Color Swatches with Magento CE 1.9.1 and Above


It proved one more time that Magento can offer so much when it comes to product representation. With Magento 1.9.x color swatches were introduced. Learn why they are important, how to apply swatches to your online store and what can that mean for your store in terms of sales and conversion rates.

With the release of Magento 1.9.x configurable swatches were introduced.

They are rather useful and can be very important for your online store for so many reasons.

That is why we decided to tell you more about swatches and show you how you can easily create them and improve your online store.


And why are swatches important?

Simply, swatches are different, often better representation of specific product options.

But, there is one thing you should understand before we go any further – usability concept.

UX design is a broad concept and usability is very important part of it.

Moreover, usability is one of the essential conditions when running online business.

How many times did you have to enter your telephone number or date of birth even though it was completely unnecessary?

How many times have you filled redundant fields or simply gave up in the middle of the process?

Each additional and unnecessary step will lead to your abandoned carts numbers increasing.

Then, why are you making your customers check boxes, fill redundant fields and completing same steps over and over again?

As a store owner you need to make sure that user’s experience is memorable, efficient and satisfying.

Your customer’s experience on your store has to be pleasant, they should be able to perform actions even if it’s their first time visiting.

They need to be able to perform tasks quickly, and that means your design has to be engaging and intuitive.

If your website visitors, or potential buyers get lost, if they do not understand what is it that you offer, if they spend lots of time trying to find what they need or invest additional effort, they simply – leave.

Your bounce rates increase and shopping carts on your store get abandoned.

And you do not want either one of those scenarios to happen.

This is where swatches appear.

What are swatches?

Product page is often overlooked by store owners, it appears that somehow it gets lost while checkout and cart pages still all the attention.

They are the most important when it comes to conversion rates, right?

Well, not really.

Ease of use is something even more important.

If you are using Magento, you are probably relying on configurable products to allow your customers to choose different product variations.

Until now, you probably relied on using drop down menus or radio buttons to show available product options/attributes.

And there is nothing wrong with it.

Drop down menu on product page

But, with the introduction of swatches, and possibility to use them without relaying on extensions, there is no reason you should stick to drop down menus.

Swatches represent flexible and easy way to show specific options for a user to choose from.

With the new release, every Magento store owner can easily add size or colour swatches, or swatches for any other attribute in Magento store.

Here’s how your product page can look with swatches instead of drop down menus:

Color swatches in Magento

Even though swatches do not seem as unnecessary change for your online store, make sure you do not underestimate user experience improvements.

Sometimes a minor usability improvement can have great impact on conversion rates.

In the end, it all comes down to how easy it is for a customer to purchase something from your online store.

Head over to our Magento Tutorials, and find more great tips on how to start, run and optimise your Magento online store.

And stay tuned for part two – text and video tutorial on how to create swatches in Magento.

Massive thank you to our back-end developer Mladen for post inspiration and generous help.