Options are displayed on your product page. Your customers can use options to customize the products they buy. Examples of options are small, large, red, and blue.

Option Categories group similar options together. Examples of option categories are Size and Color.

Creating Options

In this example, we'll create an option category for colors, then create options for color choices.

Create an Option Category

Go to Inventory > Options in your store's Admin Dashboard page.

Select Option Categories from the Filter dropdown at the top left of the Product Options page.

Click the Add button at the top right of the page.

The Option Category ID will populate automatically when you Save the Option Category. The Group Heading field is optional. This value can be helpful if you would like to label option categories by the types of products they apply to. For instance, the Option Category Sizes might have a Group Heading of Shoe Sizes to clarify. For this example, enter Color in the Option Category Description field.

The About Option Category field allows you to add a simple description for the Option Category. When populated this appears as a clickable tooltip beside the Option Category Description on the Product Page. Enter a number in the Display Order field field to assign its storefront display position. The lower the number, the higher it displays on the product page relative to other option categories assigned to the same product. In this example, enter 100 in the Display Order field. It is a good idea to leave a gap between display numbers, in the event you want to add more Option Categories later.

Choose a Display Type using the dropdown menu. The selections are:

  • Dropdown (display options as a drop-down menu).

  • Checkbox (should only be used if there is a single option; for example, a yes/no or opt-in question).

  • Radio (shows a list of options, each prefixed with a radio button).

  • Textbox ** (If your product requires that the customer supply custom text, you can use this to provide a text box for this.)

  • Dropdown Control (this option is for older clients; it has been replaced by Dropdown_Smartmatch and should not be used).

  • Dropdown Client (this option is for older clients; it has been replaced by Dropdown_Smartmatch and should not be used).

  • Dropdown Smartmatch (use with inventory control to hide option combinations where the corresponding product is out of stock).

  • Plain Text (shows all product options within the category as a simple line of text).

In our example, select Dropdown from the Display Type dropdown menu.

Enable the Required checkbox if an option must be selected for a customer to be able to purchase a product. For instance, if you are creating a Size or Color Option Category and want to force customers to make a choice, rather than leave the option blanks, you will want to activate the Required field. Check the box next to Required to activate it.

The next 2 settings are optional. The Hide Category Description hides any text entered in the Option Category Description field from customers. The Include in Search Refinement field includes this category as a search refinement option. The Last Modified Date and Last Modified by (Admin Account Number) are also listed in this section.

The final section includes option for using the Option Category for Google Attributes.

  • Use as Google Size (use the options in this category as the Google Size attributes for child products).

  • Use as Google Color (use the options in this category as the Google Color attributes for child products).

  • Use as Google Material (use the options in this category as the Google Material attributes for child products).

  • Use as Google Pattern (use the options in this category as the Google Pattern attributes for child products).

Once you have completed setup of your Option Category, click the Save button at the top right of the page.

After creating your option categories, you can create options.

Create Options

Go to Inventory > Options in your store's Admin Dashboard page.

Click the Add button at the top right of the page.

The Option ID will populate automatically when you save the Option. Enter an additional cost for the option in the Price Diff field. This can be helpful when dealing with Options such as sizes where they may be a price difference between 2 options. As an example, a Large size option may have a zero Price Diff, but Extra-Large may have a Price Diff of 1.00, which ensures that choosing the Extra-Large option will charge a dollar more to your customers. For an option without an additional cost, enter 0.

Select our previously created Option Category (Color) from the Option Category dropdown.

Enter Red (or your Option choice) as the Option Description. This is what the customer will see on your Product Page that will help them make their option choice.

Your option can be added to a product at a later point via the Product Update Page, however, if you already know the Product Codes to which the option will apply, you can add them, separated by commas in the Apply To Product Codes field.

Click the Save button at the top right of the Option page.

Importing Options to Product Database

⚠️  Be aware that you can import the OptionIDs field to the Products table, but you cannot import the Apply to Product Codes field on the Options table. This means you must update the Products table to import any mass of options and use the Create All Inventory Control Grids maintenance function.

When importing the OptionIDs field in a CSV file, be careful that Excel (or any other CSV editing program) does not format your list of Option ID numbers as a very large number (larger than 3 digits). If this happens, you should change the data type for the column in Excel to Text. That way, Excel will not attempt to change the formatting of your listed option ID numbers, and you can avoid error messages when you try to import the file into your Volusion products database.

Update Price Button

The Update Price button will appear on the storefront product page when a PriceDiff is configured for an option that is applied to the product. Once a customer selects one or more options with a PriceDiff configured, manually clicking the Update Price button will reveal the new price of the product.

Alternatively, you can have the product price update automatically when a customer selects an applied option with a PriceDiff. For more information, see our article on price display for product options.

Brush Up on Your Inventory Controls

Before you create an Inventory Control Grid, you should have a strong understanding of product option categories and options. Read more about these in our Knowledge Base!

Tips and Special Settings

Using the Search Refinement Function

Filter categories allow you to add drop-down menu options on your store’s search results, making it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

  1. At Settings > Config Variables, make sure the Enable Search Refinement check box is selected.

  2. Go to Inventory > Options.

  3. From the Filter menu, select Option Categories.

  4. Press Add.

  5. Fill out the fields as necessary.

  6. Select Include In Search Refinement check box.

  7. Save.

  8. Go to Settings > Maintenance.

  9. Click Rebuild Search Index.

The product option category will now appear as a filter category whenever a customer performs a search and its results include products associated with this option category.

Offering Multiple Checkbox Options

Option Categories that use the Checkbox display type are intended for offering a single option with a yes/no response. For example, a customer can select a check box to add a warranty (a "yes" response) or leave it unchecked if they don't want a warranty (a "no" response).

If you need to display multiple check box options for a single product, each option must be assigned to its own Option Category. For example, if you'd like to display check boxes for two optional accessories on a product, you can create the two "accessory" product options and assign them to two separate Option Categories that use the Checkbox display type.

Setting Up A Free Gifts Option

If you want to set up a "Buy One, Get One Free" or "Buy X, Get Y Free" offer to attract more sales or quickly move inventory:

  1. Create products as usual. Make sure you note which products will be offered for free.

  2. Go to Inventory > Options.

  3. From the Filter menu, select Option Categories.

  4. Click Add to create the option category.

  5. In the Option Category Description field, enter a description for the free product(s).

  6. Select the Is Required check box.

  7. From the Display Type menu, select Dropdown, Dropdown Smartmatch, or Radio.

  8. Click Save.

  9. Return to Inventory > Options.

  10. Click Add to set up a new product option.

  11. Set the Price Diff value to zero.

  12. From the Option Category menu, select the name of the option category you created above.

  13. In the Options Description field, enter the free item's name. You can give it a name like "Free earphones," or something more specific.

  14. In the Is Product Code field, enter the product Code for the free item.

  15. Click Save.

Repeat this process to set up additional free products.


As your inventory grows, your Volusion store grows right along with you! With our Product Options tools, it's easy to manage your inventory and give shoppers exactly what they want.

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