If you sell products in your webshop which are available in different varieties (e.g. color or size …) the best way to handle such varieties is with parent and sub products. So that you do not have to list every variety with a particular product in your webshop. Parent / sub products are much more flexible than standard PepperShop variants. Each variant has its own stock, optionally a picture, including multilingual components such as name and description. Since the subarticles are linked to the parent article during import via the article number, externally connected ERP systems can also deliver variants to the shop.
The so-called parent article contains detailed article information (picture, description, price, link to further information, base name, …). This virtual product cannot be purchased by itself. The parent article is now assigned the purchasable variants in the form of sub products. These require at least a name describing the variant, an article number and a price. Of course you can assign everything that a product has in the PepperShop itself (weight, stock, picture, …). A parent / sub product therefore always consists of one parent product and several sub products.
The administration of parent/sub products can be done via the web based article processing mask or the bulk management.
The following conditions must be met in order to work correctly in your PepperShop with parent/sub products:
- Article display: The two-level article display must be activated via Shop Administration → Layout Settings → Layout Management → Article (configured by default).
- In the menu Shop administration → General shop settings → Edit product the setting Parent and sub product must be switched on and saved:
- The sub products must be in one (or more) invisible category(s) so that they are not offered for sale individually. This is always done automatically by the system when working with web-based shop administration.
- All products used must have their own article number (both parent and sub products).
After the configuration of the shop has been adapted or verified as described, you can simply call up the product editing mask: Shop-Administration → Product → Add new product. The main product is also the parent product. From above we define the article number, the (basic) name and the description. At the price we write -1. If the weight is 0, a table with the title Variations (Subarticles) is displayed below. Here we define our characteristics (name, article number, price and weight). If you click on the plus symbol on the left side you can enter further information.
Now click on Next, assign the parent article to a category and finally select a picture for the main product. Our first parent/sub product is already finished and can be bought.
Differences between parent and subarticles:
|Description||yes||version 2.6 offers…||no|
|UTIL.||Example / Default value||UTIL.||Example|
|Short description||yes||New PepperShop.||no|
|Price||no||-1 (important, must be -1!)||yes||449.00|
|Weight||no||0 (important, must be 0!)||yes||2|
Composition of parent and sub products
The connection (togetherness) is controlled by an article number. The parent product initiates the article group. Its product number must be linked as parent number for each sub product. This can be done in the shop administration e.g. via bulk management (first menu item), or it is done fully automatically via the article processing mask.
Alternatively, the parent / sub products links can also be defined via product import or caller. To do this, you first export your existing article data and, in addition to the exportable mandatory fields (product) name, product number, category ID), also select the parent number and parent group displayed below for selection. The parent group is optional and does not have to be specified.
Let’s take a look at this simple example in the shop (further views, see chapter 5): In the two-stage product display, the customer first sees an overview of all products of a category. Here the cheapest price is searched (cheapest variant) and it is written before from:
The product detail view can display the varieties of the product either as a list (all details of the sub products can be seen at a glance, e.g. stock info) or as a drop-down selection, which replaces all relevant data when selecting a variant (picture, price, stock info, …):
Group sub products
The sub products can either be presented one below the other (e.g. red, green, blue, yellow, ..) or they can be displayed in groups. For each subarticle, you must define the name of its group, e.g. (red + 50g, red + 100g, green + 50g, green + 100g, blue + 50g, blue + 100g, yellow + 50g, yellow + 100g). A grouping field is used for this purpose. In the product editing mask this is ‘Sub product Group’, in the import/export tool Parent Group.
For subarticle selection display via dropdowns, we recommend the setting grouped dropdown
Parent/sub products with option articles (options to the variants)
This subchapter describes the composition of a more complex article, which has several characteristics (variants) and also allows the selection of optional additional articles when “adding to shopping cart”.
Example display of an product ‘Adhesive’ (multi-component adhesive)Figure 1: Example display article: description, variants and options
A composite product consists of several components:
- Parent product: Contains image(s), name, description. Parent products are not purchasable, have no price and no weight.
- Subarticle (1..n): Characteristics / variants of the article. These can be purchased, have an item number, a name (suffix), a price, stock level and weight.
- Options (grouped): Linked option items.
Create new products
New products should be created via “cloning”. An existing parent/sub product is copied and created as a new product, which is usually much faster than entering all (similar) variants anew):
- Shop administrastion
- Edit product
- newly assigned
- Parent product no.
- Description and short description
- Variations / sub products (all values, especially article no.)
- Click on button ‘Save as new’ (IMPORTANT!)
- Adjust category assignment, if necessary
- Image assignment (first image only, parent product)
Step two (if necessary):
- Optionally add more images to the parent product (edit product → more → more images)
- Optionally adjust images of sub products (edit products → + button → new image button)
- Adjust / change linked option products:
- Enter new option products first
- Update assignments: Shop Administration → Bulk management → Option products
Adapt existing article
The adaptation of an existing article is also carried out via the article processing mask:
Shop Administration → Edit product → Select Parent product
- Here you can adjust the details of the product (name, product no., descriptions).
- Further down in the same mask are the data of the linked and purchasable sub products.
- If you click on the ‘Next’ button, the category assignment can be adjusted
- Again ‘Next’ takes you to the parent product image assignment.
- The linked options (option articles) are assigned separately via the article editing mask: Shop administration → Bulk management → Option product → Select Parent product
Options article editing
The option products are linked standard products. The link is based on one assignment per product. The grouping, on the other hand, is stored for the linked item itself, which means that a product can only ever be in one option product group.
The basis of the display used here (see figure) is the following configuration of the shop:
Shop Administration’ → ‘Shop Settings’ → ‘General SettingsFigure 2: Configuration: Display sub products as dropdowns within the parent, option product as checkboxes
The display control is located in Shop administration → Shop settings →’General settings → Edit product. See there various configurations (e.g. display type/position).
This is what the list setting looks like:
Now follows another example with the view of a parent/sub product with grouped sub products:
In the list display, you benefit above all from the tabular overview. All sub products with details are displayed at the same time.
The sub product selection display via dropdown(s) is recommended with the dynamically adjusted display. After selecting a sub product, the image and all relevant data (price, availability, …) change automatically. Info: The dropdown titles can be adjusted via
…and what it looks like when you put a (sub-)article in the shopping cart:
Linking of products in the shop administration
Assemble articles in the products processing mask (assemble parent and sub products in a mask and edit them again later): Shop Administration > Products > Add new product
Example with two groups
It often happens that you have not only one group of variants, but two of them - e.g. color and size. To ensure that these two characteristic types of the article are grouped together, you use the characteristic with fewer variants as the so-called sub product group and the second characteristic as sub product. Here you can see an example mask with the entry of the following structure:
With the display control grouped dropdown, the shop even displays the two selection dropdowns logically separated, so that the customer chooses the group variant in each case, although a sub product is referenced only by the selection in both dropdowns.
Link product manually
Basically one proceeds in two steps:
- First create the parent product. For this parent product you have to assign a product number and leave the field ‘Parent-No.’ empty. The parent product is basically a normal product with name, image, description and with price -1, stock 0 and without variants, options, additional texts.
a) After the parent product has been created, the characteristics of this product are added. These are the sub products. A sub product is a normal PepperShop product, which only has a name, but no description and no short description. It is also important that this article is given a corresponding price and if necessary a stock. Variants, options and additional text fields are not allowed.
b) This product is now assigned the parent product. This is done conveniently via the corresponding field in the Edit product mask.
c) Now this product is assigned to an invisible category, this is very important, because otherwise the sub product would be presented to the customer individually!
After all sub products have been entered, the parent sub products construct is finished and the customer can now buy the corresponding variant of the products in the shop.
The bulk management ist accessible via the main menu Products > Bulk management. As soon as parent and sub products have been activated in the shop, the standard processing menu of the bulk management is adapted accordingly:
By clicking on the Name / Parent / … button and after selecting a category, you will now find the possibility to link the parent product number for each sub product. This can either be done quickly via Copy+Paste for multiple products or conveniently via the GUI.
Example application of grouped parent / sub products for textiles
When you sell textiles, you basically have several characteristics of a product in color and size. These are strongly linked to each other, since the customer’s selection process in the shop can only select the size and color (or the other way around) one after the other. The shop must ensure that it encounters an existing combination. This is possible in the PepperShop if you configure the shop as follows (Shop settings → General settings → Edit products: Dropdown grouped + display position within…):
If now the sub products are seized, one must make appropriate data there, here a multilingual example of an entry mask (excerpt sub products:
It is highly recommended to assign own images to the sub products, where you can see the color immediately. The shop then immediately reloads the image when the colour changes.
Example display provided by customer: