A lot of the sites we work on these days have non-linear paths to purchase—in that the customer might find their way to a particular product to then realize there is a different version or variation of that product.
The more traditional way to deal with this in Shopify is with variants. The problem with variants is that it is difficult to merchandize them separately in collections and landing pages—not to mention the challenges around how to best showcase beautiful lifestyle imagery and messaging and storytelling specific to each variant.
A more common approach we are taking—and the way we handled it with RipSkirt—is to break variants out into separate products while then “combining” them on the product detail page so they look and behave like variants. This enables us to fully merchandise them individually through the site and craft their unique storytelling and messaging, while also creating a seamless experience for browsing without unnecessary dead-ends.
Further, we have added a number of elements like “model is also wearing” and “commonly bought with” to further enhance the cross-browsing experience. We also provided “short cuts” to switch between skirt lengths without needing to leave the product detail page.