Magento product types and what to use them for

Posted in Magento on 6 December 2016

Magento comes preconfigured with a number of different product types. These range from simple bog-standard products to digital downloads and configurable products with a myriad of options and configurations available to the customer.

Simple product

As suggested by the name, it is the most straight forward. A simple, physical product that is sold one at a time. Each simple product has it’s own Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), price, inventory. It is a all-enclosed product which doesn’t change or have modifications applied to it.

Magento does allow “Custom Options” to be added to simple products, but that’s for another day.

Configurable product

This is used for example where a product comes in different size and colours and each size and colour is able to be fully stock managed within the system. When you buy a blue version of a product only the blue version has stock reduced.

Stock, price and other product attributes are managed on the simple product’s level with configurable product accounting for the initial price. Due to such behaviour, Configurable products are often referred to as a parent products which relates to a number of simple products its children or child products each with their own unique SKU and stock levels.

Grouped product

It is a collection of simple products. For example a set of a mobile phone with a case and wireless charger included. Grouped products come in handy for promotional purposes featuring related items. Say, customers may want to take advantage of the cell phone set’s special price than purchasing all three products separately.

Bundle product

This allows customers to build and customise the product they want in a more advanced way to the standard configurable product.

The usual example is building a desktop PC as an example. With Bundle product customers can have a choice of several displays, HDDs of different capacity, select necessary RAM size etc. and calculate the end product price. In other words Bundle product is somewhat like a set of configurable products.

Downloadable product

Such products as: software, music files, e-books, virtual magazines; can be sold at the Magento store using the Downloadable product type. Via the Magento backend the product contents (files) are downloaded to the server (the files can also be hosted on other web servers). When such product purchased a unique, secure link is generated for the customer. Customer can later access all the downloadable products purchased from the account’s special section.  You might have already noticed that the Magento extensions we offer at our store are downloadable products.

Virtual products

This product type represents the services one might offer at the store, including: warranty, technical services or Support Period like we do for our extensions.

Additional product types

Magento is completely customisable and this includes custom product types. Anything that can be bought and sold can be translated into one of the above product types, or can be used to create a custom product type with a bit of development.

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