What are product families?

Read more about items belonging to a product family.

What is a product family?

Product families also go by the name of ‘product variants’: variants of the same item that are identical except for 1 or 2 features. Product families are shown on the product detail page. Examples include a sports shoe in blue and yellow and in 8 different sizes, a metal bottle in 3 different sizes or a book in paperback and hardcover. Examples of items that cannot be put in a variant are a shirt and sweatpants of the same clothing line, different volumes of a book series and different serial numbers of a laptop.

Variants in the product catalogue
Items within a product family each exist as a separate item in the catalogue, with its own EAN. A product family only indicates a relationship between these variants, which are shown in different ways (depending on the shop) on the product detail page, in search results and on list pages.


Prices and providers within a product family
Product families have no impact on prices. Within one product family, there can also be different suppliers and they can have different prices.

Distinguishing features
To create and display a product family on the product detail page, you must set a distinguishing attribute for these items. This is the attribute on which the items differ from each other. There can also be 2 distinguishing attributes. To differentiate the items, it is important that these attributes are filled in. Should you want to put a purple sports shoe in the variant with all the yellow ones, the attribute ‘Colour’ should therefore be filled. If this is not the case, it will also not be shown on the product detail page.

So, following the examples from before, these would be the distinguishing attributes:

  • For a sports shoe in blue and yellow, in 8 different sizes: ‘Kleur’ (colour) and ‘Maat’ (size).
  • For a metal bottle with 3 different contents: ‘Inhoud’ (content).
  • For a book in paperback and hardback form: ‘Bindwijze’ (binding).

A distinguishing feature is set for the whole product family. Are there no distinguishing features for the product family? Then you get the message: ‘Helaas. De artikelen in deze productgroep kunnen we nog niet koppelen’, which means so much as ‘Unfortunately, we cannot link the items in this product group.’  In this case, contact Partnerservice so they can check whether the distinguishing attributes can be created for you.

Limited distinctive attributes
You can only set 2 distinctive attributes per category.


Different variants on the same EAN
It is not possible to add different variants for the same EAN. Items within a product family each exist as a separate item within the catalogue, with their own EAN. If you would want to sell several colours of the same product, you need to offer them with separate EAN-codes.


Decoupling of product families
By selecting multiple items, you can also unlink items in your seller dashboard. If you experience any problems with this, please contact Partnerservice.


Product families or Roll-ups?
Even though partners sometimes confuse the two, there is a difference between Roll-ups and Families.


  • Can be set via the seller dashboard
  • The attribute on which distinction is made applies to all products in the category
  • Visible on the product page


  • Can only be set by bol;
  • Attribute on which distinction applies to all products in a category
  • Visible in the search page

Frequently asked questions

about product families

Partners also viewed

these useful information and tips

Create product family per item

Want to place items in a product family by item? Follow the step-by-step guide.

Create product families for multiple items

Want to add several items to a product family at once? Follow the step-by-step guide.

Adding product information via your seller account

On this page, you can read more about how product information is structured and how to add it for multiple items.