[SOLVED] What are the advantages of item variants?


Variants seemed obvious at first. But when I start trying to use them I started wondering… what are the real advantages of using them?

I only see two advantages:

  • Creating an item is faster because it inherits from the template;
  • I can search items by attribute
    Are there others?

My issues with variants:

List item

  1. It scares me that I must anticipate all possible attributes and that I’m not able to change them later;
  2. If find it awkward that all variants must be filled. I feel it should be possible to leave blank those who don’t apply;
  3. It’s strange that I cannot change child item’s attributes once it is created.

Am I right to worry about these? Or am I wrong or are there workarounds?

One real example: we make paper lamps. So we have dozens (not hundreds) of different papers (attributes: size, color, material, thickness, etc). Should I use variants? If so, should I try to map everything into an attribute? Or should I use just one variant like color so that I can still have a template to inherit from when creating new items but without having to worry about all the my other concerns?

Thanks in advance,

I think the concept of attributes and variants thereof is made for a scenario as yours. And I personally think it’s the way to go over creating separate products. I have oly plaid very basic with attribute/variant system n ERPNext yet, so in case it is not working well yet (I sense that from your post) that might be a different story.

we are in garments, so I will be facing the same issue once arriving at that point. Generally I think the main point is to develop a certain scheme for usage in your company and strongly enforce that scheme being follow to the comma by enybody (even the boss). The worst case in my eyes is everybody handling same stuff differently.

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1.Specifies variants of items. This is useful if you have a large number
of almost identical items that vary only in color,Size and So on…
for example. Instead of setting up each variant as a separate item, you can set up one item
and then specify the various colors,Sizes as variants of the item.
2.Product Variants make it easier for customers to navigate your store by combining products with multiple options and choices.

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Hello @vrms, I do understand that my scenario seems to be right for using variants. But I’m still concerned with the shortcomings which I listed. And the advantages are still not that clear besides the two I listed above and…

…hello @shraddha, you did point out another advantage I hadn’t considered: allowing customers to combine products with multiple options and choices. I currently don’t have an online store but will probably have one (shopify? etsy? I don’t know) and I wonder if the variants will integrate nicely with the online store platforms I come to choose.

Any additional thoughts on the the 3 concerns I pointed out?


@nununo ERPNext Variants work will with Shopify

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Great to know.

So Instead of trying to create a variant for every possible aspect of the item I think my approach will be to use variants only for whatever my customers can choose.

Thank you all for your useful advices.


did some testing (not very thorough I have to admit)

I don’t think that’s true. I can go to Attributes and add variants to those. I also can add attributes to an existing item. Which is true that newly added attributes to not appear in existing Variants of an item. I could imagine it might be possible to fix such a case with csv exporting your items to csv and importing them back in (with those Attributes added).

If find it awkward that all variants must be filled. I feel it should be possible to leave blank those who don’t apply[/quote]
Do you actually have such a case? Let’s say you have Tshirts, with an attribute Size, then all variants certainly will have a size, so it wouldn’t be too logical to say for one Variant it shouldn’t have a size while all others do

if you mean you can not change ‘red’ into ‘yellow’ that’s true, but also what would be the benefit of such?

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Well, if I set a wrong variant value by mistake and start using that material… and only notice it after some weeks… it would be nice if I could correct it.

Another scenario is… when you add a new attribute to the template variants… it would be nice if I could update the child items with values for this new attribute. I didn’t find a way to do this.

I would experiment whether it’s is doable with csv ex- & reimporting items*

(* and let us know how to do it here)

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Thanks @vrms. I’ll try it when I can and will report my results here.

@nununo How did your product variant testing end up? I have a client that would need to have products with ~4000 variants each and can’t get them to load properly into ERP Next (the import tool hangs).

Try with 1000 at time …or write a custom app to import

Hi @Jeffrey_Knorr, I tried importing some articles but very few. Had some issues but managed to do it. But importing was not important so I don’t remember. I just used it to do some mass editing.

Hi for all in that Solved?? discussion.
as for me (and i hope for a lot of others users) this futures have to be working by next way:
For template user choose variants of attribute which is useful for that items (for goods it can be color and sizes and brand, for paper it can be size and density absolutely same way as now, but main idea, that when we make selection of attribute we have to make also MULTI selection of Attribute Value of all option for that template. So when we want to make variants you need only push one button and all variants with all attributes will be done. As sample colors for template1 can be red and white and sizes 100 and 120 (this values we have to choose when we create template), then when we need to make items from this template we push button Make Variant in the window select which options from list we want to mix and push next… and as result we will have variants (template1-red-100, template1-red-120, template1-white-100, template1-white-120). How about this?