How to handle variable mixed-packs in Breww

Mixed-pack products can be easily created in Breww, but they have to have fixed contents. For example, a gift pack that contains 3 bottles, each of a different beer.

Once a product has been sold or assembled, its components cannot be changed. This means that to sell a different combination of beers in the mixed-pack, you will need to create a different mixed-pack product. It’s not possible to say “use these 3 beers, but swap out Beer A for Beer D if it’s out of stock”, but Breww has a solution for this situation.

This can work well if you keep an eye on your stock levels and choose the alternative mixed-pack product when required, but often it would be easier to simply always pick the “normal” mixed-pack, and this doesn’t work well for orders from external sales platforms, such as Shopify or WooCommerce.

The solution here is to use Breww’s “Out-of-stock automatic substitution” feature. This allows you to get Breww to automatically switch a product on an order to another if there is no stock of the original. For example:

  • Create your normal mixed-pack product with the usual beers (e.g. “Gift pack”).
  • Create an alternative mixed-pack product with the other beer combinations (e.g. “Gift pack B”).
  • Edit the normal mixed-pack product (“Gift pack”) and set the alternative product (“Gift pack B”) as the “Out-of-stock automatic substitution” product.

This way, you can always add the normal mixed-pack to an order and Breww will switch it out for the alternative version automatically whenever it needs to. If you need to, you can create further alternatives, for example, a third combination of beers (e.g. “Gift pack C”) and set this as the “Out-of-stock automatic substitution” product on the “Gift pack B” product. Breww will continue to look down the “tree” for an in-stock product to use when the normal “Gift pack” product isn’t in stock.

This also works, for orders coming from external sales platforms (such as your website), so if someone on your website purchases “Gift pack”, Breww may give them “Gift pack B” or “Gift pack C” if needed.

Are there any plans to be able to substitute individual beers and/or to make the substitutes visible for Shopify purposes? We’re a bit daunted by the number of combinations we might need to set up as version 2, 3, 4 etc. It would also be really helpful not to have to manually point Shopify at version 2 etc and keep on top of them.

Hi Helen, thanks for your comment. Currently, Breww doesn’t allow the substitution of individual beers in mixed-pack products. I do really like the idea; however, creating a single product containing interchanging components would likely be an extensive project where there may be a few issues. When a product is sold on an invoice, the only record of which components were in that sale is the record of what is in the product, so if the components of a product could be modified and were interchangeable after purchase, it would be difficult to know what had been sold on a historical invoice and reports for that product would reflect different things.

Likewise, when mapping a product in Breww to a product in Shopify, it would be challenging to have a customer-facing representation of a product with interchangeable components in Breww, which is also reflected in those same complex parameters in Shopify. Alternative mixed-pack products mean substitutions can be sold when a mixed pack is out of stock, which is traceable, and represents a combination of different beer components. Currently, the only way to have a mixed-pack in Breww reflected in Shopify would be to have both products set up on both platforms and mapped to each other, which would require manual action. Alternatively, you could have a mixed-pack product that, on a customer-facing level on Shopify, was sold as being a ‘Brewery mixed-pack combo’, which doesn’t state specific beer components, mapped to a single product with alternative mixed-pack products in Breww, allowing you to sell any combination depending on stock availability for this item.