I wrote this stock letter this morning for our team to re-use when explaining attributes and addons to clients, but I figure it’s worth sharing. Next time you need to explain attributes and addons to clients, feel free to use this in some form. It’s not perfect, but hopefully helps get the point across.
I specified it for WooCommerce, as it fits my naming convention, but feel free to adapt it to your platform of choice.
If you could please send us what we call “attributes” for your products, that would be helpful for us when we configure your new online store. Attributes are options within a single product. For instance, a t-shirt may be offered with different sizes and colors. The “size” and “color” are attributes.
You may define terms within an attribute on a product by product basis, so don’t worry about that. For instance, T-shirt X may have “small, medium, large” attribute terms but T-shirt Y may only have “small, large” options, and that’s no problem. What’s important for us is to set up the “size” attribute in general, and if you have common terms to many of your products, you can let us know what they are and we will set those in the general settings as well.
Your attributes do not have to mean those items are the same price. You can price a “small” t-shirt differently than a “large” t-shirt if need be, but it can still be within the same product.
Think of attributes as options for your product. Keep in mind that if it is an “attribute” it has to be selected by the user. It’s an option that’s not optional, if you will.
The other type of option is “addons”. Addons are optional configurations that can have, but don’t require, a different price. A good example of this is if you sell monogrammable products, you can ask a user to input their monogram info, and if they select it you can upcharge them – but it’s not required.
Addons can also be for select items though. For instance, you may offer a picture frame for diplomas with an optional add-on to include a medallion that has the school’s logo on it. The medallion would be an add-on, and could be selected via a dropdown box to make it a gold or silver medallion. A price can be associated to the add-on as a whole, or the gold option and silver option separately.
I apologize for the verbose explanation, but hopefully this helps make sense of how we configure products, and will allow you to express to us the best way to structure your store and products. Please keep in mind the above descriptions are just examples, and are not exclusively what is available to you. The more we know about your product line, the better we can configure your store properly.
Pattern, font, device, etc are attributes here. The same attributes and terms within an attribute don’t have to be on every item. But every one of those attributes needs to be selected before you can add to cart.
The addon is the monogramming. You can add a name, an initial, etc… but you aren’t required to do these in order to buy the item.
I don’t have pretty pictures for this or anything yet, but you can easily add them. You can also click the link of the image above for a screenshot of an example attributes page. Addons are added per-product.
Of course, the best way to explain it is to go over this with your customer in person or on a screen-sharing phone call.