Managing Variants in Vend

Latest update: - Admin

Product Variants are an important part of working with Vend for many retailers. Many products work best as variants. A blue t-shirt, for example, might have variants of Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

If you have questions about how to create variants, check out the guide on our Help Centre here: What are product variants and how do I set them up?

How do Variant groups work?

For a look at how Variants groups work, this chart shows the relationship between the same variant ‘Family’ from 3 different perspectives:

All three of these setups are the same family of variants, depending on how you are looking at their setup.

  • The first group is a simple chart of the ‘parent product’, and it's following variants.

  • Second, we see that this group of variants all have the same handle.

  • The 3rd group shows that the parent and each variant all have different SKUs because they are each separate items.

Once variants are made, there are some cases where you may need to edit, update, change or correct them. This guide will go through the common cases of managing variants and how to address them.

Points to consider when you’ve set up a variant product

  • You can change your standard product to a variant product (but not the other way around) when you go to edit your product on Vend.

  • Variants (we often refer to groups of variant items as ‘families’) each count as 1 item. So, a t-shirt that has 3 options, Red, Blue, and Green, and 3 sizes, Small, Medium, and Large, is 9 different items.

  • These items can be set up in the grouping automatically using our Variant creation feature. This will let you set the products up quickly and efficiently in the Vend program.

  • You will also be able to add specific information, such as Inventory, Tax, Price and Loyalty about each variant directly on the Add Product page.

  • Once the products are set up, you can change the order that these variants display on the product page by clicking and holding the 8-dot icon on the left of the variant profile back on the Product page.

  • Once the products are set up, you can edit your variant products on the edit product page. When you go to edit your variant products, Vend has a tool that will check whether any of your variant products have duplicated features and will walk you through the steps on how to fix the duplicates. For more information on how this tool works, check out this article.

  • The order of the variants on the product page will also change the order that the variants appear in the variant picker in Register for Mac & PC and Register for iPad:

Add single variant to a single product

With the new Quick Variant Setup, you will be able to add single variant if the product has only one attribute, for example; if the single attribute is colour, you will be able to add additional colours at one time.

If you receive a new variant after creating a product and want to add it to your store, for example, if you have a T-shirt product in your store, and have now received a new colour and size of T-shirts to add to your T-shirt product, we suggest adding it using a CSV file.

Important: When adding a variant to a product, if the product already has three variant attributes attached to the product, you will not be able to add any additional attributes. In addition, the maximum number of variants you may have must not exceed 200.

A way to do this, however, is to do this via a CSV file import. Follow the steps below to learn how to add a single variant via a CSV file import.

Remember, if you have added the maximum number of variants (200) to this product, you will not be able to add an additional variant, even via a CSV. We recommend splitting the product into another single product to add this product to your store.

Managing Variants with CSVs:

Using CSVs to manage inventory is a common practice for Vend users, and there are a couple of key points to keep in mind while working with your spreadsheet of variants items.

Accidental Variants:

A common error can occur when misappropriating handles in a CSV file. Because Vend uses identical handles to link variants together, two or more items with the same handle will become linked as variants when your CSV is imported. If a product in your CSV that was not previously part of your family of variants, has the same handle, it will become a variant.

This will look something like this:

At first glance, these items look okay, but you’ll notice that there are two red variants (one of which is the parent). The top Red variant has a higher price than the other items in the group. This was created by importing a product that had the same handle as the rest of the group. It looks fairly normal in the Vend interface, but if we look at the CSV that was used, we will see that the top red colour item is 'Actually Pants' and not 'T-Shirt'.

The best way to fix this is to delete that item before you start selling it and create it anew.

Editing variant quantities

If you would like to add stock (inventory) to your variant products, you may do so through the Edit Product page.

Note: Stock quantities will not be reflected in your reporting if you choose to edit your quantities through the Edit Product page.

To edit your variant quantities, follow the steps below:

1. Head to the Edit Product page for the variant you want to edit.

2. Scroll down to your variants and click on the blue arrow next to the variant name.

3. In the Inventory tab, edit the Current Inventory field to edit your variant quantities.

Important You will only be able to add inventory via the Edit Product page if you have Admin user access. Managers and Cashiers will only have permission to edit a product on this page.

4. Click Save once you are done.

Renaming Variants

1. To rename your variant values, click on Edit value names in the Variant section of the Add or Edit Product page.

2. A window will pop up where you will be able to rename the values of all your variants on one screen.

3. Click Apply Changes to save your new values for the variant product.

Deleting Variants

Deleting a 'child' variant:

There are plenty of times where an item would need to be removed from your store’s inventory. It could be that a product has not been kept in stock for some time or discontinued and you want to delete it. This is relatively straightforward if it is a ‘child’ variant (any item but the first ‘parent’ variant). To do this, you may Remove the 'child' variant by clicking on the trashcan icon next to the 'child' variant on the Edit Product page. A warning message will pop up to confirm that you wish to remove the variant. It will also inform you that you will have the ability to restore the variant if you choose to do so.

Deleting the parent (master) variant:

However, you cannot remove the 'parent' variant in the same way. Because it is the variant item that the ‘child’ variants are attached to if it is deleted the other variants will be removed as well.

Your options, in this case, are to either make a new version of the variant family without that item or to make the parent product a different item by editing it.

If deleting the item is unavoidable, the best method is first to create new versions of the variants that will stay in your store, export the reporting for the original items and then delete them.

Remember: any related quick keys will need to be updated too!

Deleting a variant that is a part of an open stock order

If you delete a variant that is a part of an open stock order, a warning will display informing you of this. This is because deleting the variant, while it is still a part of an open stock order, may cause flow on effects where inventory movements are inaccurate, and stock orders and transfers cannot be closed. Select View Order to gain further information and how to fix the issue to allow you to delete the variant if needed. 


Restore Deleted Variant

This is a new feature with the new update to the Add and Edit Product pages. Restoring a deleted variant allows you to re-add your variant to your store without having to add all the information about the variant again. This is particularly in the case where you have seasonal goods and may not have items in your store during particular times of the year.

If you have seasonal products, instead of removing your products and restoring them, you will also be able to toggle the Enable button which will make the product active or inactive in your store.

If you would like to get in touch with the Support team for anything related to managing variants, or any other part of Vend, you can submit a ticket here.