Introducing: Variants Display Tool. Why Merchants Should Treat Variants As Separate Products

Ellie Ho
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

To cater to more and more customers with different needs, a product must have several variants. For example, a dress should be available in many colors, and a pair of shoes must have a wide range of sizes.

In the bustling world of eCommerce, customization is king. Consumers love choices, and merchants love conversions. Our Variants Display tool meets both these demands by enabling online merchants to showcase product variants as individual products. Why is this a game-changer? Let's dive in.

Two Approaches Of Showing Variants On Listing Pages

When customers browse your online store, they're on the lookout for that just-right item that catches their eye. This hunt becomes particularly interesting when products come with different options.

Think about that trendy piece of clothing available in a spectrum of colors or the latest gadgets that sparkle in various hues. Even large appliances like refrigerators stand out with different surface textures and finishes.

These choices are not just a matter of preference; they're an invitation for shoppers to engage more deeply with your inventory. It's the difference between finding just another product and discovering one that feels tailor-made for them.

So, how should these choices be presented? You have two options you could take when showcasing product variations:

Combine variations of a product into one list item

This is the traditional approach of many eCommerce stores. It creates a streamlined display where all product variants are bundled under a single listing. Here, customers can see a range of available options through something like color swatches or small thumbnails right beneath the product image. It's a compact way to show variety without cluttering the shopper's view.

group product variants into one list view

Showing all variations in one single product.

Display variants as separate product items

The second path takes a bit of a scenic route. Each product variant enjoys its moment in the sun as a separate listing. Like individual stars in a vast galaxy, every color variation of a shirt, for example, gets its own space. This way, a navy blue tee isn't just a hue option hidden in a dropdown menu; it's a standalone choice that can be directly compared to its crimson or olive counterparts.

display product variants separately

Different colors of the same products shown as separate items.

There's an art to both approaches, and the right choice depends on your store's style and your customer's shopping behavior. If you lean towards the first, remember that clarity is crucial. Customers should be able to navigate through the variants with ease, understanding the array of options without feeling overwhelmed.

Opting for the second approach means embracing abundance. Each variant stands as an independent product, which can significantly expand your product listings. This method caters to customers who know what they want — those who type "emerald green silk scarf" rather than just "silk scarf" into the search bar.

And there are a few reasons why you should opt for the second approach: To separate product variants as individual list items.

Variants Display Increases Visibility in Search Results and Collections

When each variant has its own product listing, your products have more opportunities to be seen by potential customers. For example, if a customer is searching for a specific product color, they are more likely to find your store if each color variant has its own product listing. This increased visibility can result in more sales and a broader customer base.

Imagine a shopper looking for a "red cocktail dress" rather than just a "cocktail dress." By listing variants like color as separate products, each variant gains its own spotlight in search results, directly aligning with more specific customer searches and, as a result, capturing more targeted traffic.

It Enhances Shopping Experience And SEO

Customers are known to value a streamlined shopping experience where they can easily find what they're looking for. Presenting variants as separate products simplify the customer's path to purchase, allowing for a direct match with their search queries on your site. The happier your customers, the longer they stay with you, and the higher your site ranks in the SERPs.

Furthermore, each variation will get its own unique URL if you display them separately. This means that search engines can index each variant individually, increasing the chances of your products appearing in relevant search results. By optimizing the meta tags and descriptions for each variant, you can further improve your SEO and attract more organic traffic to your store.

variant display feature in boost ai search and discovery

Improved Inventory and Sales Tracking Thanks To Variants Display

Separating product variants into individual listings simplifies inventory management by enabling precise tracking of stock levels for each option. This approach prevents overselling and stock shortages by providing an accurate account of available items.

Moreover, you can easily keep track of sales trends for different items, thus guiding better decisions regarding inventory replenishment, promotional strategies, and future product offerings.

Targeted Marketing and Personalization With Variant Display

Displaying each product variant as its own list item opens up opportunities for highly focused marketing efforts. With access to detailed customer data and insights into their preferences, you can craft marketing communications that resonate deeply with different segments of your audience, all based on the variants they tend to favor.

Such a personalized approach not only heightens the relevance of your marketing campaigns but can also lead to increased customer engagement and a boost in conversion rates.

variant display settings

Variants Display settings in Boost AI Search & Discovery

When Should You Use Variants Display And When Shouldn't?

Despite the benefits that Variants Display offers, we won't recommend this feature to all Boost users.

If you are managing a large inventory store, showing product variants as separate list items could make the product lists clustered. As a result, customers might find it challenging to distinguish between unique products and variations when each variant is listed separately. This leads to confusion and difficulty in obtaining a clear overview of product offerings.

On mobile devices where viewports are limited, the problem gets worse. A super long listing page forces shoppers to spend more time scrolling and makes it harder for them to remember and differentiate between similar items. Consequently, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the apparent abundance of choices, discard variations of the same product they do not want, and potentially leave the site without finding a suitable product.

So when should you use Variants Display to fully utilize its benefits?

  • Stores with a minimal number of products. If your catalog is small, we highly recommend separating product variations. Variants Display helps to highlight the breadth of their catalog or wants to promote a sense of abundance and variety. Also, customers won't come across any trouble when taking a grasp of all that you offer.
  • Product variants are distinct enough. When variations are significant enough to be considered almost distinct products, you should display them as individuals. Some criteria to evaluate the distinctiveness of product variants are different features or specifications that warrant separate descriptions, images, and potentially different categories or target audiences.
  • High-value items have several variants. For high-value or flagship items where each variation might have a different appeal or value proposition, showcasing them separately can allow for more detailed marketing and can help in SEO optimization for specific features.
  • You're running special promotions for specific variants. When running specific promotions or sales for certain variations, it might be effective to separate them to highlight the deals and make them stand out in the product listing.

Long Story Short

Regardless of your approach to product variants, the end goal is the same: to present customers with a buffet of choices that are tempting, clear, and easy to navigate, leading them to the perfect product that screams 'add to cart'.

By showcasing product variants as individual products in appropriate situations, merchants can provide a richer, more nuanced shopping experience. Customers enjoy the benefit of finding exactly what they're looking for, and merchants enjoy the benefit of increased conversions.

Take advantage of our Variants Display, and watch your e-commerce store thrive by delivering precision and variety at every click.

boost ai search and discovery banner
Ellie Ho
Content Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
6 min read