Solving Common Variant Synchronization Issues Between CustomCat and Shopify Variants

CustomCat to Shopify – Style and Color Variant Fix

Let’s dive into the details of syncing products from CustomCat to Shopify. When you do this, it’s inevitable you will have to tweak the CustomCat and Shopify variants such that the data aligns and your buyers know what they are looking at and have a good experience.

If you’re like me, you’re all about print on demand (POD). It’s brilliant—test products without breaking the bank on inventory. Today, I’m zeroing in on a couple of those pesky issues: one with product contrast and another where product colors in CustomCat are off the beaten path and Shopify acts like it’s never seen a color before.

Let’s tackle these, shall we?

The Setup – CustomCat and Shopify Variants

First things first, we’re working with T-shirts for this demo but the product really doesn’t matter. After uploading my designs, I picked a men’s t-shirt because it allows me to demo both issues.

Designs for Light and Dark Backgrounds. These will be uploaded and used within CustomCat and Shopify variants synced to the store.
Two different designs for the same product with light and dark font in order to offer contrast on different color base products.

Contrast Visibility Issue
: This challenge arises when there’s a significant lack of contrast between the text or design elements on a product and its background, particularly noticeable in apparel. For instance, deploying light-colored text on light-colored T-shirts results in the design being virtually invisible, severely impacting the product’s aesthetic appeal and potentially diminishing customer interest. The issue underscores the critical need for strategic color selection in design elements to ensure optimal visibility and engagement, thereby enhancing the product’s marketability.

Shopify Color Recognition Discrepancy: A more nuanced but equally pivotal issue surfaces when Shopify’s platform fails to accurately recognize or categorize product colors based on the input from CustomCat. This discrepancy can manifest as incorrect color labels, missing color options, or inaccurate color display in the Shopify store, depending on the theme used. Such mismatches not only lead to a confusing shopping experience for customers but also pose significant challenges in maintaining brand consistency and reliability in product listings, emphasizing the importance of meticulous color management and synchronization between POD services and eCommerce platforms.

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The Fixes

For the Contrast

It’s all about choosing the right text color for your shirt’s background. Light shirt? Dark text. Dark shirt? Light text. This way, your design pops, and everyone’s happy.

Merging Products in Shopify

Now, to make things easier in Shopify, instead of listing our light and dark shirts as separate products, we merge them. This way, they appear as options under one product listing. It’s about keeping it clean and user-friendly.

CustomCat offers a way to merge the products…but it doesn’t quite land the way I want.

Here’s what it ends up looking like if we go with the defaults in the store.

Aside from the CSS issue, having to select essentially the same type of shirt (style) in order to toggle the color is a poor user experience.

The Shopify Shenanigans

After syncing, you might notice the colors aren’t recognized properly, or the variants look off. This is what we are here to address. A quick edit in Shopify to adjust the variant names or colors does the trick. It’s a bit of manual work, but hey, it ensures your product looks just right.

variant issue in shopify with duplicate style

Shopify UI Color and Variant Management Issue Solution:

  • Problem: Challenges with Shopify not recognizing certain colors accurately and managing product variants effectively, especially when wanting to integrate different T-shirt colors as a single product in the Shopify store.
  • Solution 1: Direct Editing in Shopify UI
    • Variant Merging: The approach involved grouping products as variants under a single listing in Shopify, rather than treating them as separate products. This streamlined the product page, making it easier for customers to navigate and choose their preferences.
    • Variant Editing: To address color recognition problems and simplify the variant selection for customers, unnecessary variant options were removed or edited through the Shopify admin interface. This process included deleting redundant style options and adjusting color names to ensure compatibility with Shopify’s system, facilitating a more intuitive shopping experience.

CSV-Based Solution for Bulk Editing:

  • Solution 2: Utilizing CSV for Bulk Changes
    • Bulk Editing via CSV: For more extensive adjustments or when dealing with a large number of products, the recommended strategy was to use Shopify’s CSV export/import feature. By exporting product details to a CSV file, adjustments could be made en masse, such as renaming colors to standard names recognized by Shopify and removing or consolidating variant options. This method allowed for efficient, large-scale edits, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all product listings.
    • Re-importing Adjusted CSV: After making the necessary corrections in the CSV file, it was then re-imported into Shopify. This process streamlined the update of product variants and colors on a large scale, significantly improving the accuracy of the storefront’s display and the ease of product selection for customers.

These refined solutions emphasize tailored approaches to resolving specific eCommerce operational challenges, leveraging both Shopify’s built-in capabilities and external tools for optimal product management and customer satisfaction.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it—a peek into solving some common hiccups when syncing from CustomCat to Shopify. It’s about making small tweaks for a smoother operation. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on making the most out of your eCommerce tools and strategies. Happy selling! minimal logo
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