What are Product Options?
Options are choices that a customer makes about a product before purchase. Examples are sizes or colours of clothing, and toppings on pizzas.
Let’s say you sell t-shirts that come in three sizes – small, medium and large. There’s no need to create three different products, instead you create a product only once and offer three options for that product. In this example you might call that option ‘SIZE‘, and provide the customer with three option values to choose from – ‘SMALL‘, ‘MEDIUM‘, ‘LARGE‘.
Just as with attributes, you setup up a global list of all your options and option values in OpenCart and then associate one or more of those options/values with individual products.
So let’s get started.
Create a New Option
- Login to your OpenCart admin section
- Hover your mouse pointer over ‘Catelog’ in the top menu bar
- Click on ‘Options’ from the drop down menu
- Click on the ‘Insert’ button in the top right section of you screen
Here’s what you will see:
Options Name: Enter a descriptive name for the Option. In our example above you would enter ‘Size’ in this field. On any of your product pages that include this option, this name will be visible so make it meaningful.
Type: This drop down box contains a list of web-form tools to choose from. The tool you select will appear on any product’s page that has this option associated with it to be used by your customers to make their choise. Use the one most appropriate for the selection your customer will be required to make. Here is a brief description of each.
- Select – This will produce a drop down box containing all of your option values. Your customer will only be able to select one of the values in the list.
- Radio – A list of the option values will be created with each item in the list having a circular radio button next to it. Radio buttons let your customer select only one of the available option values.
- Checkbox – This will create a list of your option values each with a square checkbox next to them. This type of list allows your customer to select one or more of the values in the list.
- Text – Creates a single line text entry box where you customers can enter one line of text.
- Textarea – Like ‘Text’ but results in a multi-line text entry box where your customers can enter multiple lines of text.
- File – Use this if the option you are creating is designed to allow your customers to upload a file. On a product page associated with this option, the customer will see the name of the option along with an ‘Upload File’ button. When they click on the button it will open a file explorer on their local computer for them to choose a file for upload.
- Date – Provides an option for your customers to enter a date
- Time – Provides an option for your customers to enter a time
- Date & Time – Provides an option for your customers to enter both a time and a date. Both must be entered.
Sort Order: If you have more than one option appearing on a product’s page, this field allows you to determine the order in which those options will appear. This field only accepts numeric entries and the lower the number, the higher in the list it will appear. So, an option with a Sort Order of ’2′ will appear before an option with a Sort Order of ’5′ on a product page that has both options enabled.
Create Option Values
The option name you filled in above will appear on your product pages as a heading. You need to now create the actual choices your customer can make (called option values). These will appear on your product pages beneath this heading. So, ‘SIZE‘ is an option (and will appear as a heading) and ‘SMALL‘, ‘MEDIUM‘, and ‘LARGE‘ and all option values which will appear beneath the heading.
Option Value Name: Enter a name for this option value. Referring to the example above ‘small’, ‘medium’, and ‘large’ are option values.
Image: Click on the ‘Browse Files’ link beneath the image placeholder to open the OpenCart Image Manager. The follow the prompts to upload an image, or choose from an already uploaded image, to represent this option value
Sort Order: If this option will include multiple option values then enter a number in this field for each option value to determine in what order they appear in the list. The lower the number the higher in the list the option value will appear.
Add an Option to a Product
To make certain options available for one of your products you need to select the option and its values from your global list of options/values from within the product edit page. Here’s how.
- Login to your OpenCart store admin section
- Hover your mouse pointer over ‘Catelog’ in the top menu bar
- Click on ‘Products’ from the drop down list
- Navigate to an existing product and click ‘Edit’ or click the ‘Insert’ button to create a new product
- Click on the ‘Option’ tab
In the text entry box next to the green/white ‘Add’ button, start typing the name of the option you want to make available for this product. As you type, all matching option names in your global list will appear in a drop down box. Click on the one you want. In the example shown, I would like to add the ‘Size’ option to my product so I’ve typed ‘S’ in the box and selected ‘Size’ when it appears in the drop down list.
So now you’ve added an Option to this product but you still need to choose which option values will be available for the customer to choose from. Remember, the option is a heading on your product page while the option values are the choices that appear beneath that heading for the customer to make their selection from.
Add Option Values
To add an option value, click on the ‘Add Option Value’ button toward the right hand side of your screen. The image below shows my screen after I’ve clicked the ‘Add Option Value’ button for an option that was setup as a radio button type.
The fields available to you on this screen will vary depending on what type of option you are adding. You will need to complete some or all of the following fields:
Required: You have two choices here. Choose ‘Yes’ if you want to make this option mandatory for the customer. ie. The customer will have to make a selection before they are able to checkout with the product. Choose ‘No’ if you want to make this optional for the customer and allow them to buy the product without making a choice.
Option Value: For the option types of Checkbox, Select, and Radio, there will be a drop down box for you to select an option value from. These option values are the ones from the global list you created earlier. For the options types of Text, Textarea, Date, Time and Date & Time, you don’t have to make a choice, rather you are presented with a blank text entry field. Here you can type in a value that you want to appear as a default to the customer. They are then able to override your default if they want to. You don’t have to enter a value in these fields as a default; you can leave them blank.
Quantity: If you are tracking stock within OpenCart then enter the quantity of this item that you have on hand in this field. Referring again to our example of ‘Size’, if you were going to add the option values of ‘Small’, ‘Medium’, and ‘Large’, then you would enter the quantity of each size you have in stock rather than the total stock of t-shirts.
Substract Stock: Again this only applies if you are going to track stock within OpenCart. If you are then make sure you select ‘Yes’ so that everytime an item is purchased it is deducted from your stock count. If you are not tracking stock then select ‘No’.
Price: You only need to adjust this field if the price of this particular option value changes the base price of the product. If it does then enter the amount it changes the base price by. Do not enter the total price. So if the base price of your t-shirt product was $20.00 but you needed to charge $2.00 more for a ‘large’ t-shirt, then when you are adding the option value of ‘large’, you would enter +$2.00 in this field to add $2 to the base price of the product. You can enter positive and negative values thus adding to or subtracting from the base product price.
Points: If you are using the reward points feature of OpenCart then here you should enter any varience this option value will make to the reward points offered on the base product. If you want to reward more points to the customer if they take this option then enter the amount of extra points in this field. So too, if you want to reward less points then enter a negative amount here. Do not enter the total number of reward points. Only enter the difference that is to be added to or subtracted from the number of reward points to have already entered for the base product.
Weight: If you provide shipping and the shipping price calculations are based on weight then you will want to use this field if this option value significantly changes the weight of the product and thus the cost to ship. And you guessed it, don’t enter the total product weight here (you’ve already done that in the data tab when you created the product) just enter the difference in weight that this option value makes.
Repeat the above process to add every option value you want to associate with this product
… and …
Dont’ forget to click on the ‘Save’ button toward the top right of your screen to save the changes you’ve just made to the product!