The alt prod id feature allows
you to assign a unique product reference to a product option by either creating
a completely new id or modifying the existing product id.
This feature can be particularly
useful in combination with stock management as you are able to control the
inventory of individual items such as a setting stock on long-sleeved blue
shirts rather than on the generic shirt product. It also means that each
product id can have its own image associated without having to list them
separately on the page.
As stock and pricing can be shown
in real time, your customers will also benefit from the feature.
Setting up a
new alt prod id from four options
We are going to show you here how
to set up a new alt prod id. The item is a t-shirt available in two sizes,
large and small, and in two colors, blue and red. Each of the 4 combinations
will have its own stock level, the pricing for the large size is different from
the small and images will change depending on the color chosen.
The first thing we will do is set
up the main product, which is the t-shirt. Go to the product admin page of your
store control panel and select "New Product". For the time being,
fill in the following fields as shown here
The reference here is important
as values for size and color will be substituted in the final product id by
"large" and "blue" for example. The price is set to zero
but you can use a base price of say the cheapest option. If set to set zero,
you would probably want to add this to or to vsadmin/includes.php
select an option";
The number of items in stock here
doesn't come into play here so set it to "by options". Make sure you
check the "Display Product" checkbox.
The next thing we'll do is set up
the 4 alt prod ids so when the customer chooses an option the product id will
reflect their combination of choices. The four products will have the following
products ids tshirtlargeblue, tshirtlargered, tshirtsmallblue and
tshirtsmallred. As you can see these are made up of the product name (tshirt),
size (large or small) and color (blue or red). Here's the set up for
The price you enter here is the
price you are charging for the final product, in this case $30. If you had set
a base price of 20 instead of zero, as in this example, then you'd want to
enter 10 as the price. Enter the number of items in stock ie. how many large
blue t-shirts you have available. Make sure you uncheck the "Display
Product" box. If you want to show a picture of the product add the path to
the image in the fields "Small Image" and "Large Image".
Hit the submit button and then set up the other 3 products (tshirtlargered,
tshirtsmallblue and tshirtsmallred) in the same way. When you finish you should
see them listed in the hidden products listing like this.
The final thing to set up are the
two product options for Size and Color. Go to the product options admin page
and click on "New Option" and fill out the details as below for the
color and then the size.
We have used a drop down menu
here but you can choose to use radio buttons. Notice that there are no values
set for price difference, stock or alternative product images as we have
already set those in the alt prod id above. The important thing to note here
are the values for Alt Prod ID under Options / Alternates. You'll see we have
entered size large and size small. The way the system works is quite clever, it
will look for an instance of the word "size" in the original product
id (tshirtsizecolour) and replace it with the word to the right, for example
"large", when the color is also selected that will replace the word
to the right of colour, for example "blue". That will give us the
final Alternative product ID of tshirtlargeblue, which will match the hidden
product we set up in the step above.
Now we have the options set up,
we just need to add them to the original product (tshirtsizecolour)
Once you have saved your page,
you should be able to test it out on your site.
The values are case sensitive, in
the example above we have used all lower case and that's probably the simplest
way to go.
The product id cannot include
spaces but you can use hyphens or underscores for example. If you choose to
call your original product id tshirt-size-colour then make sure that your alt
prod ids correspond ie tshirt-large-blue or tshirt-small-red. You wouldn't need
to make any changes there in the product options page.
If you run into any problems,
check out the troubleshooting section below.
Setting up a new alt prod id from a product option
The example above showed how you
can modify a product id through the use of product options. You can also create
a new id. This might be useful if for example you wanted to allow the selection
of another product with an existing one. For this example the main product is a
laptop computer and you are giving the customer the choice of purchasing an
extra battery so the laptop will have it's own id as will the laptop plus
First of all you would set up the
laptop as you would any other regular product on your store, set the number you
have in stock, the price etc and give it the product id of your choice. Make
sure you select "Display Product".
Now set up a new second product
which will be the laptop+battery. Again set the number you have in stock, price
etc and give it a product id of "lapbat". Make sure you deselect the
box for "Display Product".
Finally you need to make the
product option. We will make two choices available, "Yes please" and
No thank you". The choice of "Yes please" will use the prod alt
id of "lapbat".
The last thing to do now is to
assign the product option you have just set up to the main laptop product. If
the customer chooses to buy a battery with the laptop they will get a new
product id. If they select "No thanks", just the laptop will be added
One of the most common problems
is a message saying that a product is not available when adding to cart. Here's
what you should check
- The product id must exist in the database
- There must be stock available for the combination selected
and the stock is set for the final product id
- The components of the product id are case sensitive so check
for that and typos
If the product picture doesn't
appear, make sure it has been added to the final product id and not to the
product option. Check the path and the case sensitivity.