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 stock level 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. Information 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 in BackOffice.

    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.

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  6. Inventory can be received and adjusted independently for each variant.

    See how receiving and adjusting items with variants works here.

  7. A variant can be rung up by scanning the item 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 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.

    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.
  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.

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


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