This guide will walk you through the process of creating product options and how to apply them to your products.

Product options are unique identifiers that are used on all of your sales channels to define the difference between your products. They are used to create drop-downs and swatches, which allow customers to select different variations of your products, and define where in a webstore's navigation your product should display.

A product option is comprised of the option itself and a collection of values associated with that option. For example, if "Colour" was your product option, some of the values included could be red, blue and green etc. If "Size" was the product option, values might include small, medium, large or S, M and L etc.

There is no magic formula to suggest what product options and option values your products need as they are all so different. Instead, look to the product itself to inform you. If you have a range of products, ask yourself, what are the differences between each variation? In most cases it is those little differences that are exactly what you want as product options.

You can also watch our short video on Product Options to help you understand them a little more before you start working with them:

Contents:

  1. Admin Centre

  2. Product Ranges

  3. Product Exports

  4. Prepare Spreadsheet

  5. Product Option Headers Explained

  6. Product Option Values

  7. Drop Downs & Filters

  8. WooCommerce & Shopify Categories

  9. Save & Return To Cloud Commerce Pro

  10. Product Imports

  11. Import Steps

  12. Add To Sales Channel

1. Admin Centre

To get started we will need to generate an export of your products.

Click the "Products" button to continue.

2. Product Ranges

From the Product Ranges screen, click the "Exports" button.

3. Product Exports

Press the "Export Products" button to produce a fresh export of your products. Even if you only intend to work on a select few products, it is best to create a fresh export to ensure you are working with the most up to date information.

Once you products have exported, they will show at the top of the list under the Product Exports header.

Hover your mouse over the "Actions" menu for that export and click the "Download Spreadsheet" button from the context menu.

You will be prompted to save your new spreadsheet on your device. Save it somewhere easy to find and feel free to rename it to something more memorable.

After saving, open your spreadsheet export in your preferred editor such as Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc or Google Sheets.

4. Prepare Spreadsheet

Since your new spreadsheet contains every product in your inventory, you may want to copy the ones you wish to edit over to a new spreadsheet to ensure you only make changes where needed.

Click the number "1" to select all columns in the first row and hit CTRL+C to copy all of your headers. On a blank spreadsheet, press CTRL+P to paste your headers there.

Repeat that process with any product ranges you want to work on.

5. Product Option Headers Explained

If you scroll right on your spreadsheet, eventually you will come to a section of product options.

The order of these columns doesn't matter, so if you need to add new ones, feel free to insert them anywhere, as long as they are with the other OPT's.

On an export, product options always start with "OPT_". So for example, if you needed a product option for colour, you would type the header OPT_Colour with no spaces and it is case sensitive.

Think carefully when naming your options to ensure you don't have up with duplicates or multiple options with spelling variants. Don't make the mistake of having a product option for "Colour" and "Color" as they gets incredibly messy and makes things confusing further down the line.

Product options must always have a unique name. Duplicate options can cause errors and prevent products feeding out to your channels. If you want to ensure a product option doesn't already exist, simply press CTRL+F and search for the name on your spreadsheet.

Aside from these considerations, a product option can be anything you want.

Pay special attention to OPT_Category_MST as this is your master category and is required by all products in order to display correctly in CCP. The master category is usually a very general representation of what the product is.

6. Product Option Values

For each product add values to be included as part of your product option. These are the individual attributes of this option. For example, if your option is "Colour", then your values would be things like red, blue and yellow.

As with naming your option, try to be logical when naming your values. Try to avoid creating duplicates that are too similar. For example, if "Size" is your option, decide beforehand if you want the values to display as small, medium and large or S, M, L. Adding both only makes things more confusing further along.

7. Drop Downs & Filters

You can choose to make any of your product options drop-downs and / or filters for your webstores. For example, imagine a range of t-shirts with a smiley face design. The design comes in a range of sizes and colours which the customer will need to select when purchasing. So you would make size and colour drop-down's.

To make a product option a drop-down, add _DRD at the end of the header. For example:

OPT_Colour_DRD

Similarly, to make a product option a filterable, add _FLT. For example:

OPT_Size_FLT

A product option can be both of these at the same time:

OPT_Gender_DRD_FLT

Be sparing with your use of drop-downs as too many on a single product range can make it confusing for the customer. One or two will usually suffice.

You can be quite liberal when adding options as filters as it's great to have a lot of information for customers to filter on.

8. WooCommerce & Shopify Categories

Webstores like WooCommerce and Shopify require the creation of some special options that are used to control where in your stores navigation your product will display. Failure to include these will result in your product showing as listed, but it won't appear in any of your menus for the customer to find.

Much like normal product options, it's not possible to say exactly what these should be named as it will depend on how your webstore is configured.

Each category of website navigation on your webstore will require an option with the names of the categories as the values for each layer of navigation.

For WooCommerce your navigation options must be created exactly as "OPT_WooCategory1", "OPT_WooCategory2", "OPT_WooCategory3" etc with no spaces and case sensitive.

Shopify options are very similar. These should be "OPT_ShopifyCategory1", "OPT_ShopifyCategory2", "OPT_ShopifyCategory3" etc.

Add values to your category options in the same way as you did with normal options. For example, imagine a website that sells clothing. If the top level of navigation is "Mens", "Womens" and "Juniors", then this is exactly what you add as your values for your WooCategory1 or ShopifyCategory1. Carry on like this until you have all levels of your navigation covered.

9. Save & Return To Cloud Commerce Pro

Save your spreadsheet in .xlsx format which is required by the system for imports. Once done, head back over to Cloud Commerce Pro and the "Product Ranges" screen from earlier.

Click the "Imports" button.

10. Product Imports

First we need to upload the new spreadsheet so it can be used for importing. Click "Upload Spreadsheet" and navigate to where you saved it on your device.

Once uploaded it will appear in the list of "Available items already uploaded". The most recent spreadsheet will appear at the top.

Check the box under "Use" to signify you want to use this particular spreadsheet for the upload process.

11. Import Steps

With your spreadsheet selected you can start to run the import steps one by one in sequential order. Each step has it's own button to begin that part of the import process. Details of the import will show while it's running.

Once complete, any errors will be displayed, usually with product SKU's which allow you to return to your spreadsheet to correct them before attempting the import once more.

Run through steps 1 to 6a to import your product option information.

12. Add To Sales Channel

At this point, you have successfully imported your product options into Cloud Commerce Pro. However, you are not likely to want to leave things there, as you will want them on your various sales channels.

With your spreadsheet selected, head to "Step 13" and click the "Add To Channel" button.

A small window will appear allowing you to push your new products to any of your sales channels, one at a time. Click "Use" next to the sales channel you wish to push out to.

Depending on the data queue at the time and the volume of products you are working with, pushing products to sales channels can take quite a bit of time, so remember to have patience.

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