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How to Create a Magento Configurable Product

Updated on December 24, 2021

6 Min Read

Magento Configurable Product

Building a Magento ecommerce store is a complex task. Even simple tasks such as adding a configurable product require setting up several options and stock-related variables.

A configurable product could be anything including a downloadable or shippable product. In fact, anything that you could sell on your store is a configurable product. Configurable products in a Magento store need several assigned attributes such as size, color, model, make, etc. before they could be given prices and descriptions. Magento treats a configurable product as a collection of simple products. Each variation has its own defined SKU and inventory listing.

Adding such configurable products to your ecommerce store would also require a dedicated ecommerce Magento optimized hosting, which can be easily scaled according to the need of your business. In which you only have to pay for the resources which have been used along with free SSL which has now become the need of every ecommerce store.

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When in Magento adding products to store, you will be given the option of creating a Simple Product. A simple product has no variables, and it is only sold in one type. However, a configurable product can be anything which has some variations a user can choose from at the store front. For example, a trouser comes in several different colors and sizes.

There are four basic steps involved in the creation of a Magento configurable product:

  1. Add attributes (such as color or warranty).
  2. Add these attributes to the attribute set. In this tutorial, I will create and add to the attribute set named Phone.
  3. Create a simple product for each variant of the configurable product.
  4. Create a configurable product and add the attributes to it.

In this tutorial, I will create a configurable product with two options — color and warranty. All the necessary steps will be taken through the Magento Admin Panel. This is why the first step is to log in to the Magento admin panel and then follow the instructions below.

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Add Attributes

Before adding a configurable product, you have to make sure that the required attributes are added to the Magento store. Many attributes come preconfigured with Magento and you could easily create any attribute that you want.

To add the attributes, navigate to Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attributes from the top menu.

Manage attributes in magento

Tap Add New Attribute button from the top right corner.

Add new attribute in magento

Now, select the appropriate options to set up the attribute:

Simple Product

It is important to keep in mind that you should set the Scope to Global, Catalog Input Type for Store Owner to Dropdown, Values Required to Yes and select Yes from the drop-down menu of Use to Create Configurable Product.

Next, from the left panel, click Manage Label / Options to create the different options. For the color attribute, the label options should look like this:

Edit product attribute color

Each color option gets an Admin name and a Default Store View name, which is what your customers will see.

For the warranty attribute, your label option will look like this:

Edit product attribute warranty

In the end, remember to click the Save Attribute button when you’re done adding label options.

Add Attribute Set

Next, you will need to create an Attribute Set and add both the attributes into it. Go to Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attribute Sets and then tap the Add New Set button. Give the name to the attribute set like Phone and leave it based on default values.

In the next window, you’ll see two panes, both containing attributes. The left panel shows attributes that are part of the set and the right panel contains unassigned attributes.

add attribute set

Just drag both the color and warranty attributes into the left panel under the General group, and hit the Save Attribute Set button. For more details, check out this blog post.

Create Simple Products

Now that we have created both of the attributes (color and warranty) and the attribute set, next in Magento add products that will be the part of the configurable product. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will create four simple products with the combination of following attributes:

  • White – With Warranty
  • White – Without Warranty
  • Black – With Warranty
  • Black – Without Warranty

Navigate to Catalog > Manage Products > New Product. Here, the first thing to do is to select the Attribute Set which in this case is Phone. The Product Type should also be chosen as the Simple Product.

new product

In the next window, enter the relevant information about the Simple Product. Enter a unique name related to the attributes combination, description, short description, etc. Note the two variations of color and warranty, pick one the combination of attributes as discussed above.

Make sure to also set Visibility to Not Visible Individually because I want this product to appear in the Configurable Product, not as a separate product on its own.

Not Visible Individually

Save the product and create the rest of the Simple Products on a similar pattern.

Add the Configurable Product

The last thing is to add a Configurable Product. Go to Catalog > Manage Products and tap the Add Product button. From the Attribute Set drop-down, select the attribute set I created earlier (Phone) and select Configurable Product from the Product Type drop-down.

Add the Configurable Product

Select both of the attributes i.e. Color and Warranty.

Color and Warranty

After that, you will see the product creation form. Enter the relevant product information, including name, description, price, etc.

New Product Phone

At this point, I will point out a few exceptions that are unique to Configurable Products. The important difference is that you should set the Manage Stock option to No because a Configurable Product consists of several associated products and the associated products themselves manage the inventory. To do this click on the Inventory button from the left panel and uncheck Use Config Settings under Manage Stock. Now, set the drop-down menu to No.

Manage Stock

After the basic setup, you will notice the last tab in the left panel with the name Associated Products. Click it and under Super product attributes configuration, tap Reset Filter. It will show you all the Simple Products created with the attribute set to which the color and warranty attribute belong.

Super product attributes configuration

Select all the four attributes combination from the list. Finally, tap Save button to save the product and the Configurable Product is ready for use.

You are all done. Now, you can return to your front end and check the configurable product like below:

view configurable product

Note that the appearance of a product at the storefront is dependent on the installed theme and plugins. If you have any question related to setting up of Configurable Product(s) on your Magento store, feel free to use the comments section below.

Q: What is a configurable product?

A: A configurable product allows the customer to see/change various attributes from the dropdown at the product page.

Q: What is a configurable product in Magento?

A: A configurable product on a Magento store is a product category that offers the users a choice of pre-designated product attributes. Setting up a configurable product is a multi-step process that gives you complete control over attribute setting and display.

Q: What is the difference between simple and configurable products in Magento?

A: Simple products are the basic inventory units that offer a SINGLE attribute set. In contrast, Configurable products are similar to Simple products but offer several combinations of attributes (color, sizes, prices, etc) so that customers could customize the products as they wish.

Q: How do I add a simple product to a configurable product in Magento?

A: Adding a simple product to a configurable product is a simple process. 

Go to Product > Catalog > <target configurable product>

Click Add Products Manually

Select the Simple Products you wish to assign to the Configurable Product

Click Done and save the configuration

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Abdur Rahman

Abdur Rahman is the Magento whizz at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious, and aims to learn & share information about Ecommerce & Magento Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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