Improving Product Options and Variants in Pro2Store

Ray Lawlor
12 December 2020

Confession... I was never 100% happy with how the Product Options worked on Pro2Store. Even during the initial development, I struggled to develop something that would work for everyone and every site, and right up to the night before the launch I was still tweaking and working on it. 

My concerns were confirmed when you, the Pro2Store community, used the forums to ask for improvements in how the product options worked. 

I always knew that I'd have to "circle back" to the product options and spend some time to get them working the way they should work. So in this blog, I'm going to detail out our plans for a new Product Variants system that will put Pro2Store on the same level as industry leaders.

Backwards Compatabilty

Before addressing this problem, my main concern was backwards compatibility. According to our numbers, there is now over 1000 websites running Pro2Store, and the last thing we want to do is break everyones website with a new update. So when approaching this problem, we want to make sure that no-one will have any issues with the upgrade.

Our plan is to introduce Product Variants alongside the current Product Options system before eventually retiring the Product Options system at a later date. This will give all site owners enough time to edit their products and switch over. This will mean introducing a brand new Yootheme Pro element for Product Variants, meaning the switchover should be completely seamless for your customers.

Simply replace the Product Options element with the Product Variants element in your templates, once the products have been edited.

We will make a "How to" video on upgrading when we launch the new system.

Simplifying the system

At the moment, the Product Options are more complex than they need to be. For instance, let's say a product has 2 colours, Red and Green. Red is 9.99 and Green is 12.99. 

modifier system

Because of the current "Modifier" system, a shop owner would need to calculate the percentage difference between 9.99 and 12.99... But actually, most shop owners simply know the absolute price of each item. 

The new Product Variants system will simply use absolute pricing. In this case, the admin will simply add the prices for each item variant. No modifiers! 

Managing Stock

The old Product Options system made no account of the stock levels of each variant, only the main product stock. This was simply useless for most shops as stock levels don't work that way. 

The new Product Variants system will introduce stock levels for each individual variant of each product.

New SKU element

We've always had an SKU field for each product option, but on the old system this was for internal backend use only. The new variants system will come with a new element that will show the SKU for each product variant in the front end. This will auto update when the customer shanges their selection.

Quick Preview

So here is a short video that shows how the new system will look in the backend:

 

 


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