So you've created a product – let's say a t-shirt – that comes in 10 colors and six sizes. You could spend a lot of time creating 60 different products, but our Product Options feature is here to make life much easier.

A product option encompasses any attribute that a product can have. For example:

  • That t-shirt that comes in various colors and sizes
  • Spice containers that are sold in packs of 12, 60, or 100
  • A bracelet that can be custom engraved for $10 more
  • A camera that can also come with extra lenses

Getting Started

Go to Inventory > Options in the Admin Area. There are two ways to filter the view on the Product Options page:

  • By Option Categories
  • By Options (default view)

Option Categories

Before you create specific product options, you should have option categories to apply them to. For example, if you want to apply different color options to a product, the option category would be "Color" and the individual options would be the colors themselves ("red", "blue", "green").

To begin creating or editing product option categories:

  1. On the Product Options page, from the Filter menu, select Option Categories.
  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Option Category Description field, enter the title for the category as you want it to appear on the product page (for example, "Color", "Size", "Extras", etc.).
  4. In the Display Order field, enter a number to designate the position of this option category in relation to other option categories. For example, if a product has options from more than one option category applied to it, enter "1" to ensure that this option category appears first; enter "9999" to ensure that it appears last.
  5. Select a Display Type based on your needs. See below for a description of each display type.
  6. Click Save.

Here's a handy complete list of option category fields:

  • Group Heading (used to group option categories together).
  • Option Category Description (name of the option category as it will be shown on the product page)
  • About Option Category (optional descriptive text to help customers understand the purpose of each option category).
  • Display Order (sets the order that option categories are displayed on the product page if there are multiple option categories).
  • Display Type (choose how to display the list of options for this option category).
  • Required (enable if an option must be selected for a customer to be able to purchase a product).
  • Hide Category Description (hide any text entered in the Option Category Description field from customers).
  • Include in Search Refinement ( include this category as a search refinement option).
  • 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).

Option Category Display Types

As mentioned above, there are several ways to display option categories:

  • 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).

**⚠️Please be aware that when you create an option using the the Textbox option category display type and apply it to a product, the text that shoppers enter in the storefront field appears on order details pages, on invoices and packing slips, and in order confirmation emails. If you use the Inventory Control Grid to create child products from your options, they won't automatically inherit the textbox option. In these cases, the text that shoppers enter won't be visible to you. To fix this, go to the Inventory Control Grid section of the product edit page, click the View All Child Products link, click each product code, and apply the option to each child product separately.


Now that you've created Option Categories, you can add Options:

  1. Go to Inventory > Options. 
  2. From the Filter menu, select Options (this is the default selection when you first visit this page).
  3. Click Add to create a new option, or click on an existing option's ID number to edit it.
  4. If this option results in a price difference (for example, an extra-large t-shirt might be a dollar more expensive), locate the Price Diff field and enter the price difference value. If the price is the same, enter "0". If the option should make the product less expensive, enter a negative value!
  5. From the Option Category menu, select the option category to which this option belongs.
  6. Click Save.

You've now created a basic option. Check out the following table to see all available Options fields and how they can be used:

  • Price Diff (A price that the system will charge for this option, in addition to the regular product price. This can be negative if the option results in a lower price. For details on how customers view the new price, see our article about price display for product options.)
  • Option Category (the option category to which this product option belongs).
  • Option Description (a description of the option).
  • Apply To Product Codes (a list of product codes to which this option applies).

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.


Your products are the meat of your store, which is why its good to give customers plenty of options. With our Product Options tools, it's easy to manage your inventory and give shoppers exactly what they want. 

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