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This article applies to selling in: United States

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)

Here is an example of how a variation appears to customers:

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 two 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 & Luggage category, child products can differ from each other by size or color; and child listings in Pet Supplies category can differ in flavor, scent, quantity, and so on.

The following examples illustrate relationship listings in different product categories:

Learn more about variation relationships

When to use a parent-child relationship in variation

Variation relationships for luggage and travel accessories

Variation relationships for lighting

Variation relationships for clothing and accessories

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