The Complete Guide to Magento 2 Custom Options (Customizable Options)

- Magento 2, Our extensions

The following guide describes custom options in Magento 2. You will learn what Magento 2 custom options are and how to manage them. Customizable options (another term used to define this product feature) introduce extra settings for simple, downloadable, and virtual products in Magento 2 to enable the creation of product variations. Although Magento 2 products with custom options resemble configurable products, they are a unique system element with multiple nuances that we explore throughout the following text. So, below, you will discover the peculiarities of Magento 2 custom product options and learn how to use them properly. A separate chapter explains how to import customizable options in Magento 2.

What Magento 2 Custom Options Are

Magento 2 custom options, also known as customizable options, represent a feature that allows the creation of product variations that are not based on attributes, such as size or color. Instead, you can use text, file, select, and date options. Add any desired options such as a custom text or the delivery date. Your customers will see the additional information and options, such as a drop-down list or a set of checkboxes, above the Add to Cart button on a product page. As a store administrator, you can configure custom options in Magento 2 as optional or required, depending on your purposes.

custom options magento 2

Note that Magento 2 customizable options are available not only for simple product pages.  The nature of the latter expands the functionality of custom options to other Magento 2 areas. Since simple products are building blocks for other product types, more complex products can have custom options, too. Magento 2 simple products become a part of complex entities, such as grouped, bundle, and configurable products, transferring the customizable options functionality to them. To explore product types available in Magento 2, follow these links: 

Consequently, the Magento 2 grouped product custom options are the same as the ones associated with simple products. A Magento 2 bundle product with custom options relies on identical customization options as the other physical goods. The same also applies to non-physical items – downloadable and virtual products.  So, what types of custom options does Magento 2 offer? 

4 Types of Custom Options in Magento 2

Magento 2 offers the following four types of customizable options: text, file, select, and date. Since they offer unique features, let’s see what are the nuances of each group of Magento 2 custom product options:

  • Text. This kind of customizable option lets you place a text box on a product page. As a result, your customers can enter a text message or request a product variation. You, in turn, can put a limit on how huge customer inquiries should be with the Max Characters setting. Note that, this Magento 2 custom option is associated with two kinds of display:
    • Text Field is a one-line field that lets customers enter a smaller amount of text suitable for putting a name or short message on a product.
    • Text Area is a multi-line field suitable for bigger passages in which customers can express their demands.
  • File. With this type of custom option, Magento 2 enables your customers to upload files from their devices. As a store administrator, you can specify the supported file types and set the maximum file size. This input type is best for offering such services as printing a custom photo on a product.
  •  Select. It is the most complex type of customizable option since it consists of the following four input types:
    • Drop-down is a list of options, where customers can select only one of them;
    • Radio Button is similar to the drop-down option: shoppers can choose only one option from a set of options;
    • Checkbox lets customers choose as many options as they want;
    • Multiple Select allows buyers to choose various options from a drop-down list by pressing and holding Ctrl.
  • Date. This type of Magento 2 custom option lets your shoppers select the date and/or time from a date picker, for instance, the most convenient delivery date and time. The following three options are available for this input type:
    • Only date;
    • Only time;
    • Both date and time.

Below, you can see all four Magento 2 custom option types represented on a product page:

Customizable options Magento 2: types

How to Add Magento 2 Custom Product Options 

You can add and configure custom product options in the Magento 2 backend as follows:

  1. Go to Catalog > Products;
  2. Select a product to add or edit custom options;
  3. Scroll down the product page to find the “Customizable Options” section.
  4. Click “Add Option” to add a new customizable option in Magento 2.

add new custom option magento 2

The settings section allows you to add multiple options, choose option modes, and get various combinations of options. We explore the nuances of Magento 2 custom option editing in the next chapter.

How to Edit Magento 2 Customizable Options

Editing customizable options in Magento 2 is pretty easy. Follow these steps to configure the desired output:

  1. When a new option is added, specify its title in the Option Title field.
  2. Next, select a type from the Type dropdown.
  3. Next, you can make the option selection a mandatory part of the product purchase. Check Required to make your custom option obligatory to choose.
    choose type for custom option magento 2
  4.  Press the Add Value button to add a value for your product customizable option:
    1. Specify the title of the value;
    2. Set its price and price type. For the Fixed price type, the custom option price will differ from the base product price by a fixed amount. For the Percentage option, the custom option price will differ from the base product price by percentage.
    3. Type the SKU for each Magento custom option. Note that Magento 2 adds it to the product SKU as a suffix.
    4. Repeat the same procedure to add more option values.
  5. You can add multiple custom options if necessary.

    custom options magento 2: add values

  6. Once finished, save the product and check the Magento 2 custom options on your e-commerce website.

Product Customizable Options on Magento 2 Storefront

Below, you can see Magento 2 custom options on a product page:

custom options magento 2

The shopping cart, in turn, displays Magento customizable options as follows:

Customizable options Magento 2 shopping cart

The Specifics of Customizable Options in Magento 2

If you want to use product customizable options in Magento 2, these are a few things to consider:

Magento 2 Custom Product Options SKU

As custom options do not have QTY, you won’t be able to maintain full control over the inventory as long as you sell physical products. Custom option SKU adds a suffix to the product SKU and is used purely for order processing and analytical purposes.

Magento 2 Custom Product Options SKU

Custom Options & Magento 2 Price Rules 

Be it a fixed sum or a price percent, custom options simply add extra cost to the base product price. If you want to create discounts, keep in mind Catalog Price Rules reduce only the PRICE of the product, while prices for custom options remain the same. Cart Price Rules process Total for discounts, so, in this case, both PRICE and custom option price are lowered. 

customizable options Magento 2 price rules

Customizable Options & Magento 2 SEO

Product variations made with custom options are not identified by search engines. Upon an entry, search results won’t show anything except the base product information. And, as a result, those variations are not visible to the Internet.

Custom Options Import to Magento 2

Magento 2 possesses the native import of custom options that can be found in the same section. By clicking “Import options“, you can implement the existing custom options from product to product to save time configuring similar variations for different items.

However, if you need to import customizable options to Magento 2, you will need a third-party solution. We focus on this process below. But let’s see what’s the difference between products with custom options and configurable products.

Magento 2 Products with Custom Options vs. Configurable Products

Taking into account the peculiarities of custom options, the most plausible scenario for composing such product variations would be service providing. Custom options for simple, downloadable, and virtual products can become a useful tool for those who sell courses, membership, season tickets, item modifications, etc. If your business is strongly dependent on storage management, you should turn to more appropriate to the case functionality — configurable products.

Custom options, however, can be easily confused with configurable products as they serve the same purpose and enable a high level of interaction with customers. Nevertheless, their functionalities are different in the core; the backend routines are distinct for these two, as well. 

Both product custom options and configurable products can be the means for creating product variations. Both ways have their specifics, areas of use, challenges, and limitations. First and foremost, we must keep in mind that сustom options and configurable products in Magento 2 are separate.

Custom options are just a modified layer over a product, while configurable product components are products themselves. The gap reflects directly on the setting up process. Configurable products require much more effort from the admin but still provide outstanding flexibility. They are available to customers on all levels of Layered Navigation on the category page and during the search both inside and outside your website. Crawlers index such product pages as trustable and able to satisfy user entries.

Custom options, on the other hand, are easy to handle with a strictly limited number of settings involved, which leads to various inconveniences. The absence, of separate SKUs. for instance, makes custom options a mess in terms of inventory records. Moreover, custom options are almost invisible within the store and can be found by customers only on a product page. SEO tools cannot track product variations presented by custom options and, thus, cannot promote them on SERPs.

 Below, we compare Magento 2 configurable products with custom options side by side:

Criterion Products with custom options Configurable products
Accessibility Product variations are not available for searching and filtering upon Product variations are fully independent separate products and have their positions in the store navigation
Inventory relation Not manageable Easily trackable and manageable
Pricing possibilities Product price with the addition of a fixed sum or a price percent Flexible for each child product
SEO orientation No Yes, possesses a full attribute set and visibility terms
Display mode Variety of display options. Can’t be customized.
Level of admin involvement Set up per-product Each variation of a configurable product is a simple product

Set up custom options if:

  • your business does not depend on physical storage;
  • you specialize in unique services and need a special form of interaction with customers;
  • you don’t put on massive product promotions;
  • search is out of your concerns. 

Decide on creating configurable products if: 

  • you are looking for a functionality with full admin control;
  • inventory management is a part of your business lifecycle;
  • you focus on progressive sales growth and transmit your offers on multiple channels via all available tools, including SEO and price-based marketing.

How to Import Custom Options in Magento 2

You can import Magento 2 customizable options and get full control over transferred data with Firebear Improved Import and Export for Magento 2. The extension allows you to apply custom options to multiple products, decide import behavior, and retrieve data from various sources, including REST and SOAP API, GoogleSheets, file uploads, and many more. Once the entities are implemented, you get the ability to edit any property and adjust prices. 

Magento 2 Custom Options Attribute & Its Values

As custom options are a built-in product feature set, their import is impossible without transferring the products they belong to. We start the process by creating a product table with all the necessary product data, including the custom options. Check our Google Sheets Master Table to find all the attribute values explained.

You can import Magento 2 custom options by adding the custom_options column to the data table. This is how the corresponding column looks if add a text area option: 

name=OPTION NAME,type=area,required=1,price=3,sku=a1,max_characters=50,price_type=percent

If you plan to import multiple customizable options to Magento 2 per product, divide them with a pipe separator (“|”). A product’s column with text area and date and time custom option types looks as follows: 

name=OPTION NAME,type=area,required=1,price=3,sku=a1,max_characters=50,price_type=percent|name=OPTION DATE,type=date_time,required=1,price=1,5,sku=a2,price_type=fixed

In the table below we describe how to insert custom options attributes for Magento 2 import. You will learn the meaning behind each value.

Option Feature Reference Value Value Example
name The title of an option. Alphabetic/numeric format; will be displayed in the frontend Limited offer
type Specifies the type of the added custom option.
  • Text input types:
    • text,
    • area;
  • File attachments:
    • file; 
  • Preferred selection mode types:
    • drop_down,
    • radio,
    • checkbox,
    • multiple;
  • Date variations:
    • date,
    • date_time,
    • time.
required Implies customers must make a selection to proceed with the purchase. 1 – yes, value is required,

0 – no, value is not required.

price Product variation price that is added to the base product price. Price amount 23
price_type The type of price added to the base product price. Fixed amount or price percentage. Percent
sku Optional. Adds a suffix to the base product SKU. Any letter or number sequence separated with underscores (_) and dashes (-). OPT
max_characters The limitations for text length. Numeric, measured in characters. 50
file_extension File formats permitted for customer uploads. Various file formats.

Note that Improved Import and Export does not process multiple file extensions, even if they are separated by a comma.

image_size_x Width of an uploaded image Numeric dimension in pixels. 620
image_size_y Height of an uploaded image Numeric dimension in pixels. 480
option_title The name of each variation you add in a selection mode. Alphabetic/numeric format; will be displayed in the frontend First option
opt_id The ID of the customizable option, which is used to identify the option during the add/update import Numeric. 20006
opt_row_id The ID of the option row, i.e. the place of the current title of the option inside the customizable option Numeric. 60016

3.5.1 release of Improved Import & Export extension has added opt_row_id and opt_id attributes to customizable options. With these attributes, you can now update required customizable options, instead of always adding new ones during the add/update import procedure. This has been implemented to avoid native Magneto 2 behavior when the import would only add new options and won’t let update existing ones.

Once your CSV with custom options is ready, you can import it to Magento 2.

Magento 2 Customizable Options Import Step-by-Step Tutorial

Data transfers with Improved Import and Export are performed via jobs. Each job consists of multiple rules and settings. Thus, job configuration covers all the crucial matters related to import:  manual or automatic data updates, imported entity specifics, a preferred way of synchronization, and tools for data modification. See the details in our Magento 2 Product Import guide.

Don’t forget that the Magento 2 custom options import is processed along with the product entity as options are its integral part.

Follow these steps to import customizable options to Magento 2:

  1. Go to System > Improved Import and Export > Import Jobs > Add New Job
  2. Insert a title to highlight the job. Decide whether the job is run automatically via cron updates or manually by the admin.

  3. Select ‘Products’ in the entity type field.

  4. Set up how the import data will be implemented in the import behavior section.

  5. Make up your mind about the import source and select a path to the table with product data, including custom options.
  6. Customized import data via mapping settings to avoid conflicts and overlapping and add unique elements to data pieces.

  7. Run the job to import custom options to Magento 2.

How to Enhance Custom Options & Configurable Products in Magento 2

In this post, we’ve compared product customizable options to configurable products. Both entities have their pros and cons, which means there’s room for functionality upgrades. Do you want to expand the use cases for configurable products and custom options? Try Improved Configurable Product. The extension functionality introduces lots of innovations and modifications in configurable product setups.

With the extension, you can manipulate every part of a configurable product page, from the child product name in the title to separate reviews and shipping logic. SKUs are fully adjustable; tier prices can be assigned to all child products. But the most relevant to our topic feature is the ability to add custom options to configurable products.

You’ve got it right: Improved Configurable Product lets you easily create a Magento 2 configurable product with custom options. Also, you can easily generate and manage bundle products that consist of both products with custom options and configurable products. Thus, fully equipped, you can address your audience with the most personalized purchases.

Final Words

Magento 2 custom options are easy to create and manage with the default Magento setup. However, if you need to import them, it is necessary to leverage a third-party extension, such as the Improved Import & Export module. If you want to create a Magento 2 bundle product with custom options, it is also a good idea to rely on Improved Configurable Product or similar tools. If you long to know how to manage all the parts of Magento 2 successfully, follow the latest posts in our master import guide:

Read Magento 2 Import & Export Guide List