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May 2, 2011

Magento: Creating and Choosing the Right Product Type

One of the best features of Magento is the different product types. Each type has its own features to display and configure product attributes. To create a new product we need to Catalog tab on the navigation and select Manage Products. And finally click Add Product.

Simple Product

The Simple Product profile is best suited for - just as it sounds - simple products. These are generally physical products - basic, no-options, one-size-fits-all products. Examples: toys, office supplies, DVDs and other physical media, etc.

Grouped Product

This profile allows you to take existing products and sell them concurrently as a single, grouped product.
Note that there is no built-in feature allowing you to set a special price for purchasing a set of products as a grouped product, however this may be accomplished if you set a price rule.

Configurable Product

A very common use for the Configurable Product profile is clothing. Since clothing often comes in multiple sizes, the user will need to be able to "configure" their product (aka, select their size) before purchasing.

This configuration will automatically create a drop-down menu on your product page allowing the user to select which size they wish to purchase.

Virtual Product

If your product does not need to be shipped, downloaded, or delivered in any way, this is probably the most appropriate profile.

This is a great way to sell services such as house cleaning, or intellectual products such as warranties, protenction plans, or usage licenses.

Bundle Product

If you're familiar with other ecommerce platforms, you may refer to this profile type as a "kit." This is the best option for products that have several options for multiple facets.

Downloadable Product

Just as it sounds, this profile is best for products which have adownloadable counterpart. This is great for software, digital music files, and other electronic products.

Note that a Downloadable Product may include one or more downloadable file, and you have the option to require all files to be purchased or to allow the customer to select which files they would like to include in their purchase. If multiple files are included, you may also include a surcharge for each file, affecting the final price of the product.

General Tab

a. Name: The name of our new product
b. Description: The main body description of the product; the place to really sell the product and all of its features!
c. Short Description: The quick overview that appears just below the price on the product page; the place to grab the attention of buyers
d. SKU (Stock-keeping Unit): The stock code for the product
e. Weight: The weight of the product. This can be kilos, tonnes or whatever you want as long as you keep uniformity across all your products
f. Manufacturer: Blank by default but manufacturers can be added through the Manage Attributes Tab.
g. Colour: Blank by default
h. Set Product As New From Date: Sets the product to new from the date you enter.
i. Set Product as New to Date: Sets when the product ends being new.
j. Status: If the product is Enabled and showing on the website or if it’s disabled.
k. URL key: The custom option for how the URL for your product is written.
l. Visibility: Where the product can be found by your visitors;
1. Nowhere: The product does not appear on the website.
2. Catalog: The product will appear on the website but not in search results.
3. Search: The product will not appear on the website but will appear in search results.
4. Catalog, Search: The product will appear on the website and in search results.
m. Allow Gift Message:
1. Yes: Allows a gift message
2. No: Doesn’t allow a gift message
3. Config: Use the site’s configuration

Price Tab

a. Price: The price of our product
b. Special Price: Offers on products for limited times.
c. Special Price From Date: The date in which the special price starts.
d. Special Price To Date: The date in which the special price ends.
e. Cost: The cost of the product.
f. Tax Class: If your product requires Tax added then Taxable Goods must be selected.
g. Tier Price: Allows for bulk discounts to be set up. Click Add Tier to add quantity discounts.
h. Google Checkout:"Can visitors buy this product using Google Checkout?"

Meta Information Tab

a. Meta Title: Information that appears in the <title> tag.
b. Meta Keywords: keywords that apply to your product.
c. Meta Description: A short description of your product that appears on Search Engine Result Pages.

Images Tab

Images are a key part of your product and the better quality you can get the more chance you have of making a sale, Magento allows for multiple images to be uploaded and specific images to be uploaded for the Base Image, the Small Image and the Thumbnail, as well as allowing for a label. If you want to remove an image simply click the Exclude to hide or the Remove to delete checkbox(s).

a. Base Image: The main image that appears on the product page.
b. Small Image: The image that appears in the categories/search view.
c. Thumbnail: The thumbnail of the product.

Design Tab

Unless you are using a template for your Magento store it’s best to give this one a miss, but for anyone who is curious the Design tab allows you to use themes that you have set up and allows you to choose active to and from dates as well as changing the page layout into different column blocks and so on.

Inventory Tab

a. Manage Stock: If you’d like to track and manage stock levels then leave this set to Yes
b. Qty: The amount of product you have.
c. Stock Availability: If the product is in stock or not.

Categories Tab

Your product can appear in multiple categories; simply click the checkbox of the category you want it to appear in!

Related Products / Up-sells / Cross-sells

With related products, up-sells and cross-sells the interface to add is same, to add a product simply select a field you wish to search by and click the search button, a list of products matching your criteria will appear. Click the checkbox next to the product and it will appear as a related product/up-sell or cross-sell as applicable.

Product Reviews / Product Tags / Customers Tagged Product

These are all added by users and can viewed from the tabs.

Custom Options

These are custom options that you can add to your product. To add a custom option, click Add New Option and fill in the details.

Helpful Links:

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