Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, is popular with business owners for a number of reasons, but it’s not without its shortcomings. One of those is its single Shopify product variant limits, allowing only 100 product variants in total. This can be cumbersome when launching a new product with multiple new variants.
For Shopify sellers with a large product catalog of custom products—like t-shirts or custom art—the product variant limit is a fairly serious handicap that has a direct negative effect on sales. Thankfully there are plugin options and workarounds that enable sellers to add more product variants to their online stores. Some of these options even leverage the Shopify API to offer a seamless user experience.
This article will cover three clever workaround options for how to improve your shopify store by adding more product variants. You’ll also learn the best apps to download from the Shopify app store to do it. Read on to learn how to optimize your listings’ potential with the right product options app.
Shopify’s 100 variant limit is far short of what larger e-commerce sellers would need to accurately represent their full product inventory, especially those that operate on demand. Happily, the following three proven ways to add product variant options to your Shopify store can help you grow your customer base, increase loyalty, and expand your brand.
Using a trusted third-party app to add product variants is the easiest and most effective solution for you as a Shopify store owner.
One highly rated option for this is Product Options & Customizer. To integrate such an app, log into your website/dashboard with your Shopify admin credentials and look to your left-hand menu bar. At the bottom, under “Apps,” click the small plus sign next to “Add apps.” The Pro Tip is to scroll to the bottom of the popup window and click on “Shopify Apps Store.”
Next, search for Product Options & Customizer and install the app into your e-commerce store.
Product Options & Customizer’s free 14-day trial allows you to test the product risk-free to see how well it helps you build out your product catalog and increase sales on Shopify.
Another method is to work within Shopify’s 100-variant limit by creating main product listings, and then using Shopify’s native customization options. This is only a somewhat effective solution, and not nearly as simple as installing a third-party app. Here’s how this option would work:
Instead of creating separate product listings for each variant (such as different sizes or colors), you can use a "Main Product" listing. This will be your base product that customers see when they visit your store. Next, use Shopify's built-in customization options. You can add custom fields or options for customers to select their preferred variant attributes directly on the product page.
Pro Tip: If you opt for this route, triple-check that you’re setting up accurate inventory tracking for each variant. This is crucial to prevent overselling and manage your stock effectively.
The last option out of these three methods is the hardest, and should really only be attempted if you know how to manually code.
First, you go to Shopify's settings and create a new template for the merged products. Then, you write code with Shopify's Liquid templating language to make the different product details show up on one page. You'll also need to make it look nice with some design code.
After that, you need to test it thoroughly to make sure it works on different devices and screens. And don't forget about SEO. Changing your website structure can affect how well it shows up on search engines, so you'll need to be super careful. Again, this option isn’t recommended for anyone not familiar with manual coding.
The best apps to get around your Shopify store variant limit have an intuitive interface, save time, deliver all the customization options you need, and support larger inventory e-commerce stores. The four apps listed below offer various solutions to address Shopify store variant limitations, show you how to create customizable products in Shopify, cater to different needs and preferences, making them potential options for online store owners.
Product Options & Customizer (aka Product Customizer) enables users to create one product page for each main product type, then use a series of customization options to allow users to self-select the specifics of the item they want.
As far as product customization examples, there’s no need to have one product variant for red high top sneakers, a separate one for blue high top sneakers, etc. You just have one product page for sneakers, then the buyer chooses their customization options from a dropdown list or checkbox. Product Customizer allows for unlimited customizations on product pages. This is the easiest way to showcase your entire product catalog without being throttled by the Shopify 100 variant limit. Add any number of the several available drop-downs, radio buttons, or text fields to allow customers to self-select their ideal product.
Not only does this app automatically offer dynamic features like conditional logic, but there are also upsell tools that empower merchants to sell more products per transaction. This is a feature that is non-existent in many other product variant third-party apps.
Infinite Options offers a basic level of customization for products. It lets sellers create additional product options with a combination of dropdown menus, checkboxes, and calendars. There is also a convenient customization option whereby you can categorize variants as either required or optional.
While Infinite Options can be considered an acceptable choice for adding some basic customization features to a Shopify store, it's important to note that for a more comprehensive and versatile solution, Product Customizer is often seen by pro sellers as the preferred choice over Infinite Options.
As you might expect from the name, Advanced Product Options offers more advanced product variant choices. On the same token, though, some users have found the interface to be a bit overwhelming, with several boxes to check and fields to manage just to customize one SKU.
One cool feature that Advanced Product Options offers is the ability to add percentages to prices, which can help store owners better manipulate profit margins. If more options are what you’re looking for, this is a great solution. Just be on the lookout for a fairly steep learning curve with this method.
Bold Product Options is our final choice of third-party app that allows Shopify site owners add dropdown menus, checkboxes, and more to their product pages. The interface is intuitive and pleasant to use, and there are enough advanced options to satisfy even the most demanding e-commerce store owners.
One of the best features of Bold Product Options is the conditional logic function—something that all of the products noted here include—which enables users to have dynamic pricing that changes according to options selected by customers. It also enables products to have certain other variants appear based on customer customization choices. Inventory management is also streamlined with Bold Product Options, which lets store owners easily track and manage stock levels of all variants of their products. All in all, this is a solid choice, even though it’s not quite as robust as our top pick, Product Options & Customizer.
The number of variant limits on your Shopify store isn’t just frustrating—it can seriously hurt your sales by increasing instances of abandoned carts and hurting your store’s reputation, thus making it harder to retain customers. But with the help of the tips outlined here and the addition of a third-party app like Product Customizer, you can apply nearly unlimited variants to your Shopify store. This increased functionality allows your buyers to customize your product offerings and make their shopping experience feel tailored to their unique needs. If you feel restricted by Shopify’s 100-variant limit, try Product Customizer free for 14 days. Download the app and start your free trial now!