Introduction to Variations
Want to know how to track minor differences in products like sizes and colours without creating a whole lot of products? The answer is variations! Craftybase supports manual creation and importing from several different sales channel sources, we explain how all works in this tutorial.
Once you've completed this tutorial, you'll be able to:
✔ Know what a variation is and how it can be used
✔ Create a new variation for a product
✔ Configure attributes for a variation
✔ Assign your variations to orders, manufactures and adjustments
This tutorial should take approximately 35 mins to complete.
What are Variations?
A Variation is a way of tracking small differences of a product, such as size or color. Variations are created from combinations of Variation Attributes and can be either manually created or imported automatically from a connected sales channel. Variations can optionally be linked to Manufactures and Order Line Items. In this way, you can track exactly how many you made and sold of each Variation.
As a basic rule of thumb, variations are best used for products where the materials used to manufacture all variants are mostly the same. This isn't a hard rule, but it does make creating your individual variation recipes much faster as you'll only need to adjust a couple of materials rather than create new recipes from scratch.
I make bars of soap in a range of different scents (Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood, Vanilla and Rose). As my recipe for each is the same apart from some minor differences to the fragrance and colours, this product is an ideal candidate for variations.
To begin this tutorial, we'll assume that we already have a product created called "Soap Bar" and this recipe already has a configured recipe. We are now ready to create some variations for this product, so we'll start over on the Variations page for the product. You can get to this page by clicking on the Variations tab on the product's detail page.
Once on the Variations page for the product, you should see a help section explaining a little about how variations work. You'll find the button in this area and also in the top right hand corner of the page. Clicking this button will take you to the Add Variation form.
The Add Variation Form
This form allows you to configure a new unique combination of attributes and set a default sales price for the variation. As we haven't yet created any attributes, under the area we should see a link called . Click this link and a dialog box will appear.
I decide to call my Attribute "Fragrance" and then add the 5 different fragrances for this soap (Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood, Vanilla and Rose) as Values.
Clicking the Save button then returns me to the Add Variation form.
So, we will now create the first variation for the attributes we have created. We'll choose the Lavender attribute and enter 7.50 as the default sales price. Click the Save button and you'll then be returned to the Variations page we were on at the start of the tutorial. This time, the list should now be showing the newly added Lavender variation.
From here, we are going to create the recipe for this variation - this is the exact material list that you use to create this variation.
This is an optional step but is recommended: if you don't create a recipe, Craftybase will use the product's one as the default and you'll need to adjust this recipe each time you create a manufacture.
To add the recipe, click on the variation's name Fragrance: Lavender and then on the detail page that appears, click on the Create Recipe button.
You'll notice that the recipe for the product appears here by default, so you won't need to re-add common materials between variations. As we make our Lavender variation, we will add two new materials: "Lavender Oil" and "Ultramarine Violet Colour" to the recipe.
It is a good idea to create the product's recipe to list any common materials before creating your variation recipes - this way; you won't need to re-add the common materials between variations each time.
Save the Recipe, and you'll be taken to your variation detail page. You'll see that the variation detail page is much like the product detail page - it contains the same tabs to allow you to see your sales, manufactures and make adjustments.
You can also see the variation's batch recipe and calculated manufacture costs, along with the pricing guidance for your variation.
This variation can now be assigned to order line items - you'll notice next time you add a new order for the product that the variations section will now display dropdown selection lists for each of the attributes that you have created.
Manufactures can now also be created for the specific variation. The variation will display its specific recipe if one exists.
Inventory adjustments can also be added at the variation level in the same way as orders and manufactures.
You can also allow Craftybase to create new variations automatically for any variations that don't yet exist: for both the manufacture and order form, selecting a combination of attributes that are not configured as a variation will automatically create a new variation for you - this can be a more time efficient way of creating your variations as you'll be creating them as you make or sell them rather than all in one go. One disadvantage of this approach is that you won't be able to configure a recipe at the same time, so you'll still need to add this manually at a later stage.
I haven't yet created my "Orange" variation but can still select this attribute from my manufacture form. Selecting this attribute will automatically create the Orange variation for me, however it will not create the recipe and I'll need to create a custom material list for the manufacture instead to add the "Orange Oil" and "Orange Colour" variation specific materials. To permanently save the Orange variation recipe, I'll need to now go to my newly automatically created "Orange" variation and add a recipe containing the two materials manually.
The way variations are used can differ between product to product. You may find that some of your products use more attributes than this, and others that may not need variations at all - it is best to assess your products individually to see if they benefit from being structured as variations rather than applying the same structure to all.
Have some questions?
If you have any additional questions, please get in touch and we'll be happy to give you a hand.