Add an Item with Variants

Items with variants include things like clothing or shoes where a single product is sold in different sizes, colors, etc. Learn how to create an item with variants in BackOffice and sell it at the register.

For adding large quantities of items (50+) or adding the same items to multiple linked locations, use Bulk Management to import inventory by spreadsheet.

Watch our Adding an Item with Variants video below:

Add Items with Variants

Table of Contents

Create a New Item

Navigate to the Item List to begin the process of creating a new item with variants.

For the best possible experience, add items with variants from a computer, not an iPad or mobile device.

  1. Click 'Items' and select 'Item List'.
  2. Click '+ Add New'.
  3. Choose 'Create' under 'Item with Variants'.

    To learn how to create a basic item, visit the Add Basic Items article.

  4. Follow the steps in the sections below to set up the item and create its variants.

Item Description & Settings

Define the basic characteristics of the item and customize its settings before building out its different variants.

Item Description

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

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Name | What the item is called. This appears on customer receipts and BackOffice reporting. Cashiers can search for items by Name at the register. An item can be given a nickname on the register button layout.

Department | General grouping used for item organization and reporting.

Category | A subgroup within a Department that is also used for item organization and reporting.

Register Status | If checked, the item can be sold at the register. If unchecked, the item cannot be sold.
Buttons for inactive items remain on the BackOffice layout until removed. Visit our troubleshooting guide to learn how to remove an item’s button.

Supplier | The vendor that supplies the item. Supplier appears on reports like Sales by Supplier and the Inventory Reorder Report.

Supplier’s Item 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.

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Taxable | 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.

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

Create & Track Item Variants

With the item’s foundation laid, set up the different ways, or variations, in which it is sold. After that, decide how to track the item’s variants in BackOffice.

Create Item Variants

Enter the options (e.g. Size, Color, etc.) and option values (e.g. Small, Red, etc.) that will determine 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.

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  2. Click '+ Add an option' to enter more options.

    There is a maximum of 3 options per item.

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    Options cannot be added or edited after saving the item. Option Values, however, can be.
  3. Uncheck variants you do not want in inventory.

    Inactive variants cannot be sold at the register. Check a box at any time to make that variant active again.

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  4. Enter a price for each variant.

    If each has the same price, enter it in one row and click ‘Copy to all’.

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  5. (Optional) Enter UPC codes in order to scan items or search by UPC at the register.

    UPC codes that are 8 or 12 digits cannot begin with 2, 4, 5, or contain letters. If a UPC does not meet these criteria, print a new label via ShopKeep Label Printing to be able to scan the item at the register.

    Getting a UPC related error? Visit our Items with Variants Troubleshooting guide for help.

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.
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  2. Enter Quantity, Cost, and/or Reorder Trigger for each variant.

    Or enter everything for one and click ‘Copy to all’ to fill in the others.

  3. Click 'Save' to save the item.
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If you need to delete an item and start over, click the ‘Delete’ link. Please be aware that:

  • If a deleted item is re-added later, labels printed for the original item must be reprinted.
  • Deleted items appear on sales reports, but do not appear on certain other reports. Visit the Inventory FAQ to learn which reports are not supported.
  • Sell an Item with Variants

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

    1. Tap a button, search by item name, SKU, or UPC, 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.

      Don’t see your item with variants on the register? Visit our troubleshooting guide for help.
    2. From left to right, select option values for the item being sold and tap 'Done'.
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    3. Finish the sale as usual.

    Items with Variants FAQ

    Below are some common questions regarding items with variants. If you don’t see your question listed here, try visiting our Inventory FAQ and Setup FAQ articles.

    Where can I learn more about items with variants?

    Visit our Items with Variants Index for an assortment of articles about items with variants.

    Can I transition existing basic items to items with variants?

    If you have existing items to change over, please read our Transitioning to Items with Variants article.

    What are the differences between modifiers and variants?

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

    How do variants appear in BackOffice?

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

    Can I print barcode labels for items with variants?

    Sure. You can print labels for items with variants directly from BackOffice using ShopKeep Label Printing.

    Can I add more variants to an existing item?

    You can add new option values to an existing item with variants by simply editing the item, but you cannot add new options.

    How many variants can an item have?

    Each item can have a maximum of 150 variants. Multiply together the number of values for each option to find your number of variants. For example, if an item has two options (Size and Color) and each option has 5 values (Small, Black, etc), there would be 25 total variants.

    How can I check the quantity on hand of an item with variants?

    Visit our Inventory Tracking & Reorder Report article to learn how to view an item’s quantity both in BackOffice and at the register.

    Can I import items with variants?

    Yes. Visit our Bulk Management: Items with Variants article to learn how to import new items with variants from a spreadsheet.

    How do I edit an item with variants?

    Select an item with variants from the Item List to make changes to it. To update many items with variants at once, use Bulk Management.

    How do I delete an item with variants?

    Select an item with variants from the Item List, then click the red ‘Delete’ link. To delete many items with variants at once, use Bulk Management.

    Please be aware that if a deleted item is re-added, labels printed for the item’s variants before deletion will not scan at the register. New labels must be printed. Deleted items will still appear on sales reports for dates prior to deletion, but will not appear on some other reports. Visit our Inventory FAQ to learn which reports do not support deleted items.

    How can I get help if I have issues using items with variants?

    Visit our Items with Variants Troubleshooting guide for help solving some common problems.

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

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