Getting started with Magento can be tricky, and one of the first things every new user wants to do is add a product – but that in itself can be confusing for the newbie, so here’s a definitive guide to adding your first product in Magento.
This guide will tell you how to add a simple product in Magento and explain all the terms along the way.
What is a product, exactly?
So, before we get down to it, there are a few key things to understand about products in Magento and how they’re represented and stored. There are 3 key things you absolutely need to create a product in Magento:
- Product Type
- SKU (for simple products)
- Attribute Set
The first thing we’re going to look at are the product attributes and attribute sets. For a detailed overview of attributes from a site owner’s point of view, set our in depth guide to Magento attribtues.
Once you’ve created the attribute sets and attributes you need, it’s time to go on to creating that first product. When you go to add a product, you’ll be presented with these options:
Select a suitable attribute set for your product from the ones you created earlier, then it’s time to choose the Product Type.
- Simple Product
- Simple products represent a single, physical product in your business. They represent a thing that represents the lowest derivative of what you sell, an item that can actually be put on the shelf and represents a single SKU.
- Grouped Product
- A grouping of products that can be sold as one unit. This item will not have its own stock, but will be made up of other products, that can be purchased individually. An example might be a clothing website that sells outfits that are made up of several different pieces of clothing, or an art website that sells artists kits with paintbrushes, paints, etc. Users can specify the quantities of each item inside a grouped product on adding to basket.
- Configurable Product
- This represents products that have a configurable aspect to them, most often colour or size. To have a configurable product, there needs to be an attribute that the product can pivot on (and the attribute must be set up correctly to allow this!). A simple example would be a t-shirt available in small, medium, large and red, blue or green. The configurable product itself won’t have it’s own stock numbers, as it will be made up of simple products with their own stock keeping and SKUS.
- Virtual Product
- Virtual products have no actual physical presence, so you couldn’t go and pick them up off the shelf for example. They are rather things such as services, warranties, and other abstract items. Note, you can still have stock of virtual items and they still have to have a SKU.
- Bundle Product
- Made up of other products that are sold as one unit, but that are configurable by the end user, with different pricing options. An example might be a laptop – it can be sold with an operating system or without, with the operating system (OS) being a seperate SKU of it’s own. The user can then choose whether to purchase the OS with the laptop or not. Prices for these products can either be shows with ‘as low as XXX’. You can have many different options with many different variations, with things being required or not, and with different quantities and groups of sub products. These are a very effective way of making new product selections based on things commonly bought together. They can also be used for products made up of other SKUs that are sold as a unit.
- Downloadable Product
- A special type of virtual product that represents a file that can be downloaded by the user. You then provide a file(s) that the user can download after purchasing the product.
Creating a Simple Product
A simple product is a single, physical SKU for your site and represents the basic, core building blocks of your product catalog, so getting them right is important. With such a lot of options when creating a ‘simple’ product, however, it can be quite daunting when coming across them for the first time.
When you’re first creating a simple product, you’re taken to the ‘general’ pane where the most basic descriptive elements of your product will be placed. These include things like Name, Description, SKU etc.
The following are what are required when making a product, and in which pane they appear on:
- Name – the name of the product.
- Description – a description of the product.
- SKU – a Stock Keeping Unit. This is unique to each product.
- Status – whether the product is enabled or disabled. Disabled products aren’t purchaseable.
- Visibility – whether the product appears on the site. Certain products you might only want to be able to purchase using the backend, such as spares, or under bundles/configurables, or you might only want them appearing when searched but not in the catalog, such as the elements of a configurable product.
- Price – how much the product costs in the store base currency.
- Tax Class – what tax class the product comes under in your country. You must set these tax classes up, and it is advisable to do some research in your country as to what these need to be before launching your store. An example in the UK would be VAT Standard for most physical products.
- Qty – how many of this item you have in stock. Only required if you are managing stock of this item.
Everything else is optional (although it is recommended to fill out as much of the other information as you can!)