Transition to Items with Variants

If your inventory includes basic items with options / modifiers, or if you’ve represented modifiers and options as unique items in the Item List, simplify reporting and data entry by combining these items into a single item with variants. Here, we’ll guide you through transitioning from existing basic items to new items with variants.

Need help deciding if items with variants are right for your business? Visit this interactive support article.

Table of Contents

Basic Items to Items with Variants

Recreate current basic inventory items as new items with variants for better inventory tracking. When creating these items, there are a couple of things to know. Let’s get started.

Things to know:

  • Items with variants can be created individually from the Items List or imported via Bulk Management.
  • New items with variants cannot share names with existing basic items.
  • There is no automatic way to change an existing basic item to a new item with variants.
  • Basic items with modifiers must be created individually as an item with modifiers. Not sure if you want to keep the item as basic with modifiers? Check out our Modifiers vs Variants article to find out.
  • You cannot link any reporting for an existing basic item to a newly created item with variants.
  • You should not delete the existing basic item. Instead, modify your inventory with Bulk Management and set the ‘Register Status’ to ‘inactive’ after creating the item with variants.
  • UPC’s cannot be duplicated in BackOffice, so if an existing basic item has a UPC that you need to add to a new item with variants then you must delete the UPC from the basic item first.
  • Duplicate UPCs can be assigned to multiple variant options within a single Variant Item.
  • Barcode labels printed using SKU’s with SKU’s from existing basic items must be re-printed after those items are recreated as variants. You can print labels for items with variants directly from BackOffice using ShopKeep Label Printing.
  • Items List

  • When recreating basic items as items with variants, items are recognized in BackOffice as separate items. Create items with variants the same way that you would a basic item.
  • Click ‘Add Item’ from the Items List and ‘Create’ under Item with Variants. See here for more detailed instructions on creating an item with variants.
  • Input the variations, such as size and color, as you have on the existing basic item into the corresponding fields on the Add Item page.
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  • Items must have unique names. So, if the existing basic item is called ‘Sheet Set’, give the item with variants a different name, like ‘Sheet Sets’. Do not delete the basic item.
  • Add UPCs to each variant. If the existing basic item uses a UPC that must be used for a variant, remove the UPC from the basic item before adding it to the variant. Failure to do this will result in a ‘UPC already used’ error.
  • When items with variants are created, the name of the main item will appear on the list. The Item List contains both basic items and items with variants. Click the dropdown arrow to view each variant in items that contain them.
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    Bulk Management

  • When recreating basic items as items with variants, items are recognized in BackOffice as separate items. Import items with variants the same way that you would basic items.
  • Start a new Bulk Management job and download the blank import template. Visit the Bulk Management: Items with Variants article for detailed instructions.
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  • Input the variations, such as size and color, that you have for the existing basic item into the corresponding Option Name and Option Value fields of the template spreadsheet.
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  • Items must have unique names. So, if an existing basic item is called ‘Sheet Set’, give the item with variants a different name like ‘Sheet Sets’. Do not delete the basic item.
  • If the existing basic item contains a UPC that must be used for a variant, remove the UPC from the basic item before adding it to the spreadsheet.
  • The values you enter (e.g. UPC, Price, etc) apply to each of that item’s variants. You can edit each variant individually after import from the Items List.
  • When the spreadsheet is finished, save and upload it to Bulk Management. Visit the Bulk Management: Items with Variants article for step-by-step instructions.
  • When the import is done, the name of the main item will appear on the Items List. The Item List contains both basic items and items with variants. Click the dropdown arrow to view all of an item’s variants.
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    Reporting

  • Reporting data starts for the item with variants when that item is created. Reporting data for the original basic items will remain in BackOffice but cannot be applied to the new item with variants. To view the totals, export reports to a spreadsheet and combine the data.
  • You do not have to delete the existing basic item. Keep this item for reporting purposes.
  • The example below includes an existing basic item followed by the newly created item with variants. The Quantity column contains the total quantity sold for both instances.
  • The Stock Items Export provides a copy of your existing inventory with individual variants listed on their own lines.
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    Example uses transactions table export.
  • Use the Adjustment History report to see adjustments made to both basic items and items with variants
  • Basic items with modifiers do not have the same reporting capabilities as creating an item with variants. Variants are representative of separate items, whereas modifiers represent alterations to the basic item, such as a customer’s request to add non-fat milk in coffee.
  • The Inventory Value report includes both basic items and items with variants in the total inventory value. The list of items below the total inventory value displays both basic items and individual variant items. You can also visit the Items List to see the value of any individual item with variants.
  • The Inventory Reorder Report lists basic stock items and items with variants separately. Click the tabs to move between lists.
  • View the quantity history for any variant from the Edit Item page. On the Items List, select an item with variants. Then, click the down arrow and select View History next to any variant.
  • Unavailable report for items with variants:

  • Customer Purchase History Export
  • Items with Variants at the Register

    When an item with variants is selected at the register, the variants appear, similarly to modifiers. Keep in mind that each variant is representative of a separate item in reporting.

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    Don’t see your item with variants on the register? Visit our Troubleshooting Guide for help.

    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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