BigCommerce Variations – A Great Solution

The team at BigCommerce has requested existing customers to review their product variation features and have sent out a Google form for everyone to provide feedback.

I have to admit that they are taking the right approach by asking their customer what they want to see and although we already know they won’t make us all happy, I want to believe that they will solve most of the current limitations.

If you have a BigCommerce on-line store you are either on Version 5 or already upgraded to Version 6 which didn’t really addressed this problem, so BigCommerce is planning on working on this issue and hopefully deploying an update in the next couple months.

First is my feedback, then the way we have found to solve it using their existing tools. Please be aware that this post is called “A Great Solution” and not “The Great Solution”. My approach will not help everyone but I am sure it can help many of you. Enjoy…

FEEDBACK ABOUT CURRENT SYSTEM

We switched to BC for several reasons but one of them being able to set up variations, but we were unaware of the limitations. We carry hundreds of ropes and other equipment. I will now list what we would like to see and then explain an OUT OF THE BOX approach we have decided to apply on our Second BigCommerce store.

What we would like to see:

  • We need to be able to use bulk discounts with variations enabled. We may have a specific product model that we need to set a bulk discount and right now we are not able to.
  • We need to be able to apply coupon codes to specific variations. Lets say a coupon for a Blue Large shirt only, not for all Blue shirts. So apply coupon code to: Choose Category/Choose Product/Choose variation
  • We need to be able to insert a new option under the variation without resetting everything. Just insert the option but don’t enable it until we go to the product and tick the checkbox and add SKU, price, weight, etc.
  • Please add a field for AVAILABILITY. We need to be able to set “In-Stock”, “Special Order”, “Out of Stock”, “Coming Soon” or anything else to each variation. That way we may display the correct information for each variation. So fields per variation would look something like: Checkbox, SKU, Retail Price, Sale Price, Sale Expiration Date, Weight, Availability, Stock, Image, Add Bulk Discount (+ – signs).

Now

HERE IS HOW WE ARE GETTING AROUND WITH A NEW STORE WE ARE ABOUT TO OPEN ON BC6:

  1. We have created individual products instead of one product with variations.
  2. We set them all to NOT VISIBLE
  3. We have created a product2.html template which takes out most of the ProductDetails Panel.
  4. We set a NEW product (set to VISIBLE and NOT PURCHASABLE) using the product2.html template and list the options/variations under the “product description” using the WYSIWYG editor for that product. Then simply link to each individual product/variation.

This way we are able to display ONLY ONE product, set BULK DISCOUNTS per “variation”, apply coupon codes specific to each “variation”, set Availability to each of them, and our more knowledgeable customers can still search by product code and the exact product variation comes up!!

THINK ABOUT THIS!
You may want to rethink your approach and maybe add a feature to PRODUCT where we can choose “Digital Product, Physical Product, or Head of Variations”, then nest all the variations which are individual products under the Head of Variations (similar to how we nest Categories) and link them.  Problem solved because each variation is REALLY ONE PRODUCT so everything else works (like bulk discount and so forth).

Now that I think about it… it would even be “SEO Friendly” because then we can set TITLE, and META for each variation/product! Your customers would LOVE this. It involves more work on our part, but we are willing to pay the price for a good set-up.

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