I will cover a brief overview of the major elements to managing products in Magento and will also have more in-depth articles explaining each of these major topics so you can learn more about them.
Magento has greatly improved the ability to manage products with the Magento 2 version.
Adding products to Magento 2 is simple. All you have to do is go to the product left-hand menu and click on catalog to get to the products as you can see in the screenshot:
You can view as many as 200 products per page, or create a custom view of even more products. You can also now customize the columns, which was not the case in Magento 1, so that you can tailor your view to exactly what you want to see.
Magento has six product types in the default community edition and a seventh Gift Card option in the Enterprise edition. You can simply add a product by clicking the arrow next to the add product orange button and selecting the appropriate product type.
Simple products are the staple of any Magento site and make up Configurable, Grouped, and Bundled products that you might also use in your store. Simple products are typically used for selling basic products like a widget with no size or color options. It can be used as part of a configurable product to make a widget with size and color options.
You can, however, create simple product customizable options to offer things like size and color, but you will only be able to control the title of the option, price, and SKU. So, if you need to change the weight or inventory of the options you cannot do that and will most likely want to use configurable products.
One of the cool things about Magento 2 is that you can actually change a simple product into a configurable product in the configurations section:
Configurable products are the main SKU that has variable options like size, color, or style. Each option within the configurable product has to be its own simple product. Therefore a configurable product with red green and blue options must have three simple products associated with the configurable product. You can see what this would look like here:
Grouped products can easily be confused with a configurable or bundled product. However, a grouped product is meant to be a collection of individual products that make up one product like a furniture set or beer making kit. You could buy each product individually, however, a grouped product might be a better deal as you are buying them all together as one product.
Just like a configurable product you need to create the individual products as simple products and associate them all with the main grouped product that will be a collection of all those simple products. This is an example of a set of sprite straps as a grouped product.
A bundled product is different from a grouped product in that it is its own product in itself, not just a group of products that make it a collection or group. A bundled product is most similar to a laptop, or complex product with many different individual and customizable options that could be their own standalone product like different processors, RAM, and hard drives. However, the bundled product itself is a complete product made up of many individual simple products like a computer made up of computer parts.
A bundled product, just like configurable and grouped, requires all the simple products to be created individually and associated with the bundle as you can see here:
Virtual products are essentially the same thing as simple products except they are meant for non-physical products that are not downloadable like a warranty or some other type of service you might be buying online. There is no weight by default because it is a virtual product.
Downloadable products are products meant for downloads like the digital downloads Embroidery site Designs By JuJu we built on Magento. If you want to sell eBooks, digital downloads, or any other type of downloadable product, this is a great way to do it.
Gift Cards (Enterprise Only)
Gift cards are exactly what you think and are an enterprise feature you can use to create either physical or non-physical gift cards for customers. You can choose the amount and other parameters to create different kinds of gift cards for different purposes.
Products by default will come with about 40 attributes you can fill out like SKU, Price, Product Name, Description, etc. You can add additional attributes to a product via adding new attributes and adding those attributes to the attribute set associated with the product.
Some attributes will be setup as required but most will be optional attributes that can be leveraged by products you want to use with. Attributes have many different options and input types you can leverage for various types of data you want to add to a product or collection of products.
Every product must have an attribute set, and often times companies just use the default attribute set for all their products. However, if you have a large or complex catalog, attribute sets can allow you to create different sets of attributes that can be used for different types of products. That way products that only need 30 or so attributes won’t be overloaded with hundreds of attributes that may be other types of products might need.
Exporting and Importing Products
Exporting and importing products is an incredibly useful feature of Magento. It can allow you bulk delete products, add a lot of new products quickly, or update a large amount of product information quickly as well.
You can import products as add or update which either adds new products or updates existing products, replace products or deletes products in the import.
You can export products and select which attributes you don’t want to export to reduce the export product file.
One of the best ways to import products is to create some manually the way you want them structured and export them and follow that file format so you are following the correct import file structure.
Import and Export of products can be found in System => Data Transfer => Import or Export