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What is the Difference Between Products and Variants? A Wix CSV Guide

Updated: Feb 20

Navigating the intricate world of product uploads on Wix via CSV files can often be a challenge, especially when it comes to distinguishing between 'Products' and 'Variants'. This post aims to undo the confusion, ensuring a smoother experience for you in managing your online store.


What is the Difference Between Products and Variants? A Wix CSV Guide

Before we delve into the specifics of differentiating between Products and Variants in Wix CSV uploads, it's essential to have a solid understanding of the basics of CSV file management for Wix Stores. Our comprehensive pillar post, The Complete CSV Guide for Wix Stores: Master Product Import Uploads, offers a wealth of information to get you started. From the essentials of CSV file formatting to advanced tips for efficient product management, you will find everything you need to know about using Wix CSVs.


The Quick Answer In Wix CSV uploads, a 'Product' refers to the main item you offer, such as a specific type of shoe. A 'Variant' is a variation of that product, like different sizes or colours of that same shoe. A product and all variants of it must have the same handleId.

While the quick answer might have given you the clarification you were looking for regarding the difference between a Product and a Variant in Wix CSV uploads, there's always more to the story. If you want a deeper understanding or need more detailed information to effectively manage your online store, keep reading to get the insights and nuances you need to master this aspect of your Wix product management.


Need a little help with your Wix CSV? We offer online coaching sessions to show you how to master Wix CSV product uploads. We also provide a full done-for-you service, from data entry to uploading everything to your site!


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Understanding 'Products' in Wix CSV Uploads


In the realm of Wix stores, a 'Product' is essentially the cornerstone of your inventory. It represents a unique item in your store and is characterised by its individuality.


For instance, imagine an artisan coffee mug or a handcrafted scarf. Each of these items, distinct in their own right, would be uploaded as separate 'Products' in your CSV file. The key here is uniqueness; each product has its own identity, unaltered by variations in colour, size or material.


When inputting these into your CSV file, every product must possess a unique 'handleId', serving as a digital identifier, setting it apart from other entries. It’s crucial for the coherence and organisation of your online inventory.


For a more in-depth understanding of 'handleId' and its role in Wix CSV uploads, we recommend reading our dedicated blog post: What is handleId and fieldType in Wix CSV Uploads? A Guide for Beginners, which offers a beginner-friendly explanation of these crucial concepts.


Deciphering 'Variants' in Wix CSV Uploads


Deciphering 'Variants' in Wix CSV Uploads

'Variants', on the other hand, are subcategories of your main products. They come into play when a single product has multiple options like sizes, colours or materials. For example, if that artisan coffee mug comes in three different colours – say, red, blue and green – each colour option would be considered a variant of the main product.


In your CSV file, these variants are linked to their parent product through the same 'handleId'. This association is vital as it tells your Wix store that these variants are not standalone products but different versions of the same item. It’s a way of neatly organising your inventory and ensuring your customers have a clear and straightforward shopping experience.


Practical Example: Mug with Color Variants


Let's visualise this with a practical example. You're listing a ceramic mug available in red, blue and white. In your CSV file, you'll first create a 'Product' row for the mug. This row includes the unique handleId, product name and other relevant details. Following this, you'll add three 'Variant' rows. Each of these rows will have the same handleId as the mug, linking them together. The difference lies in the variant-specific details, such as the colour option.


What is the Difference Between Products and Variants? A Wix CSV Guide

Through this structure, your Wix store understands that while the mug is one product, it offers customers three different colour choices. This setup not only keeps your product catalogue organised but also enhances the shopping experience for your customers, as they can easily see and select from the available options.


How to Add Variants and the Required Fields in Wix CSV Uploads


Adding variants to your products in Wix using CSV uploads involves a clear understanding of the required fields and how to structure them. Here's a detailed guide:


1. Identifying Variants:


Variants are used for products with multiple options such as size, colour or material. For example, if you have a mug available in three colours, you need to first create a product row for the mug itself, which is the parent product, and then create additional variant rows for each colour.


2. Required Fields for Variant Options:


There are five required fields to fill out for variants in your CSV file:


  • handleId: This unique identifier links the variants to their parent product. Each variant row must have the identical handleId as the parent product to establish this connection.

  • fieldType: This field indicates the type of field which must be either Product or Variant.

  • productOptionName1: This field is the title indicating the type of choice available (e.g., "Mug Colour" or "Shirt Size") and is filled only in the 'Product' row.

  • productOptionType1: This field defines the format in which the options are displayed on your website, with only two acceptable values: `DROP_DOWN` (for a list of choices) or `COLOR` (for coloured buttons). Like `productOptionName`, it is only required in the 'Product' row.

  • productOptionDescription1: This is where you specify the available options. For `DROP_DOWN`, it could be a list like 'White;Blue;Red' For `COLOR`, provide colour HEX codes followed by the colour name, e.g., '#ffffff:White' The product row defines all the options, and the variant rows specify which option belongs to which variant. (Take a look at the image below to see the way the data is organised).

How to Add Variants and the Required Fields in Wix CSV Uploads

Adding Multiple Options


If your product has multiple options like colour and size, you can use additional sets of columns designated by numbers (e.g., `productOptionName2`, `productOptionType2`, `productOptionDescription2`, followed by `productOptionName3`, `productOptionType3`, `productOptionDescription3`, etc.). This method allows for specifying various attributes, making your store more dynamic and user-friendly.


Remember, the precise and accurate filling of these fields is crucial for the successful upload and proper display of your products and their variants on your Wix store.


The Takeaway


Mastering the differentiation between 'Products' and 'Variants' in your Wix store’s CSV uploads is crucial for an efficient and user-friendly e-commerce platform. Understanding this distinction helps in accurately representing your inventory, simplifies the management process, and most importantly, provides a seamless shopping experience for your customers.


In conclusion, always remember that products are your inventory's unique items, and Variants are the different styles they come in. Keep this mantra in mind as you populate your Wix store, and you'll find the process much more intuitive and manageable.


NX Digital provides CSV creation and upload services for Wix eCommerce stores

Need Expert Assistance with Wix CSVs? NX Digital Is Here to Help!


At NX Digital, we specialise in product CSV management for Wix stores, understanding every nuance that goes into creating the perfect product catalogue. We recognise that navigating CSV uploads can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with a large number of products and variants. That's where our expertise comes in handy.


We offer CSV product management services at highly affordable rates, tailored to your business needs. If you're finding the process challenging or time-consuming, don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to ensure your product management is seamless and efficient.


Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you in optimising your Wix store.

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