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I'm trying out Craft Commerce for a jewellery website and I'm stuck between creating different products for each material (silver, gold and platinum) or using variants.

Take rings for example. They're available in all three materials and a number of sizes.

By creating a separate product for each material:

  • Plain band (Silver)
  • Plain band (Gold)
  • Plain band (Platinum)

this gives me the advantage of a unique URL for each colour, and I only have to manage one variant (the size) for each product.

It would also make it easier to implement an "Also available in" where the site admin can link to the other colour products in a relationship field (as I understand it it's not possible to link to variants yet).

Am I missing an advantage of having only one product (Plain band) and variants for both the colour and the size?

Thanks in advance,

Tom

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Really it largely comes down to data/content concerns. E.g. using one product allows you to keep all the data that is shared by those products together, and is very DRY...and changes (be it to content, pricing, shipping etc) - only need to me made in one place, versus say 3 in your example.

But the lack of linking to variants is a definite disadvantage (one expects that will come in due course, but for now..)

If the cost of the gain (one place to edit) is too high, or there isn't much data to worry about, then by all means use 3 products and one level of variants. It's precisely this flexibility that makes Commerce so....flexible! (And useful :) )

There's no real right or wrong, and it would be easy to test both approaches - and even put them in front of the final editors for their view.

  • Hi Jeremy. Thanks for your feedback. I was actually having a nose around your website and noticed you used both options depending on the product (paper vs. Wacom tablets for example). I guess I'll have to give it some more though and try both ways as you suggest. Thanks for your help! – Tom Feb 15 '17 at 15:13
  • Good answer. Yeh it really depends on how you intend to setup the UI as well. As a user, I'm going to want to be able to compare the different variants of similar products. Whether that means multiple products or variants, I don't care. There's not an ideal way to link to different variants but this problem isn't unique to Craft Commerce, Magento and WooCommerce also require some trickery to make the link work (eg hashes or query strings, etc.) – RitterKnight Feb 15 '17 at 19:22

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