Concept - Product Variations 7.9


1 Introduction

Intershop Commerce Management allows to maintain variation products. This is often used for "Size" and "Color" options of one product which apart from this does not differ much. However, any kind of custom attribute can be used as variation attribute.

This concept gives an overview of the ideas and features of variation products.

The target group is mainly the Product Content Editor.

  • The display and filtering of variations relies on the SolR search server.
  • The implementation was optimized and modified for ICM 7.9.3. The basic principles are also valid for earlier versions of 7.9. Details, however, may vary.

1.1 Glossary

NameDescription
Product

An item that is sold in the online shop.

Variation Product

A product that is offered in multiple variants that share most of their attribute values, but differ at some of them.

A variation product describes one specific combination of variation attributes, e.g., T-Shirt, color: blue, size: M.

A variation product can be purchased.

Variation Master

A virtual/abstract grouping of variation products, without variation attribute values, e.g., T-Shirt.

Cannot be purchased, has no own price - but can be used for displaying purposes.

1.2 References

2 Show Product Variations in the Shop

Product variations can be displayed differently in the storefront, depending on the products sold in the shop as well as on the business model (B2C or B2B). This concept presents the most common ways and explains how to make the correct configuration in the Intershop Commerce Management.

2.1 Show Variation Products (Grouped)

If the products differ visually (e.g., different colors) and the number of variations is low, it is recommended to show product variations in the shop.

On family and search pages, the default variation is shown. In case filters in the filter navigation are used, a suitable variation (e.g., of the selected color) is shown.

Clicking on such a product shows the product details page for exactly this product, with the option to switch to the other variations.

This is the default setting of the B2C demo store inTRONICS.
PageDetailsScreenshot

Family Page

(also applies to search results page)

On family and search pages the default variation of a variation master is shown.

Controls (color swatches or drop downs) below the product indicate that this product is also available in different versions. The controls can be used to switch between the different options, without leaving the page.

Family Page - filtered

(also applies to search results page)

If a filter is set, another - better fitting - variation is shown.

This is usually the desired behavior for products with different colors, e.g., clothes.

Product Details Page

Clicking on a product variation on a family or search page leads to the details page for this exact variation.

The controls allow to switch between the different variations.

2.1.1 Configuration

2.1.1.1 Set Channel Preference

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Preferences | Product Variations.

  2. Deselect the checkbox for List View.

  3. Click Apply.

    After changing the preference, it is required to rebuild the search index.

Info

For this configuration it is sufficient to assign the variation master to categories. The product variations are automatically indexed with the master product.

See Index Variation Products and Index Variation Products (Alternative).

2.2 Show Variation Products (Individually)

In some cases it is necessary to list all variation products separately in the shop.

On family and search pages, all variations are shown. In case filters in the filter navigation are used, all suitable variations (e.g., of the selected color) are shown.

Clicking on such a product shows the product details page for exactly this product with the option to switch to the other variations.

PageDetailsScreenshot

Family Page

(also applies to search results page)

On family and search pages, all variations of a variation master are shown.

Controls (color swatches or drop downs) below the product indicate that this product is also available in different versions. The controls can be used to switch between the different options, without leaving the page.

Family Page - filtered

(also applies to search results page)

If filters are set, all matching variations are shown.

Product Details Page

Clicking on a product variation on a family or search page leads to the details page for this exact variation.

The controls allow to switch between the different variations.

2.2.1 Configuration

2.2.1.1 Set Channel Preference

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Preferences | Product Variations.
  2. Deselect the checkbox for List View.
  3. Click Apply.

2.2.1.2 Search Index Configuration

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Mass Data Tasks | Search Indexes | <name-of-the-search-index>.
  2. Change the Data Provider of all affected variation attributes from ProductVariationAV to ProductAV.

2.2.1.3 Exclude Master Products from Search Index

  1. With this configuration, it is recommended to exclude the master from the search index. Otherwise it will be listed as default variation in the search result.  
  2. Go to <Channel Name> | Catalogs | Products.
  3. Open the master product and switch to the tab Attributes.
  4. Add a boolean custom attribute ExcludeFromSearchIndex with the value true to the product.

2.2.1.4 Rebuild Search Index

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Mass Data Tasks | Search Indexes.
  2. Select the search index.
  3. Click Build.

2.3 Show Variation Master

For large numbers of variations (several hundred for one master) and/or multiple variation attributes there is an alternative view. Here the product master is shown on family and search pages.

Clicking on the product leads to a product details page for the master with an advanced filter panel which allows further drill down to identify the desired variation.

This is the default setting of the B2B demo store inTRONICS Business. No Solr version upgrade is necessary.
PageDetailsScreenshot

Family Page

(also applies to search results page)

The master product is shown with

  • Price range (of all variation products) from the cheapest to the most expensive variation and
  • Number of variations,
  • The Add to Cart button is replaced by Choose Variation,
  • No options for Add to Quote Request, Compare and Add to Order Template,
  • No stock information (in the list view)

Family Page - filtered

(also applies to search results page)

When one or multiple filters are set, the master is still shown.

Example: "Color: red" is set, the master shows a black product.

The number of matching variations is displayed under the price range.

Product Details Page - Master

The basic idea is to enable a Product Master Detail Page to work like a Family Page.

The product details page shows information on the master product (name, ID, descriptions etc.). The Quantity field and Add to Cart button are missing as the master itself is not an orderable product.

Below follows a complete list of all variations of this master product with a filter panel and a pagination function.

The view can be switched between "Tile" and "List" view and the sorting order can be changed.

Filters can be used to find the one variation which then can be purchased.

When a filter was set on the family page, it is already set on the variation master page, too (if the filter was intended for a variation attribute).

The variation products can be added to the cart directly from the list, or the product details page can be opened to get more information.

Product Details Page - Variation

Clicking on a product from the variation master page opens a regular product details page for this exact variation.

Switch back to the Product Details Page - Master by using the Choose Another Variation link.

2.3.1 Configuration

2.3.1.1 Set Channel Preference

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Preferences | Product Variations.

  2. Select the checkbox for List View.

  3. Click Apply.

2.3.1.2 Search Index Configuration

  1. The search index is used to show the variation products and allows filtering - so it is necessary to add all variation attributes to the search index.
  2. Go to <Channel Name> | Mass Data Tasks | Search Indexes | <name-of-the-search-index>.
    1. Open the tab Indexed Attributes.
    2. Check if the attribute GroupMasterUUID is listed in indexed attributes. If it is missing, add it.

      If MasterUUID and isMastered are indexed attributes, please remove them.

       

    3. If you are not using GroupMasterUUID, the same behavior can be achieved if you remove GroupMasterUUID and add MasterUUID and isMastered as indexed attributes.

    1. Add all variation attributes as indexed attributes. If they already exist, skip this step. For each variation attribute:
      1. Click New in the Indexed Attributes section.
      2. Fill in the following details:
        • Display Name
        • Attribute ID - make sure that the Attribute ID is the same as used in the custom attributes section of the product details.

        • Data Provider: Product AV
        • Data Type: Multiple String or other Multiple data types. Please make sure that the product attribute matches the corresponding Single data type,
          e.g. Multiple String | String, Multiple Integer" | Integer
          etc.
      3. Click Apply.
      4. Click << Back to List.
    2. Open the tab Filters.
    3. Create filters for each variation attribute. If these filters already exist, skip this step.
      1. Click New Filter.
      2. Fill in the following details:
        • Filter Display Name
        • Attribute ID - select the correct attribute, which was created in the previous step.
      3. Click Apply.
      4. Click << Back to List.

2.3.1.3 Rebuild Search Index

  1. Go to <Channel Name> | Mass Data Tasks | Search Indexes.
  2. Select the search index.
  3. Click Build.

2.3.1.4 CMS Configuration (Optional)

The configuration of the Product Master Detail Page is located in the Product Detail component template (cmp_tmp_productDetail) that can be found in Content | Component Templates. Different product views - List and Tile can be selected and the sorting can be configured as shown in the following picture.

B2BBackoficeConfig2.png

Info

For this configuration it is sufficient to assign the variation master to categories. The category assignments of the master product are indexed by default - so all variation products are found, even if not categorized.

If you want to change this behavior, please see Index Variation Products (Alternative). In this case make sure that the variation products are assigned to the respective categories.

2.3.2 Migration to 7.9 Databases

In order to properly migrate the Product Variations feature from earlier ICM versions to ICM 7.9, the preference to enable/disable the list view for product variations (EnableAdvancedVariationHandling) is needed. A new file migration-to-7.9.0.0.properties  was added in the app_sf_responsive cartridge. After executing the standard command dbmigrate, the preference will be available in the database.

2.3.3 Troubleshooting

If the variation list is not visible on the variation master page:

  • Check whether the preference List View Product Variation is enabled in the channel preferences.
  • Check whether the corresponding channel product search indexes contain the attribute GroupMasterUUID.
  • Build channel product search indexes including the attribute GroupMasterUUID.
  • Check the configuration of the product views in component template Product Detail.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.

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