Choosing a product type is one of the first things you must do to create a new product. In this article, we explain how to create a simple product and a configurable product.
If you are just starting out, you can create a few sample products, and experiment with each type. Before you build your actual catalog, make sure to read Navigation by Category and Catalog URL Options. This material will give you a good understanding of the relationship between your store navigation and the categories in your catalog, and how you can help search engines to bring a steady stream of shoppers to your store.
A simple product is a physical item with a single SKU. Simple products have a variety of pricing and of input controls which makes it possible to sell variations of the product. Simple products can be used in association with grouped, bundle, and configurable products.
One of the keys to harnessing the power of product types is learning how and when to use a simple, standalone product. Simple products can be sold individually, or as part of a grouped, configurable, or bundle product. A simple product with custom options is sometimes referred to as a composite product.
The following instructions take you through the process of creating a simple product with the basic fields. Each required field is marked in the Admin with a red asterisk (*). After you complete the required settings and save the product, you can add images and complete the remaining product information as needed.
- Step 1: Choose the Attribute Set
- Step 2: Complete the Basic Information
- Step 3: Complete the Remaining Product Information
Step 1: Choose the Attribute Set
The first step is to choose the attribute set, which is used as a template for the product record. The product in this example is based on the Default attribute set, which includes a standard of set of fields that can be used for most products.
1. On the Admin menu, go to Catalog > Manage Products.
2. In the upper-right corner of the Manage Products page, click the Add Product button.
3. In the Create Product Settings section, do the following:
a. Accept the “default” Attribute Set, or select another.
b. Set Product Type to “Simple Product,” and click the Continue button.
Step 2: Complete the Basic Information
The basic set of required fields must be completed before the product record can be saved. The Product Information panel groups related fields by topic and the required fields are marked with a red asterisk (*).
1. In the Product Information panel, select General. Then, complete the required fields as follows:
a. Enter the product name as you want it to appear in all catalog listings.
b. In the Description box, enter the main description that will appear on the Product Detail page.
c. Enter a Short Description of the product.
d. Assign a unique SKU for the product.
e. Enter the Weight of the product, which is used to calculate shipping.
f. Set Status to “Enabled.”
g. Set Visibility to “Catalog, Search.”
2. In the Product Information panel, select Prices. Then, complete the required fields as follows:
a. Enter the Price that you will charge for the product.
b. Set Tax Class to the appropriate tax classification for the product.
3. In the Product Information panel, select Inventory. Then, do the following:
a. If you do not need to keep track of inventory for the product, set Manage Stock to “No.”
Depending on the configuration, you might need to clear the Use Config Settings checkbox.
Inventory with no stock management
b. If you want to keep track of inventory, set Manage Stock to “Yes.”
Then, do the following: In the Qty field, type the quantity of the item that is currently in stock. -Set Stock Availability to “In Stock.”
Inventory with stock management
4. To be visible in your catalog, the product must be assigned to a category. To assign the product to a category, do the following:
a. In the Product Information panel, select Categories.
b. In the category tree, click to expand the section where the item belongs.
c. Select the checkbox of each category where you want the product to appear.
5. If your Magento installation has multiple websites, the product must be assigned to each one where the product is available for sale. (This option appears only if multiple websites exist in the store hierarchy.) To configure the scope of the product, do the following:
a. In the Product Information panel, select Websites.
b. On the Websites tab, select the checkbox of each website where the product is available for sale.
6. After completing these steps, click the Save and Continue button. At this point, the product should be visible on the assigned category page of your catalog. Until the product image is uploaded, a placeholder appears in its place.
Step 3: Complete the Remaining Product Information
Although not required, there is still more product information to complete. At the very least, you will want to upload product images and complete the meta data. In addition, you can create additional custom options.
Things to Remember
- A simple product can have custom options with a variety of controls, which makes it possible to sell many product variants from a single SKU
- Custom options are not tracked as seperate inventory items
- A simple product that is included in a configurable, or bundle product type cannot have custom options.
A configurable product looks like a single product with drop-down lists of options for each variation. Each option is actually a separate simple product with a unique SKU, which makes it possible to track inventory for each product variation. You could achieve a similar effect by using a simple product with custom options, but without the ability to track inventory for each variation. Products with multiple options are sometimes referred to as composite products.
Although a configurable product uses more SKUs, and may initially take a little longer to set up, it can save you time in the long run. If you plan to grow your business, the configurable product type might be a better choice for a product with multiple options.
A configurable product
The following instructions take you through the process of creating a configurable product with the basic fields. Each required field is marked in the Admin with a red asterisk (*). After you complete the required settings and save the product, you can add images and complete the remaining product information, as needed.
- Step 1: Create Attributes for Drop-down Options
- Step 2: Create the Attribute Set
- Step 3: Create the Configurable Product
- Step 4: Add the Associated Products
- Step 5: Make Any Necessary Price Adjustments
- Step 6: Configure the Shopping Cart Thumbnails
Step 1: Create Attributes for Drop-Down Options
Create an attribute for each drop-down list of options that you want to include in the configurable product. If the attribute already exists and has the correct properties, you can add it to the attribute set in the next step.
Step 2: Create the Attribute Set
1. On the Admin menu, select Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attribute Sets. Then, click the Add New Set button.
2. Assign a Name to the attribute set.
If prompted by your browser, select “Temporarily Allow Scripted Windows” to continue. Then, click the Add New button again.
3. In the Based On list, select an existing attribute set, such as “Default,” to use as a template. Then, click the Save Attribute Set button.
4. Starting from the list of Unassigned Attributes, drag and drop each attribute you want to include in the product to the center column. You can arrange them in any order.
5. To group the attributes in their own section of the Product Information panel, do the following:
a. In the Groups section, click the Add New button.
b. When prompted, enter a Name for the new group. Then, click the OK button. The new group appears at the bottom of the Groups column.
c. Drag and drop each attribute that you created for the drop-down options to group where you want them to appear.
6. Click the Save Attribute Set button.
7. When prompted to update your cache, click the link in the message and refresh the invalid cache.
Step 3: Create the Configurable Product
1. On the Admin menu, select Catalog > Manage Products. Then, click the Add Product button.
2. In the Create Product Settings section, do the following:
a. Select the Attribute Set that you created for the product.
b. Set Product Type to “Configurable Product,” and click the Continue button.
3. In the Select Configurable Attributes section, select the checkbox of each attribute that you want to include in the product. Then, click the Continue button.
4. Complete the Product Information as you would for a simple product, with the exception of the following fields:
On the Prices tab :
The Price is a required field, but is used as a default price. The price of each individual associated product can be adjusted accordingly.
On the Inventory tab:
Manage Stock is set to “No” by default, because inventory managed by each associated product.
5. When complete, click the Save and Continue Edit button.
Step 4: Add the Associated Products
- Method 1: Create Empty Simple Product
- Method 2: Copy from Configurable
1. In the panel on the left, select the last option, Associated Products.
2. Then, use one of the following described methods to add the associated products.
Method 1: Create Simple Associated Product
This method opens a blank Product Information form, which you can complete for each associated product.
1. In the Create Simple Associated Product section, click the Create Empty button. A pop- up window with a blank Product Information form appears.
2. Complete the required fields as you would for any simple product. Click the Save button to add the associated product.
Method 2: Copy from Configurable
This method opens a Product Information form that contains the values already entered for the configurable product. The only fields that need to be completed are the Name, SKU, and values for each drop-down attribute.
1. In the Create Simple Associated Product section, click the Copy From Configurable button. A pop-up window with the basic Product Information from the configurable product appears.
2. Complete the following required fields:
3. Complete the fields with values for each drop-down list.
4. Click the Save button to add the associated product to the configurable product record.
Step 5: Make Any Necessary Price Adjustments
Use the Super Products Attributes Configuration section to make price adjustments to a specific associated product. The adjustment can be entered as a fixed value or percentage, and is made in relation to the price of the configurable product.
Step 6: Configure the Shopping Cart Thumbnails
1. On the Admin menu, select System > Configuration.
2. In the panel on the left, under Sales, select Checkout.
3. Click to expand the Shopping Cart section. Then, set Configurable Product Image to one of the following:
-Product Thumbnail Itself -Parent Product Thumbnail
4. Click the Save Config button to save the setting.
Things to remember
- A configurable product allows the shopper to select options frop drop-down lists. Each option is actually a seperate, simple product.
- The drop-down list values are based on attributes that must be set in advance with required settings. The attribute Scope must be set to 'Global' and Use to Create configurable product must be 'True'. The drop-down attributes must be included in an attribute set, which is then used as a template for the configurable product.
- The simple products associated with a configurable product cannot include custom variants or options, and must be based on the same attribute set that is used to create the configurable product. The associated products can be generated automatically from inside with configurable product record.
- The thumbnail image in the shopping cart can be set to display the image from the configurable product record, or from the associated product.