Managing Variants in Vend

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’:


The parent is the source product and each variant will 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 a single variant to a single product

Vend now has the functionality to allow you to add single variant products to your store. To learn more on how to add a single variant to a new productfollow the steps below:

Create and add fields to your parent product

1. To create a product with variants, first head to the Products tab in the side navigation menu.

2. Select Products and click the Add Product button.

3. You will then need to create a master (parent) product. The parent product is the primary product you intend to create variants of. The parent product will also be the first variant. In this case, we are creating a Towel product. You will want to fill out all the standard information you would for a normal product including name, handle, SKU, price and tax.


4. You will then want to scroll down to the Inventory section on the Add Product page; here you will find an option to turn this Towel product into a Product with Variants. Click on this to turn it on and begin adding your attributes.

5. Scroll down to the Variants section to add your attributes and values.

Your attributes are the different features of your product. These attributes might include size, colour or style. You can add one, two or three attributes to your product. In this case, we will be adding three attributes for our T-Shirts.

Once you have added your attributes, you will need to add values for each of these attributes. These may be the various colours, sizes or styles that your product has. To add values, begin typing them into the value field next to each corresponding attribute.

6. Click on Add another attribute to add another attribute to your variants.

7. Next click on Add X values.

8. A modal will display giving you the option to Choose the variants you would like to add.

9. Here is where you can select and unselect the variants you want to use.

10. Click Save once you are done.


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.

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.

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.

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. 


Deleting a variant that is a part of an open sale

If you delete a variant that is part of an open sale,  you will be able to continue without any error message. 

Restore Deleted Variant

This is a new feature with the new update to the Add and Edit Product pages. For variants with more than one attribute, attribute combinations that do not currently exist can be recreated. Recreating a deleted variant will not restore the original SKU and inventory data for the variant.

You can also toggle the Enable slider to activate/deactivate specific variants if required.


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