WooCommerce Variations: Making the Most of Variable Products

Illustration of a WooCommerce product with variations

In the realm of e-commerce, offering a diverse array of products doesn’t just mean stocking up on different items. Sometimes, the distinction lies in subtle variations of a single product.

This is where WooCommerce comes in with its versatile capability to create variable products, i.e. multi-dimensional products that have different attributes like size, color, or material, giving your customers the liberty to choose what best suits their preferences.

While WooCommerce inherently acknowledges the importance of variable products by offering native support, its default functionality for displaying and customizing these products is fairly limited.

So how do you put variable products in WooCommerce to good use? The key is to rely on a plugin that is adept at managing product variations.

Let’s dive further into WooCommerce variable products – from setting them up to utilizing them to the fullest, with a high-quality plugin like Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce.

The ins and outs of WooCommerce variable products

WooCommerce variable products are a highly useful tool for sellers who want to offer product diversity without just multiplying their stock-keeping units (SKUs). These are products that come in a medley of styles, types, or variations, each distinguished by specific attributes. Let’s break it down further to understand the interrelation between variable products, product variations, and attributes.

A variable product is primarily a product that is available in different styles or variations.

Each version of this product is known as a product variation, and those variants are defined by attributes.

Suppose you’re selling a T-shirt that’s available in various colors like red, blue, and black.

  • Here, the T-shirt itself is the variable product.
  • The different colors signify the attributes, and each color variant of the T-shirt represents a product variation.
T-shirt variations

Variable products aren’t limited to physical attributes like color, size, or material. They can also include products with customization or personalization options.

For instance, you could offer the same T-shirt with an option to add custom text or images. This adds a layer of personalization that makes the product more than just a purchase – it becomes an expression of the customer’s personality.

Naturally, embracing variable products can be extremely beneficial for your WooCommerce store. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved customer experience: In a world yearning for uniqueness, enabling customers to tailor products or choose from a range of options caters to their craving for flexibility and personalization. This creates a more enriched shopping experience.
  • Increased sales/conversions: When your store caters to a myriad of tastes, it’s inevitable that more customers will find what they’re looking for, resulting in more sales.
  • Reduced bounce rate: The more aligned your offerings are with your customers’ preferences, the less likely they are to abandon ship and search elsewhere. A store with diverse product variations ensures customers find their perfect match, keeping them engaged and interested in making a purchase.
  • Opportunities to increase average order value (AOV): Customization isn’t just about keeping customers happy; it’s also a revenue booster. When customers see value in personalizing a product, they’re often willing to pay a premium.

Creating and managing variable products

Creating variable products in WooCommerce can feel like piecing together a puzzle. However, with this step-by-step guide, you’ll have your product variations live and ready for eager customers in no time.

1. Create global attributes and define terms

Before you create variable products, it’s imperative to define the attributes that will form the variations. 

In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Products Attributes. Here, you can create global attributes that can be used across multiple products. For instance, you can create an attribute named Color and define terms such as Red, Blue, and Black.

Add global attributes for variable products

2. Change simple products to variable products

Go to ProductsAdd New to create a new product, or edit an existing one. In the Product data section, select Variable product instead of the default Simple product.

Change product type from simple to variable product

3. Add attributes to products and create variations

In the Attributes tab within the Product data section, you can add the previously created attributes to your product.

For example, you might add the Color attribute and select Red, Blue, and Yellow. Make sure to check the Used for variations checkbox and click Save attributes.

Select variation attributes in the WooCommerce backend

After you’ve added attributes, go to the Variations tab and select Generate variations. WooCommerce will then create all possible variations from the attributes.

WooCommerce product variation section

4. Manage product data for different variations

Each variation can have unique data, including price, SKU, and stock status. Click the triangle icon beside each variation to expand its options and enter the necessary information.

Add product variation details

While the steps above equip you to create variable products with predefined options, the default WooCommerce setting has several limitations:

  • Your variations are only displayed as a dropdown list, making product discovery less intuitive for customers who prefer visually engaging options.
  • There is no support for displaying color swatches or images next to variation options, so customers have to navigate through each variation to see what it looks like.
  • You can’t offer additional customization options beyond the attributes for your variable products.

Introducing Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce

To overcome the limitations of default WooCommerce variable products and to offer a more dynamic and personalized shopping experience, the Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce plugin comes into play.

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce

This powerful and versatile plugin is designed to enhance your variable products, providing a range of features that make customization and management easier and more effective.

Here are some of the key features that make Advanced Product Fields the go-to solution for maximizing the potential of your variable products:

  • Customizable input fields: With 16 different input field types to choose from, you can offer a wide range of options for product customization. Those include text boxes, dropdown menus, checkboxes, radio buttons, and more, allowing you to cater to various customer preferences and needs.
  • Global field creation: This feature makes managing your variable products a breeze. You can easily add and update customization and variation display options for your variable products in bulk, in order to save time and ensure consistency across your store.
  • Powerful display options: Advanced Product Fields allows you to optimize how your variable product pages are displayed. You can change the main product image based on selections the customer has made, show or hide extra input fields using conditional logic, and update the final product price dynamically as the customer makes changes. This not only enhances the customer experience but also provides a clear and accurate view of the final product.
  • Adjust products from the cart: This feature enhances the flexibility of the shopping journey by allowing customers to adjust their order from the cart page. They can make changes to product data, such as quantity or customization options, even after they’ve added the product to their cart.

The Advanced Product Fields plugin is a powerful tool that enhances the functionality of WooCommerce variable products, offering a more intuitive, user-friendly, and personalized shopping experience for your customers.

Advanced Product Fields WooCommerce
Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce

Easily power-up your variable products in WooCommerce with additional field types and display options!

Find out more

Enhancing variable products with Advanced Product Fields

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce lets shoppers interact with and visualize products in diverse variations and customizations.

From setting up color or image swatches that come alive with a click to offering extra product options, Advanced Product Fields is your key to creating an immersive shopping experience – here’s how:

Set up color/image swatches for product variations

Color or image swatches can provide a visual representation of your product variations, making it easier for customers to choose their preferred option.

  1. From the product editor, go to Product dataCustom fields and add a new field.
  2. Choose your preferred type of swatch from the Type dropdown.
    Select type of swatch from custom field type
  3. Add a field label and description to be shown on the store front end.
  4. Add options to your field – these will be the choices from which your customers can select their preferred option.
    Add field label and description, and choose swatch options
  5. Adjust the appearance of your swatches.

Set up extra product options for your variable products

Adding extra product options can allow for greater customization and personalization.

  1. First, follow the same steps as above to add a new field.
  2. Choose from one of the various field options to add extra product customization options. For example, you could add radio buttons or checkboxes so your customers can select predefined add-ons or customizations, or use a text or image field so they can add their own bespoke personalization.
  3. Adjust your input field appearance, set up conditional logic, and choose visibility settings as needed.
Add conditional logic rules and hide on checkout options

Adjust the main product image display based on the customer’s selection

Changing the main product image based on the options your customer has selected provides them with a clearer view of the final product.

  1. Under Product dataCustom fields, navigate to Layout settings.
  2. Set the slider for Change product image to Yes and set the conditions for when the image changes (either according to a combination of option values or according to the last option changed). 
  3. Add rules for what the product image should change to when customers make a particular selection. You can add different images for every combination of selections, thus giving your customers a clear view of what they are purchasing, regardless of the choices they have made.
Change product image based on variable product attributes

By enhancing your variable products with Advanced Product Fields, you can offer a more personalized and engaging shopping experience, which in turn leads to increased customer satisfaction and potentially higher sales.

Wrapping up

Offering variable products on your WooCommerce store opens up a huge number of possibilities. It allows you to cater to a wider range of customer preferences, by providing a more personalized and satisfying shopping experience.

The benefits are manifold – from improved customer experience and increased sales to reduced bounce rates and opportunities to increase the average order value.

However, to truly unlock the potential of variable products, a powerful tool like Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is indispensable.

With its customizable input fields, global field creation, powerful display options, and flexibility in adjusting products from the cart, the APF plugin brings a new level of dynamism and personalization to your WooCommerce store.

So why wait? Your journey with Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is only a couple of clicks away!

Advanced Product Fields WooCommerce
Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce

The best way to complement WooComnmerce variable products.

Find out more