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Workarounds for the Shopify 100 Variants Limit

Written by

James Dooley

James Dooley

One of the biggest limitations facing online store owners is the variant limit on Shopify.

The Shopify 100 variant limit applies to a single product, and any store that wants to offer more than the existing variants has some work on its hands.

This is a common issue with online business owners and one that we, as a leading SEO agency, frequently see among our clients. While Shopify claims that the 100 variant limit cannot be raised for any account or website plan, this does not mean that you are stuck with the existing variants you currently have.

In this guide, we are sharing several proven workarounds to the Shopify variant limit. This is something we have worked with for many clients and continue to provide support for at our agency.

As a store owner, you not only need to know how to work around the Shopify variant limit but also several other issues that may arise online. This is where we come in; as a leading SEO agency, we can help you get the attention you need online.

If you are interested in learning more about running a Shopify store or want to improve your current web presence, we can help.

Simply get in touch with the team today for your free no obligation quote.

What Is The Shopify Variant Limit?

Variants are used for products on Shopify and apply to all kinds of ecommerce businesses.

These variants differ based on the kind of store you own and the products you sell but are in place to show your customers options when it comes to what they are buying. A simple example of product variants is when you sell t-shirts.

Most t-shirt stores will have multiple sizes of each of their products. For example, a t-shirt will come in multiple sizes, and therefore the website needs to have options for this. Additional variants will be used if the same product comes in different colours as well as sizes.

With this in mind, one product can have tens or even hundreds of variants depending on what you are selling and with the Shopify variant limit, you only have 100 over three main options.

Due to this limit by Shopify API, you will not be able to add options once you have reached this variant limit on your Shopify store. This is likely due to the technical architecture of the app, which is not going to change any time soon.

If you have a store with multiple products and want to provide product variants within this, then you need to learn how to work around the existing variant limit on Shopify.

Top Workarounds For The Shopify 100 Variant Limit

While the limit is not going away any time soon, there are ways that site owners can work around these limits and provide the products they want to their audience.

Some of the common ways to workaround this issue are:

1. Split into different products with internal links

The first solution is to divide your product variants into separate products, which allows you to work around this limit. This workaround can make your store more user-friendly while also helping you workaround the limits on Shopify product variants, so it is worth a shot.

It is common to see even on some of the biggest online stores that they have several variants of the same product.

Instead of relying on dropdown menus or infinite options coming for an existing product, you can instead create a unique variant with its own product details page to bypass the variant limit in place.

Making new variants as separate products with their own option value instead of relying on a product customizer prevents you from reaching your limit of 100 variants while still ensuring there is a wide variety of products at your site. All of these have the same option value but do not contribute to your variant limit.

Not only does this allow you to increase the number of variants you offer, but having different option values and similar variants throughout your store can be more aesthetically pleasing on the site. It can make it easier for customers to buy what they want as they can see what you offer through the home page.

This is easier than having to click on your chosen product and the colour swatch option value later. Each of these options will likely still have individual variants, such as in terms of size, but you will be able to add more Shopify products by separating them for different materials or colours, for example.

It is important to note that with this solution, you may need to hire a developer to work on the internal linking of the code to ensure your products are connected. Likewise, when adding similar variants to your site, you will need to use additional SEO tools to ensure they get noticed.

We can create canonical URLs to ensure the SEO of linked products, along with providing many other solutions for your site. Please contact us today for more information.

2. Use a Third-Party App

A great way to add new variants or workaround the current limits on your store is to see if there is a solution in the Shopify app store. As the Shopify admin, there are numerous apps you can add to your store, which can be found through the main store.

Apps can help you save time by customising your website for you and performing bulk action.

Because the 100 variants have been in place for as long as Shopify has been around, there are various apps and add-ons available that you can use to improve the variants section on your site.

There are many apps out there for this, but a great example of this workaround is Bold Product Options, which allows you to add additional information to products even when the 100 variants have been met.

With this add-on, there are custom fields, conditional logic and pricing adjustments for any product and more room to add variants when required.

It is important to note that not every app will work with your website, and some additional work in the code may be required. Most people create an app for a specific problem on their website, and it can take a while to find something that fits your specific needs, which is why there are so many options out there.

3. Edit your theme to merge products (not recommended)

This is an advanced option and is not recommended in most cases because of the issues it can create. Working with the coding of the site can help you get past the limits on variant data and help you merge multiple products to the same details.

The theme code is required to add variants this way, and it can be a complicated process that many business owners do not have time for. This whole workaround focuses on you being able to duplicate existing variants and merge these through code.

You will first need to make two separate products with the same 100 variants.

These need to be an exact duplicate in terms of both option order and the option name used before the code can be adjusted to merge the two. The duplicate variant can be merged with the original through this process.

Unless the option values duplicated match the parent product, you will not be able to work around the limit.

4. Get Creative with Structuring Your Product Data

This is another complicated example that can allow for more product options but should be done with an experienced partner such as those at our firm who can help.

If you can restructure your product data

It is recommended that you modify and change your product data to make it more suitable for ecommerce. Instead of trying to work around the issue and create more product options, it makes sense for you to modify your website specifically for online customers.

Most of the sites that exceed the variant limit are simply trying to bring the rules of in-store retail to the online world, and this is not necessary. After all, is there truly a good enough reason to have more than 100 option values on a single product anyway?

Before you try to add variants to a product that already has enough option values, consider the way you structure your product catalogue and the way products are listed. You may find that you do not need as many variants with each one as you first thought.

If you can’t restructure your product data

There are some occasions where you need to provide as many product options as possible for your customers, and therefore changing the way each option value is listed on your site is not going to work.

If this is the case for your business, then you may need to modify your Shopify theme code to allow for more than the 100 option value limit. This is a complicated process, as we have mentioned, and no bulk action will apply.

You will need to merge new variants with the original variant so they appear as one to any customer on your site. The duplicated variant will be connected to the original using tags and other lines of code so the customer can see all their options at once.

This can be a complicated process and one that requires professional help, so please contact us for more.

5. Extend Variants With Your Data Integration Partner

Your final option is to consider whether you can extend variants through your integration partner.

This is not possible at every Shopify site and should be done by working with a professional agency like ours. With our experience in SEO, we can help add data to product details and other aspects of the website, even as it is moved around to bypass the Shopify limits.

This is only possible with some data integration platforms and on some sites, so contact us to learn more.

Why is there a 100 variant limit on Shopify Plus?

The 100 variant limit is a core part of the Shopify coding and is, therefore, unlikely to go anywhere soon. It is present on Shopify Plus to limit product options and applies to all sites, plans and products.

As it is such an integral part of the Shopify coding, it will be difficult to change or remove without affecting everything else, which is why all storefronts still have to deal with these limits today.

Although the variant limit is not going anywhere soon, there are ways around it, and your business can thrive under such circumstances.

Our leading SEO experts have helped many Shopify storefronts through this issue and provided ongoing success to our clients with our services. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us today for a free no obligation quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more than 100 variants on Shopify?

There are several options you can use to get past the 100 variant limit based on the kind of site you have and the work you can do.

Contact us today for a free no obligation quote to see how we can help.

How do I get more than 3 options on Shopify?

You can either use a products app or use Line Item Properties if you want to add something outside of the price or inventory levels.

Is there a limit to products on Shopify?

There are no limits on how many products you can have with Shopify, but there are limits for the product options that apply to each one.


James Dooley
James Dooley

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