How to Create Variations for Your Standard Products

Variations in Castiron allow your customers to select different product types, colors, flavors, add-ons, fillings, etc. without having to submit a custom order request. This article will explain how you can use variations uniquely to set up the products that work the best for you. 

For example, this artisan used variations to allow customers to add chocolate chips or walnuts to their banana bread, while up-charging for the extra cost:

This artisan used variations to allow their customers to personalize back-to-school backpack cookies: 

Keep reading to learn more about variations and how you can use them to streamline your business!

How to Create a Variation

To create a product with variations, select an existing product from your "Products" tab and click on "New Product. 

After naming your product, pricing it, and tagging it, clock on the "Variations" Tab.

Click on "Add a Variation"

Now it's time to get creative! Give your variation a "Title" and categorize it. This is what your customer will be seeing, or the actual question you will be asking your customers. 

Next, select your Response Type. If you'd like your customers to select from a set list of options (such as a list of flavors, optional add-ons, colors, etc.), you will want to select either "Select One Option" or "Select Many Options". Choosing "Select One Option" will only allow your customers to select one of your listed options, while choosing "Select Many Options" will allow your customers to select 2 or more options from the list of options provided. 

If you'd like your customers to type in their own response to your question, you will want to select "Written Response". 

If you choose your customers to select from a list, you will have the option to up-charge your customers for certain options, if one is more expensive than the other. To do so, add the additional cost under "Add'l Cost." This additional cost is in addition to the initial price of your product. To see the total cost that your customer will pay, check the value under "Total Cost". 

Let's see an example.

Let's say I sell 1 dozen cupcakes for $25, but I want my customers to be able to choose from a list of flavors that I offer. I created an Instant Check-Out Product for 1 Dozen Cupcakes and then scrolled down to "Add Variation". 

I typed my question under "Title", and chose "Select one option" as my variation type. I do not want my customers to fill in an answer, as I already have a curated list of flavor offerings for them to choose from. I also wanted my customers to select only one flavor, since I only allow one flavor per dozen cupcakes.

I listed my flavor offerings under "Options" and selected "Add Option" to create as many flavors as I needed. 

All of my flavors cost the same, except for Hazelnut, which cost $27 a dozen. I added $2 under "Add'l Cost" to reflect this up-charge. I can see that my customers will pay $27.00 if they choose this option, under "Total Cost". Lastly, I selected "Required" in the bottom right-hand corner. This means Castiron won't allow my customers to continue to the next page before selecting what flavor they'd like.

To see what this will look like in my shop, I can select "Preview" in the upper right-hand corner. Be sure to press "Save" in the bottom right as well. 

Look how clean this looks! 

Ways You Can Use Variations

There are so many ways you can use variations to work for you! Below are just a few ideas of what you can do to make your products your own.

Add a variation when you sell different quantities of a product. 

Do you sell your macarons, breads, cookies, cupcakes, or donuts in different sizes? Instead of making two separate products, choose to make a variation instead!

In this example, an artisan is selling donuts in a 1/2 dozen and 1 dozen. This artisan sells donuts at a price of $15 for a half dozen, but only charges $28 for 1 full dozen ($2 cheaper!). Notice how they added $13 to the base price in order to get to the $28 total price for the 1 dozen. 

Add multiple variations to help your customers buy a product without submitting a quote request. 

Want to skip the hassle of invoicing while still allowing your customers to feel like they're getting a fully custom product? Add multiple variations and questions to a product to guide your customers through the check-out process. 

In this example, the customer created a Birthday Cake instant check-out product and then added multiple variations, including asking customers about cake flavor, filling, buttercream, buttercream messages, and embellishments. To reorder questions, select the six gray dots on the left-hand side and drag and drop a question to a new position. To edit a variation, you will want to click on the drop-down arrow of each question. 

Here is what the customer will see: 

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