Ecommerce Templates > General Help > The Control Panel > Admin products options page

Product options

Overview

Product options allow your customers to choose specific attributes or add-ons for each product. This would typically be an item of clothing offered in various colors or a build your own computer system where the buyer can choose the processor, memory, monitor etc. Any price changes are shown in real time - it is also possible to plug-in the weight difference if applicable so shipping can be calculated correctly. Version 4.9.0 saw the introduction of a feature allowing the product option to have its own product id.

Accessing the Product Options

Select the “product options” link from the left hand menu of your control panel.

Product options

From this screen you can clone, modify or delete an existing product option or add a new one. There is also the possibility to add a New Text Input Option.

Setting up a new Product Option

Click on New Option and you should see a screen with this at the top:

Product options

The Screen Explained

Option Name: This is the name that is displayed on the products page next to the product it relates to.

Working Name: This is for internal use only and helps identify the product option in the admin section. It may be that you have different product options for colors depending on the product eg different colors available for socks and shoes.

Option Style: Choose to show your product options as a drop down menu, radio buttons or Multiple Purchase.

The Multiple Purchase feature was introduced in Version 5.5.0 and allows customers to select different quantities of product options from the same page before adding them all to cart. It will appear on the product and / or product detail page like this:

Multi purchase

The number of columns displayed is set in vsadmin/includes.asp or includes.php

No default: Select here if there is no default product option to be shown.

Single line: Select here if you want the options to appear on the same line rather than one below another. (This feature is not available for the multipurchase layout above where columns should be used for the layout choices).

"Please Select" line: If selected this will show the message "Please Select" before the product options.

Force Selection: Check this box if you want to force the customer to select a product option for the product they are purchasing.

Below that box, you should see a screen like this

Product options

The Screen Explained

Click on the Plus button to enter a new product option anywhere in the list

Options / Values: These are the product options that will appear with the product it has been assigned to.

Price Diff: If there is a price difference associated to the product option then it can be added here. For example if the option costs $1 more than the base product price then place "1" in the Price Diff box. If the option costs 10% more than the base product price then check the percentage box and place "10" in the Price Diff box.

Wholesale Price: If you are using wholesale pricing and there is a difference in price involved then they can be entered here.

Weight Diff: If there is a weight difference associated to the product option then it can be added here. For example if the option weighs 1 kilo over the base product weight then place "1" in the Weight Diff box. If the option weighs 10% more than the base product weight then check the percentage box and place "10" in the Weight Diff box.

Select Options / Alternates to continue configuring the product options

Product options

The Screen Explained

Alt Prod ID: Version 4.9.0 saw the introduction of this feature and version 5.7.0 a complete overhaul to improve functionality. The alt prod id feature allows you to assign a unique product reference to a product option by either creating a completely new id or modifying the existing product id.

This feature can be particularly useful in combination with stock management as you are able to control the inventory of individual items such as a setting stock on long-sleeved blue shirts rather than on the generic shirt product. It also means that each product id can have its own image associated without having to list them separately on the page.

We have set up a separate help page here that gives some background and samples of how this feature can be used.

Alt Image: From version 5.5.0 you can assign different images with the product option choices. This means that as a customer selects a product option the image will change accordingly. In this field you should place the path to the image you want to appear on the products page when an option is selected.

Alt Large Image: This is where you would place the path to the image that would show on the product detail page once an option has been selected.

Select Dependent Options if you want to choose an option dependent on a previous selection (Version 6.4 required)

Product options

Dependent product options allow your customers to select choices dependent on the previous option chosen. For example you may have different colors available depending on whether the customer chooses a matt or satin paint. Dependent options can be displayed as radio buttons or drop down menus and they will work with the Alt Prod ID feature outlined above.

Checkboxes as Product Options
From version 5.9, product options that are shown as radio buttons will automatically become checkboxes if there is only one option. This enables selecting / deselecting the option and also as a radio button has no sense for a single option as it cannot be deselected. This enables very neat lists of Yes / No or Want / Don't want options when set up this way or "Multiple Selection Lists".

Tools Tips

In version 6.5 we added the ability to add tool tips to the product options. You can add text, images and links to a pop up window that will appear next to the option. Any valid HTML can be used..

Tool tip

This will result in an icon appearing next to the option which will open up a window when clicked

Tool tip

Adding a Text Input Option

The text input option is used when you need the customer to add some information regarding the product. This might be a personalized message added to the product or if you are selling domain names, the domain that the customer wishes to buy.

Text input option

The Screen Explained

Option Name: This is the name of the option that will appear on your store.

Working Name: This is for internal use only and is useful when you have options that could have the same name.

Default Text if any: If you need to populate the field on the store then add the message here. If not then leave blank.

Force Selection: Check this box if you want to force the customer to add some text to the box.

Field Width: The width of the box that will appear on the store.

Field Height: If you set this to a number higher then one then you will create a multiline box, useful when loner input is required.

Max Entry Length: This is where you can limit the number of characters entered in the text input box. Choose between 1 and 255 characters.

Cost per character: If there is a charge involved you can choose between charging per character and for the whole entry.

Is Multiplier Option: If you have products sold by length for example, enter the value here and this will be multiplied by the base price of the product to get a final total.

Acceptable Chars: This is where you can define the characters you are going to permit in the text input field. Leave blank to accept any combination or choose from the following examples.

A-Za-z 0-9 - alphanumeric plus spaces
0-9\. - numbers plus decimal
A-Za-z !"$%\., - letters, space and symbols

Please note that some symbols are special in regular expressions and will need escaping so for a period / full stop you'd want to escape that like this \. and to accept the slash \\ or a dash \-

Assigning a Product Option to a Product

Once you have set up the product options you need you can then assign them to their corresponding products. From the left hand menu select Product Admin and then Modify for the product that needs a new option. On the products admin page you should see a box where you can specify how many different product options (eg color, size) need to be assigned to the product.

Products

Once you assign the number then the corresponding number of drop down choices will appear so you can select the options that need to go with that product.

Frequently asked questions

How can I hide the product options from the products page?
How can I hide the display of the price difference for the product options?

How can I hide the product options from the products page?
For the ASP version add noproductoptions=true to includes.asp more details more details
For the PHP version add $noproductoptions=TRUE; to includes.php more details more details

How can I hide the display of the price difference for the product options?
For the ASP version add hideoptpricediffs=true to includes.asp more details more details
For the PHP version add $hideoptpricediffs=true; to includes.php more details more details