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Replace Options With Grouped & Child Items Rate Topic   * * * * - 1 votes

 
  • Olof
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Posted 22 February 2015 - 05:31 PM #1

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[Edit March 17, 2015]

What do Amazon, Ebay, Google, Magento, Woocommerce, Volusion, etc.. have in common?
They all define product variations (=options) the same way. CSC does not, which creates big headaches.
See my 2nd post in this thread for more details

Benefits if CSC changes:
1. MUCH easier integration with Amazon, Ebay, Google and with 3rd party ERP / inventory / accounting systems!
2. MUCH more pricing & discount functionalities can be had PER variant, such as own discount structures, price tables, wholesale pricing, etc...
3. Basically all webshop product-functionalities can become available for each variant.

[end Edit]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear CSC,

Your Option & Option Combinations structure are not working optimally. And I (humbly) believe it's a dead end in terms of future road map. I'm sorry this is a long post, but please read it carefully.
Thanks :grin:

Request
Please create the possibilities of what other webshop platforms have called 'Grouped items' , 'Simple items' and / or 'Child items' in order to deal with variants & options. Basically, it means that regardless of the type of item, all manifestations of an item (=SKU) resides in one product table.
Grouped items = those products with options/variants
Simple item = those products without any options. Each option/variant of a Grouped item is a simple item in of itself. A simple item can be sold like this, or only be visible under a grouped item

Example: one physical SKU is ShirtXYB-Yellow-Large. This would be called a simple product. Many variations of this SKU all come together under the grouped product called 'ShirtXYB'

For more information, see how others have implemented this:
Magento: http://www.customerp...-product-types/

Woocommerce: http://www.modernmar...in-woocommerce/

Volusion: http://support.volus...cial%20Settings


Why is current CSC Options & Combinations not optimal:
It creates 2 product tables instead of one. One for products without any options (= 'simple' products) and one for those products with options/variants (= 'grouped' products).
This creates all kinds of hassles in data management AND creates all kinds of development requests to you as users want to have the same functionality for Products also available to Options Variants.
Moving to a Grouped & Child structure would eliminate these problems.

Hassles in data management
1. When exporting/importing you have to export/import 2 files instead of one (Products & Product Combinations)
2. When trying to sync inventory & master data with outside databases (ERP, customer database, ..) it is very complicated as certain Product ID items sit in export/import file A, other Product ID items sit in export/import file B
3. Remember that in most other systems/databases, each SKU has its own full record in that database. So Shirt-yellow-large is one 1 SKU is 1 'Simple' item.
4. Various export fields are already very complicated to read/understand/manage in Excel. Field 'Options' for example. This field will only get more complicated as you develop more functionalities for Options/Variants as per user requests.

Increasing development requests
1. As you can read on the forum, many of us users want to have more and more functionalities build into the variants/options/option combinations. Things such as their own discount structures, price tables, images, wholesale pricing, etc...
These requests are logical, because most of us (from an inventory, erp and sku perspective) view each Option/Variant as its own physical product!
2. I believe it's crazy trying to keep 2 product tables development right next to each other. No wonder that the functionalities of Options/Variants lags very much behind to the normal Products.

 
  • Olof
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Posted 17 March 2015 - 10:10 AM #2

Dear CSC,

Hereby more 'evidence' that the big guys are structuring Product Options (=Product variants) differently than CSC. Amazon, Ebay and Google all offer the possibility of creating Product Options (like CSC):
Amazon: product variations / parent-child relationship
Ebay: product variation groups / multi-variation product listing
Google: product variants

What they all have in common:
-There is 1 product list (= 1 database table) in which all 3 types of products are located (simple products without options, parent product, variations of parent product).
- Each data row is 1 unique product
- A single field on each row is used to indicate whether a certain product is a Simple product, a parent product or a Variant of a Parent product)
- Each row contains various fields to indicate specific variant information
- Each field contains 1 piece of information. Compare that to the complex mess of CSC 'Options' field when exporting/importing Products...

For more information:
Amazon: https://images-na.ss...V324496426_.pdf
See PDF page 48

Ebay: https://developer.eb...ed/product.html

Google: https://support.goog...er/188494?hl=en

Regards,
Olof

 
  • Olof
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Posted 17 March 2015 - 10:46 AM #3

I have added this request on Uservoice.

Please vote for it if you agree.
http://cscart.uservo...y-amazon-and-go

thanks
Olof

 
  • imac
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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:08 AM #4

I have added this request on Uservoice. Please vote for it if you agree. http://cscart.uservo...y-amazon-and-go thanks Olof


Dear Olof,

Thank you very much for such a detailed report.
Right now we are working on changing global options behavior, probably we will make the changes in Combinations too.
Ilya Makarov,
CS-Cart Architect Team
Suggest and vote for new features | Report a bug

 
  • pbannette
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Posted 26 March 2015 - 09:45 AM #5

Imac,
I would also like to see the possibility of having products as options and sku shown in cart so it can be exported as an item in Quickbooks. Maybe with your own changes and including Olof's suggestions, you will also include the possibility of Products as options. I have seen this in other carts and suggested this to cs-cart when I got version 1.5. Still waiting since 2008.
Thanks,
Bob

Version CS-Cart 4.3.5


 
  • Olof
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Posted 26 March 2015 - 11:15 AM #6

Imac,
Thanks for responding! Gives me (at least for now) some piece of mind that CSC is aware of the issue.

Product options versus Combinations
Please note that we need the ability to have unique SKU codes per physical item (shirt-yellow-large) = always necessary to create Combinations. Because Options does not allow for SKU codes per variant, even if there is only 1 Option set.
Conclusion: given the current CSC structure, whatever improvements you make in Options, please also make them in Combinations!

But that is only a temporary solution. Better yet, just create Grouped/Child item functionality like described above. :grin:

 
  • BarryH
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Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:02 PM #7

I am in complete agreement with Olof, products as options, or however you want to describe it is the way forward when selling products with multiple combinations.

Managing combinations is time consuming in the current system - espeically where those combinations have a variation in price to the base product.

Barry

BarryH

 

CS-Cart v4.4.3 (Plus one being developed v4.5.2 SP2)
UK User


 
  • e-carter
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Posted 07 April 2015 - 07:49 AM #8

Product options versus Combinations
Please note that we need the ability to have unique SKU codes per physical item (shirt-yellow-large) = always necessary to create Combinations. Because Options does not allow for SKU codes per variant, even if there is only 1 Option set.


Actually, there is the way to add 'CODE' per option variant in CSC inventory. Unfortunately no additional field possible to enter like UPC or MPN. It makes inventory avoid to operate in CSC admin.
But bigger problem is that color option variants cannot be assigned to filter (only feature variants can). So if i have shirts of different colors as option variants, they are not going to be included in color filter unless i sacrifice options functionality. It is weird.

 
  • P-Pharma
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Posted 07 April 2015 - 11:21 PM #9

Great thread and suggestion. We have found the way CSC handles product variants very strange and it leads to a lot of work. Product variants often need to be added as combinations to work and often images need to be uploaded in many places. We do not have any combinations, yet we need to add options there. Variants can only have inventory if they are also added in 'edit inventory'. Its all quite weird. We can work with it, but its far from optimal.

And soon we need to create integrations for POS and ERP. I don't even know how to explain it to the developers. I know how it works, but it makes no sense in my world.

 
  • Olof
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Posted 08 April 2015 - 06:54 AM #10

P-Pharma, We are also now looking at integration with ERP wrt product variants. Based on our experience, I have added a comment to the existing uservoice request and which I have taken the liberty of duplicating below.

Olof commented · April 07, 2015 11:13

Just wanted to add some more reasons for why this suggestion is so important to implement.
Each product variant (= option combination in CSC) is a physical product in the real world. And therefore each product variant needs to have ALL product-related webshop functionalities. Even if you do not need to import/export.


Functionalities PER product variant such as:
1. Unique product code (+ barcode!)
2. Inventory control
3. Images
4. Features
5. Filters
6. Price
7. Different discount structures possible
8. Different VAT calculations
9. Shipment cost calculations (based on dimensions, weights, ...)
10. Product title
11. SEO tags / description
12. Discount promotions
13. etc....


Note: all of these fields should be accessible both through API and CSV import/Export

 
  • JackConnick
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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:21 PM #11

I agree with all the above. IMac you need to do a lot of work in this area. Magneto and other carts work much better.

Jack

 
  • remoteone
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Posted 10 July 2015 - 04:13 PM #12

This has been one of our biggest annoyances with cscart. Some of our products are"kits" comprising other products , each with their own options, as options to the "Parent" product. So we need to set up a global Option and Option Combinations instead of simply adding a product (which can be also purchased on its own) as a "option" to what would be a Parent Product.
Theres no Inventory control because , at checkout there's only the SKU for the Parent product combination, rather than the SKU's for all the items that make up the "kit" Product.
There is an addon called "Product packages" by www.cart-power.com
I havent looked at yet as i want to have the problems fixed and updated before applying any more addons. And I guess it wont be compatible with eBay sync?

 
  • Pervolo
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Posted 07 October 2015 - 12:07 PM #13

Hello, Olof, our team have developed an addon that allows you to group your products into options by using default product features. You may test demo here http://demo.cs.pervo...6gb-space-gray/

The main feature on our opinion is that it works perfectly with product filters and provide more advanced approach in selecting product parameters



 
  • P-Pharma
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Posted 08 October 2015 - 10:33 AM #14

This is really something that needs to be in the core. As good as an addon may be, its absolutely core functionality. Many other things rely on it.



 
  • remoteone
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Posted 08 October 2015 - 11:19 AM #15

...our team have developed an addon that allows you to group your products into options by using default product features.....

Interesting, it seems that the addon allows features to show as selectable options.?

Cool... but isnt really addressing the issue of this thread.



 
  • Pervolo
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Posted 08 October 2015 - 12:55 PM #16

Interesting, it seems that the addon allows features to show as selectable options.?

Cool... but isnt really addressing the issue of this thread.

Correct. Our addon searches for product that have the same "comparsion" features, e.g. "model", "modification" and combines them into child products, then addon selects "option" features, e.g. "color", "size", "memory", etc. and group them into options.



 
  • amdowney
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Posted 27 October 2015 - 09:03 PM #17

Google has now suspended one of my stores from its merchant center due to 'feed inaccuracies'. Basically the products are being put through to the feed as 'in stock' but the default option is 'out of stock' so this is conflicting as Google is seeing this whole product as 'out of stock'!!!?

 

Ideally:

 

  • out of stock options need hiding
  • when all options are out, the main product needs to say this clearly at a glance in the category view
  • each option needs to be submitted as a product to google
  • when you go tho the main product, at a glance the customer should be able to see which options are available (such as http://www.cscart.bi...s-in-boxes.html )

 

Is there a short term fix to hide these options, some front end code modification or to the sql that pulls the options/combinations?


Stores: CCTV Kits & www.jmtb.co.uk

 
  • amdowney
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Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:50 AM #18

I have just had a chat with Google and each combination MUST be submitted as a separate product with accurate availability for each. This needs fixing ASAP as the account is suspended and sales have dropped off!


Stores: CCTV Kits & www.jmtb.co.uk

 
  • P-Pharma
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Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:14 PM #19

Thanks for warning. I will not submit my feed to google until this is resolved. I don't want to get banned by Google.



 
  • Olof
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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:39 PM #20

I have just had a chat with Google and each combination MUST be submitted as a separate product with accurate availability for each. This needs fixing ASAP as the account is suspended and sales have dropped off!

 

Sigh, another good reason why CSC should change their underlying architecture regarding Options / Option Combinations...