It might seem unnecessary to use item numbers or stock keeping units (SKUs) for your Amazon store. You might wonder if you need it if your product portfolio is limited, or your warehouse is small. Is it worth it?
SKUs are actually essential to helping you reach your full sales potential, regardless of the size of your inventory.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Before you begin reading, download our SKU Code Generator for Microsoft Excel and to start creating SKUs for your products today.
What Is An SKU?
An SKU is an identification code which is used to track a product for inventory and sales purposes. It may also include some details about the product such as color, size and other variations. You should always assign a unique SKU to a product, even if you sell the same product with another seller. Don’t fret; even if they’ve got different SKUs, they would have the same UPC (Universal Product Code). An SKU helps in many different ways, such as categorizing products easily, measuring inventory levels, purchasing accurate items, and helping make communication between you, the vendors and your customers smooth and efficient.
If you want to create a system that's easier to work with and uses your own item numbers, here are some of our recommendations:
- Make unique SKUs —SKUs should be unique, so that you don’t accidentally use an SKU again for a product you don’t sell anymore
- Keep the SKUs short —SKUs mostly will be maximum 30 characters long. If it is longer than 30 characters then it becomes hard to interpret. Even don’t make it longer than 7 characters
- Avoid spaces or special characters — Use simple characters to make it simple and easy for you to understand
- Avoid using product title in your SKU — Instead, use short and brief descriptions for the product title
- Never start your SKU with a zero – Never use “0” in the beginning of an SKU as the Excel spreadsheet will strip out the 0 and mess everything up
No matter the size of your product portfolio, what you sell, who your customer is, or what channel you sell through, each and every product should be identified with an SKU. Logiwa Inventory Management Software makes it very easy and fast to set SKUs.
So I bet you’re wondering why SKUs are right for you. Here are five reasons SKUs are important for your Amazon store:
Easy and Effective Inventory Management
It is much easier to measure your inventory when you identify every item that you sell with an SKU. You may think it could be easy enough to use the item’s name, title or description to measure your inventory level, but think about how many errors that could produce! You might not write down the same description every time, and another employee might have a different idea about what the product could be called. By avoiding streamlining this process, you are setting your business up for failure. However, if you have a unique set of 7 characters that identify the product, it’s easier to put it in an excel file, write down the inventory quantities against it, and differentiate it from other similar items. Worried about having to generate and track all these SKUs? An inventory management software will provide SKUs for each item and track them internally.
Multiple Sales Channels Connect through SKU
Imagine that you are selling your products on multiple sales channels such as Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, or Shopify. All these channels require an SKU or UPC to list your product. If you already have SKUs assigned to your products, it will be easier for you to match different listings of the same item amongst all your sales channels. If you use an inventory management software, it will act as a sort of hub for all your sales channels by connecting to other sales channels and feeding them the correct inventory quantity for the right product.
Customers Search for Items by SKU
You also have the chance to use UPC codes as your SKU. Logiwa’s Inventory Management Software is built for Amazon Sellers to do just that. If you are sourcing from other manufacturers, using these UPC codes as your SKU code is a fast, convenient option to help you reach your sales potential. Potential customers searching a specific item mostly search with UPC codes because of its ubiquitousness. By using your UPC as your SKU code, your store will pop up in their search results, providing you the chance to sell to this potential customer.
SKUs Make Returning Customers’ Lives Easier
Imagine your customer is very happy with the product he purchased 4 months ago and he wants to buy it again. Instead of searching through thousands of similar products, they will most likely just search for the item’s UPC code.
Even if you are selling your own handcrafted items, assigning an SKU code helps your customer find your work again. By assigning an SKU code, your returning customer will definitely find the exact item they’re looking for!
Returning customers with SKU access can also it to get to your product page much faster than those who don’t. All they have to do is search for the number, which they can usually copy and paste from their order or shipping confirmation emails, and they’ll end up right on the product page they want especially for mobile shoppers. It’s fast and easy for your customers, and great for your business too!
Other Retailers Use SKUs to Search for Items
Many merchants on Amazon and other sales channels also sell their products to other retailers as wholesales. Every experienced merchant knows that the best way to search and find a product is the SKU code or the UPC code. SKUs also help you increase your wholesales figures, which helps other retailers search for your item and find your store, every time.
As you can see, it can be pretty beneficial to have a WMS like Logiwa for your inventory needs. A WMS not only streamlines the sales process, but also leaves less room for errors. Check out whether Logiwa is right for you with our free demo!
Written by Cagdas Yildiz
Cagdas Yildiz is the Chief Customer Success Officer and Co-Founder of Logiwa.