When you create parent-child relationships (also known as “variations”) between products, you help customers find different versions of the product they are viewing. For example, a T-shirt might be available in multiple sizes and colours. The parent product is the T-shirt itself (short sleeve, cotton, crew neck). The child product is the variation of the parent (T-shirt in pink, T-shirt in XXXL). For more information, see Variation relationships.
You might also be able to use the Check My File feature to automatically detect variation sets in your inventory file.
Imagine that a customer searches for a T-shirt on Amazon and finds 10 products. Each shirt comes in 3 sizes and 2 colours, which means that there are 6 unique size and colour combinations for each t-shirt. When multiplied by 10 products, there are 60 separate products which match the search criteria. Rather than display all 60 products, Amazon groups similar products using parent-child relationships. The result: the catalogue displays only one product (the t-shirt), and the product detail page displays the variations (size and colour).
Even though parent products have no variation theme attributes, you can use an image to represent your parent product, and that image can show both a size and a colour. In the Help topic Elements of a parent-child relationship, the parent product uses a picture of a medium size, red t-shirt. For an optimal shopping experience, we recommend that you use an image that represents a typical example of the available variations for your products.
Not every category supports parent-child relationships, but if an appropriate variation theme exists for your products, you must include your products in a parent-child relationship.
For example, suppose you sell both lipstick and hand lotion in the Beauty category. By checking the Beauty template, you see that the Beauty category supports colour variations, but does not support fragrance variations. Lipsticks vary by colour, so you must establish a parent-child relationship for each product in your inventory. However, lotions vary by fragrance, so you do not use parent-child relationships, because the Beauty category does not support this variation theme.
Not all related products are valid variations. The following questions can help you to determine whether certain products are valid variations:
To establish parent-child relationships between products, use inventory files or the Add a Product tool. You can view the existing child ASIN(s) for parent ASINs in the Amazon catalogue on the Add a Product page in your seller account. if your product is not in the Amazon catalogue, you will have to create a new ASIN. For more information, see the ASIN creation policy.
You may also be able to use the Check My File feature to automatically detect variation sets in your inventory file. For details and supported categories, see Use the Check My File feature.
You can find everything you need to set up a parent-child relationship in the inventory file template. The following table demonstrates how you might use an inventory file to set up a parent-child relationship for several T-shirts that come in three sizes and two colours.
|SKU||Title||Size||Colour||Parentage||Parent SKU||Relationship type||Variation theme||Price||Quantity|
|101MB||Royal blue T-shirt M||Medium||Royal blue||child||101||variation||SizeColour||15.97||50|
|101SB||Royal Blue T-Shirt S||Small||Royal Blue||child||101||variation||SizeColour||15.97||50|
|101LB||Royal Blue T-Shirt L||Large||Royal Blue||child||101||variation||SizeColour||17.97||50|
|101MR||English red T-shirt M||Medium||English Cherry Red||child||101||variation||SizeColour||15.97||50|
|101SR||English Red T-Shirt S||Small||English Cherry Red||child||101||variation||SizeColour||15.97||50|
|101LR||English Red T-Shirt L||Large||English Cherry Red||child||101||variation||SizeColour||17.97||50|
In the example above, SKU 101 "T-shirt" is the parent product. Because parent products are not offered for sale, fields such as size, colour, price, and quantity are irrelevant and should not be used.
However, you should still describe other aspects of the parent product, including an image that represents the generalised product. The only information to omit relates specifically to price, availability, and shipping.
The variation theme column indicates that products in this particular parent-child relationship differ from each other based on both colour and size. The "Data Definitions" tab in the inventory template lists the terms you can use for variation themes.
You can add a new child variant to an existing parent-child variation using category specific template.
Enter the current Parent data in the template, one existing child and the new child information. You will need to perform a 'PartialUpdate' on the Parent and existing child and an 'Update' on the new child.
|File||SKU||Title||Size||Colour||Percentage||Parent SKU||Relationship type||Variation theme||Price||Quantity||Update delete|
|Existing child||ChildSKU||Blue T-shirt M||M||Blue||child||ParentSKU||variation||SizeColour||15||50||PartialUpdate|
|New child||NewChildSKU||Pink T-shirt M||M||Pink||child||ParentSKU||variation||SizeColour||15||50||Update|
Parent-child relationships help to make search results manageable for customers. For example, you might offer a shirt that comes in four colours and four sizes. Rather than display all 16 unique combinations of the product in search results, only the one product from the parent-child grouping appears. The specific product that appears depends on the category.
The Clothing, Sports and Outdoors, and Beauty categories display best-selling parent products in search results and on product detail pages. This means that display elements such as product title, description and bullet points appear from the data associated with the parent product. Before customers can purchase the product, they must first use the drop-down menus on the product detail page to indicate which child product they want to purchase. Selecting options from the drop-down menus does not load a new product detail page.
For example, in Clothing, when customers look for a T-shirt, the best-selling parent products appear.
You can use XML uploads instead of inventory file templates to set relationships between products.
For more information about using XML to manage your inventory, see Data-exchange overview.
For more information about deleting relationships between products, see Modify your inventory file: Special considerations.