Adobe Commerce Product Types and how to use them

Adobe Commerce Product Types
Michael Heilig
May 2024
Adobe Commerce Product Types and how to use them

“What in the world am I supposed to do with all these Adobe Commerce product types??!!”  If you are like most folks, you probably have a hard time conceptualizing uses for all the Adobe Commerce product types.  Simple, configurable, bundle, grouped, virtual, and downloadable products.  We will omit gift cards because, well, those are self-explanatory.  Anyway, fear not, because we are going to explore each one and give some ideas on how each one can be used for a variety of different industries.   

Let’s start with the difference between simple, configurable, bundle, grouped, virtual, and downloadable products. 

  1. Simple Products: 

  • These are standalone products with a single SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). 
  • Simple products have no variations or options. They represent a basic, single-item purchase.  
  1. Configurable Products: 

  • Configurable products are items that have multiple options or variations.
  • These options can include things like size, color, or other attributes that affect the product's appearance or functionality. 
  • Each combination of options has a unique SKU. 
  1. Bundle Products: 

  • Bundle products allow customers to buy a group of related items together at a discounted price. 
  • Customers can select individual products within the bundle, creating a customized package. 
  1. Grouped Products: 

  • Similar to bundle products, grouped products allow customers to buy items together. 
  • However, unlike bundles, grouped products do not necessarily offer a discounted price. Customers can see and purchase each item separately.
  1. Virtual Products: 

  • Virtual products represent non-tangible items or services that don't require shipping. 
  • Examples include downloadable software, online courses, or service subscriptions. 
  1. Downloadable Products: 

  • Downloadable products are a subset of virtual products. 
  • These are digital files that customers can download, such as e-books, music files, or software. 
  • When a customer purchases a downloadable product, they typically receive a link or access to download the file.

Let's explore how you might use each type of product type.

  1. Simple Products: 

  • Ideal for individual items with no variations. 
  • Use for products that don't require different options, like a standard book or a specific type of clothing. 
  1. Configurable Products: 

  • Great for items with variations, such as size, color, or other attributes. 
  • Use for products where customers may want to customize their purchase, like clothing with different sizes or colors. 
  1. Bundle Products: 

  • Useful for selling related items together at a discounted price.
  • Use for creating package deals or encouraging customers to buy complementary products, such as a camera with a lens and a memory card.
  1. Grouped Products: 

  • Suitable for showcasing related items without offering a discounted package.
  • Use for products that customers might commonly buy together, but where a discount on the bundle isn't necessary. 
  1. Virtual Products: 

  • Appropriate for non-tangible items or services.
  • Use for products like online courses, consultations, or any service that doesn't involve physical delivery.
  1. Downloadable Products: 

  • For selling digital files that customers can download. 
  • Use for products like e-books, music files, software, or any other digital content that users can access electronically. 

To illustrate these concepts, let's consider a hypothetical scenario: 

Example: Online Bookstore 

  • Simple Product: An individual paperback book. 

  • Configurable Product: An e-book with options for different formats (PDF, Kindle, ePub). 

  • Bundle Product: A "Summer Reading Package" containing three paperbacks at a discounted price. 

  • Grouped Product: A "Mystery Novels Collection" showcasing various mystery novels without a discount. 

  • Virtual Product: An online course on writing, accessible after purchase. 

  • Downloadable Product: A collection of short stories available for download after purchase. 

In this example, different product types cater to various customer needs, providing options for both physical and digital products, individual and bundled purchases, and tangible and intangible items. 


Let's consider how an apparel retail store might use different types of products. 

Example: Apparel Retail Store

  • Simple Products: A basic T-shirt with a standard design and no variations. Customers simply choose the size and color.
     
  • Configurable Products: A hoodie with configurable options for size, color, and logo placement. Customers can customize their hoodie based on these variations. 
     
  • Bundle Products: A "Complete Outfit Bundle" consisting of a shirt, jeans, and shoes sold together at a discounted price compared to buying each item separately.
     
  • Grouped Products: A "Summer Wardrobe Essentials" collection featuring individual products like shorts, sunglasses, and hats, grouped together for easy browsing without a discount. 
     
  • Virtual Products: Online styling consultations or personalized fashion advice services, where customers pay for a virtual service rather than a physical product.
     
  • Downloadable Products: Fashion lookbooks or style guides available for download after purchase, providing customers with fashion inspiration and tips.

Example: An Online Gun Store

  • Simple Products: A standalone handgun with a specific model and features. Customers choose from available options such as caliber and finish.

  • Configurable Products: A rifle with configurable options for caliber, barrel length, and stock type. Customers can customize their firearm based on their preferences and needs. 

  • Bundle Products: A "Home Defense Package" that includes a handgun, a lockbox, and a flashlight, sold together at a discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately. 

  • Grouped Products: A "Shooting Range Essentials" collection featuring items like safety glasses, ear protection, and targets, grouped for convenience without offering a discount. 

  • Virtual Products: Online safety and training courses or consultations where customers can pay for virtual instruction on firearm safety and responsible gun ownership. 

  • Downloadable Products: Instructional materials such as firearm manuals, safety guides, or legal guidelines available for download after purchase.

Example: A Sunglasses Retailer

  • Simple Products: Classic aviator sunglasses with a standard frame color and lens type. Customers can choose their preferred size. 

  • Configurable Products: Wayfarer sunglasses with configurable options for frame color, lens tint, and polarized or non-polarized lenses. Customers can create a personalized combination. 

  • Bundle Products: A "Summer Vacation Pack" that includes two pairs of sunglasses (a stylish pair and a sporty pair) and a sunglasses case, offered at a discounted price compared to buying each item separately. 

  • Grouped Products: A "Beach Day Essentials" collection featuring individual products like sunglasses, sunblock, and a beach hat, grouped together for easy shopping without a discount. 

  • Virtual Products: Virtual try-on service where customers can upload a photo and virtually try on different sunglasses styles before making a purchase. 

  • Downloadable Products: A sunglasses care and maintenance guide or an e-book on choosing the right sunglasses for different face shapes, available for download after purchase. 

Example: An Outdoor Gear and Accessories Store

  • Simple Products: A standalone camping tent with a specific capacity and design. Customers choose the size and features they need. 

  • Configurable Products: Hiking boots with configurable options for size, color, and insulation level. Customers can customize their boots based on the terrain and weather conditions. 

  • Bundle Products: A "Backpacking Essentials Kit" that includes a backpack, sleeping bag, and portable stove, offered at a discounted price compared to buying each item separately. 

  • Grouped Products: An "Adventure Photography Set" featuring individual products like a camera backpack, tripod, and lens cleaning kit, grouped for convenience without offering a discount. 

  • Virtual Products: Online wilderness survival courses or guided virtual hiking tours where customers can pay for expert-led experiences and knowledge. 

  • Downloadable Products: Outdoor adventure maps or guides to specific trails available for download after purchase.

In summary: 

  • Simple products are standalone items with no variations. 
  • Configurable products have multiple options or variations. 
  • Bundle products allow customers to buy related items together at a discounted price. 
  • Grouped products let customers purchase items as a group without a discount. 
  • Virtual products represent non-tangible items or services. 
  • Downloadable products are digital files that customers can download. 

If you would like additional help or assistance revamping your catalog to get everything you can out of your Adobe Commerce product types, please feel free to reach out to us today.  https://www.binaryanvil.com/contact.  We have a great team with a proven track record waiting to assist.   

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