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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Variation relationships

What is a variation relationship?

Variations (also known as parent-child relationships) are sets of products that are related to one another. Good variation relationship listings allow buyers to compare and choose products based on different attributes such as size, colour 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 shirt that comes in three sizes (Small, Medium and Large), and three colours (Blue, Red, Black). Rather than a cluttered view of all possible colour and size combinations, the customer can select the preferred size, and choose the colour from the three available colour variations.

Examples of good variation families are:

  • Items of clothing that come in different sizes (small, medium, large)
  • Items that come in different colours (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 product listing is a non-buyable entity used to relate child products

    The listing displayed only in the Seller Central’s search results. Amazon catalogue 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 many child products that are all related to one parent product. Each child varies in some way, for example, by size or by colour.

  • 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 colour, or package quantity; and child listings in Pet Supplies category can differ in flavour, scent, quantity etc.

The following examples illustrate relationship listings in different product categories:




Best practices

  • Do not list different products together:
    • Example 1: A mobile 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 colour variation theme must not include any information other than colour. Different phone models, for example, should not be listed within a colour theme.
Note: Amazon will remove product listings that do not correctly use established variation themes.

Learn more about variation relationships

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