One of the things we love about our job is that we get in touch with different sectors and companies.
With every new client, we are challenged to present their product or service in the best way possible on the webshop we build for them.
Product management is a very important part of creating a webshop. It has an influence on the time spent on maintenance and/or the extent to which information can be exchanged with an ERP system. Besides, the costs of a webshop often largely depend on it. In this article, we’ll talk about product management and the possibilities of Magento.
Attributes & attribute sets
An attribute is a characteristic of a product. A product can, for instance, have a specific color (red, black, purple) or size (xs, s, m, l). These two examples are frequent options between which a client can choose from when ordering a product (ex. clothes).
Apart from the attributes mentioned above, you can assign other characteristics to a product, such as brand, weight, format, etc. These characteristics aren’t usually used for a client to choose from. Why not? They are attributes of a product of which variation is not really possible when ordering.
An attribute set in Magento is a collection of attributes.
You could by example make an attribute set for ‘trousers’ in Magento. Next, you could add the attributes size, color, and material to the set. In this way, when adding a product, you have to choose between the attribute sets you created to make sure you only use attributes that are truly relevant for that specific product. This also prevents the visitors from being bothered with unnecessary attributes on the product page.
The attributes in Magento can be used for a lot of purposes when applied correctly:
- Configurable products
- Filters (layered navigation)
- Product specifications
- Product comparison
- Prize rules
- Landing pages
Magento offers many product types. Product types are a great way to configure your product or service in a flexible way. And what’s more, a webshop can perfectly contain a combination of these types. Let’s summarise them:
- Simple Product
- Virtual Product
- Downloadable Product
- Grouped Product
- Configurable Product
- Bundled Product
This is the standard type and the most simple one to set up. It is perfect for all sorts of products but is limited to alternatives or variations of products. ‘Color’ could be an example of an option of a simple product.
You should know that only one product number can be connected to simple products. It is in other words impossible to track the stock through the options. But that’s not a problem since the other product types are perfectly capable of doing that.
This is a product without stock or shipping. It is usually used for subscriptions or services.
This product can be downloaded. An example of a downloadable product is a gift voucher or an entrance ticket.
If you want to sell a product that consists of a collection of products that can be ordered separately, you can implement them as a Grouped Product. A grouped product is in fact not a real product in the common sense of the word. The client buys and pays the associated simple products, presented as a grouped product. We could say that a grouped product is sort of an information page of a collection of products.
Use configurable products if you want to sell a product that can be ordered in different variations. When adding an attribute, make sure you indicate that you want to use the attribute to create configurable products. For instance, if you sell trousers in two colors and three sizes, you should make six variations (simple products) to add to one configurable product. All six variations have their own SKU and make it possible for the client to choose between colors and sizes.
This product type consists of different elements. A nice example of a bundle is a complete computer. When choosing a computer, you can specify how much memory you want, which keyboard you’d like and which monitor should be included in the computer.
Before requesting a quote, it helps if you ask yourself the following questions:
- What products do I want to present and how?
- Which characteristics can I attribute to my products?
- Which characteristics can I use as a filter for a category page?
- Which attribute sets should I make?
We sometimes get the question to estimate the costs of a webshop while the client is not yet sure of which products he wants to sell, how many products he wants in his webshop and in which way he’d like to present them to the visitors. It is difficult for us to give an answer to them.
Well-considered product management requires time, during the building process as well as during the maintenance of the webshop. But believe us, you will be rewarded by your visitors if you invested enough time in your management. Search engines also love structure, so they will also reward yours for that.