How do I create product options and option sets? (formerly called attributes)

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This video will walk you through the entire process of creating product options, a product options set, assigning the product options set to a product, creating price-changing rules for that product, and then what the final product looks like on the front end of the testing store. At the beginning, it mentions a plan, which is always good for you to make before tackling the product options for your products. This includes thinking about what you want to offer on your products, and how you'd like them organized.

What are Product Options?

Product options are the attributes for each product that allow you to offer different choices to the consumer such as: Size, Color, Style, etc. You can see examples of each style here.

Checkbox: a yes or no checkbox (ex. add a warranty)
Date field: your customers choose a date (ex. delivery date)
File upload field: your customers upload a file to you as part of the product (ex. graphically customizable t-shirt)
Multi-line text field: a longer text field (ex. gift messages)
Multiple choice: most used option for your customers to choose between many choices (ex. shoe size)
Numbers only text field: only allows customers to enter numbers (ex. phone number)
Product list: offers products readily available elsewhere in the store (ex. bundles)
Swatch: small pictures or swatches of color (ex. graphic on a t-shirt, color)
Text field: smaller text field (ex. engraving, embroidery)

What are Product Option Sets?

Product Option Sets Enable you to group product options together in an organized manner in order to assign the entire option set to a product.

* In order to assign options to a product, you must first create your options, and then define the product option set.

Example: If you sell several sizes & colors of t-shirts, then both the options (size, color) need to be included within an option set that you name accordingly.

How Do I Offer Options for my Products?

Creating the Options

For this example, I'll use a necklace chain for our example product. This necklace chain will have several options available to the customer:
Metal Types: 14k White Gold, Sterling Silver
Chain Lengths: 14", 16", 18"
Chain Styles: Rope, Figaro, Snake
Pendant Upsell: Add an optional pendant that's otherwise available in the store.
To do this, I will first create the four options: Metal Types, Chain Lengths,? Chain Styles, and the Pendant Upsell. For the Metal Types and Chain Lengths, I'll use the Multiple Choice option type because the customers will need to choose among the available options. For the Chain Style, I will use Swatch so that I can show a picture of the three chain styles. For any bundling, such as for the Pendant Upsell, I will use Product List as my option type. This will allow me to display a small picture of the product to encourage customers to purchase it in addition to the necklace chain.

1.) Login to your store's control panel.
2.) Click on Products and then Product Options.

3.) Click on the Options tab.

4.) Click on the Create an Option button.

5.) Here you have three or four areas. (The fourth will not display if you do not have any option sets currently.)

Option Name: what you will name your option. This is not visible by customers and must be unique.

Display Name: what your customers see to the left of the option.

Option Type

Include in Option Set: when first creating an option, you will leave this blank. After you create an option set and want to add an additional option to it, you would choose it in this area.

Type in the appropriate information for the first two areas, and then choose the correct option type for your option.

6.) Click Next.

7.) The next screen will change depending on your chosen option type. For this example, our first option is Metal Types, so the multiple choice screen shows below. I first have to choose a display style. For the display style, Radio is a radio button, Rectangle is your text placed inside a clickable rectangle, and then Select is a drop-down box.
8.) Then, I need to fill in my values. To add a new value, I'll click the green plus sign.

9.) Once you've added all your values, click Save, and your option will now display.

Creating the Option Set

Once you have created the options for your product, you must create an option set to combine them, even if you only have one option. If you are starting from the beginning, you'll need to get back to the Product Options area by clicking on the Products tab, and then choosing Product Options. If you are continuing in this article, all you need to do is click on the Option Set tab.

1.) Make sure you are on the Option Set tab.

2.) Click on the Create an Option Set button.

3.) Name your option set something that is applicable and easily recognizable for the products to which you will be adding this.

4.) Click Add next to the options you wish to combine for a product.

5.) In this case, we do not want the upsell to be required (as signified by a red asterisk, *). To remedy this, click Edit for that option.

6.) Uncheck the box next to Required? and click Save and Close at the bottom.

7.) Once you have finished adding options, click Save & Exit.

Applying the Option Set to the Product

1.) Click on Products and then View Products to view the list of your current products.

2.) Click on Edit for the product you wish to have options.

3.) Click on the Options tab.

4.) In the dropdown box for the Which option set should this product use?, choose the option set you just created.

5.) If you do not want to add any rules or SKUs to this product, you may click Save & Exit.

Applying Rules to your Options

In this case, we do want to add price changing rules to this product. We'll add $40 for the white gold option, and increase the price by $10 for a 16" chain and $25 for an 18" chain.

1.) From the Options tab when editing a product, click the Rules button.

2.) Click Add a Rule.

3.) A smaller window will display where you can choose the options to which to apply rules.
4.) For this example, we'll first choose the 14k White Gold.
5.) Then, click the checkbox next to Adjust its Price, and change the 0.00 to be 40.00

6.) Click Save and Close.

7.) Repeat steps 2-6 for however many rules you wish to create. You can see my final list below.

8.) Once you've finished creating rules, click Save & Exit.
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Mike F., Alum

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Posted 4 years ago

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Great article. 'Options' & 'Option Sets' very confusing and this helped quite a bit. The 'upsell' feature is very cool since it also manages inventory right from the store.
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Mike F., Alum

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Glad this helped. Thanks for your feedback.
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LOVE the Product Option setup in Big Commerce! So much better and easier than the Attributes functions in ProStores.

I have 2 questions about using product options for comforter sets:

1) Is there a way to add an option that allows my customers to click on more than 1 option at a time? For instance, I have an option to choose from 4 different styles of decorative pillows but they can only click on one style pillow that will be added to the comforter set. I thought I could use the "Product List" option to do this but it still won't allow anyone to click on more than 1 style pillow.

2) Is there a way to set an option so that my customers can choose how many of each option they want (a lot of my customers would like to add 1 of each style pillow to the comforter set)?

I know I can do this with checkboxes but I'm just trying to avoid having to add so many options to the items option list on the description page. Here are 2 screenshots of a comforter set I'm working on now, so you can get an idea of what I need to do:

Just looking for suggestions or ideas that you may have...
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Drew N, Community Manager

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I think check boxes are the only way, but I am looking into it. I am also looking at your other question.

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ok thanks Drew ;)
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Unfortunately, it seems the checkbox is the only way. Also, options don't have a quantity. Once options are selected you can order several sets with those options, but that is it.

You could add throw pillows as another product and relate it, then they could add more that way.

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Thanks for checking on this Drew. I figured out I could add a comforter set, for example the "Gold Rush" comforter set as a subcategory, then added a picture and description to it. From there I added all the accessories including the comforter itself to the Gold Rush subcategory so that everything shows up on the same page. It actually works pretty well that way and looks great. ;)
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Mike F., Alum

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Thanks for the feedback!