What are product types?

There are three product types:

  • Standalone 
  • Parent 
  • Variant

By default, all products are Standalone Products, which means that the relationships between the products aren't recognized by ShipStation.

If you enable Advanced Product Types (in your Account Settings (the gear icon in the top right, under Account and Display Options), you’ll get access to Parent and Variant product types-- a new way to relate products to one another.

How are Parents and Variants useful? Let's say you have a 'Kitten T-Shirt' in various colors and sizes. Currently, ShipStation treats those shirts as separate, Standalone products for reporting purposes. However, if you group all the different sizes and colors as Variant products under a 'Kitten T-shirt' Parent product, your Product Sales and Item Demand Summary reports can tell you how your new ‘Kitten T-shirt’ is doing overall.

Additionally, some product-level settings (like shipping preferences or reporting categories) can be passed down from Parents to their Variants. Here's a screenshot of a Variant products Shipping and Customs details, showing that Domestic shipping information has been inherited from the parent:

Any inherited shipping settings can be overridden by making entries or selections on the Variant's record.

Ready to turn on Advanced Products?

Head to your Account Settings (the gear icon in the upper right).

Next, select Account and then Display Options from the sidebar on the left.

Then, scroll to the section called "Products," find the option called "Product Type," and select "Advanced (Parents, Variants, and Standalones)."

Don’t forget to Save Changes!

Once you do that, you’ll be able to:

  • Create new Parent products
  • Add Variants to Parents
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