Overall, when you review the following paragraphs, keep in mind that when you add a Configurable Product to your store, what you are doing is really setting up the general properties for this customizable product or service (e.g. product name, descriptions, images, etc.).
Name, Description, Images, etc.
- SKU, Name, Description
This is the SKU (or part number), Name and Description of the Configurable product. On a computer store, for example, there may be a “Build Your PC” category containing three customizable computers, whose default configurations and available options differ from one to the other. They might be called “Gaming PC”, “Home Office PC”, and “Road Warrior”. The names, part numbers and descriptions for these products are entered here.
- Categories, images, etc.
These product properties behave exactly as they do for Standard Products.
Understanding Base and Default Price
The DifferenceThe price fields behave differently for Configurable Products than they do for Standard Products in your store.
- Base Price & Default Price
The base price is the minimum price for the product before any customizations have been made, either by the administrator (default selections – see Assigning Products & Items for more details) and/or by the customer
In some cases, the Base Price could be zero. This could likely be the case when the store is selling a service that is entirely customized to meet the client’s needs (e.g. printing services, catering services, etc.). In most cases, however, the base price will reflect the cost of the product without any configurations. For example, a computer store may set the base price at a level that covers items that cannot be chosen by the customer (e.g. the motherboard, the computer case, etc.). In that example too, if all items are chosen by the customer, then the Base Price might be zero.
- When the base price is zero, ProductCart automatically hides it whenever the product is shown in the storefront, and does not allow the customer to add the product to the shopping cart from the product details page, but rather only from the product configuration page. This allows the store administrator to 'force' the customer to configure the product or service, which can only be added to the shopping cart (or saved as a quote) after it has been configured. This would typically be the case when the store is selling products or services for which there is no “default” configuration.
- When the base price is other than zero, but there is no default configuration, then ProductCart displays it on the product details page, together with the list price and the online savings offered by the store, if that option is selected.
- When the administrator has set default configurations for the product, then ProductCart displays the Default Price, which is the sum of the base price plus the prices of all the default selections chosen by the administrator. For more details about how the administrator can setup default selections for a product, see the section of this chapter entitled Assigning Products & Items.
- Hide Default Price
If the price base price or default price (base price + default options) is other than zero, but you don't want to show it in the storefront (e.g. it's too small or could confuse customers), check the Hide Default Price option.
- Hide Default Configuration
If the administrator has assigned default selections to the Configurator product, these items are listed on the product details page, right above the price. In some cases, you may not want to show this list (e.g. the list is too long). Check the Hide Default Configuration to hide the list of default selections from the product details page.
- Skip Product Detail Page
Selecting this option means customers who click on the product in the store front will directly be taken to the Customize page rather than the product detail page that contains a prompt for them to configure the product.
- Disallow Purchasing (Quoting only)
When this option is selected, users cannot place an order for Configurable Products. They can only configure the product, save the configuration to a quote, and print or submit the quote. Note that this feature applies store-wide to all Configurable Products. If you would like to apply it to a specific Configurable Product, use the Add/Modify Configurable Product page, discussed later in this chapter.
- Maximum number of selections
This allows you to specify the total number of items selected on the product configuration page.
Minimum PriceWhenever there are default selections, the default price becomes the minimum price for the product, until the customer chooses selections cheaper than the default ones, if any, while configuring the product. If there are no default selections, then by definition the default price equals the base price. If there are no default selections and the base price is zero, the price is automatically hidden and the customer is forced to go through the configuration steps.
An ExampleFor example, continuing with the computer store scenario, the price of a Configurable Product may be setup as follows:
- Base Price: $100
The base price, as we mentioned, is entered at the time the Configurable Product is added to the store. In this scenario, it may include the cost of the computer case, fan, motherboard, etc.
- Default Customizations: $350
The administrator may suggest a configuration by choosing a default processor, hard disk, etc. The customer will then be able to either add the product to the shopping cart “as is”, if he likes the default selections, or change one or more of them.
- Default Price: $450 = $100 + $350
The default price changes dynamically based on the administrator’s default selection and the base price. This is the price that is shown on the store for this Configurator Product.
Disallowing the ability to purchase
There are scenarios in which you may want customers not to be able to purchase a certain product or service, but rather only create a custom quote for it. In some cases, you may also want to hide prices for that product or services.
Continuing on our computer shop example, let's assume that you were selling refurbished systems: the prices of many of the parts may fluctuate daily depending on availability and other factors. So rather than showing prices that may be too high or too low, you may want your customers to configure the custom computer that they would like to purchase, without seeing any prices.
When they submit the quote via e-mail, you can look up updated prices for each of the parts that they included in their Configurable Product, and get back to them with a price.
When the Disallow Purchasing option is selected, the following occurs on the storefront:
- The product details page does not contain a Buy Now button. Customers can only proceed to the configuration page. The default price for the product is hidden throughout the store is the Hide Prices option is selected.
- The second step of the configuration process (or the first step of the configuration process if there are no Additional Charges assigned to the product) does not contain a Buy Now button. All prices are hidden if the Hide Prices option is selected, otherwise they are shown.
- Customers can only save the configured product or service as a quote. If you want customers to be able to submit a saved quote to you, make sure to enable the Allow Users to Submit a Quote feature on the Product Configurator Settings page.
Configurator Product Weight
Similarly to the price, the weight is affected by the store administrator's default selections. Unlike for a Standard Product, there are three weights for a Configurable Product:
- Base Weight
This is the weight that is entered when adding a Configurable Product to the store catalog. Continuing on the example mentioned above, this would be the weight for the computer case, the motherboard, and other items that make up the base product.
- Default Weight
This is the sum of the base weight plus the weight of all the items chosen by the store administrator as part of the default configuration. If the customer were to buy this Configurable Product “as is”, because he/she likes the default configuration, then this would be the weight used by ProductCart to calculate shipping charges (if you are using a weight-based shipping rate).
- Configured Weight
This is the sum of the base weight plus the weight of all the items chosen by the store administrator and/or the customer. When the customer customizes the product using the configuration page, the weight changes dynamically based on his/her selections.
- Downloadable Product Settings
Just like with standard products, you can set a Configurable product to be a downloadable product. For details on these settings, please refer to the section of this User Guide that covers downloadable products. Note that the Configurable Product itself can be a downloadable product. However, if you assign downloadable products to the Configurable Product as selectable items, those products are not processed as downloadable products. This feature could be used, for example, if you were to sell a software package and have the customer configure whether or not they wanted a printed or electronic manual, standard or premium technical support, assisted installation, other related services, etc. These items that are assigned to the Configurable Product are not downloadable products. The downloadable product is the Configurable Product.
- Clone an Existing Product
To create a new Configurable Product that is similar to as an existing Configurable Product or service, take advantage of the Clone an existing product feature. Simply search for the existing product from the drop-down menu and select the product you wish to duplicate.
Click on the Add button to add the new Configurable Product to your catalog. A confirmation page will be displayed. From this page, you can perform a number of tasks, which are listed below.
- Preview in your storefront
Select this link to preview what the Configurable Product's product detail page will look like.
- Modify this product again
This link will take you back to the previous page so that you may edit the product again.
- Set up this configurable product or service
Click on this link to start setting up this product. You will be able to add groups of products and items for your customers to select from when they customize and buy this product. The next section of this chapter describes in detail how to configure a product. You can also copy the configuration from an existing product, a great time-saving feature when setting up similar Configurable Products.
- Add/Modify custom search or input fields
This link will take you to a page where you can add new custom search or input fields, or view existing custom fields for this product. Please refer to the Managing Your Products section of this support base for more details on custom input and search fields.
- Add a cross-selling relationship
This link takes you to a "Locate" page where you can search for other similar products within your store and opt for them to be featured on the product detail page for the current Configurable Product.
- View/Add quantity discounts
Click on this link to be taken to the section of the Control Panel where you can add/edit quantity discounts for your products. Please refer to the Marketing section of this support base for more details on quantity discounts.
- View other products assigned to this category
This link will take you to the View/Add products page within the category that matches your Configurable Product.
- View the category in the storefront
This link will take you to the category display page in the storefront.
- Manage categories
Click on this link to be taken to the Manage Categories area, where you can assign or remove this and other products from a category.
- Clone this product
This link will duplicate the Configurable Product you just created into a new "Add New Configurable Product" form so that you may easily create a similar product.
- Add another product
Loads an empty Add New Configurable Product form.
- Locate a product
Use this link to search for an item within your store.