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Understanding the Differences Between the v2 and v3 BigCommerce Product Experience

In 2019, BigCommerce announced a major update to the product experience based on user feedback and the introduction of new features to help store owners grow their business on other channels.  This update is what is referred to as the v3 Product Experience and it has several differences from v2 which I’ll outline in just a bit.

How do I know if my BigCommerce store has v2 or v3 products?

The easiest way to tell what version of the BigCommerce Product Experience your store currently has is by taking a quick look at a product.  The v2 Product Experience has item details laid out in a series of tabs – Details, Images & Video, Inventory, Options & SKUs, Custom Fields, and Other Details.

The v3 Product Experience has all product information laid out on a single screen placing all information in one place with a left navigation area that links to each individual section of the product area.

Unless you’ve been on BigCommerce for a few years, chances are your store is already on the v3 Product Experience.  If you’re not, you’ve probably seen the prompts in your store about upgrading to v3, which for some merchants can be a pretty big deal!

I’m on the v2 BigCommerce Product Experience, should I upgrade?

Choosing to upgrade from v2 to v3 of the BigCommerce Product Experience is something to consider if you’re looking for specific features which this update adds such as omnichannel sales, API accessibility, SKU-level attributes, more intuitive options, and variants management.

While upgrading is not a requirement at this point, BigCommerce is recommending merchants on v2 update at some point.

What will be different if I upgrade from the v2 to v3 BigCommerce Product Experience?

If you’re considering upgrading to the latest version of the BigCommerce Product Experience, there are some key things that will change.  These are:

Product Page Layout – as discussed above, the layout of your product details page within your BigCommerce control panel will receive a new look with a more intuitive interface.

Customs Information – in v2, customs information such as country of origin and HS codes, can only be added to products via the API.  In v3, customs information can be added to products directly in the control panel or via the API.

SKUs – in v2, SKUs can be manually added or automatically created for products with required options by using the Auto-SKU Generator.  When you switch to v3, when creating variant options, SKUs are automatically generated and can be manually edited afterward.  Additionally, in v3 modifier options do not have SKUs or individual inventory tracking.

Bulk Updating – in v2, certain product details, such as category, price, and inventory can be updated for multiple products at once by using the Bulk Edit feature.  In v3, products, product options, option sets, and rules can be created or applied to existing products in bulk via CSV import.

The biggest difference between v2 and v3 involves product options and modifiers, and when you choose to upgrade you should pay particular attention to the following:

In v2, Options are organized into option sets, which are then applied to products.  Options can be set as optional or required.

In v3, Options are organized into two types, Variant options, and Modifier options.  Variant options (variations) are options with unique SKUs to track inventory, and they are inherently required on products. Modifier options (customizations) are options that allow for further customization of a product or variant without the need for inventory tracking or SKUs. They can be required or optional.

Both types can be assigned directly to individual products or to multiple products as shared variant options or shared modifier options.

Additionally, when it comes to options data:

In v2, options data, such as price and weight, are based on the parent product’s data.  Rules are applied to option values to modify data, such as price or weight changes. They can be applied to an individual product or to any product using the option set.

However, in v3, price and weight can be directly assigned to variant options without rules, along with sale price and MSRP fields.  Modifier options allow for several display formats, such as text fields, product pick lists, and multiple-choice fields. Rules can be added to modifier options to adjust the price and weight.

How do I upgrade from the v2 to v3 Product Experience in BigCommerce?

The upgrade process can be a lengthy one, depending on how many items are in your store.  In essence, all v2 product options must be removed from each individual item and then v3 product options applied.  Since there may be conflicts based on the way v2 handled these options and how v3 does, there will be some data validation to be done prior to beginning the migration.

Additionally, your store will need to be put into maintenance mode while the process is underway, so choosing a non-peak time when you can have your store inaccessible for a few hours also needs to be taken into consideration.

If you have questions about upgrading your store to the v3 BigCommerce Product Experience, Your Store Wizards can help.  Email our team at support@yourstorewizards.com and we’ll be glad to set up a time to discuss the ins and outs of upgrading and help you out every step of the way.

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