The items for sale in your store are collectively called products. Your products will vary widely depending on your store and business model. Swell supports a wide variety of products and product configurations that allow you to sell the way that best fits your needs. Creation and management of products are accomplished within the Products tab on the Swell dashboard. Additionally, storewide product settings can be accessed under the Settings tab.

To get started, you’ll want to select New product from the Products section of the Swell dashboard. From there, each new product has the following core properties that will be designated during its creation:

  • Product name: a required name for this product.
  • SKU: a product SKU (stock keeping unit, a unique identifier).
  • Type: a designation of the Type of product you’re creating; this selection informs other product properties.
  • Active: Active products will be displayed in your storefront. Disabling the toggle makes products inactive and temporarily removes them from your store’s public offering—without actually deleting the product.
  • Images: you can upload one or more images for this product.
  • Categories: Each product can optionally be classified in Categories (more below), which are used for search and presentation in the customer-facing store.
  • Pricing: Sets pricing parameters for your product.
  • Options: Additional product options that a user can choose from when selecting a product—such as size or color.
  • Related products: Display other recommended products through up-sells and cross-sells to a customer within the storefront.
  • Content: This area contains the product’s listing page information, including the product description, tags for SEO and discoverability, the product page title, a meta description for search engines to display, and the webpage URL slug.
  • Attributes: Keywords used for populating product attributes in the storefront and for product search result filtering.

In Swell, each type of product has its own unique characteristics. A variety of product types are supported—including physical, virtual, bundle, and gift cards. When creating a product, choosing the product’s type will reveal the specific input fields relevant to the creation of that product type. Selecting the gift card product type, for example, would show fields for adding gift card denominations—a field exclusive to the gift card product type.

Physical and virtual products are nearly the same as far as your store is concerned. Physical products are items that exist in the real world, such as a physical, paper book, and virtual products are for delivering digital or symbolic content, such as a PDF of the mentioned book.

The main difference between the two, for your store, is that taxes can be assigned independently for physical and virtual goods since different tax rates might apply for these.

Bundles are groupings of products that are sold together, at a different price than simply the sum of the items. For example, if you have a coffee-related store, you might sell a coffee brewing device (normally $50) and two packs of filters (normally $5 each) for $55, increasing your sales, saving the customer $5. Other than this grouping, creating a bundle has the same fields as creating a physical or virtual product.

Gift cards are also products, and they’re covered in the gift cards chapter below.

A product’s pricing determines the manner in which they are sold—and each product can support multiple pricing options. When creating a product, configure the product’s pricing options by enabling the toggle for each option you want to utilize:

  • Standard pricing: the default, one-time purchase option for the product. Features both a List price and a sale price. Enabling the Sale price will override the List price on your storefront and effectively mark down the product’s price to the sale price.
  • Subscription pricing: enables products to be sold on a recurring subscription plan. Specify the subscription frequency, its price, trial periods, and limits—you can additionally bill and fulfill a subscription separately which allows for something such as a subscription that bills annually (once a year) but ships monthly (once a month). For more information on subscriptions, check out our subscriptions topic.

If you require more fine-tuned control of a product’s standard pricing options, you can add price rules. Each price rule will override the default list or sale price based on specific criteria such as minimum and maximum quantity, and the customer group that has access to this price rule (including the default of All Customers). Products support multiple price rules.

For example, a product might have a list price of $15 but is on sale for $10. Additionally, you might want to offer a bulk discount by adding a price rule to make the product $8 if the customer buys at least two (the Min. quantity), and you might wish to limit this bulk discount to customers that are in a particular customer group.

In addition to pricing, you can track the internal cost of products and product variants by enabling it within Settings > Product. Enabling cost allows you to specify the net cost of a product which assists in financial reporting within your storefront to more accurately measure your store's profit and margins.

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The cost field is for internal purposes only and will not be displayed to customers within the storefront.

Each product has a Description field, which is a free-form (and formatted) place to specify product information such as the description, box contents, and anything else you’d like to show the customer about the product.

You can specify a comma-separated list of tags associated with this product to help improve product search and discovery.

A customized Page title will help customers see the correct product in their browsers and will assist search engines in displaying your preferred title. The Meta description is also used to give additional information to search engines, so they can display specified information about this product to potential customers.

Finally, you can specify a product’s Slug, which is used to uniquely identify this product in its URL within your store.

Product categories are defined as a hierarchy. This tree is used to show products to customers within your store, and can be arbitrarily deep (you select the parent category, or none when defining a new category).

Categories have:

  • A Category name
  • An Active toggle: similar to the other active toggles described above: it allows you to turn off categories without having to actually delete them
  • Chosen Products to place in this new category (categories can also be chosen through the listing bulk edit, or through the product editing interface)
  • One or more Images, similar to how these are handled for products -
  • A rich text/markup Description, Page title, Meta description, and URL name (which is called Slug elsewhere), that works similarly to the same fields on products, as described above
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Categories can also be searched which is particularly useful if you have a large hierarchy.

Options are variations on a product such as size and color. You can specify the option name, and a comma-separated set of values to associate with that name. For example, to sell a t-shirt in three sizes, you could specify a Size option with values of Small, Medium, Large.

The More screen gives you additional configuration parameters for this product’s options. Active turns this option’s customer visibility on or off, and you can choose an alternate Input type for each product option:

  • Select: a choice between multiple preset option values (such as the sizes mentioned above, or a list of colors).
  • Toggle: an on/off switch for the user to opt-in to an add-on for this product; using the toggle allows you to specify an add-on price, and additional shipping weight (this could be something like including a sample pound of coffee beans to use with this coffee grinder—you’d add $10 and an extra pound of shipping weight).
  • Short text: provides a small, one-line field for the user to enter a bit of text to go along with their purchase (for example, a custom engraving).
  • Long text: provides a large, multiple-line field for the user to enter text to go along with their purchase (for example, a message to include with a gift being purchased).

With Short text and Long text, you can specify placeholder text to prompt the customer on how to use the field or to provide an example, and you can specify whether or not to require the customer to input the requested text.

For Select and Toggle input types, you can instruct Swell to automatically generate product variants for your store.

For each Input type, a Description field is available (and optional) to further prompt the user.

Once product options have been defined, click an option tag to bring up the option’s specific value fields. Here you can change the name of the product option as well as specify any additional cost or weight unique to that option with the Add price and Add shipping weight field. Additionally, you may wish to include a description of the option in the Description field.

You can optionally (through an Enabled/Disabled toggle) choose existing products that are related to the product you are creating (or editing), as either:

  • Up-sells: products you’d like the customer to choose instead of their original choices, such as a product upgrade or a better brand alternative.
  • Cross-sells: similar to bundles—you can offer a user a discount (by percent or flat amount) if they purchase an additional, specified product, such as providing a discount on coffee filters with their coffee purchase.
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Up-sells and cross-sells are entirely optional and can be turned on or off on a per related product basis.

To add either a cross-sell or up-sell product, enable the Related products toggle as well as the toggle for the related product feature you wish to use (Up-sells or Cross-sells). You will then be able to select Add product for the up-sell or cross-sell. Designate the product by selecting it, and, for cross-sells, specify the discount type and amount. Save the product once you have successfully added the related products.

Attributes are free-form pieces of data that can be attached to products. Attributes can be Visible to customers or Hidden for internal use. They can also be searched, as in the other listing views.

For example, you might want to associate a Size with many of your products. To do this, you’d create a Size attribute and choose its available values when creating or editing a product.

To create a new attribute, you must provide a Name and a unique Attribute ID (auto-populated based on the Name). You may then choose a Type, specify the attribute’s Visibility (as described above), select if the attribute is Filterable (used in storefront category filters), and whether the attribute is Required, which enforces the attribute value’s presence before you can save a new or edited product.

The attribute Type can be set to one of the following:

  • Text: short, arbitrary text, with an optional Default text
  • Text area: long, arbitrary text, with an optional Default text
  • Select: a drop-down select box with specified values as Select options, and a Default value
  • Checkbox: will present a list of options where the user can select zero or more, with Checkbox options (a comma-separated list of values), and a comma-separated Default checked
  • Radio: similar to Checkbox, but allows the user to select only a single value instead of multiple and has an optional Default value
  • Image: allows the store manager to add one named image (or more than one if Enable uploading multiple images is toggled on) to attach to this product
  • File: similar to Image, but displays a link to the uploaded file(s) instead of an inline image
  • Number: an arbitrary number to attach to this attribute; this is similar to Text, but is sortable and enforces that the value is numeric
  • Currency: very similar to Number, but displays as a currency (dollars and cents as a decimal, for example)

When creating product options with variants, Swell automatically creates attributes (with a type value of variation) based on each option value. This streamlines the ability to search for each product's option value. These variation attributes are directly pulled from the options values and related to their respective product variants.

For example, creating a t-shirt with options of cotton or polyester, and generating the variants based on those options would also create attributes for cotton and polyester and associate them to the respective product variants. This allows customers the ability to search ‘cotton’ in the product search and find all t-shirts variants associated with the cotton attribute.

Existing products can be listed and sorted by various properties such as their names, updated times, and prices. You can limit this list to active, inactive, bundles, or out of stock, and it’s easy to search for specific products. Furthermore, you can filter the list with specific criteria to show exactly what you’d like.

Editing individual products is a very similar flow to creating new products, with many of the same options, but in the listing view, you can also select specific products with checkboxes and bulk edit properties of these, such as changing the tags of all selected products without having to click through and manually edit each one.

This multiple product selection can be a quick way to add or remove categories from the chosen products, and you can also bulk delete checked products.

At the top of the listing view, you can export data from your products to use in external tools (either CSV or JSON), and you can choose to export all products, the current page, or—if you’ve checked some products, as above—you can export only the chosen products. You will need to have at least one product in your Products list to see the Export button. This feature works similarly for gift cards, subscriptions, and customer accounts.

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If you would like a template CSV file for uploading, you can download one from the Import pop-up window. Click Import, and then select Download sample CSV file.

You can import, and export product lists to your Swell store in CSV or JSON formats. The import and export functions are available from the All products tab within your dashboard.

Managing and editing products in bulk can be done via the import function as well. Export the current product list, make all the desired updates, and import the updated file. This allows you to edit your products without doing it individually within the dashboard.

You can manage the inventory of individual products by navigating to the Inventory tab while viewing a product. Click Adjust to add or remove inventory and select a reason from the drop-down menu. Stock can be adjusted at the base product level or on a per variant basis—so each product variant can have its own dedicated stock inventory. Click the Save button within the window and again on the product page to complete the change.

Backorder functionality can also be implemented within your storefront by enabling the Allow purchases when out of stock option. This lets customers purchase products even when there is no stock currently available.

Swell products feature the ability to define unique shipping parameters on a per-product basis. Along with the ability to use general store-wide shipping services, products that may require special shipping or handling can feature their own shipping offerings to meet the specific logistical needs. Check out this nifty shipping guide for more information.

Swell supports the creation of both physical and digital gift cards for use within your storefront. You can fulfill gift cards either by sending physical cards to customers or by sending codes directly to their email addresses. Once purchased, a gift card can be applied to a customer’s account credits, or redeemed and applied directly towards a purchase during checkout.

Manage your gift cards by navigating to the Gift cards section under the Products drop-down on the Swell dashboard sidebar. Here you will be able to view all of your currently active, redeemed, and disabled gift cards—as well as create new gift cards and manage existing ones.

If you wish to sell physical or digital gift cards through your storefront, select New product from the Product tab within the dashboard, and set the product’s Type to the Gift card option. This will create a product entry that can be purchased by customers from the storefront. Gift card products follow a similar creation flow for other products, so refer to our create a product article for information covering the product creation process. There are also some distinct options relative to gift card products that will need to be specified upon creation:

  • Gift card denominations: The denominations are the different value tiers of gift cards that are available for purchase within this gift card product. It is populated with default denominations of $10, $25, $50, and $100. Denomination values can be edited, and each denomination has a space for a description. You can also add and remove denominations. If you support multiple currencies, you can enable them for the product from the localization drop-down to the left of the Save product button. This will provide additional value fields for each currency per denomination.
  • Gift card fulfillment: This determines how the gift card is handled and sent to the customer. It can either be sent and fulfilled digitally or be set to manual fulfillment for sending physical gift cards to customers.

Swell offers a feature for store owners to generate gift card codes for gift card products that are created with the manual fulfillment method selected. These codes can be generated per denomination and once created, they will be displayed in the New tab within the Gift card section of the dashboard.

When creating a gift card with the fulfillment set to manual, the Generate gift card codes option becomes available once the product has been saved—selecting this option will open a new window and allow you to generate a number of codes (up to 1,000 at a time) for each denomination of the gift card. Press Generate to create the gift card codes.

From the product window, you will now see the Gift card codes section under Gift card fulfillment. The generated codes are listed by denomination, and you have the ability to either Generate more codes and View all codes.

Choosing to Generate more opens the code generation window and provides the ability to create additional gift card codes. Selecting View all codes will navigate to the Gift card tab and display all codes generated for that particular gift card product. From there you can manage each gift card instance and have the option to export the list to a CSV or JSON file.

Additional gift card settings can be found within the Gift cards section of the Settings tab within the dashboard.

You can specify a default Gift card code pattern which determines the format for how gift card codes are generated by the system. By default, the pattern is set to a 16 digit code formatted as {XXXX} {XXXX} {XXXX} {XXXX}. Adjusting the pattern should follow this formatting—provide an X for each digit and bracketing groupings with {} curly brackets. The minimum gift card code pattern length is 5 digits.

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When viewing gift cards, the hidden codes display as 16 digits to prevent giving away the actual code length—regardless of your store code pattern settings. Revealing the code will display the code generated based on your store’s specified pattern in the Gift card code pattern settings.

Gift cards can be set to automatically expire after a specified amount of time. Enabling the Auto-expiration setting for gift cards will allow an expiration time frame to be set. This can be specified using Days, Months, or Years.

Under the Gift cards tab, your gift cards will be organized by their status. Each tab within the table will display the gift cards that are assigned to a particular status for quick reference.

Gift card statuses are:

  • New: These gift cards are the newly generated codes that have not yet been spent or assigned to a customer account.
  • Spent: These are gift cards that have been completely spent within your store during checkout.
  • Partially spent: Gift cards that have been spent but have a remaining balance will show the Partially spent status. The gift card balance is shown in the Value column—the first number being the available balance and the second value being the card’s original balance. For example, a gift card showing a Value of $5.00/$10.00 means $5.00 of its original $10.00 is still available.
  • Redeemed: This status shows gift cards that have been redeemed to a customer’s account. Redeemed gift card balances are converted to store credit. The gift card record itself will show an empty balance once the credits have been added to an account.
  • Disabled: Gift cards that have been disabled can no longer be redeemed or spent. Disable a gift card by selecting it from the table and clicking the Disable button on the top right of the window. Once disabled, the gift card balance can no longer be used.
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Only gift cards with the New and Spent statuses can be disabled—Redeemed gift cards cannot be disabled.

Purchase links bring customers to your store’s checkout with a group of pre-configured products ready in their cart. They can be embedded on websites or shared through chat, social media, and email. The same purchase link can be used as many times as needed and will bring each customer to their own individual checkout page.

To create a purchase link navigate to Products > Purchase links on the dashboard. Click New purchase link, then specify the link name and select Save link.

Once a purchase link is created you can add products, subscriptions, or bundles by clicking Add items on the purchase link editor page. Choose your options (such as the color or size of a product) and quantity. The price of your items will auto-generate. Click Save to finalize your item selection.

The items connected to the purchase link will appear in the Items section. To apply a discount to purchase link items, click Apply discounts and select which discounts you wish to apply, then click Save. After you’ve added your desired products, subscriptions, bundles, and discounts click Save link to finalize your edits.

To edit purchase link items, open an individual purchase link and click Edit items. You can delete items from your purchase link by selecting Remove next to the items you want to remove. You can also adjust quantities and add other items. Click Save to finalize your edits. To duplicate a purchase link click the Actions drop-down menu and select Duplicate.

Before you share a purchase link you must enable it by toggling its status to Active. Then click Save link. You can copy the displayed link or select Copy (next to any active purchase links on the Purchase links editor page). To disable a purchase link, toggle off the Active status and click Save link to finalize your changes.

To share a purchase link, copy the active link from your store and paste it into text on blogs, websites, chat, email, or social media. When a user clicks on your link, it will take them directly to a checkout page with the items you have preconfigured.

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In order to share a purchase link, it must be set to active.

To delete a purchase link you can select and delete the link from the Purchase links editor page or open an individual purchase link, click on the Actions drop-down menu, and select Delete. You may also open an individual purchase link and select Delete purchase link at the bottom of the page.