Add an Item with Variants

Items that have variants include things like clothing or shoes where a single product is sold in different sizes, colors, etc. Variant items are easy to ring up and you can track the quantity on hand for each through BackOffice.

Check out our Adding an Item with Variants support video below:

Table of Contents

Create an Item

First, go to the Items List and add a new item.

For the smoothest possible experience, add items with variants from a computer.

  1. Tap 'Items' and select 'Items List'.
  2. Select '+ Add New'.
  3. Choose Create under “Item with Variants".

Basic Details

Define the basic characteristics of the item before building out all of its different variants.

Item Description

Fill out the top section with some general information on the item.

What the item is called. This appears on customer receipts and BackOffice reporting.

General grouping used for primarily for reporting.

A specific subgroup within a Department.

Register Status
If checked, cashiers can sell the item at the register. If unchecked, they cannot.

The party that the business acquires the item from.

Supplier ID
A reorder code, part number, etc. that the supplier associated with the item.

Item Settings

Change any of these optional settings to modify how the item and its variants work at the register.

Yes or No. Determines whether or not the register charges tax.

Tax Rate
If there are multiple tax groups set up, choose which applies to the item.

Yes or No. Whether or not cashiers can discount the item.


With the item’s foundation laid, set up the different ways, or variations, in which it is sold.

Create Variants

The options (e.g. Size, Color, etc.) and option values (e.g. Small, Medium, Red, Green, etc.) entered create the item’s variants (e.g. Small Red, Medium Green, etc).

  1. Enter the first option and its values.

    Use a comma to end one option value and begin typing another.

  2. Use '+ Add an option' to create some more.

    There is a maximum of 3 options per item.

  3. Uncheck variants not wanted in inventory.

    Inactive variants cannot be sold. Check this box, at any time, to make a variant active again.

  4. Enter a price for each variant.

    If each has the same price, enter it in one row & choose Copy to all.

  5. (optional) Enter UPC codes to scan items at the register.

Track Variant Inventory

Track inventory on variant items to keep an eye on cost of goods sold, know when to reorder, and see how many of each are in stock.

  1. Click the 'Track inventory' toggle.
  2. Enter Quantity, Cost, and / or Reorder Trigger for each variant.

    Or, enter everything for one & press Copy to all to fill in the others.

    Cost cannot be updated after saving. When you receive inventory, ‘Cost’ will automatically update to the weighted average cost. If you do not want to use weighted average cost, follow the steps here to disable the feature.

  3. Tap 'Save' to save changes.

    Options cannot be added or edited after clicking Save. Option Values, however, can.

  4. (optional) Add the item to the iPad Button Layout.

Sell an Item with Variants

At the register, items with variants are as easy to ring up as any other type of item.

All iPads must be running ShopKeep version 2.8.4 or later to sell items with variants at the register.

Visit this support article to check register versions and update ShopKeep if necessary.

  1. Tap, search for, or scan an item to add it to the sale.

    When multiple variants have the same UPC, cashiers hear a beep & must select a variant after scanning the barcode. If the cashier does not make a selection, a green ‘i’ icon reminds them to return to that item before completing the sale.

  2. From left to right, select applicable option values for the item being sold and tap 'Done'.

    Light grey option values represent variants that are inactive in BackOffice.

  3. Finish the sale as usual.

Unsupported Features

Currently, there are some BackOffice features that are incompatible with items that have variants. Not to worry, these all still work for basic items.

  • Ticket Printing
  • ShopKeep Label Printing
  • Instead, print labels with DYMO LabelWriter

  • Raw Goods
  • Modifiers
  • Unit priced items
  • Open priced items
  • FAQ

    I have existing basic items. How do I transition these to Items with variants?

    If you have existing items you’d like to change over please read our Transitioning to Items with Variants article. It will explain limitations and the best way to recreate these items.

    What are the differences between modifiers and variants?

    You can learn about the difference between these in our Modifiers vs Variants article.

    How do variants appear in my BackOffice?

    Items with variants affect a few different BackOffice reports and features. Check out our Items with Variants in BackOffice article for more information.

    I added a few items with variants but I don’t see them on my register?

    If you run into trouble finding or adding items with variants, check out our Variants Troubleshooting page.

    Can I print barcode labels for items with variants?

    Yes, items with variants can be printed on barcode labels. Export your Stock Items list and print labels from the LabelWriter software.

    Can I adjust the costs of my variants in BackOffice?
    No, cost is set when creating your item with variants by clicking ‘Save’. When inventory is received, the cost will update to a weighted average cost.