Introduction to product creation in Onport

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In this article, we will go over the main product concepts to better explain the logic behind how the items are displayed in the inventory feeds.

We will also touch on what the alternatives are if you face limits in terms of the number of product options and variants your e-commerce platform allows by default.

Product options VS variants

When you import your vendor's catalog into Onport, you'll notice you'll have the same product displayed several times:

What you're seeing are the variants of the same product. In order to better explain this, here's the difference between product options and product variants:

- Product options are properties, such as size, color, and style.

- Variations are the attributes of the properties. For example, if you were using the product option Size, your variants would be small, medium, large, etc.

Product handles

The product handle is responsible for grouping variants of the same product so they appear on the same product page.

How is the handle built?

Typically, the handle is the product name separated by dashes:

Product name: Extreme Blue Shirt

Handle: extreme-blue-shirt

In Shopify, for example, when you click into an item, you’ll see the handle in the URL: 

Handle-related settings

At an inventory feed level, under the Publishing tab, you have two settings that could help you generate the handles:

  1. How should handles be generated?
    If the products are imported into Onport without a handle, you have the possibility to generate them automatically before publishing the items. You can choose to generate the handle based on name and product ID.

  2. Prefix the product handle
    If there’s a chance you’ll have products with the same handle across different inventory feeds, we recommend prefixing the handle to avoid merging these different items together unintentionally.

Third-party apps to increase the number of product options or variations

Marketplaces limit the number of product options and variations that can be added to products. When a vendor has more than that max amount, they will use a third-party app.

It is important to note that when a vendor uses a third-party app, Onport cannot translate those options/variations into your Marketplace store. They will appear as only a single product in your Onport account (no variations or options).

If you are seeing only one product but you know there are variations of the product, contact your vendor to find out if they are using a third-party app.

As a workaround, you can add a third-party app to your Marketplace account as well, and have the vendor send you a spreadsheet of the products for creation in your Shopify store using the app.

Shopify Product option apps

Product/Options variations

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