Magento 2 configurable product type is a single product with lists of options for each variation. Each option is a separate simple product with a unique SKU, which makes it possible to track down the inventory of each product variation.

The alternatives to using configurable products are to use a simple product with customization options, but this way does not offer you the ability to track inventory for each product variation.

Configurable product type may take a longer time to create compared to simple product type because it uses more SKUs. However, if you plan to grow and succeed in your business, a configurable product can save you time in the long term.

Magento 2 configurable product type is a popular choice for products with multiple options, it offers variable options shoppers can choose from in the storefront. Example: The "Gobi HeatTec® Tee" with variants like size and color

Configurable product

In the configurable product creation, the key settings are in the "Configurations" section where you will generate product variations

Follow the steps below to create a configurable product in Magento 2:

Step 1: Select The Product Type

log in to the backend and go to Catalog > Inventory > Products.

In the Add Product menu, click to the upper-right corner and select Configurable Product

Product grid

Step 2: General Settings

Enable Product – choose to enable or disable the configurable product in the storefront

Attribute Set – select the attribute for the configurable product. You can use the dropdown list or search in the search box.

Enter the Product Name and SKU of the configurable product

Price – enter the price of the configurable product.

If you want to configure "Advanced Pricing" to offers, a special price per customers group, you can configure it at any associated simple product that will be created.

Tax Class – choose the tax class of the configurable product: "None", Taxable Goods, Refund Adjustments Gift Options, Order Gift Wrapping, Item Gift Wrapping, Printed Gift Card, Reward Points, VAT Reduced, or VAT Standard

Quantity – enter the Quantity of the configurable product that is currently in stock

Stock Status – choose from "In Stock" or "Out of Stock".

The Stock Status is determined by each product variation. the Stock Status will be set to Out of Stock because the Quantity field was left blank.

General setup

Weight – enter the weight of the configurable product

Visibility - choose the visibility of the configurable product:

  • Not Visible Individually: The configurable product is not included in your storefront listings
  • Catalog: The configurable product is included in your catalog listings.
  • Search: The configurable product is available for search.
  • Catalog and Search: The configurable product is included in catalog listings and available for search.

By default, the visibility of the configurable product is set to "Catalog, Search".

Categories - choose one or more categories to assign the configurable product. You can choose an existing category or create a new one.

Set Product as New From/To - set the start and end date to feature the configurable product as new. Leaves the date empty if you prefer to do not to feature the configurable product as new in the storefront.

Country of Manufacture - enter the country of manufacture for the configurable product

General setup

Step 3: Content Settings

In the Content section, enter the main description and short description of the configurable product to appears on the frontend. You can use the editor toolbar to format the content per your needs.

General setup

Step 4: Configurations Settings

Before setting up this section, please make sure to save your work by clicking Save in the upper-right corner.

In the Configurations section, you need to create a simple product for each configuration, allowing customers to choose options in the storefront (Ex: shirt color).

Follow the steps below to create product variations:

Click Create Configurations

Configurations setup

  • The progress bar at the top of the page is to guides you through each step of the configuration
  • By default, the product name and SKU for each variation are based on the attribute value and either the parent product name or SKU
  • When you remove or add an attribute, all configurations will be automatically updated and you will need to recreate current configurations manually

You can create the configurations (simple products) of the configurable product in 4 steps:

1. In the "Select Attributes" step, from the attributes grid, choose the attributes that you want to include as a configuration. Eg. color, format, or size.

If you need to add a new attribute, click "Create New Attribute":

  • Complete the attribute properties
  • Click Save Attribute.

The existing attribute appears on the grid and you can choose to include it in the configuration.

Click "Next" In the upper-right corner

Configurations Attribute setup

2. In the "Attribute Values" step, for each attribute grid (Eg. Color and Size), select the attribute values that apply to the product.

  • to rearrange the attributes grid, grab the move icon, and move the section to a new position
  • the order determines the position of the drop-down lists on the product page

Configurations values setup

3. In the "Bulk Images, Price and Quantity" step, you can choose the images, price, and quantity of each configuration.

You can choose only one option from the "Images", "Price" and "Quantity" sections.

Images section:

  • If "Apply single set of images to all SKUs" is selected, browse to find the images to include in the product gallery, or drag them to the box
  • If "Apply unique images for each SKU" is selected, choose the attribute, and upload a unique image to each attribute value. This unique image will appear in the shopping cart when shoppers purchase a configurable product that includes the selected attribute
  • if "Skip image uploading at this time" is selected, no image will be used for now to the selected attribute values

Price section:

  • If "Apply single price to all SKUs" is selected, enter the price that will be used for all variations. Useful if you want all variations to have the same price.
  • If "Apply unique prices by attribute to each SKU" is selected, choose the attribute and enter the price for each attribute value. This option is useful if the price per each or some variations is different.
  • if "Skip price at this time" is selected, no price will be used for now to the selected attribute values 

Quantity section:

  • If "Apply single quantity to each SKUs" is selected, enter the quantity that will be used for all variations. Useful if you want all variations to have the same quantity.
  • If "Apply unique quantity by attribute to each SKU" is selected, choose the attribute and enter the quantity for each attribute value. This option is useful if the quantity per each or some variations is different.
  • If "Skip quantity at this time" is selected, no quantity will be used for now to the selected attribute values When complete, click Next in the upper-right corner.

Image quantity price setup

4. In the "Summary" step, the list of products to create appears in the grid, you can review each product.

To make any notification, click Back, and adjust the settings per your needs.

In the "Summary" step, if you are satisfied with the configurations, click Generate Products

Summary setup

The created product variations appear in the grid. You can adjust the quantity, price, and weight of each product before saving.

Configurations grid

Step 5: Images And Videos Settings

Upload the images of the configurable product. Click on each uploaded image, and specify the image details such "Alt text", and "Role".

The Role is used to display images and can be base, small, swatch, or thumbnail:

  • Base: the Main image that displays on the product detail page
  • Small: used for product images that display in category pages, search results pages, New Products List, Up-sells, and Cross-sells
  • Thumbnail: used in the thumbnail gallery, shopping cart, and in some blocks such as related products.
  • Swatch: used to illustrate the color, pattern, or texture

All roles can be selected for one image.

To hide or prevents the image to display on the product page, select the "Hide from Product Page" checkbox.

Image setup

Step 6: Search Engine Optimization Settings

In the "Search Engine Optimization" section, enter the URL Key, Meta Title, Meta Keyword, and Meta Description of the configurable product.

Meta Description should be between 150-160 characters in length.

SEO setup

Step 7: Related Products, Up-Sells, and Cross-Sells Settings

In this section, select the related, up-sell, or cross-sell products to appears in a storefront in form of promo blocks, presenting additional products that shoppers might be interested in.

Product link setup

Step 8: Customizable Options Settings

If you want to include custom options to your configurable product, click "Add Option" and configure the Option :

Option Title: enter the title of the option

Option Type: select the option type, a variety of option types are supported such as Text, File, Select, Date:

  • If option type "Text" is chosen, specify the price, price type, SKU, and "Max Characters" of the option.
  • If option type "File" is chosen, specify the price, price type, SKU, Compatible File Extensions, Maximum Image Size of the option
  • If option type "Select" is chosen, click "Add Value" and complete the row settings for the option: title, price, price type (fixed, percent), SKU
  • If option type "Date" is chosen, specify the price, price type, SKU of the option

Required: select this field if the option is required to purchase the product.

Custom options

Step 9: Product in Websites Settings

Select the website(s) where the configurable product will be available in the storefront.

Sites setup

Step 10: Design & Schedule Design Update Settings

In these sections, you can choose a different theme to be applied to the configurable product.

Design setup

Step 11: Gift Options Settings

set "Allow Gift Message" to "Yes" to allows a gift message to be included for the configurable product during checkout.

Gift setup

Step 12: Cart Thumbnails Settings (Optional)

If you have a different image for each product variation, you can choose to display the "Product Thumbnail Itself" or "Parent Product Thumbnail" in the shopping cart thumbnail.

To configure it:

  • Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration
  • Expand Sales and choose Checkout tab
  • Expand the Shopping Cart section, and set "Configurable Product Image" field to "Product Thumbnail Itself" or "Parent Product Thumbnail"
  • Click Save Config

Cart thumbnail setting

Step 13: Publish The Product In The Storefront

Once you have configured each section of the configurable product, click "Save" to save the product, and check-in storefront. The configurable product display in frontend :

Configurable product frontend

Wrapping Up

Here are the things to remember in Magento 2 configurable product types:

  • Configurable product type allows buyers to select options from the drop-down, multiple select, visual swatch, and text swatch input types in the storefront. Each option is a simple product
  • The attribute set that is used as a template for Magento 2 configurable product must include the attribute(s) that contain the values needed for each product variation (simple product)
  • A global scope must be selected in attributes that are used for product variations (simple products), and the buyer must be required to choose a value
  • You can choose to use images from configurable product records or from product variation for thumbnail images that display in the shopping cart
  • If you want to hide corresponding simple product images when the swatch is selected in the storefront, you can set “Update Product Preview Image” field to “No” at the attribute edit page (STORES > Stores > Attribute > Product)

We hope you find this step-by-step guide to create configurable products in Magento 2 helpful. Feel free to share this article or leave a comment below. Your opinion is much appreciated!

Tags: configurable product