Attribute sets is basically a collection of various attributes that are grouped by their relevance. One attribute set can be mapped to a category and subsequently all the products under that product family by default inherit the attributes within that attribute set. for eg. you are a multi-category retailer and sell Beauty products as well as Fashion Apparel. 

For beauty product family, the attributes you will need will be - shade, tone, skin type - there could be some more nuance s even within the beauty family. for example - for nail - the attributes required would be different from product for face makeup. so you can setup Attribute Sets specific for Beauty.FaceMakup, Beauty.Nails. and similarly, you can setup Attribute set for Fashion Apparel grouping different attributes like - occasion, season,  style, dress, color, etc.

Attribute sets can also have groups within purely from the perspective of grouping the attribute for logical purposes only. To create a new attribute set, follow the steps below: 

  • Go to Products > Custom Attribute Sets
  • Click on New Attribute Set
  • Give a name of the Attribute Set
  • Add a new group by giving it a name
  • Now you can move the specific attributes to a particular group
  • Click on Submit

A typical attribute set would look like this

and a typical group within attribute set would look like this: