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Product Variations

Overview

This article describes product variations and explains how to use them.

Product Variations are alternative representations of a product, which you can use on your Storefronts to achieve various product configuration and marketing goals. To better illustrate what a product variation is, take a look at this example:

You have an original product called Island Adventure, for which license keys are generated using an external script. You also have a new product called Space Adventure. When consumers purchase Space Adventure, you want to offer them Island Adventure as a cross-sell with a reduced price. This discount only applies when consumers select to purchase Space Adventure.
 

Rather than duplicating your original Island Adventure product to apply a lower price, you can create a Product Variation and either edit the Variation's price or apply a discount to it. This ensures that:

  • Your original product is intact.
  • You can offer Island Adventure as a discounted cross-sell.
  • The variations share a single license generator for a more straightforward setup.

Another way to use Product Variations is for holiday-related promotions. You can create a holiday-themed Storefront with special, discounted product variations for the promotion, on the homepage. This approach enables you to keep your original products intact and switch your links back to the main Storefront at any time.

Additional Product Variation Features:

  • Product Variations automatically inherit the parameters and behavior of their parents, and you can change any specific values as needed. This is a great way to do a quick A/B testing of price, product naming, or offers while keeping other parameters the same.
  • You can create any number of product variations for any product, and change any parameters in each variation. The only common setting for all variations of a given product is the Fulfillment actions.
Only one variation of any given product can be purchased in a single order. For example, if Product A has variations A1 and A2, consumers can purchase any of the three. However, they could not purchase A and A1 in the same transaction, nor A1 and A2, or other similar combinations. For products to be included in the same order together, they must each be a separate product (not multiple variations of the same product).

Create a Product Variation

  1. From the FastSpring App, select the Products menu and then select Product, Bundle, or Subscription for which you want to create a Variation.
    • For Products or Subscriptions: At the top, right corner of the product details page, click Options > Create Variation.
    • For Bundles: Select the Create Variation button at the bottom of the page.
    • The Create Variation popup window appears.
  2. In the Product Path field, enter the Product Path for the variation you are creating. This field, also referred to as the Product ID, is used in reporting and becomes part of the Product Page URL for the new variation. 
    • Do not enter spaces or punctuation (except hyphens). For the example above, the Product Path is example-product-1-variation.
    • The Product Path you enter is automatically converted to lowercase letters.
  3. In the Product Type field, select the type of Product Variation you are creating: Regular or Subscription. If you create a Subscription Variation, you will be able to configure the subscription properties after creation.
  4. In the Visibility field, select whether the variation is to be public (Public URLs) or private (Internal Offers). 
  5. Click Add to create the variation. The details page for the product variation will appear with a drop-down selector at the top left which will allow you to switch between the new Variation and the Parent Product.
  6. Select the new Variation on the drop-down.
    • On the right side of the Variation Overview, there is a column of Source Indicators which indicate whether or not each field’s value is currently linked to the Parent Product. If you change the value of one of these fields, it will permanently break the link to the base product for that field. Other fields remain linked to the base product, thus any alterations of the base product are automatically applied to the Variations. In the example above, nothing has been changed, so the Variations’ fields remain linked to the base product, whose Product Path is example-managed-subscription-variation.
    • The EDS option and the Pricing field are never linked to the base product; these values are only inherited from the base product upon creation of the variation.
  7. As with a standard Product, Bundle, or Subscription, you can select anywhere in any line to edit the corresponding field.
  8. Click Save to save your changes, then details about the variation will appear.

Variations for Product Offers and Product Options

For exclusive discounts, you can create a Product Variation and discount the price of a pre-existing product. This duplicates the product exactly, except with a discounted price.

To make sure this Product Variation is only available as a product offer:

  1. Navigate to the Product Details page.
  2. Click the Public drop-down at the top right of the page, and select Switch to Private.
    • The Private status prevents a product (or variation) from being purchased alone. You can offer products with this status as Product Offers or Product Options.

This restriction ensures that if a purchaser removes the triggering product from the cart, the reduced-price cross-sell Product Variation is also removed automatically. This way, consumers cannot receive the discount without purchasing the triggering product.

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