Variants vs. Modifiers

It’s important to understand the benefits of using items with variants versus using basic items with modifiers. Items with variants are trackable and perfect for retail stores, while modifiers are ideal for restaurants requiring fast order customization and ticket printing.

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Advantages of Variants

Items with variants make it easy to sell items offered in multiple variations, such as a vase sold in different sizes, colors, and materials. Each variant is tracked separately in reporting, has its own quantity on hand and cost, and can be updated simultaneously with other variants.

Visit our Items with Variants Index for help understanding, creating, and using items with variants.

  1. Each variant has a unique SKU, allowing for individual tracking.
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  2. Each variant can have its own price, quantity, cost, UPC code, and reorder trigger.
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  3. Details, such as price and quantity, can be quickly copied from one variant to others within a single item.
  4. The same UPC code can be assigned to multiple variants within an item.
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  5. Easily make variants active or inactive from the Item List.

    Uncheck the box to make a variant inactive if it is out of stock. Check the box to make it active again once there is more available.

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  6. Quantities on hand can be updated independently for each variant.

    Learn how updating the quantity on hand of items with variants works here.

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  7. A variant can be rung up by scanning its barcode with a barcode scanner.
  8. Sales of variants can be tracked from a range of BackOffice reports.

    For example, the Transactions Report lists individual variants sold or returned on each transaction. Learn about other reports that contain variants here.

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  9. The Modifiers and Variants report tracks how much of each item and variant has been sold and returned.

    NOTE: This feature is only available for ShopKeep merchants on select pricing packages.

Some BackOffice features do not support items with variants. Visit our Items with Variants in BackOffice article to learn about these limitations.

Advantages of Modifiers

Modifiers are often used in restaurants and bars for order customization. They allow customers to make either/or choices (e.g. small or large), add on to items (e.g. extra cheese), and exclude ingredients. Modifiers can print on kitchen tickets, but cannot have their own cost or quantity on hand.

Visit our Modifiers support article for help understanding, creating, and using modifiers.

  1. During setup, modifiers can be quickly copied from one item to another.
  2. Modifiers can be set up to add to the price of an item when selected.
  3. Modifiers are flexible at the register, allowing multiple options to be selected.
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  4. Modifiers print to ticket printers, making it easy to convey to staff how to prepare an order.
  5. The Modifiers and Variants report tracks how much of each item and modifier has been sold and returned at the register.

    NOTE: This feature is only available for ShopKeep merchants on select pricing packages.