Miva Merchant automatically generates all of the possible combinations (variants).
You can view the variants that Miva Merchant creates in the Inventory Variants tab. However, when variants show up in the Product tab, they are called "part products".
But if we look at a kit, the Part Products and the Variants look very different.
Swatches are small pictures that represent an option. For example, if you sell a t-shirt with fabric options of cotton, rayon, and cotton blend, you can create pictures of the fabric samples and add them to the t-shirt product page. Fabric samples are only one example. You can use swatches whenever you would like to have a visual representation of a product option. You can only use swatches if you have created Attributes for your product.
In the edit product > Attributes tab, click on the Generate Variants button. In the Generate Product Variants dialog box, select one of the following pricing options.
Variant Price is set by the Master Product and its Attributes: When you add a product you can set the price for that product, and when you create an Attribute (such as size), you can set the price for the Attribute. If you select this option, the system will set the default price for each product variant to be:
variant product price = price of master product + price of Attribute(s).
Let's say we created the following product and attributes:
A large t-shirt in blue would cost: $15.00 + $5.00 + $5.00 = $25.00
Note that the total price for the product variant won't show up until it is in a customer basket. If you wish, you can edit the Prompt column when you create attributes and options, so that customers understand that the options add to the base price of the product.
Figure 1: Variant Price is set by the Master Product and its Attributes
Variant Price is set by the Inventory Product: Use this option if you want to manually set a price for each variant. Since the price is not being calculated, it will appear in both the product listing and the basket. With this option, you don't need to have the price of an option appear in the option Prompt.
Figure 2: Variant Price is set by the Inventory Product
After you select one of the pricing options, go to the Edit Product > Inventory Variants tab. You'll see that the system will generate all of the possible variants.
You can view the variants that you just created:
Notice that only the master product is marked as Active. When a product is marked as active, it means that you want Miva Merchant to display the product in your store. If all of the variants were marked as active, they would show up in your store as separate products:
In the case of our t-shirt, we only want the master product to be active. However, there are other situations where you would want the variants to be active, for example, if you have a kit where the parts in the kit can also be purchased separately:
In this example we created a fruit basket kit. The basket is the master product and we manually added variants: apples, pears, and oranges, as the parts. But in this case, we made the variants active, because we also sell apples, pears, and oranges separately. We want customers to find product pages for those "parts" as individual products.