Variants are products which have different attributes or options to choose from, such as size, color, material, length or pattern.

In Brightpearl, variants are managed in product groups. Each variant in a product group is connected by having the same name as its sisters; they are then uniquely identified by assigning options and option values.

gillet product group

An option is the type of attribute a product has, for example, color or size. These are managed in Brightpearl at Settings > Products / Inventory > Options .

An option value is the actual attribute detail, for example, for the option of "Color" the option values might be "red", "blue" or "white"; for the option of "Size" the option values might be "small", "medium" or "large". Option values are managed in Brightpearl at Settings > Products / Inventory > Option Values .

Products which have been assigned options and option values are variants.

Creating variants

Variants can be manually created or imported using a spreadsheet.

When manually creating variants only a single generic product is created, against which options and option values are then assigned. Assigning options and option values will automatically clone the generic product and create a separate product record for each different combination of the option values.

When importing variants, each different variant must be listed in the file with exactly the same name. Having the same name will ensure the items are grouped as sisters. In order to assign option values to the products, the options must be included as columns. Options must pre-exist in Brightpearl at  Settings > Products / Inventory > Options  before they can be added to import data maps, but new option values can be created as part of the import by selecting the relevant checkbox at the point of import.

How to create variants

  1. First of all, create a single generic product at Products > New product .
  2. Once the product is saved it is displayed on the product list. Click the Create variants link below the name, or by clicking the Actions button.
    create variant
  3. Any existing options will then be listed. Select which options apply to this group of products (maximum of 4). If a new option is needed, click the Create new option link and enter the name.
    add options
    Note:  If product types are being used for grouping options then only the options assigned to the product type used will be available. Product types can be edited at Setup > Products/Inventory > Product Types.
  4. Click the Next button to continue.
  5. The option values available for the selected options are listed. Select the ones which apply to the product group. If a new option value is needed, click the  Create new link and enter the name.
    add option value
    Note: The order option values are listed can be changed at  Setup > Products/Inventory > Options Values .
  6. Click the Next button to continue.
  7. The variant grid is displayed confirming that new products have been created. Each check mark indicates a product with that combination of option values exists. Use the various tabs to enter variant specific details such as SKUs, price list SKUs, prices, barcodes.
    Recommended: Check "Use grid format when adding any item in this group to orders".
    Note: Set the order of row and columns by sequencing option values at Setup > Products/Inventory > Option values .
    new variants

Note that it is possible to delete products from the group whilst there are no related financial transactions or orders. If a variation does not exist in a group it is seen as a checkbox.

These checkboxes can be used in order to create the product.

missing variants


Brightpearl products can be assigned a maximum of four different options, for example, color, size, material and pattern.

If additional options are required, they can be entered into the product name, for example, "women's jersey" and "men's jersey", where each are then assigned color, size, material and pattern.

Managing variants

Product groups allow variants to be easily managed. Updating data on one variant record in the group will automatically update all other variants in the group. This applies to the following fields:

  • Name (unless specifically choosing to not update the sisters, which will consequently separate the item from the group)
  • Brand
  • Category
  • Collection
  • Short description
  • Long description
  • Custom fields

edit sisters

Other details can be set per product, for example, SKUs will need to be unique per item. All the following details can be added and edited across the group using the variant management screen:

  • SKU
  • Unit price
  • Price list SKU
  • Barcode
  • Minimum stock level
  • Reorder quantity

variant screen

“Use grid format when adding any item in this group to orders”

Select this checkbox to use the grid format when creating orders or viewing product stock level details. This will allow you to quickly see which Variants are available and offer your customer another Variant should the one they want not be in stock.

If needed, you can update your variants in bulk to enable them to use this setting via the Product list:

grid entry bulk

How to change options on variants

When swapping and changing options there must be at least the same number of products in the end as there were to begin.

The only way to reduce the size of a product group is to delete product records. Deleting products can be done from the product list but only when there are no financial transactions or orders associated with the product.

Before editing product groups and variants...

Prior to making any changes, such as removing or changing options, we recommend exporting a list of the products with SKUs and their assigned option values. Part of the process of removing or changing options will require all option values to be manually re-assigned to the relevant SKUs. The "before" list will be useful, if not essential, to identifying which option values relate to each SKU.

When working with large product groups we recommend managing changes to options using the product import, watch the video here .

  1. Go to Products > List products / services .
  2. Use the filters to find the variants to be updated. Before changing the group, export the items to keep a record of which SKU currently has each option value.
  3. Click the Actions button and select Edit Variants .

edit variants

  1. The product group is displayed. Click the Remove link beside the relevant option.
  2. Click OK to accept the warning.
  3. The option and all the option values will be removed. All remaining variants will say "No product exists". Each of the remaining option values must be reassigned to the products which are now listed below the variant table. Using the product export from earlier, select the correct option value for each product and then click the  Assign options  button to update.
<p)remove option

reassign options

  1. Notice that there are still the same number of products in the group. Removing options will not delete the products. But there are now no option values that can be assigned. There are several options:
    Delete the products - These products can only be deleted from the product list if they have no financial transactions or orders associated with them.
    Break the products away from the group - This can be done by changing the product name on those records. Ensure that when changing the names that the checkbox below the name is selected. If this is not selected then the name across the whole group will be changed.

dont update sisters

- Assign new option or option values - When viewing the product group it is possible to add new option values or new options

add option values

How to change the order of option values

  1. Go to Setup > Products/Inventory > Option values .
  2. Drag and drop each option value into the desired order. Ensure that the save message is displayed before moving the next item.
    sort option values

How to change rows and columns of options on variants

It is not possible to change the rows and columns on product groups of variants. However, it is possible to assign options one at a time in order to define which is displayed on the rows and which becomes columns.

When creating the variants add only one option and the relevant option values to begin with. Then add the next option and the option values...and so on. If using an import this must be done over several imports.

The first option assigned to a product becomes the rows.

The second option assigned to the group becomes the columns.

The third option assigned to the group becomes the second level rows.

The fourth option assigned to the group becomes the second level columns.
add in order

Variants on orders

Activating the grid format for a product group will make batch adding variants on to orders easier to handle:

grid entry variant

Options and option values are displayed below the product name on order lines:

variant on PO

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