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This article applies to selling in: United States

When to use parent-child relationship in variation

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 Virtual Bundles for vendors. Sellers who are brand owners can now create Virtual Bundles. However, these are surfaced through a unique widget called List of Bundles Widget (LBW). Sellers who are brand owners should not use variations to surface bundles.

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

For more information about Product Bundles, visit our Product Bundling Policy.

Note: 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.com).

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