What are Product Variants and How Can You Use Them?

Product variants are a powerful way for eCommerce businesses to attract more people to their website. This is because selling more than one variation of the same product will appeal to a wider audience. 

Let’s explore what product variants are, examples of product variants and why they are beneficial in eCommerce. 


What are product variants?

Product variants are a way to provide consumers with multiple purchasing options for a single product. This means that when shopping online, the same product can be available in various sizes, colors, materials, and price points. 

This includes a specific item that is bundled in with related variants to form one distinguishable product. Product variants have unique identifiers, such as price, however, every variant is based on the same product definition.

For example, a retailer that sells New Balance 2002r sneakers may have tens - or even hundreds - of product variants for this one particular sneaker. If sizes range from 5 to 13, including half sizes, and the retailer sells 5 different colorways, the number of product variants quickly add up. 

The following screengrab shows one retailer, Footasylum, with multiple shopping ad listings for the same product due to product variants. 


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Managing inventory and sales for individual products

Product variants allow businesses to determine how many variations of an individual product are available.  Taking the example above, all of the New Balance 2002r variations have their own inventory and sales records, which are managed using product variants.


Products variant examples

Here are some of the more common types of product variant examples that retailers use:

  • Size, a common product variant, which can apply to almost all markets whereby there’s more than one size of a product.
  • Color, another common product variant that can apply to a wide range of products, from clothing to furniture.
  • Material, such as wood, brass, leather, cotton, etc. 
  • Capacity, for example Tupperware containers that are measured in ounces, or mobile phone storage that could be 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.
  • Flavor, this is particularly relevant for the food and beverage sector.
  • Style, for example the cut or fit of a pair of jeans, or the finish of a dining table.
  • Bundles, which could apply when a product is sold individually or as part of a multipack.
  • Customization, which could apply when a product is tailored, such as an engraving.


What product variants can do for you


Adding the barcode of each product using the product variant increases conversion rates.


The public price on every product variant is computed based on the template price. If you want to charge extra for a specific variation of the product (such as a red colored t-shirt) then that can be computed as an option for every variant.


As mentioned before, the product variant is used to manage the inventory. For example, if you are selling t-shirts on your eCommerce website, the inventory managed by the product variant will not display the number of t-shirts that are in stock.

Instead, it will give you numerical data on “T-Shirts, S, Red”, “T-Shirts, M, Blue” and show what is currently available.

Set Availability 

When the availability of each product is clearly visible in your data feed, you do not have to waste precious time and advertising budget on products that are out of stock.

Add Product Type

Adding a product type makes it easier for you to bid separately for each product. You do not have to identify the products with general categories provided by Google Shopping. You can use the categories that are more closely linked to the navigation of your website.


The product variant controls the product picture. Each variation of the product may have its own primary picture. However, this may not be the case if the variations are only based on the size of the product.

For example, the same picture can be used to display a trio of small, medium and large blue t-shirts.

Include Promotions

Adding promotions to your product using product variants is a simple and effective way of drawing attention towards the product.


Why product variants are useful to an eCommerce business

Product variants can make life easier for eCommerce website owners and entrepreneurs. Here are three important examples:

Increased clicks

People looking for a specific item (such as a red t-shirt) may not find your product in the search results unless you use product variants. This allows you to include the specification (the color red in this case) of the product.

Enhanced user experience 

If product variants were not put into effect, then visitors would not be able to click on a product and look through the variants to make a customized purchase.

If visitors are not given the option to choose, then it takes away from the user experience.

Grow sales

By raising visibility, increasing the number of clicks and improving user experience, it’s possible to grow sales. 

For example, if consumers search for a specific size or color and you match that with a product variant, it’ll increase the chances of a purchase.


Simplified bill of material

Product variants make it easier for website operators to define a single, simplified bill of material for a product template that includes slight variations for the variants.


Improved pricing system

As previously mentioned, the default price of a product can be computed based on the price of the product template. Additional prices can be displayed depending on the dimension of the variant.

This prevents the pricing system from becoming complex.

Also, it makes it easier for the operators to maintain prices, as there is no need to set an individual price for every variant.


Streamline product variants with PIM software

A product information management (PIM) tool provides retailers with an effective way to manage product data in the required format across multiple sales channels. 

As an example, PIM software makes it easier for global businesses to sell in multiple countries by tweaking and refining product data for each market, whether it’s currency or language. It ensures large amounts of data remains accurate and of high quality. 

Consider using a PIM platform to improve the management of product variant data. This will help when defining, editing and publishing data because you’ll only need to carry out work once for it to be published across multiple channels, rather than managing sales channels individually.



Product variants are beneficial for simplifying the task of managing an eCommerce website. They are great for increasing the number of clicks to the website, for optimizing user experience and improving conversion rate. This makes eCommerce product variants an effective way to grow online sales.


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About DataFeedWatch

DataFeedWatch by Cart.com is the top-rated global product feed management platform that enables eCommerce brands, retailers, and digital agencies to drive multichannel growth. Merchants on both custom solutions and popular shopping carts, like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento (among others), can choose from 2000+ integrated shopping channels, affiliate networks, and marketplaces in 60 countries (such as Google, Facebook, Criteo, Amazon, and more). Major global brands like adidas, Decathlon, and KENZO have used DataFeedWatch to improve product performance across channels and expand to new markets. Sign up for a free trial today and receive guided onboarding to get started.