Product variants are a set of products which are available with multiple characteristics or "variants." This construct is commonly used in apparel, where a product such as a toolbox can be purchased in a variety of colors and sizes with each of these color/size combinations resolving to a unique SKU or product ID.
Within Optimizely <<product-name>>, the configuration of these parts is divided into two sections: Variant Types and Variant Products.
## Variant types
The Variant Type represents the group products as a whole. Products with the same traits are assigned to a Variant Type, such as "Toolbox."
### Variant traits
A Variant Type consists of different features, or Variant Traits. In the Toolbox example, the Variant Traits are **Size** and **Color**.
### Variant trait values
Variant Trait Values describe the specific options within a trait. In this example, Variant Trait "Color" consists of the Variant Trait Values **Yellow**,**Blue**, and **Red**.
## Variant products
### Parent products
The parent product is a generic or "dummy" product which does not resolve to a SKU or part ID in the ERP database. Because this parent product is nothing more than a placeholder, no pricing is needed and inventory will not be tracked. The parent product does, however, need images and other content as it is the product that displays on the product list pages and the product detail page before any styles are chosen. Using the Toolbox example, the parent product is labeled "Hero Toolbox" and has an image displaying all three toolbox options.
### Child products
Child products, which represent a single SKU or part ID in the ERP database, are then assigned to the parent product. The child products embody each unique combination of the Size and Color Variant Trait Values.
## Browse and purchase variant products
Variant products are displayed within the category to which the parent product has been assigned.
The product detail page for variant products displays the product like the standard product detail page, with the addition of drop-down menus that allow customers to select the Variant Traits for products.
After selecting Variant Trait Values from the drop-down menus, the page updates and displays the pricing and name of the child product for that combination of options.
The drop-down menus are also sensitive to whether or not a product has been defined for a specific combination of Variant Trait Values. For example, if a product has not been defined for green/medium, the medium option will not be available within the drop-down menu when the color green is selected and the opposite also holds true.