Ultimate guide to the Shopify Variant Limit
One of the biggest issues Shopify merchants face is the Shopify variant limit. The variant limit can make showcasing true product potential hard. It can be especially troublesome if you have a store with an extensive catalog or products with many customization options.
Posted 2 months ago by Jonathan Kennedy
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Fortunately, there are workarounds for store owners. Let’s cover exactly what the Shopify variant limit is, how many you can have, and how you can move past it.
What is a variant limit?
Before we discuss the variant limit, let’s cover exactly what a Shopify variant is. When a consumer orders from your store, they choose preset options and customizations that make a variation of your products.
For example, if you are selling t-shirts on Shopify, the platform will allow customers to choose a t-shirt size and color. If you are selling 10 shirt colors with 10 sizes, every product specification combination is a variant.
The variant limits the number of variations per product. With Shopify, you can’t have more than 100 variants of a product.
You might be thinking that 100 variants are more than enough for a product. But they add up fast; a shirt that is a size large and the color pink is one variant and a shirt sized small and pink is another.
As you can see, the variant limit can become a big problem, especially if you have products available in a large range of variations. You don’t want to be forced to limit products and only offer limited customization options.
Variety is the spice of life. As mass production becomes more widespread, mass customization becomes more important to consumers.
Why is there a variant limit?
The variant limit is a big problem for many Shopify merchants. It’s a hard limit that can stifle growth. So why hasn’t Shopify changed this, despite the pleas of its users?
The variant limit is built into the Shopify platform. When Shopify was first built, the variant limit was enough. Even now, it is enough for most Shopify sellers. But to change it, the platform would need to undergo a drastic change or complete overhaul which just isn’t an option.
The variant limit is impossible to change and will be here for as long as the platform is running. For Shopify merchants, the only option for overcoming this limitation is through working around the issue.
How to add more variants on Shopify
Adding variants to your products doesn’t require any knowledge of Shopify’s programming language and is relatively easy to do. To do so, just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Log in to Shopify
Log in to your Shopify account with your unique login details.
Step 2: Go to Variant Options
To access the variant options:
- Go to the left sidebar and navigate to the Products tab and click on it.
- From the Products page, find and click on the Add Products option.
- On the Add Products page, find the Options menu and click on the button.
- In this section, check the option that reads This product has options, like size and color.
Step 3: Choose the variants
- In the Option name section, enter the variants name, for example, color. Be clear about the name because customers see this name when they place their orders.
- Next, choose the Option values. Give the option its values. For example, with the above option, you have color. Give customers the chance to choose between green, blue, and pink. They will see the options and be able to choose the one they like.
- If you want to add another option, like size, you can do so by clicking on Add another option. You can add up to 3 options per product.
- A variant list will appear as the product details are filled in and you will be able to uncheck any products on the variant list you don’t sell.
- Next, click save and your variants will be added to your store.
How to add more than 100 variants on Shopify
As you can see from the above settings, the variant limit can be stifling. Below, we’ll discuss the various ways you can work around the Shopify variant limit.
Method 1: Split products into multiple pages
The easiest and most frequently used method for working around the Shopify variant limit is by creating multiple product listings for one product instead of putting it all under one.
For example, instead of having a t-shirt with 10 colors, 5 size options, and 3 cut options, you create 10 product pages, each separated by color. Then each color t-shirt will have 5 size options and 3 cut options that count toward the variant limit.
It will look great and fill up your catalog. It’s also a bit more user-friendly because customers who struggle with the product options, especially older generations, could miss the customization options under a product.
Products from one range won’t have to be completely separated either. With the use of internal links, you can connect your product range even when they are separated. So when a customer is on one t-shirt, they will be able to see and navigate to the other t-shirt options.
This method will work best for small to medium-sized stores. If your store already has a catalog of a few hundred products, splitting it even further might not be the best option.
Method 2: Merge by coding
Your next option is by coding your Shopify theme to merge products with their variants, sometimes even ones that hit the variant limit, into one. So if you have 2 products with variant limits that already hit the 100 limits, they will combine and have 200 variants on your store.
There are online tutorials that show how to merge products with coding, which won’t be a big deal if you already have some basic knowledge. But if you have no coding skills or Shopify sitemap editing knowledge, it would be better to outsource the job to a professional.
If you do choose to DIY the coding, make a backup of your Shopify store before tinkering with your store’s backend.
Besides the difficulty of coding, the biggest issue with this method is that it can negatively impact SEO. This is because SEO integrations require technical knowledge like changing meta tags.
We know it sounds all bad. But if your company has the budget to hire professionals to build this option, it would be a great win.
Method 3: Use an app
The easiest way of getting past the variant limit is by using a Shopify app. Shopify’s app store has a variety of apps that allow merchants to surpass the 100 variant limit without needing to know any technical knowledge.
Another plus is that many of these apps are available for free or for a small monthly fee. Besides being able to add more than the variant limit, some will also allow you to add more options and customize the way the options and variants look.
Using an app is by far the most user-friendly way of working around the variant limit and we recommend it for small to medium-sized stores.
The Shopify variant limit has become a nuisance for many of the platform’s users. But the way the build of the Shopify platform means a permanent solution is not coming any time soon.
With the three methods above, store owners can instead focus their energy on working around the issue instead of trying to fight it head-on. From apps to coding, there is an option available for every store size and every budget.
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking other guides:
- How to duplicate a Shopify store (step-by-step guide)
- Shopify SSL pending: what does it mean?
- Shopify API key: what it is & how to find it
- How to remove powered by Shopify from your store
- How to change your domain name on Shopify (step-by-step guide)
- How many Shopify stores can I have?
- Who uses Shopify? (biggest companies on the platform)
- What is my Shopify URL? (and how to find it)
- How to change your URL on Shopify (step-by-step guide)
- How to cancel your Shopify subscription (and delete your store)
- How to change Shopify store name