Variable Products

Variable products are a product type in OnShop that lets you offer a set of variations on a product, with control over prices, stock, image and more for each variation. They can be used for a product like a shirt, where you can offer a large, medium and small and in different colours.

Adding a Variable Product

Step 1

Set the product type. To add a variable product, create a new product or edit an existing one.

  1. Go to: Products.
  2. Select the Add Product button or Edit an existing product. The Product Data displays.
  3. Select Variable product from the Product Data dropdown.

Variable Products

Step 2

Add attributes to use for variations. In the Attributes section, add attributes before creating variations — use global attributes that are shop wide or define custom ones specific to a product.

Global Attributes

Global Attributes can be applied to all products in your store and are best created first, go to the Categories & Attributes guide and scroll down to Attributes for more information.

To use a global attribute:

  1. Select one from the dropdown and Add.
  2. Choose Select all to add all attributes to the variable product (if applicable).
  3. Tick the Used for variations checkbox to tell OnShop it’s for your variations.
  4. Click Save Attributes.

Attribute Names

Attribute Groups

Adding Custom Attributes

Custom Attributes can be applied to specific products that are unique or there are few of in your store that don’t require Global attributes to be set.

1. Select Custom product attribute, and Add.

Custom Attributes

2. Name the attribute (e.g. Size),
3. Set values separated by a vertical pipe (e.g., small | medium | large)
4. Enable the Used for variations checkbox.


5. Save attributes.

Adding Variations

To add a variation, go to Variations section in the Product Data meta box.
Manually Adding a Variation

1. Select Add variation from the dropdown menu, and click Go

Adding Variations

2. Select attributes for your variation. To change additional data, click the triangle icon to expand the variation.

Selecting Attributes

3. Edit any available data. The only required field is Regular Price.
4. Save Changes.

Editing Many Variations

If you have more than 10 variations, use the buttons to navigate forward and backward through the list. Each time you navigate to a new set of variations, the previous set are saved. This ensures that all data is saved.

Editing Multiple Variations

Setting Defaults

We recommend setting defaults you prefer on variations. In the example, we have no defaults set, so users can pick any colour and size right away from the product page.

Setting Default Variations

If you want a certain variation already selected when a user visits the product page, you can set those. This also enables the Add to Cart button to appear automatically on variable product pages.

You can only set defaults after at least one variation has been created.

Variation Data

Each variation may be assigned.

  • Enabled – Enable or disable the variation.
  • Downloadable – If this a downloadable variation.
  • Virtual – If this product isn’t physical or shipped, shipping settings are removed.
  • Regular Price (required) – Set the price for this variation.
  • Sale Price (optional) – Set a price for this variation when on sale.
  • Tax status – Taxable, shipping only, none.
  • Tax class – Tax class for this variation. Useful if you are offering variations spanning different tax bands.
  • Downloadable Files – Shows if Downloadable is selected. Add file(s) for customers to download.
  • Download Limit – Shows if Downloadable is selected. Set how many times a customer can download the file(s). Leave blank for unlimited.
  • Download Expiry – Shows if Downloadable is selected. Set the number of days before a download expires after purchase.

Variation Data


  • SKU – If you use SKUs, set the SKU or leave blank to use the product’s SKU.
  • Manage Stock? – Tick the box to manage stock at the variation level.
  • Stock Quantity – Shows if Manage Stock is selected. Input the quantity. Stock for the specific variation, or left blank to use the product’s stock settings.
  • Allow Backorders – Choose how to handle backorders.
  • Low stock threshold – Enter a number to be notified.
  • Sold Individually? – Allow only one to be sold in an order. (This is setting is used for the product itself. You cannot set a specific variation to only be sold once per order.)

Set Stock Status can be applied to all variations at once to In stock or Out of stock. Bulk-update under Variations.

Variation Inventory


  • Weight – Weight for the variation, or left blank to use the product’s weight.
  • Dimensions – Height, width and length for the variation, or left blank to use the product’s dimensions.

Linked products

  • Upsells
  • Cross-sells
  • Grouped

If the SKU, weight, dimensions and stock fields are not set, then it inherits values assigned to the variable product. Price fields must be set per variation.

Add an image for the variation

  1. Expand the variation.
  2. Click the blue image placeholder (screenshot).
  3. Select the image you wish to use.
  4. Save.

Variation Images

Bulk Editing 

You can bulk-edit variations by selecting the specific piece of data you want from the dropdown. In this example, I want to edit prices for all variations.

Bulk Edit Variations


Linking possible Variations

You can select Create variations from all attributes to have OnShop create every possible combination of variations.

Linking Variations

If your example had two attributes – colour (with values blue and green) and size (with values large and small), it creates the following variations:

  • Large Blue
  • Large Green
  • Small Blue
  • Small Green

If you later add additional attributes, it may require the variables to be redefined for the variation combinations to work correctly.

What Customers See

On the frontend, when viewing a variable product, the user is presented with dropdown boxes to select variation options. Selecting options will reveal information about the variation, including available stock and price.

If the user tries to click the greyed out add to cart button before choosing an attribute, a message will appear asking them to select attributes.