Your store is growing. Congratulations! 🥂 As your inventory and product categories grow, you may start to worry how you are going to control this seemingly unwieldy beast. 🦍
Never fear! Your Volusion store has the muscle 💪 to scale right along with you. Our handy Inventory Control Grid will help you manage and organize products as you add them to your store.
What’s the Inventory Control Grid?
The Inventory Control Grid is an Admin feature available on product edit pages. It allows you to more easily manage price and stock status by creating parent and child products.
How Parent and Child Products Work in Your Inventory
When you have a large inventory, great organization is key. This is where parent and child products come into play. We’re not talking about your family members. In this context, these terms refer to specific combinations of available product options.
For example, if you sell a shirt 👚, that comes in several colors and sizes, the shirt would be the "parent product" and each color and size option combination would be a "child product." 👨👧 For example:
- Men’s cotton t-shirt (parent)
- Small blue shirt (child)
- Small red shirt (child)
- Large blue shirt (child)
Creating Inventory Control Grids
First things, first. Before you can create Inventory Control Grids, we recommend you familiarize yourself with product option categories and options. Afterward, follow these steps:
- Go to Inventory > Products and select the product to which you want to add options
- Under Basic Info, next to Options, click Select Options
- Select the options you want to add (make sure they’re compatible with the inventory control grid feature)
- Ensure the box for Enable Options Inventory Control is checked and click Save
Now, when you scroll down the product page to the Inventory Control Grid and expand the “ProductCode” section, you will see the new child products created by these options.
⚠️ Heads up!
This tool is resource intensive and could take a long time to run. It will likely slow down your storefront, so we don’t recommend that you continue making edits to your Admin Area until it’s finished.
Organizing Your Grid
Once you create child products using the Enable Options Inventory Control check box, they appear in the Inventory Control Grid section beneath the Advanced Info pane of the product page.
You can organize the grid by clicking View All Options (which shows a table of the options that have been applied to the product) and View All Child Products (a table of all child products belonging to the parent product).
The table in this section lists the child products and the settings which can be modified from this page. This table can be used as a shortcut to quickly update settings, such as stock values for child products. You can also delete any combinations that are not available.
The settings for each child product displayed in this table are as follows:
Option ID (clicking an option ID will take you to the product options settings page).
Option Category (The ID and name of the product options category an option ID is contained within. Clicking on an option category ID will redirect to the option category's settings page.)
Option Description (the name of a product option applied to a child product).
Option OrderBy (The order in which options will be displayed within the product page. Note that options with the same Order By value will be listed in alphabetic order.)
Option PriceDiff (the price difference for each option to be applied to the price of any associated child product).
Product Price (The price of each child product. You can modify the base price of any child product here.)
Stock Status (The fields in this column enable you to manually increment or decrement the stock value of each individual child product. Enter a positive value to increase stock status or a negative value to reduce it. The current stock value of each product will also be listed in this column.)
Inventory Grid ProductCode (The fields in this column contain the product code of each child product. By default, if your store is configured to auto-create all child products, the product codes of each child product will be a variant of the parent product's product code [e.g. ABC123-0001, ABC123-0002, etc.].)
When you’re finished making changes in the grid, click Save Changes at the bottom of the grid.
Deleting (And Adding) Child Products from the Grid
Before you can add a new option (from a new option category) to a product, it’s a best practice to first delete the child products. This prevents them from becoming “orphaned child products” that take up space in your database.
You will also want to delete all child products if you’re need to make a change to the parent product settings that will also affect the child products. Take, for example, adding a manufacturer. Otherwise, you will need to manually make the same update for each child product. And ain’t nobody got time for that. ⏰
Lastly, if you have Enable Smart Match selected in Inventory > Products > Settings, we will be generating unique product codes for all child products (-0001, -0002, etc.). When you add an option to a parent product and allow the system to regenerate the Inventory Control Grid without deleting the previous entries, the numbers of the automatically generated product codes will not start at -0001 and may cause confusion.
If you would like to create all of your child products by doing a bulk import rather than creating them one at a time, see our article on how to do this using the Import/Export function.
Our goal is to help your store grow. So as you get bigger and better, we’ll be right there to support you with functionalities that help you scale, like the Inventory Control Grid. Because a well organized and efficient store is a successful store!