How to Create Variants from Simple Products in WooCommerce

Four neatly folded polo shirts.

Variable products are great. They let you offer a set of variations of a product from a single product page while allowing you to control the prices, stock, images of each variant.

However, integrating variable products with inventory management solutions like Unleashed can prove difficult. Not to worry though, in this post we’ll walk you through how to create variable products in a way that’s easy to manage.

Why Are Variable Products Difficult to Integrate?

Unlike WooCommerce, Unleashed does not provide support for variable products. Unleashed can only create simple products, so if for example, we wanted to have a variable shirt product with variants for colour and size, we’d have to make individual products for each of these variants in Unleashed (e.g. small red shirt, large blue shirt, etc.)

So how can we turn these simple products into variants in WooCommerce?

There are two ways to solve this problem:

  • Manually create a variable product in WooCommerce, then create variants based on the simple products from Unleashed.
  • Convert simple products from Unleashed into variants in bulk, using the WP Sheet Editor plugin.

The first method is time-consuming, and completely impractical if you’re dealing with hundreds or even thousands of products. So, in this post, we’ll walk you through the second method using the WP Sheet Editor plugin.

Creating Variants with WP Sheet Editor

Once you’ve installed and activated the WooCommerce Products Spreadsheet Plugin, we’re ready to turn our simple products from Unleashed into variants.

In our example, we’re going to be creating a shirt with two variations for colour and size. After creating our four products in Unleashed, we’ll bring them into WooCommerce. TIDEConnects will automatically handle this step for us.

Step 1

First, global attributes, that match the products you added to Unleashed, must be created under Products => AttributesIn this example, we’re going to be creating ‘Size’ and ‘Colour.’

Add the Attribute terms your products will use to their respective Attributes. In our example we’ll add the terms ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ to the ‘Colour’ attribute, and ‘Small’ and ‘Large’ to the ‘Size’ attribute.

Step 2

Open the WP Sheet Editor by clicking on WP Sheet Editor => Edit Products.

We’re going to combine our simple products into a variable product. Click ‘Add New’ in the top left of the table to create a new row. We’ll configure this row as a variable product.

Now add the following values to the row we just created in these columns:

  • Title: (Name of the Variable Product, set this as whatever you’d like. In our example, we’ll call it ‘Coloured Shirt’. This is the Product name that the customer will see, but you can change it on the product page afterwards)
  • Type: Variable (you can type this in or double-click the field and choose it from the dropdown menu)
  • Product (attribute): Enter all attribute terms you want to be selectable for this product. In our example, we’d put ‘Red, Blue’ under ‘Product Colour’ and ‘Small, Large’ under ‘Product Size’
  • Click Save to apply the changes

Step 3

To change the simple products into variations, we’ll need to change some values in each of their rows.

  • Post Type: product_variation (you can type this in or double-click the field and choose it from the dropdown menu)
  • Page Parent: Enter the title (from step 2) of the variable product we created. In our case, it’ll be ‘Coloured Shirt’
  • Product (attribute): Enter the relevant attribute terms for each product. For example, for our ‘Red Large Shirt’ product, we put ‘Red’ under ‘Product Colour’ and ‘Large’ Under ‘Product Size’
  • Click Save to apply the changes
  • Click Display Variations to see the variations you’ve created. They’ll be displayed next to the parent product.

You’re done! You should now see a new variable product on your product page with all the variations you’ve created. The product might still be in draft mode, so you’ll have to publish it for it to show up on the store.

Make Managing Variable Products Even Easier

While we’ve been able to create a variable product in WooCommerce from the simple products created in Unleashed, it’d be even better if we could keep these products in sync. That way we could manage our product information in Unleashed and have it reflected in WooCommerce, even with variants. With TIDEConnects you can do just that. TIDEConnects keeps your stock in-sync, so you won’t have to copy and paste information between systems.

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