how to create parent child variation on amazon

Creating Amazon Product Parent Child Variations with a Flat File

Creating product variations on Amazon is an easy way to consolidate different types of the same product, especially if you are selling it in different sizes, colors or materials.

On Amazon, these are called parent child variations, where the Parent SKU is the one that appears on the listing and each Child SKU appears as a different purchase option. 

The product below, for example, has 2 variations types. The customer has the option to choose between flavor as well as size. This makes it easier for customers to shop and keeps the seller from having to track multiple ASINs separately.

example of product with parent child variations

Check out this related post if you’re looking to bulk upload multiple products with one flat file.

What are the benefits of creating parent child product variations?

Amazon sellers argue that product variations can make your product more competitive and increase conversion rate because you’ll have more options for a customer on a single listing. This can also help increase ad performance since the traffic you’re paying to drive to the listing now has multiple options for purchase (including multi-packs which can increase ASP).

Additionally, the added social proof from an increased review count and better star rating (if you’re doing it right) will increase overall click-through and conversion rates for both search and ads.

As with all things Amazon, though, this is not always the case. Make sure you’re not putting too many variations together as it could confuse customers and reviews don’t always combine the way you would expect.

In this article we’ll show you how to create a parent/child relationship to create product variations by uploading a flat file. In our case, we combined 2 already existing products so there was not as much work to do as if you were to upload completely new products. 

Let’s dive in. 

How to create a parent/child variation with a flat file on Amazon 

1. Download Your Template

First, you’ll need to download a flat file template to fill in the required information and upload it to Amazon. You’ll find this under “Add a Product”

Select get product template
2. Choose Your Marketplace

A popup window will appear, asking for the Marketplace you want to upload the product in.

select the marketplace
3. Search for the correct category of your product.

In this case, we were creating a parent variation to combine 2 products. The category was reusable straws.

Search for and select the correct category
4. Go to the template tab

Once you’ve downloaded and opened the spreadsheet, you’ll want to click on the “Template” tab along the bottom. This is where you’ll be including all the information. 

5. Update the required basic information

If you’re combining multiple existing products under one new parent, you won’t need to update everything. Some of the crucial fields to fill in will appear in red like this: 

mandatory fields to create a parent child variation

Let’s go over these and what you’ll need to include. 

Product Type: This is the product category. Since you’ve downloaded the template specific to your product’s category, you’ll be able to select it easily from the drop-down menu like in the image below (it’ll be the only option).

Seller SKU: This field is the product SKU. If you’re combining existing products, you’ll input the ones you already have for the child products. If uploading a whole new product line with variations, you’ll create new ones. For the parent SKU, create something that makes it easily identifiable as the parents, such as product-parent. 

Brand Name: This one is self-explanatory. If you’re aggregating existing products, you’ll also be able to select this from the drop-down menu. 

Product Name: This is the title of each of the ASINs you want to download. For the parent, you’ll want to include the more generic name, while the children will have a descriptor at the end, for example indicating the color or size. 

Product ID & Product Type: You can choose the Product ID Type from a drop-down. If you already have the products, it’s best to choose the ASIN. The Product ID would then be the ASIN or the corresponding number to what you chose from the drop-down.

product id and product id type

Item Type Keyword: This is another category type that’s chosen from the drop-down menu. 

Number of Items: The number of items the customer receives when ordering the product. 

6. Fill out the variation information

Next, you’ll be filling in the very important variation information. 

fill in the parent child variation information sizename

Parentage: This is where you’ll select the relationship of the product from the drop-down menu. Parent for the parent SKU, Child for the variation SKUs. 

Parent SKU: Fill in the parent SKU you created earlier in the template for each of the Child SKUs. Leave the Parent SKU blank for the parent field. 

Relationship Type: Select Variation from the drop-down menu.  

Variation Theme: This is another drop-down field where you’ll select the differentiator for each Child.  

Note: You’ll need to look through the spreadsheet to fill in the field related to the Variation Theme. In our case, we were creating a parent with a SizeName variation, so we created a name for each child in the “size” column under Discovery. This is what will appear when you scroll over the options on the listing.

Below you can see the size_name for each of the straws. Leave the Parent row blank. 

enter the size name for the parent child variation
7. Fill out the type of update

Last in the spreadsheet to fill out will be the type of upload.  It appears as a field called Update Delete and has 3 options from the drop-down menu:

Update Select update only for the Parent field if you are combining products already on Amazon. For the Child products, you’ll select PartialUpdate since you’re just creating a child variation.

If you are uploading a brand-new product variation family not yet on Amazon, you’ll also choose Update (in this case you will also have to fill in all the necessary fields related to creating a new product).  

PartialUpdate if you are simply creating the parent/child variation.

Delete if you want to delete the product (don’t choose this one).

select the update type for the parent child variation
8. Upload the spreadsheet

Finally, it’s time to upload the spreadsheet. Select “I’m uploading a file to add multiple products”.

upload a file to add multiple products

Select the file to upload and enter your email to receive an alert when it’s been processed. 

9. Troubleshoot

You should receive an email shortly after the upload has been successful. If there was something missing, you will still receive an alert with the number of errors and a link to a new spreadsheet that highlights the error fields with a little red flag like this: 

any errors will appear flagged in the spreadsheet

If this happens, all you have to do is fix the error and re-upload. 

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