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 sister products. They are then uniquely identified by assigning options and option values to each product.
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, the option of "Color" may have option values of "red", "blue" or "white", while the option of "Size" may have option values of "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 within a product group.
Brightpearl product groups can be assigned a maximum of four different options. For example:
The example of jerseys in the image above is a product group with two options, color and size. Each option has several values, giving twelve products total.
Note: If more than four options are required they can be entered into the product name. For example, you could have two separate groups called "women's jersey" and "men's jersey", where each group is then assigned color, size, material and pattern.
Variants can be manually created or imported using a spreadsheet.
When manually creating variants, 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.
How to manually create variants
- Go to Products > New product and create the first product with generic information which will be shared across the variants.
- Save the product and return to the product list. Click Actions > Create variants.
- Select at least one existing option from the list, or click Create new option and enter the name if it doesn't already exist. A total of 4 options can be assigned to a single group.
- Click the Next button to continue.
- Select the option values to assign for each option. If the option value doesn't exist, Create new and enter the name.
- 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.
When importing variants, each different variant must be listed in the file with exactly the same name to 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.
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".
Editing details across variants
Updating data on one variant record in the group will automatically update all other variants in the group.
This applies to the following fields:
(unless specifically choosing to not update the sisters, which will consequently separate the item from the group)
- 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:
- Unit price
- Price list SKU
- Minimum stock level
- Reorder quantity
- Reporting category
- Reporting subcategory
- Reporting season
Deleting or removing a variant from the group
It is possible to remove variants from a product group. This may be necessary if products are being discontinued, for example, and cannot be deleted due to prior inventory movements.
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).
On saving the product record, the product will no longer be a part of the product group, and will exist as its own separate product record.
Learn how to split a large product group into smaller product groups in Brightpearl. This technique can also be used to change an option on an existing product group, such as "size" to "waist size".