Shopify variant app
Business Technology

Shopify Variants App for Product Options on Collection

Understanding Shopify Variants and the Variator App

Shopify, as a leading e-commerce platform, continuously aims to provide flexibility and functionality to its users. One of the standout features is the ability to show product variants. However, understanding how Shopify treats variants and the potential of the Variator app to show Shopify product variants to enhance your e-commerce experience can be crucial to success. Let’s dive deep into the world of Shopify variants and the power of the Variator app.

Shopify Variants: Not Just Options

When discussing products, it’s common to think of a single item. However, many products come with various options such as size, color, material, or other attributes. In Shopify, these options are treated as ‘variants’.

Contrary to what some might assume, Shopify does not consider variants merely as sub-options of a primary product. Instead, every variant is almost like a separate product with its unique SKU, inventory tracking, and even pricing. This approach allows for significant flexibility for store owners, ensuring that each variant can be managed, tracked, and marketed independently if needed.

For instance, if you sell t-shirts, rather than creating a single product listing with dropdown options for size and color, Shopify treats each size and color combination as a unique product variant. This means the small blue T-shirt and the large red T-shirt are two distinct variants. As a result, Shopify offers:

Detailed Inventory Management:

You can track how many units of each specific variant you have in stock.

Individual Pricing: Maybe the larger sizes cost more to produce and thus have a different price point. With Shopify’s variant system, this is easily manageable.

Specialized Marketing: Promotions or discounts can be applied to specific variants, letting store owners target sales more effectively.

Variator App: Powering Collection Pages

While Shopify’s in-built system is robust, there’s always room for improvement. This is where third-party applications, like the Variator app, come into play.

One limitation of the default Shopify setup is that, on collection pages, usually only the primary product image is shown, not its variants. This can be a disadvantage if a customer is specifically looking for a product in a certain color or style. They might overlook a product if they don’t see the variant they want at first glance.

The Variator app addresses this limitation. Here’s how it enhances the shopping experience:

Showcasing Variants on Collection Pages:

With the Variator app, when customers browse a collection page, they can see all variants of a specific product on the collection pages of the store. They can see different variants directly from the collection overview. This can lead to increased click-through rates as customers immediately spot the version of the product they’re interested in.

Enhanced User Experience: Shoppers no longer need to click on each product and navigate through dropdown menus to find their desired variant. With variants visible upfront, the browsing process becomes much more efficient and enjoyable.

Better Conversions: By making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for, the Variator app can potentially lead to higher conversions and sales.

Improve Organic Ranking for Each Individual Product Variant

It’s not enough to just have a functional online store. To drive traffic and sales, your site should be optimized for search engines and should offer a pleasant reading experience for visitors. Yoast SEO is a popular tool that helps in this regard. It provides feedback on keyword usage, meta descriptions, and other SEO elements. Moreover, it gives readability scores, ensuring content is user-friendly.

A well-optimized product listing, complemented by tools like Variator, not only makes your store more user-friendly but also search-engine-friendly. By showcasing variants effectively and providing detailed, readable descriptions, you enhance the user’s journey from search engine to shopping cart.

Embracing Variants: The Way Forward in E-commerce

As e-commerce platforms evolve, it’s evident that the needs and preferences of consumers are changing too. Gone are the days when a one-size-fits-all approach to product listing was sufficient. Today’s consumers demand choices and a streamlined shopping experience. This demand emphasizes the importance of features like product variants and tools such as the Variator app.

The Broader Implications for E-commerce Businesses:

Customization is King: With the capacity to manage and showcase product variants effectively, e-commerce businesses can better cater to the individual needs of their customers. A business that offers customization stands out, ensuring that the specific requirements of every shopper are addressed.

Data-Driven Insights: Having separate variants means businesses can gather data on which specific options are more popular. This can inform production decisions, marketing strategies, and promotional campaigns.

Improved Inventory Management: One of the challenges e-commerce businesses face is inventory management. By treating each variant as a separate product, it becomes easier to manage stock levels, reducing the risk of overselling or underselling.

Tips for Maximizing the Use of Variants and Variations:

High-Quality Images: It’s imperative to use high-quality images for each variant. This not only enhances the visual appeal of your collection pages but also gives the customer a clearer understanding of what they are purchasing.

Detailed Descriptions: Each variant might have its unique features or specifications. Ensure these are clearly described so that customers can make informed decisions.

Promote Variability: Utilize marketing campaigns to highlight the range of options available. For instance, a campaign like “A Shade for Every Mood” for a lipstick brand can draw attention to the vast color options available.

Stay Updated: Platforms like Shopify regularly update their features and functionalities. Similarly, third-party apps might roll out new features. Stay updated to ensure you are maximizing the potential of these tools.

Show infinite Product Variants on Collection with the Variator App

While Shopify provides an excellent platform for e-commerce ventures, one of its perceived limitations has been the restriction on the number of product variants. Historically, Shopify has limited each product to 100 variants. 

For many businesses, this is more than enough. But for others, especially those offering highly customizable products, this restriction can be a bottleneck.

But as with many challenges in the e-commerce realm, solutions emerge. Let’s explore the concept of infinite product variants on Shopify and how businesses can navigate this terrain.

The Need for Infinite Variants:

Certain industries naturally require more customization options. For instance:

Custom Jewelry: Imagine a store where a piece of jewelry can be tailored based on metal type, gemstone, design, size, engraving, and more.

Tailored Clothing: A suit might have variations in fabric, cut, lining, size, and additional customizations.

Home Decor: A furniture piece, like a customizable sofa, can have variations in size, material, color, cushion type, leg design, and more.

In such cases, 100 variants might not suffice. This is where the need for “infinite” variants emerges.

Navigating Infinite Product Variants on Shopify:

While Shopify doesn’t natively support infinite product variants, here are some strategies and tools to bypass this limitation:

Use Product Options Apps: There are several third-party apps available in the Shopify app store, like Infinite Options and Best Custom Product Options, that allow businesses to add unlimited custom product options, thus indirectly providing the functionality for infinite variants.

Nested Products: Another strategy is to use the concept of nested products. Instead of trying to list all variants under one product, you can create sub-products. For instance, a primary product could be a basic sofa design, while the sub-products could be the various customizations available.

Utilize Bundles: Create product bundles where the primary product remains consistent, but the accompanying items change. For instance, a basic ring design can be paired with different gemstones and metals, creating multiple bundle options.

Custom Solutions: If none of the available solutions fit the bill, consider hiring a Shopify expert to create a custom solution tailored to your business’s specific needs.

Challenges and Considerations:

While these solutions offer a way around Shopify’s variant limitation, they come with their own challenges:

Complexity: Managing infinite product variants can become complex. It requires careful organization and tracking.

User Experience: Ensure that the shopping experience remains seamless for customers. Too many options, if not presented intuitively, can overwhelm and deter potential buyers.

Pricing and Inventory: Each variant might have its pricing model and inventory level. It’s crucial to keep these updated to prevent miscommunication and dissatisfaction among customers.


The dynamic nature of e-commerce demands constant adaptation and innovation. As consumer preferences shift towards more choices and a seamless shopping experience, features like Shopify’s product variants and tools like the Variator app will become indispensable.

For businesses aiming for longevity and success in the e-commerce realm, embracing these tools and strategies is not just an option; it’s a necessity. The future of e-commerce is diverse, customizable, and user-centric, and with the right tools, businesses can align themselves perfectly with this vision.

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