Manage Magento 2 Product Types and Catalog Data

Setting up an excellent and economical online Magento 2 store requires considerably advanced preparation to decide which products will effectively bring out the best, as well as reach out and hook in as many consumers for a successful purchase with the most satisfying customer experience. Otherwise, the products would all just be laid out in confusing disorder and turn off potential customers. Moreover, the inventory will be an even bigger headache and higher pile of chaos on top of one another.

Understanding basically six distinct Magento 2 product types and knowing their unique and individual differences will be a huge help, not only easy for the customer to shop from, but also easy for the store owner manage and avoid unwanted annoyances of ecommerce inventory.

To begin with, let us know the basic term of what a product is. These are the commodities in your store that are offered for sale. There are many types and varieties of products. A product type then is a certain group of manufactured goods or services clustered together based on their similarity in characteristics, variety, or structure, as well as the type of optimal market that it specifically targets.

Now, let’s take a look at the product types you might use when setting up your Magento store.

Simple Product

This is the most basic product type. It is what it says it is: simple product. This is a physical product that does not give everyone a headache. When deciding what product to categorize in this type, it should answer the question if a shopper has no other option or not.

Simple Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Simple Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

With a simple product, there is no need to bother one’s self with characteristics or different attributes such as sizes, or color. For example, each book is unique so it cannot be categorized by its size or the color of the cover. This way, the product can be categorized as a simple product with its own inventory, price and stock keeping unit (SKU). Moreover, if the physical product is customizable so that the buyer can personalize the item, like a book with an engraved name of, let’s say, a person they are giving it to as a gift, then it can also be categorized as a simple product.

Things to remember:

  • In Magento 2, a simple product can be sold individually, or as part of a grouped, configurable, or bundle product.
  • A simple product can have custom options with a variety of input controls, which makes it possible to sell many product variations from a single SKU.

Tips: If you are just starting out, you can take a look at a few sample Magento 2 simple products here to experiment with each product type.

Configurable Product

Configurable products are most quite the contrary of, but are also made up of simple products. If a shopper browses through physical goods and has options which one to pick during the purchasing process either by size, color, material or finish, or other attributes, then it can be categorized as a configurable product.

Configurable Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Configurable Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

A shopper usually has multiple options that may open up a whole wide range of product offerings that can keep them hooked and keep them coming back when shopping online. For example, a shopper might have in mind to buy only a red skirt but as another option pops up for a green skirt with similar style, although a different fabric, it may prompt another purchase. Since an inventory is necessary for each variation or option, configurable product is created.

Things to remember:

  • A configurable product allows the shopper to choose options from drop-down lists. Each option in a configurable product represents a separate, simple product with a distinct SKU, which makes it possible to track inventory for each variation.
  • Each drop-down list value is based on an attribute of the “Dropdown” input type. The drop-down attributes must be included in the attribute set, which is then used as a template for the configurable product.
  • The thumbnail image in the shopping cart can be set to display the image from the configurable product record, or from the product variation.

Tips: The configurability of Magento 2 products has been extremely important with a more extensive feature of filter by attributes. You can take advantage of UB Instant Layered Navigation to maximize the full use or your filterable attributes.

Group Product

Grouped products are simple products having fun together in one place. These are physical goods that are intended to be sold as a whole. Although intended to be purchased as a group, the shopper can have an option to include a product or to not include the product in the final purchase.

Grouped Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Grouped Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

This product type is mostly efficient and effective especially for new customers. For example, a newlywed decides to purchase a bed. The products may be arranged so that along with the bed, other items such as pillow, duvet, blankets, mattress cover and comforter is in plain sight and encourages the newlyweds to purchase together along with the main item initially intended. The grouped products displayed as a grouped set provides sales opportunity and at the same time, may provide a discount for the shopper which increases chances of purchase.

Things to remember:

  • A grouped product is essentially a collection of simple associated products.
  • Simple and virtual products that are part of a grouped product cannot have custom options.
  • Each item purchased appears individually in the shopping cart, rather than as part of the group.
  • The thumbnail image in the shopping cart can be set to display the image from the grouped parent product, or the associated product.

Tips: A handy tool to bring a convenient experience to your shoppers -- UB Quick View. It allows quick view with all Magento 2 product types: Simple Products, Configurable Products, Download Products, Bundle Products, Virtual Products, Grouped Products; no more loading page for product detail.

Bundled Product

Bundled products can be confusing as a category of product types. It can be easily confused with grouped products as it also comprise of several unique and different products (either simple or configurable). The main point that distinguishes bundled product from grouped products is that when items are bundled together, it is hardly possible for any of the products to be removed from the set. In simple words, one product cannot live without the other, would hardly function if the other is missing. One product complements the other.

Bundle Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Bundle Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

With bundled product, a shopper usually starts with the basic physical good and builds it up with add-ons necessary to make it work and function. For example, a student buys a customizable PC. The PC being the basic product, he builds it up with add-ons that can make it work smoothly. He might purchase, along with the PC, other items to configure it, such as RAM, video/sound card, processor, memory, peripherals, etc. The student can pile up the various products he wants to bundle and the price is tallied for each time a new product is added until the final amount is configured when selection is finalized.

Things to remember:

  • Customers can “build their own” bundle product.
  • Bundle items can be simple or virtual products without custom options. The Price View can be set to a price range or to “As Low As.”
  • SKU and Weight can be either “Fixed” or “Dynamic.”
  • The Quantity can be a preset or user-defined value.
  • Bundle items can be shipped together or separately.

Tips: Using a ready-made theme should save you a hefty amount of time. A few unique Magento 2 themes available at Ubertheme for your choice.

Downloadable Products

Downloadable products are popular nowadays. These are not physical goods that are tangible but are items that, as the name implies, can be downloaded via a website or online store after purchase. Some of the most common and essential downloadable products are anti-virus tools and other software protection products, to name a few. Other downloadable products such as eBooks, online games, music files, emagazines, and some apps have proven to be evidently popular as well.

Downloadable Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Downloadable Product in UB Bookshop theme (for Magento 2)

Things to remember:

  • Downloadable products can be uploaded to the server, or linked to from another server on the Internet.
  • You can determine the number of times a customer can download a product.
  • Customers who purchase a downloadable product can be required to log in before going through checkout.
  • The delivery of a downloadable product can be made when the order is in either a “Pending” or “Invoiced” state.

Virtual Products

Aside from the main product types, another type that can be equally helpful in organizing items is through Virtual products. Virtual products are used to represent non-tangible items such as memberships, services, warranties, or subscriptions. Virtual products can be sold individually, or included as part of the following product types: Grouped Product or Bundle Product

Virtual products, just like downloadable products are themselves intangible too. However, unlike downloadable products that can be downloaded and later stored and accessed from a certain special account section, virtual products do not need to be shipped, downloaded nor does it require inventory tracking. These are services given with a certain product that may be purchased. For example, when the student mentioned earlier bought his bundled product for a PC, he will be provided along with it a virtual product such as a warranty, a certain software installation pack, and most likely, customer support packages to ensure excellent and consistent customer experience.

Things to remember:

  • Virtual products are used for non-tangible products such as services, subscriptions, and warranties.
  • Virtual products are much like simple products, but without the Weight.
  • Shipping Options do not appear during checkout unless there is a tangible product in the cart.


Acquiring accurate information on basically six distinct Magento product types that will aid in organizing goods and services in comprehensive manner for quicker inventory and conveniently easy for shopping for customers will go a long way before setting up ecommerce.

There are many ways to organize and create a catalogue that can be convenient. The effectiveness of each product type or technique may yield the several and different results depending on the product and targeted market. However, in order to determine which ones are most effective, a test and measure approach should be adopted to determine the performance after careful observation.

Written By

Head of UberTheme Team