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Getting Started with Product Comparison

Product Comparison allows your customers to compare attributes and specifications of your products side-by-side through a pop-up widget and an easy to use interface. As the store owner, you will need to assign specs to Products so that the app knows exactly what to display.

 

Comparing products as a customer

Your customer can choose products to compare either through Collection pages or Product pages. When a customer selects a product to compare, it will be added to their "Compare Widget" which appears as a small pop-up on every page (except checkout) of the store. You can set a maximum number of products that customers can select to compare at one time; the minimum number they will need to select is 2.

 Customers can also compare products from the Product page of configured products using the Compare button.

When this button is pressed, the product will be added to the user's compare widget. This widget is maintained throughout the user's visit, so they can visit other products pages and press their compare buttons.

On the Comparison page, selected products are added to a table where customers can see their listed specs and prices. The table also lists the price of each selected product, includes an image, and provides a link for the customer to "Buy" the product (this links to the product page).

 

Importing Product specs using a CSV file

It is recommended that your initial setup of Product specs be done through a CSV import. This is a very easy process that allows you to type your specs directly into a spreadsheet which can then be uploaded through the app. This is recommended for the initial import as it will be much quicker than using the Product Setup tab within the app. The .CSV file (comma-separated values) file that you import will need to be in a specific format to be properly interpreted by the app. A sample file is available at the bottom of this page, in the attachments section.

To prepare a product spec sheet for import, you will want to first export your products from the Shopify administrator panel. You can do this by selecting "Export" on your Products tab and opening the file that is generated. Some work will need to be done to adjust this to prepare it for Spec entry.

  1. Delete all content to the right of column A (column B onwards). All rows with content will need to be removed.
  2. Delete any rows with duplicate entries in the Product Handle (A) column; this will happen if a specific product had any variants associated with it.
  3. Change cell A1 to read "Product Handle"

The first row (1) will contain the names of the Product specs. A given product can be entered without a Spec associated with it; this will be useful if you sell multiple categories of products with different types of attributes. Specs usually represent quantifiable attributes of a product; a camera with a certain resolution or a shirt with a certain fabric. They could also include a relevant use case for the product; such as "Great for small businesses".

The remainder of the rows will contain the value for the given Product-Spec combination. If the column header was "Resolution" and I was in the row for a laptop, I might enter 1440x990. These values will be what the customer sees in the comparison table when they select products to compare. It is acceptable to leave a cell blank; in this case the app will display "N/A" if it is compared with a product that does have that Spec.

Your final spreadsheet should look similar to the sample file provided at the end of this article. Check to ensure that:

  • "Product Handle" is in cell A1
  • Titles of the specs are in the first row of each column
  • Product handles are in the A column
  • Values for specs are in cells B2-onward.

Save this file as a comma-separated values (CSV) file using your spreadsheet application. You will then be able to upload it through the Product Comparison app using the "Import Specs" tab in the navigation bar. It is very important to note that product specs imported using this tool will overwrite specs on existing products. This means that if a product has already been configured using the Product Setup tab and is included in the CSV import, its values will be overwritten and lost.

 

Updating Product Specs

The app also allows you to edit an individual product's specs. This is useful for adding additional specs to a product or updating them for any reason. For the initial setup of your store's specifications, it is highly recommended to use the import tool as explained above.

Select the Product Setup tab from the navigation bar to get started. The app will prompt you to select a product from your store to edit its specs.

You can select one product at a time to edit its specs. The product's specs table will appear and you can begin entering in spec titles and values.

The name of the spec will be entered into the "Name" column on the left-hand side. Make sure that the name of the spec is the same as other products within its category so that they can be compared side-by-side; if "Camera Quality" is typed in on one product and "Camera" is named as a spec on another, the two specs will be listed in different rows on the Comparison page.

The value of the spec is the product's actual attribute; if a spec name was "Fabric" for my favourite shirt, I might list "Cotton Blend" as the value. This spec will be displayed in the specs table and on the Comparison page.

You can add as many specs as you would like to a product, but to avoid overwhelming the customer and for good page design we recommend no more than 10 for each product. To add additional specs, use the buttons underneath the window. Save the product using the button underneath the specs table.

Sample import file

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