Check out this set of three short tutorials introducing shadow products in Sellercloud’s Delta interface!
A shadow product is a type of virtual product. It “shadows” a real product (a parent); meaning, its inventory count is linked to an actual inventory SKU, but it can have its own alternative product profile. Some uses for a shadow may be:
- A parent SKU may have one profile while the shadow SKU will have different Product ID, description, images, and title. This is an innovative and very useful method by which to list a product in alternative venues.
- Amazon and eBay only allow a single SKU to be listed once, under one category. By creating a shadow SKU, or multiple shadows, the product can be listed in multiple categories.
- When you are selling the product in multiple companies. Because ProductIDs must be unique and a product can only be associated with a single company, shadow SKUs can be used to link products from multiple companies.
There are several ways to create a shadow relationship. If you are trying to shadow two existing SKUs, you can do it in an import or from the shadow properties page of a product in Sellercloud. To manually create a shadow relationship between existing SKUs, open the product toolbox of one of the items and click on Shadow Products. On this page you have several shadow creating options:
Via product details page
- Access product details > Toolbox > Shadows.
- Select Assign Parent SKU to choose parent SKU. To add shadows, click Add Shadows.
- You can Enter SKUs or select Existing products to add shadows.
Via Manage Catalog
If a shadow does not exist yet, you can create one in bulk from the Manage Catalog page:
Understanding inventory with shadows
Inventory of Shadow Products are linked so inventory of the actual product is maintained. Available inventory for any product in the Parent/Shadow group is linked to all products in the group.
In Client settings, Always deduct inventory from Shadow Parent controls whether orders for shadow products deduct physical inventory from the parent product’s inventory or from the shadow. However, the available inventory will always be synced. When this option is enabled, the order will always display the shadow parent.
When setting physical inventory to a shadow product individually or in bulk through a Warehouse Inventory Import, you have an option to merge the inventory of the shadows into the Shadow Parent. This will update the physical inventory of the parent with the inventory of the shadow.
On the Manage Inventory page action icon, there is an action to merge shadow inventory into the parent inventory.
It is not necessary to create shadows to list on multiple channels within one company.
You can enable fields on a shadow to be automatically populated based on the value in that field on the parent. This can be controlled under Shadow Persist Fields.
Kits and shadows
A shadow kit can be created from a kit. However, an Amazon Fulfilled kit should typically not be shadowed from a Merchant Fulfilled kit. This is because the inventory dependency of an Amazon Fulfilled kit must be set to Independent while a Merchant Fulfilled kit can have an All Components or Main Components dependency as well. If the Merchant Fulfilled is set to Independent, an Amazon Fulfilled kit can be shadowed from the Merchant Fulfilled kit.