How should you manage listings for repeat products that get an upgrade?

How should you manage listings for repeat products that get an upgrade?
Maap, a premium cycling and lifestyle apparel uses version numbers to distinguish product upgrades. This is the easiest and cleanest way to do it but it isn't right for every business.

Every brand is trying to find the winning products and then repeat them. But when you upgrade it from the original to a V2 should you just change the existing listing or create a brand-new product?

Does it even matter? The short answer is yes it does, let me explain why.

This creates some interesting challenges for managing product data both internally and from a sales reporting perspective. You want to know the 'Styles' overall success but also the comparative results from the versions.

For an upgraded product how do we manage the change in key data whilst trying to maintain the same Product Code / SKUs?

- Measurements & Fit
- Feedback
- Description changes for materials etc.

If you pass a new version through as identical it is harder to review the data like returns, quality issues etc.

From a customer perspective, it can also mislead, especially if you meaningfully change a material or fit.

I like the way Maap have done it in the example shared below.

The advantage of this is the customer can see it is a revised product. The challenge I had (as a customer) was seeing the difference between the two products. I actually bought both and sent one back. I kept the newer version, the product is clearly better quality, but I guess it is hard to say that if you have existing inventory to shift.

This repeat style challenge is one we've handled with our Product Lifecycle Management apps by creating an internal Style Code that doesn't change but changing the Variant and Product Code, then using the Style Code to marry the sales of both products back up.

Many ERPs struggle with this data setup out of the box so you have to custom-build the 'Style ID' field and use that to attach the Fit/Measurements, BOM etc

Oliver Rhodes

Oliver Rhodes