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Can I use extra product options with variable products?

WooCommerce Product Options lets you add extra product options to any product type, including simple and variable products. This article explains how it works with variations.

WooCommerce itself lets you add variations to your products, which are displayed in dropdowns on the single product page. There are two main ways to use variations with extra product options:

Display product options underneath the variations

When you add product options to your variable products, then the additional options will appear underneath the variation dropdowns. Customers can select their variations and options, and add the product to the cart with everything selected correctly.

Tip: If any of your products have lots of variations then you can make them quicker to manage by installing our WooCommerce Bulk Variations plugin. This adds bulk options for your variations so that you can perform bulk actions such as setting the same price or image for all variations with a particular attribute:

Replace your variations with product options

If you use WooCommerce then you'll probably know that managing variations can be very time-consuming. The problem is that you need to create a separate variation for every possible combination of options. If you have more than a few types of option then this multiplies up exponentially, and you quickly find yourself managing dozens or even hundreds of variations for a single product.

For example, let's say that you're selling a t-shirt with 8 color options, 3 size options, and 4 style options, and that each style option has a different price. To do this as a variable product, you need 96 variations in total - each with their own size, image, and other settings!

It's much simpler to use product options instead of variations. Each option is managed independently, avoiding these problems. To use the above example, you would create 3 product options:

  • Color - You could use a dropdown, radio buttons, or even color swatches to provide a more visual way for customers to choose the t-shirt color.
  • Size - You could use a dropdown, radio buttons, or maybe text labels to display the size options.
  • Style - You could use a dropdown, radio buttons, or - even better - image buttons so that customers can look at a picture of each style and select their favorite.

You would add an extra fee to certain style options, so that the product price changes depending on which style is selected.

That way, you add each option once and don't need to worry about creating every possible combination. Everything is calculated automatically when the customer selects their options.

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