As you should probably know when running an online eCommerce website you need the option to sell various types of products such as physical and digital goods.
In Magento you can benefit from such feature, which the developers have implemented in the application’s core. If you have already checked the Products section of our tutorial you should have noticed that there are several product types included.
In order to make it easier for you to understand the difference between all of them and consider the appropriate cases in which you should use the different options we will now shed some light an each type one by one.
When you are adding a new item to the catalog of your store you will be able to see that there is a drop-down menu, next to the Add Product button, that allows you to specify the product type you want to use. Here is a list of all the available ones:
Simple Product – it is used for adding a physical item with just one SKU. In order to set different options for the product you can create separate entries for each variation of the good and further on combine them as a grouped, bundle or configurable product.
Configurable Product – this option allows you to create a simple product with several variations. For example you might want to sell a T-shirt available in there sizes – S,M and L. Have in mind that to create a configurable product you should first create the variations separately – in our example we would nee to create three simple products – one for the T-shirt with size S, and two more for the rest of the options. The the three simple products should be entered with different SKUs and once this is done they can be ombined in a singe Configurable Product.
Grouped Product – this actually is a group of simple products combined as one single Grouped one. This options is appropriate for a promotion campaign. For example if you sell clothing you can combine a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. The products can be purchased as a group or separarely.
Virtual Product – this type of products are not physical ones. They cannot be shipped and usually represent a service, membership or subscription. These products can be combined with bundle and grouped products.
Bundle Product – it is similar to the grouped product but it gives the customer the opportunity to combine the products in the way that suits their needs. It is an appropriate solution for gifts or any other item that can be customized. You should know that the products in the bundle should be first created as standalone products.
Downloadable Products – these are digital products that can be sent over the internet or downloaded. An example of such item is file containing specific software. The files can be stored on your server or you can provide them as a URL to a third party infrastructure.