Sell on Amazon Sign in
This article applies to selling in: Japan

Variation Relationships Overview

What is a variation relationship?

Variations (also known as parent-child relationships) are sets of products that are related to one another in terms of Size, Color, Flavor, etc. Good variation relationship listings allow buyers to compare and choose products based on different attributes such as size, color, or other characteristics from the available options on a single product detail page. For example, a customer searching for a short sleeved T-shirt might click on a product detail page for a T-shirt that comes in three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large), and three colors (Blue, Red, Black). Rather than having to browse separate pages for each color and size, the customer can select the preferred size, and choose the color from the three available color variations on the same page.

Examples of good variation families are:

  • Items of clothing that come in different sizes (small, medium, large)
  • Items that come in different colors (blue, red, black)


Elements of a variation relationship

There are three components to a parent-child relationship:

  • Parent listing: The parent listing is a non-buyable entity used to relate child products

    The listing is displayed only in the Seller Central’s search results. Amazon catalog uses the parent listing to establish relationships between the child products. For example, if 2 shirts have the same parent, then they are related and are considered child products.

  • Child products: The products that are related to each parent listing

    The child product is an instance of the parent product. You can have multiple child products that are all related to one parent product. Each child varies in some way, for example, by size, color, etc.

  • Variation theme: The relationship between the parent and the child

    The variation theme defines how related products differ from each other. Depending on the category chosen to list your products, variation themes also vary. For example, in the Clothing & Accessories, Shoes and Bags categories, child products can differ from each other by size or color;; and child listings in Pet Supplies category can differ in flavor, scent, quantity, etc.

The following examples illustrate relationship listings in different product categories:



When to use a parent-child relationship

Not every category supports parent-child relationships, and not every variation is appropriate for a parent-child relationship. If an appropriate variation theme exists for your products, you must include your products in a parent-child relationship.

The Beauty category supports color variations because products do not fundamentally change due to the variation in color. Since the variation for color exists within the Beauty category, you must establish a parent-child relationship for each color variation of your lipstick product inventory so long as no other feature (such as brand) is different between the products.

The Beauty category does not support fragrance variations because in certain circumstances the product, such as perfumes, will be fundamentally different even if all other attributes are the same. Due to the unavailability of the fragrance variation, lotions that are otherwise the same but vary by fragrance would not use parent-child relationships.

Not all related products are valid variations. The following questions can help you to determine whether certain products are valid variations:

  • Are the products fundamentally the same (i.e. the similarities of the ASIN’s design and function are so basic as to be hard to alter resolve, or overcome)?
  • Could the products share the same title?
  • Do the products vary only in a few, specific ways that do not alter the core essence and nature of the item (such as color or size)?
  • Would customers expect to find these products together on a single product detail page?

Product Bundles

Amazon has historically used variations to surface Bundles. A bundle is a group of complementary items that a customer buys together, sometimes at a discount. An example of a bundle is a camera, camera bag and an SD card. While a bundle that includes the camera is not a true variation of the camera, customers expect to see available camera bundles on the camera’s detail page and often prefer, as a matter of convenience, to buy the bundle containing the camera instead of buying each item separately.

Bundles are not considered valid variations. However, they are currently allowed until an updated shopping experience is launched, that will allow bundles to co-exist with variations in a way that highlights the strengths of each product.

Bundles are allowed to be listed as variations if they meet the following criteria:

  • A fixed group of components (ASINs), offered by a given merchant (e.g. Amazon) on a given marketplace (e.g. US) and fulfillment network, that are also sold separately by that merchant on that same marketplace and fulfillment network.
    • Key here is that a customer should be able to compare components of one bundle vs components of another bundle so each component much have its own detail page. A shrink wrapped hard bundle that does not explicitly list the component ASINs does not match this criteria.
  • Components (ASINs) within a bundle must be complementary in nature (e.g. Amazon Echo Show plus compatible Smart lightbulb)
  • Bundles with ‘base’ components such as cameras and accessory bags should be variated with the base component (the camera in this example)
  • The bundle creator must have approval of the brand owners of each component to use the component in the Bundle.
  • A bundle can be composed of digital plus physical ASINs (e.g. Amazon Echo Dot plus Amazon Music Unlimited subscription).

Amazon may remove products that do not correctly use established variation themes. To learn how to list parent and child products, see Create parent-child relationships.

Best practices

  • Do not list different products together:
    • Example 1: A cell phone charging cable and a portable charger, while related, are not the same product and should not be listed on the same detail page.
    • Example 2: A laptop bag with handles and a laptop bag without handles are two different product styles that should be listed on separate detail pages.
  • Do not use variation themes incorrectly; they should only be used for their defined purpose.
    • Example: A color and size variation theme must not include any information other than color and size respectively. Different phone models, for example, should not be listed within a color theme.
  • Do not introduce a large variation family. Large variation families deliver poor customer experience as the Detail Page may take a while to load or not load at all.
    • Check the current size limit for the variation family in Variation Relationship FAQ.
    • When a variation family is approaching the limit, break it into smaller families with distinct characteristics.
    • Example: If you have a product called Women’s Comfortable Boots, a large variation family with 4000 child ASINs, and there are five colors of this product, you can consider breaking it into families in different colors with all sizes available in each new variation family.
    • Note that this is only an example and you can decide on the classification, split and title as you see fit.
  • Do not list a hard bundle (one ASIN which includes multiple components but the components are not buyable individually or do not have their own detail pages) as a variation. This is to make sure that customers can compare/review components of bundles individually on their own detail pages.
    • A common example of a hard bundle is a shrink wrapped camera bundle where the components of the bundle are not individually identifiable ASINs.
  • Amazon Devices detail pages are strictly controlled and maintained (e.g., no other merchants sell Amazon Devices on Amazon). Please reach out to the Amazon Devices team before removing a bundle from Devices detail pages.
  • A bundle consisting of multiple variations of the same parent is permissible (a black Echo Dot with a White Echo Dot, for example).
    • However, a bundle consisting of more than one of the same component is not permissible (2 black Echo Dots).
Sign in to use the tool and get personalized help (desktop browser required). Sign in


Was this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback
How can we improve this help page? Note: This form doesn’t create a support case. Please specify what you think is wrong with the content itself.
1000
What was helpful?
1000
Thanks again for your help!
Thank you for your feedback. If you have more questions, please Contact Us.

Reach Hundreds of Millions of Customers

Start Selling On Amazon


© 1999-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates