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Configurable products (modification) with individual entries in catalog
 
ShopGuy
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Total Posts:  462
Joined:  2008-09-07
 

Okay, this is my idea. Imagine you have T-shirts with the following attributes added as simple products:

Color:
- white
- blue
- black

Size:
- small
- medium
- large

Then, in the admin program you can select all the individual simple products and click on “group into simple configurable product”

Now, this is how it will work:

When a user is browsing the catalog nothing has changed. They will still see multiple shirts like this:

Ralph Lauren - White
Ralph Lauren - Blue

However, when they click on lets say Ralph Lauren - Blue and go to the shirts individual product page (not a separate page like configurable products do now) they will be see the page EXACTLY as if Ralph Lauren - Blue was a simple product, with one exception:

On the simple product page they will be able to configure the product just like they would if it was a configurable product

Why is this important?

The reason why is because most configurable products should really be separate products in the catalog because they are presented differently. For example, I may not click on the white version of the shirt, but I might click on the black version. However, I should still get the option to change the color. Pretty much the only type of products that should be configurable how it is now is products differentiated by size (12 count protein bars versus 24 count protein bars, queen size bedspread versus king size). Anytime a product has a different image it should appear independently in the catalog

It is not a mistake that amazon functions this way. I do not have a magento store yet, but it appears that this option is not available yet?

 
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joyously
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Total Posts:  447
Joined:  2008-08-21
 

It depends how you set up your products.
I am doing shoes. So I set up simple, not visible products for all my size and width combinations. These have no data but size and width.
Then I set up configurable products, one per each shoe/color (different image). The associated simple products are the sizes that the shoe comes in.

So what you see in the catalog is all the different shoes, each color a separate product with its own page which then can be configured for size and width. But since each color is a different product, you can’t just change the color. So I use related products to link to the other colors of the same shoe.

 
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ShopGuy
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Total Posts:  462
Joined:  2008-09-07
 

Yeah, that is a decent work around, but it is still a work around to compensate for a configurable option that should be available for configurable products. After all, color should be one thing that can be configured without the need to do product groups.

 
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joyously
Guru
 
Total Posts:  447
Joined:  2008-08-21
 

It’s not a workaround, it’s all in how you look at your products.
If you have shirts for sale, you might want to display one shirt and have a color option. It would look cluttered to have gobs of different color shirts in the catalog when they are all really the same thing but for color.
Or you might sell blue shirts, red shirts, and green shirts, and want those to be displayed separately because they are different. Maybe the red one only comes in large or something very different from the green one.

I did find out yesterday that Magento is using data from the configurable product to display the page, but when it gets to the cart, the image comes from the simple product. So my scheme of using generic simple products will work, but only if I fix the code so it uses the configurable product image if the simple doesn’t have one. It would be fine for a color attribute in which you use a swatch image, but for something like size the image is unrelated to the attribute.
UPDATE: I looked at the code and it is already checking for no product image for the simple product and uses parent image if the config is set that way. I guess my setup is wrong somewhere....

 
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QuadraVis
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Joined:  2008-05-30
D - Erbach
 
joyously - 07 September 2008 09:14 PM

It depends how you set up your products.
So what you see in the catalog is all the different shoes, each color a separate product with its own page which then can be configured for size and width. But since each color is a different product, you can’t just change the color. So I use related products to link to the other colors of the same shoe.

I would say that is a workaround. Why?
You have different products for each color of shoes. So when one customer made a note for black shoes nobody will see this note for white (and nor other colors) shoes. Also you do not know how many shoes from this type you sell at least as you count them by your own.

 
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