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This article applies to selling in: France

About parent-child relationships

When you create parent-child relationships (also known as “variations”) between products, you help customers find different versions of the product they are viewing. For example, a t-shirt may be available in multiple sizes and colors. The parent product is the t-shirt itself (short sleeve, cotton, crew neck). The child product is the variation of the parent (t-shirt in pink, t-shirt in XXXL). For more information, see Variation relationships.

To learn how to create variations using parent-child product relationships for Fashion products, please watch this video: Seller University video.

You may also be able to use the Check My File feature to automatically detect variation sets in your inventory file.

What is a parent-child relationship?

Imagine that a customer searches for a t-shirt on Amazon and finds 10 products. Each shirt comes in 3 sizes and 2 colors, which means that there are 6 unique size and color combinations for each t-shirt. When multiplied by 10 products, there are 60 separate products which match the search criteria. Rather than display all 60 products, Amazon groups similar products using parent-child relationships. The result: the catalog displays only one product (the t-shirt), and the product detail page displays the variations (size and color).

Note: Parent-child relationships are also known as variation relationships. Parent-child relationships that vary by more than one attribute (such as size or color) use a hybrid theme. In order for your child products with hybrid themes to appear correctly on product detail pages, you must provide data for all of the variation attributes of the parent product. Amazon will suppress child product offerings if data for the variation attributes (such as size or color) is missing. This is because buyers would not have the information they need to make a purchasing decision.

Even though parent products have no variation theme attributes, you can use an image to represent your parent product, and that image can show both a size and a color. In the Help topic Elements of a parent-child relationship, the parent product uses a picture of a medium size, red t-shirt. For an optimal shopping experience, we recommend that you use an image that represents a typical example of the available variations for your products

When to use a parent-child relationship

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

Note: See the inventory file for your specific category to see whether it supports relationships.

For example, suppose you sell both lipstick and hand lotion in the Beauty category. By checking the Beauty template, you see that the Beauty category supports color variations, but does not support fragrance variations. Lipsticks vary by color, so you must establish a parent-child relationship for each product in your inventory. However, lotions vary by fragrance, so you do not use parent-child relationships, because the Beauty category does not support this variation theme.

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?
  • Do the products vary only in a few specific ways?
  • Would customers expect to find these products together on a single product detail page?
  • Could the products share the same title?
Note: Amazon might remove products that do not correctly use established variation themes.

Use XML for parent-child relationships

You can use XML uploads instead of inventory file templates to set relationships between products.

For more information about using XML to manage your inventory, see Data-Exchange Overview.

Delete parent-child relationships

For more information about deleting relationships between products, see Modify Your Inventory File: Special considerations.

See also

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