In the context of product management and manufacturing, the terms “product model” and “variant” are commonly used to describe different aspects of product offerings. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:

Product Model

  • Definition: A product model refers to a specific design or type of product that a company produces. It is often associated with a unique set of features, functionalities, and specifications that define the core essence of the product.
  • Scope: The product model represents the broader category of a product line. For example, in the automotive industry, a car manufacturer might have different models such as a sedan, SUV, or truck.
  • Identification: Each product model is usually identified by a unique name or code that differentiates it from other models. For example, “Toyota Camry” is a model name that identifies a specific type of car.
  • Features: The features of a product model are generally consistent and standardized across all units produced under that model name.


  • Definition: A variant refers to a specific version or configuration of a product model that may have different options, features, or specifications. Variants are created to cater to different customer preferences or market requirements.
  • Scope: Variants exist within a product model and represent the diversity within that model. For example, within the Toyota Camry model, there might be different variants such as the base model, hybrid, and sport edition.
  • Identification: Variants are typically identified by additional descriptors or codes that specify their unique features. For example, “Toyota Camry LE,” “Toyota Camry XLE,” and “Toyota Camry Hybrid” are different variants of the Camry model.
  • Features: Variants may differ in aspects such as engine type, interior features, technology packages, color options, and trim levels. These variations allow customers to choose a version of the product that best suits their needs and preferences.


  • Product Model: The broad category or type of a product with a unique set of core features (e.g., Toyota Camry).
  • Variant: Specific versions or configurations of a product model that offer different options and features (e.g., Toyota Camry LE, Toyota Camry XLE, Toyota Camry Hybrid).

In essence, the product model defines the general product, while variants provide specific choices within that product model to cater to diverse customer requirements.

What is an example of product variation?

An example of product variation is when a company offers different versions of a basic product to meet the needs and preferences of different customers. For instance, a smartphone manufacturer might produce multiple variations of a phone model, such as:

  • Different Storage Capacities: Offering the phone with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB of internal storage.
  • Color Options: Providing the phone in various colors like black, white, blue, and red.
  • Screen Sizes: Making the phone available with different screen sizes, such as 5.5 inches and 6.5 inches.
  • Special Editions: Releasing a limited edition with exclusive features or designs.
  • Network Compatibility: Offering versions compatible with different carriers or network types (e.g., 4G and 5G models).

These variations allow the company to cater to a broader audience, address specific customer needs, and create opportunities for upselling.

Can you add product variants on Shopify?

Yes, you can add product variants on Shopify. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Log in to your Shopify Admin Panel: Go to your Shopify admin page and log in with your credentials.

2. Go to Products: In the admin panel, click on “Products” from the left-hand menu.

3. Add a New Product or Edit an Existing Product:

  • To add variants to a new product, click on “Add product.”
  • To add variants to an existing product, click on the product you want to edit.

4. Scroll Down to the Variants Section:

    • On the product details page, scroll down to the “Variants” section.

    5. Enable Variants:

    • If you’re adding a new product, you’ll see a section titled “Variants” with a checkbox that says “This product has multiple options, like different sizes or colors.” Check this box.
    • If you’re editing an existing product, you can directly start adding variants if the checkbox is already enabled.

    6. Add Options:

    • For each option (like size, color, material), enter the option name (e.g., Size, Color) and the values for each option (e.g., Small, Medium, Large for Size; Red, Blue, Green for Color).
    • Click on “Add another option” if you need to add more than one option.

    7. Add Variants:

    Shopify will automatically generate all possible combinations of the options you’ve added. You can then enter specific details for each variant, such as price, SKU, barcode, quantity, and weight.

    8. Save:

    Once you’ve entered all the necessary information, click “Save” to save the product variants.