Magento Communtiy and Enterprise editions have configurable products, and once you set up configurable product you can associate simple products to configurable product and set price difference. This way when configurable option will be selected price will be updated, and this is only one element which magento updates by default.
But what if we want that configurable product image switch to image from related simple product?
For example in a lot of places we assume that configurable product image switch to image according selected option. Let’s say we have clothes store – our configurable product it is t-shirt and option in this case which should switch its color. In this case when configurable product image switch to the related simple product image with right color it be presented more efficient way to customers and be more attractive. Also it may be size or any other attribute which can be presented with configurable product.
What the solution that allows show associated simple product image when configurable product image switch happens?
Definitely there are two ways. The first one is develop something on your own which will change images according to selected option when configurable option switch will happens. But development from scratch very often not guarantee the best experience and limited by resources and time. The second option its find extension which can do it at the Magento Connect. We went thru the marketplace and there not a lot of good solutions of achieve it. Some of the magento extensions for configurable product image switch, also update description or something not related to image. I mean this things which in almost all cases same between simple and configurable product. This way page loading become more heavy or it cause a lot of Ajax requests to get related product information. So solution what we decide to do its add information about related simple products to the page when it loads. This way when configurable product image switch will happen it wont add any additional Ajax request. All information will be loaded with page. The extension which became the result of magento development its Configurable Image Switcher.
Using this extension you can set in the options show or hide image placeholders. At the product page automatically when option will be chosen configurable product image switch to the associated simple product image. Also there is support of most popular zoom versions like Elevate Zoom or Cloud Zoom. However sometimes it need integration to custom zoom or light box extension.