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Stock Keeping Unit – what is a SKU?

Stock Keeping Unit – what is a SKU?

A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique retail identifier used to accurately track products in a store’s inventory. An SKU typically consists of an alphanumeric or numeric code and is placed on labels, tags, packaging materials and other marketing materials to help retailers track product movement through their supply chain. SKUs are useful for inventory management because they can contain a variety of information about the item, such as product descriptions, prices, costs and promotional data. By using SKUs, companies can greatly benefit from accurate insights into their supply chain system and better visibility into their inventory processes.

What defines an SKU?

An SKU is an alphanumeric identifier used for inventory tracking and management in a retail store. Each individual product variant in a store’s inventory must have its own unique SKU that contains all the identifiers necessary to distinguish it, such as size, material, color, style and more. An SKU can be used to trace the sale of a particular item back to its origin, allowing stores to better determine what their customers are looking for and which items should be restocked or discontinued. In addition, an SKU serves as a fundamental link between physical goods in a warehouse and the corresponding digital records in POS systems, accounting software and e-commerce websites.

Are SKU numbers and barcodes the same thing?

Have you ever seen a barcode on a product in a store and wondered what it means? Barcodes are identifiers used to track products. They generally consist of a series of lines, numbers and symbols in various arrangements.

On the other hand, SKU numbers are also used to track items, usually items sold online or through special orders. Unlike barcodes, SKU numbers consist solely of numeric digits that can represent numerous characteristics of a product.

Although both terms represent identifiers for different purposes, they cannot be used interchangeably because each term is unique to its specific purpose.

Example of a SKU number

For example, a possible SKU number would be “JWA-9214-SR.”

This code identifies a specific product.

The first letters, “JWA,” represent the brand and serves as the category for that product.

The next four numbers – 9214 – identify the type of product.

Finally, the last part of the number – SR – has something to do with the color of the product.

Differences between SKU- EAN and UPC codes

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) codes are numbers used by stores and web stores to track products. They usually contain information about the product itself.

EAN codes (European Article Number) is a system of 13-digit barcodes used worldwide. EANs provide retailers with a complete view of their product line based on article numbers.

UPC codes (Universal Product Code) are identification numbers for each header product or individual product coded with a bar code and marked in conjunction with point-of-sale systems. UPCs are mainly used in North American retail.

The importance of a SKU in logistics

SKUs are an important part of the supply chain and logistics management. They help organize warehouses, supply rooms and even individual store shelves. Not only do SKUs enable easier inventory tracking, but they also make it easier to quickly locate stock or place orders with suppliers. In addition, SKUs provide businesses with important data – from which products customers prefer the most to when to restock. This helps companies better understand consumer behavior and optimize their operations to better serve their customers.

In short, SKUs ensure efficient product tracking and help companies leverage consumer data to make better operations and decisions.

How are SKU codes generated?

SKU codes are generated and assigned by the retailer selling the product. The code is unique to each product being sold and allows the retailer to view inventory. It is also important that the code is verified to ensure that there are no duplicate SKU codes.

The retailer can either hand-pick the number or have it generated automatically from a system.

SKU Amazon – this is what you should look out for

If you do business on Amazon, then “SKU Amazon” is an important term for you to familiarize yourself with.

It’s important to set up SKUs for your business and pay attention to them because SKUs allow for better inventory management, price tracking, and product marketing.

An effective SKU number also ensures accurate product categorization and increases product discoverability on Amazon.

SKUs should be chosen carefully, as any change to SKUs can impact processes such as search ranking, filtering by category, and promotional discounts or bundles.

SKU – Stock Keeping Units Conclusion

Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are an important component of a business that sells merchandise. With SKUs, businesses can track the inventory of their products to avoid duplicate entries and maintain efficiency in inventory.

Klara Mirzakhanian
Klara Mirzakhanian
Ich bin seit März 2022 bei Lufapak im Bereich Sales tätig. Im Tagesgeschäft bin ich der Erstkontakt für unsere nationale und internationale Kunden. Die Projektarbeit, wie beispielsweise die Ausarbeitung und Optimierung diverser Prozesse sowie die Unterstützung im Bereich Marketing gehören zu meinen täglichen Aufgaben.
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