A Parent Product facilitates the organisation and structure of similar product versions together.
In some cases, you will have multiple versions of the same product in your product catalogue, e.g. a dress that is available in 5 different sizes. Even though the dress comes in 5 different sizes, it is essentially the same product. Each version of the dress will have its own unique product code and entry in the product database.
So rather than leaving the product versions standalone which would mean having to upload an individual product image and product descriptions for each one, you can group the product versions together under one product name (i.e. a parent product).
From your customers perspective, they will look at the product on the website, see that it comes in different sizes. They will then choose the version that they would like to purchase:
When should you use versions?
Using versions is not always a good way to merchandise your products so you should consider carefully what products on your website versions will work for.
Versions may be a good option if you have a lot versions of the same product eg 25 shades of a foundation. These can crowd a product list page. Fashion websites should use versions for sizes as they will have products with many different sizes and they will pollute the website if they gave each size their own product
If you only have two or three versions of a product it may be better to leave these a standalone products
- Version information often is not as searchable as product information.
- Versions don’t have the same flexibility for promotions as you would have on a product – ie promotions from the PROMOTIONS or PROMOTIONS CODE (under MARKETING ) can only be applied at a product level not a version level.
- So if you had a paint products with a version "1L Size" and a version "5L Size", you would not be able to add a promotion under MARKETING on just the "5L size". So for example you would not be able to put a "20% off all 5L paint of brand X" promotion or could not put a "3 for 2 on all Large paint of brand X" promotion using promotions/promotion codes in marketing.
- You could still use a promotion price or promotion percentage discount on a particular version. Note this may be tied to your epos system. These updates would be done one version at a time or using a bulk upload of a list of version (if not tied to the epos system).
- Lots of versions can make your catalogue look smaller. This may be more relevant to new online retailers as it takes time to grow your catalogue.
Best Practice for Colours
When you have products with different colours, you can either group them into one product – or have each colour as it’s own product. Often retailers don't use versions for colours - having each colour as a separate product can give the better visibility to the colour on the website. Remember you can use related products to show alternative colours of a product on a product page.