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

Options and option values

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.

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.

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. Go to Products > New product and create the first product with generic information which will be shared across the variants.
  2. Save the product and return to the product list. Click Actions > Create variants.
    create variant
  3. Select an existing option(s) from the list, click Create new option and enter the name if it hasn't already been generated. A total of 4 options can be assigned to a single group.

    add options
  4. Click the Next button to continue.
  5. Select the option values to assign for each option, click Create new and enter the name if the option value hasn't already been generated.

    add option value
  6. Click the Next button to continue. Continuing will automatically clone the original product and assign the option value combinations. The grid displays the option value combinations now available. Use the tabs to complete product specific details for the group.

    new variants 

Product types


If you have lots of options, some of which are not relevant to all products, then it might be useful to create product types. For example "waist size" is not needed on products of type "shoe". You'd create a product type for "trousers" which has options of "waist size" and "leg length".

Read more about product types in this help center article

Displaying variants - grid format, moving columns and rows

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

grid entry variant

“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

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.

How to change the order of option values

  1. Go to Settings > 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

  1. Go to Products >List products and search for one of the SKUs in the group.
  2. Click Actions > Edit variants.
  3. In the variant management screen click Amend grid layout.
  4. Drag and drop the options into the desired position.


  5. Submit the changes and then save the variants.

Editing variants details

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

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

Deleting or removing a variant from the group

It is possible to delete products from the group whilst there are no related financial transactions or orders. Delete the product from the product list.

A product can be broken away from the group by changing the product name on the individual product record. When doing this, the Update item without updating the other sisters checkbox must be selected (shown only after editing the product name).

dont update sisters 

Expanding a product group

If a variation does not exist in a group it is seen as a checkbox on the variant management screen. These checkboxes can be used to create new products in a group.

missing variants

New option values can be added to a group by using the add options against the rows and columns.

New options can be added to the group using the choices at the bottom of the variant management screen.

Changing options on a group

Before editing product groups and variants export a detailed list of the items and the inventory levels - part of the process of removing or changing options will require all option values to be manually re-assigned to the relevant SKUs.

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

How to change options

  1. Go to Products > List products / services.
  2. Search for the products. Take an export of the product details and associated inventory levels.
  3. Click the Actions button and select Edit Variants.

    edit variants

  4. The product group is displayed. Click the Remove link beside the relevant option.
  5. Click OK to accept the warning.
  6. 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.

    remove option

    reassign options

  7. 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.

    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

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