You may wonder why you need to understand the difference between Magento 2 custom options vs configurable products?
Well, in fact, there aren’t many stores selling only simple products with one option. Especially when it comes to online businesses, the need for providing customizable options to a product is indispensable.
Unlike offline products, it’s very easy for customers to switch between stores and compare the quality, variations, and even prices of online ones. This is typical in modern shopping these days and ages.
If you can’t offer your customers the best quality and satisfaction, they’re not going to stay with your store.
However, we do realize that tons of shop owners (including you, probably) still mistake between Magento 2 simple products with custom options and Magento configurable products.
To help you clearly identify and make the best use of these products, we’ve summarized every vital information in this article. As we tried to make it as clear and short as possible, hope that it’d be helpful.
Wait no more, let’s jump in!
Magento 2 Simple Product with custom option – Magento configurable product: What are They?
Custom option (or customizable option) in Magento allows creating product variations without depending on attributes. By adding custom options to a product, admin can easily create various options of different types, such as text field, text area, file, drop-down, multiple select, radio buttons, checkbox, date, date & time, time, etc.
The custom option is ideal when the inventory needs are simple because the newly created custom options are based on variations of one SKU. The variety of customization when adding new options is the greatest strength of the custom options.
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Meanwhile, a Magento configurable product is a product with multiple attributes for you to choose from. It’s just like a single product with options for each variation.
Each option is actually a separate simple product with a unique SKU, which makes it possible to track inventory for each product variation.
Magento configurable products are best suited for complex items. These items also require complicated inventory management.
The custom option in simple product can’t help you with this, but with Magento configurable one, everything is updated automatically since the child products’ inventories are independent.
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Magento 2 custom options vs configurable products: The differences
Both simple products with custom options and Magento configurable products offer admin solutions to create product variations. However, each has its own approaches.
While Magento configurable product creates an associated product based on the attribute (for example color, size, etc), simple product with custom options creates variations by adding customizable options to a product.
This leads to certain differences that we’ll dig in deeper.
Why is there a price difference? Aren’t price supposed to be the same for a product? The secret is, the amount is still the same, but we can break them down for easier management.
For a simple product with custom options, a product’s price is the combination of the base price of the simple product with the extra cost of custom options. It means your customers will only see the price after they choose the alternative.
At the same time, a Magento configurable product doesn’t have a fixed price. Each child product has its own price and the value is shown on the product page. Shoppers can easily compare and make purchasing decisions.
Inventory management is one of the most significant differences to notice between Magento 2 custom options vs Magento configurable products.
As we mentioned above, the custom options of a single product are based on variations of a single SKU. For this reason, they cannot be used to manage stock and you have to update the inventory manually.
If your inventory needs are simple, this isn’t too much a burden. However, if your products are complex, consider switching to Magento configurable products.
Why do I say so? Since a configurable product is a “parent” of many child products, each child product is a simple one and they’ve got their own value. The importance is the simple child products can automatically update their inventory when customers place a purchase.
So either you have too many products in hand to manage, or your products are too complex, I strongly recommend Magento 2 configurable product grid view extension. It’s more about the long-run benefits.
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In terms of the simple product with custom options, there are many display types available. You can choose among text, selection, date, or even file uploading. However, note down that Magento doesn’t support uploading images for each option.
If you want to improve your product page for better visual attractiveness, take advantage of Magento 2 custom option image extension. Isn’t it easier to purchase if you have a brief view of the products?
On the contrary, you can’t change the display option with Magento configurable product. This is because the product is created based on attributes, not alternatives. However, this should not be a minus point because each simple product has its own image and features.
Separated child product selling
It’s not available for a simple product with custom options. The custom options are just added options for a product so they are not included in filter, search, or navigation tool. In short, they aren’t considered as a product and can’t be sold separately.
Meanwhile, you can totally sell child products separately in a Magento configurable product. Customers can even look them up on the search tool as an independent product isn’t included in a configurable one.
Last but not least, we cannot skip the plus point of Magento configurable products in SEO. This is a huge advantage when it comes to comparing Magento 2 custom options vs configurable products.
Again, since custom options in the simple product are not an independent one, they offer nothing to SEO. On the other hand, Magento configurable products allow each child product to have their own URL and meta description. This is a great way to boost SEO and click rate accessing not only the parent but also the child products.
Wrap it up
in brief, both Magento 2 custom options vs configurable products provide their own pros and cons.
Depending on your target, you can choose a suitable method for your business. Magento 2 simple product with custom options is ideal when you want to offer customization service for the customer, for example selling a T-shirt that customer can print any text on.
However, if you want to sell a T-shirt with different colors and sizes, Magento 2 configurable product is a better solution.
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