I'm looking to have a primary variant of configurable products so that I can canonicalise to the primary version of colour variants for example. eg: store.com/xxx-belt-red and store.com/xxx-belt-yellow would canonicalise to store.com/xxx-belt
Can anyone think of another alternative outside of manually canonicalsing each variant to a custom URL?
Whereas the variants are all "real" products, they each of a distinct URL key which you could specify during creation. Ultimately the answer to your question depends in part on how you administer your catalog.
Is there a reason you have to display child products individually? I would simply set each variant like "xxx-belt-red" to "Visibility: Not Visible Individually".
Yes - serving the individual products provides a better user experience around search and when filters are applied.
Thanks for your reponse - the problem is that I want to have the variants visible in search and on deep categories when filters are applied, so that's why we're looking down the sub-variants with canonicalisation route.
The problem is that we want the products to appear in search (and possibly category pages). Do you know of a way to display different variants via search, which would then point to a pre-configured version of the configurable product?