Options and Item Types

 Introduction

The option system proposed by Oxatis allows you to manage 3 sets of options, such as sizes, colors, and patterns. The system offers stock management for each option combination. You have the possibility of excluding invalid combinations (for example, the item doesn't exist in blue for size XL) and various layouts are available (notably with images). Lastly, this system is compatible with multi-prices.
 
 Differences between Multiple Attributes and Options

The Oxatis system also manages item attributes. The attributes allow you (to a certain extent) to manage options, but with several significant restrictions:
  • There is no stock management.
  • There are no complex layouts (images, list, etc.).
  • Attributes are limited to two traits, without the possibility of excluding combinations. All of the combinations are systematically valid. Therefore, if you have 2 colors and 3 sizes, you will not be able to define that the largest size is not available in a certain color.
Options solve all of the problems caused by these restrictions. It is also possible to use options and attributes together for a given item. The attributes can be used to add choices that aren't related to stock levels, such as "Gift Wrapping?", with the choice of Yes or No.

NOTE: An important difference between attributes and options is the way in which they manage prices. With attributes, the prices are added to the price that has been defined in the item file. This is not the case with options. The price defined for the options represents the actual sales price. For example, the price indicated for the combination Black-XL represents the final price for the sale of the item in this option combination. The concept of 'added price' doesn't exist for the options. On the other hand, they do use price inheritance mechanisms, which are explained further down in this document.

In conclusion, when you need to implement options for your items, take this information into account in order to choose the best solution. As a general rule, it is recommended to use options because they offer a wider variety of layout choices. Last but not least, it is important to know that it is possible to convert attributes to make options.
 
 Concept of Item Type

To use options, you must understand the concept of 'item type'.

An item type (or product type) is a "master" type that is going to reference the names (Color, Size, etc.) and the values (Red, XL, etc.) of the options. The item type is a concept that includes numerous advantages:
  • It allows you to save a lot of time when creating options for similar items (of the same type) because you won't have to redefine the options every time you create an item.
  • It allows you to make corrections in a centralized manner. Imagine that you sell color references and that one of your supplier references has changed names. In this case, you only have one value to update in your site for all of the products that share the same item type.
  • It centralizes translations for multilingual sites.
An item type can have 1, 2 or 3 traits. An item type with one trait can later evolve to include a second trait. Imagine that you sell a tee shirt model in 3 sizes. This is an example of an item type with 1 trait (Size) and 3 values (M, L, XL). If your supplier now stocks you with this same tee shirt in two different colors, you can expand the item type to include a second trait (Color). Next, you will have to simply edit the items so that they will inherit this new trait, which only requires a few clicks thanks to the item type!

You can, at any time, modify the item types that have already been created by using the page that can be accessed through the [Commerce\Item Types] menu.
 
 Create Options for an Item

IMPORTANT: Before creating options for your existing products, we strongly encourage you to become familiar with the system and its concepts by using one or several test items. Indeed, setting up options for an item has significant consequences for the item itself concerning, among other things, its stock levels and prices. It is important to understand all of the implications relating to the implementation of options before altering your catalog or shop.

Go to the item management page. In the row containing the item to which you wish to add options, click on the icon in the right-hand side of the row allowing you to edit the options.
You will be brought to a wizard that is going to allow you to create the options.
Systematically read the messages that are displayed by the wizard. They will allow you to understand the operations that need to be carried out after each step.
To start with, the wizard is going to ask you to define the item type. Read the different information contained in each section of the form for more details. Note that the wizard can help you generate the codes for your options but that this functionality can be deactivated. The item type name ("Tee Shirt", for example) will never be displayed to your visitors or customers. Once the item type is defined, the wizard is going to propose the list of the possible option combinations. You can then deactivate the combinations that do not apply to the item (if black is not available in XL, for example).
When you click on the [Finish] button, numerous operations are going to take place. Here's an outline:
- The system is going to save the item type (you can then reuse it at a later time).
- The system is going to create the selected options and attach them to your item.
- The item is going to be attached to the new item type.
- The stock level of the item is going to be brought back down to zero.
Etc.

Once you have finished with the wizard, go to the page allowing you to manage the options (prices, position, etc.).
Modify the stock level for each combination and save your changes.

Return to your item and preview it by clicking on its name. As you can see, the options are now displayed in the item file.

Now select another item that is similar to the previous one (one that shares that same item type!), and go to the option creation wizard. In the page containing the definition of the item type, you are going to be able to select the item type that was previously created and skip directly to the page displaying the combinations! As you can see, this function provides a high level of comfort and ease when creating options. And nothing prevents you from adding a new value (like another color) in the item type. This value will be saved in the item type, but note that this value will not automatically appear in the options of the item that was initially associated to the item type. It is necessary to use the wizard to validate the creation of this new option for the initial item!
 
 Modify the Options Created for an Item

Once the options are created, you use the same icon that you used to create your options to access the option management page.
Note that the assistant is still accessible using the button in the top right-hand corner of the page. Indeed, you can relaunch the wizard at any time to add values or traits to your item!
 
 Concept of Default Option

The default option (or the default combination) is generally the most standard option combination for the item. This is the combination that is proposed when the item is displayed (without having asked for a specific option). There is always a default option in the option list. You can change the default option by editing the properties of the option that you want to define as the default. Note that the wizard generates the default option randomly. You are free to change this definition after you have finished the wizard.

NOTE: If the default option is out of stock, the system will randomly choose another option when the item is displayed in the catalog or shop.
 
 Option Layout

When options are attached to an item, you have the choice of different layouts for these options. Click on the "Edit the options" icon of your item, and then click on the "Element Layout" tab at the top of the page.

There are 3 possible layout types. Also note that each option list has its own layout. Read the information provided for each layout and choose a suitable layout according to the options used by your item (number of possibilities, with or without images, etc.).

Finally, it is important to know that the options inherit the layout properties of the item. Take the example of stock level. If you have activated the display of the stock level of your item, then the stock level for each option will be displayed. The same goes for many of the item properties.
 
 Inheritance: Price, Item Code, Image, Etc.

In many cases, the options inherit the properties of the item.

If the price of the option is not defined (blank field), then the price defined in the item properties is used! If you have an item that has 4 associated options, and only one of the options has a different price than the others, you can enter the shared price in the item properties and only enter a price in the field for the option requiring a price change.
WARNING: 0 (zero) is a valid price! If you do not want to define a price, do not enter a value in the price field (leave it blank).

When using option layouts including images, if the image is not defined in the option file, the image defined in the item file will be used.

It is not mandatory to define a code for each option. If you do not define a code, the main item code will be used.

The VAT defined in the item properties will be applied to the option prices.

Etc.
 
 Conversion of Attributes to Options

It is possible to convert attributes to options. This functionality is only available if options have not already been associated to the item.

To perform the conversion, go to the attribute management page of your item and click on the [Convert to Options] button in the top right-hand corner. Once you are in the wizard (which is similar to the wizard used to create options), you will be able to create an item type or to use an existing item type. The wizard is then going to analyze your attributes and propose an option list displaying the possible combinations of your attributes and taking into account the codes, prices, etc.
You must now select the valid combinations.

IMPORTANT: The wizard offers you the possibility of deleting the attributes after conversion. Use this function with caution because you cannot retrieve your attributes once they've been deleted. Nothing will prevent you from deleting the attributes manually after the conversion, once you are certain that you have obtained the desired result after the conversion. If you don't delete the attributes, the product will be displayed with the options and the attributes, which means that you will be asking for the same information twice (without counting the fact that this may double the price) in the item file. Obviously, it is not at all recommended to leave converted attributes in the item file with the options. However, you can test the item for a few minutes before deleting the attributes.
 
 Questions-Answers

Q: Why is it impossible to modify the stock level in the editing file of the item properties?
A: This is normal. Once the item has been associated to options, the stock level of this item becomes a read-only field (impossible to modify) and represents the sum of the stock levels of the options associated to the item. In other words, if you have 3 options associated to an item, and each option has a stock level of 2, the total stock level of the item will be 6 (3 x 2). However, you cannot modify the 6, but only "each" 2 located in the option file.

Q: What happens if I delete all of the options associated to my item?
A: The item reverts to its previous state (that is to say, an item without options). For security reasons, this item is removed from the list of items for sale (by means of an automatic modification of the state of progress). You are free to delete the item if there is no longer a need for it in your catalog or shop.

Q: Can I see all of the options, from all of my items, that are out of stock?
A: Yes! This is possible. Go to the option management page of an item and click on the [See all options (from all items)] button. This will give you access to a global management page for the options of all of your items. All you have to do is filter the list based on the stock level ([Edit the View] button, "Quantity in stock:").

Q: I deleted an option combination by accident. How can I recreate it?
A: You have to use the option creation wizard. This wizard will analyze the existing options and will allow you to add options that have not been created.

Q: Are all of the options exported to the price engines?
A: No. For the moment, only the default option is exported.

Q: What is the maximum number of options that I can add?
A: You can create 200 possibilities per option.
 

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