Want to learn about writing SKUs and how they are used? Click here!
The 3Dsellers, free SKU Generator creates SKU codes based on a product's name and attributes, with the ability to customize the SKU maker's separators and formats so you can choose how to create SKU numbers.
This free tool doubles as a stock-keeping unit generator for Excel. It offers CSV export that can also be used as an SKU number generator for Shopify, eBay, Brick-and-Mortar stores, or wherever you sell your goods!
When using the SKU maker, choose how to format your SKUcode, instructing the SKU Generator which separators to use between the abbreviations.
Then, enter product details for an item and click the "Generate" to have the SKU number generator add a generated SKU to a row in the table.
Enter more items to add more products. When finished, click the "Export" button to download the SKU code generator's table as a CSV file.
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All About SKUs:
SKUs are a fundamental part of managing any type of retail store or warehouse.
If you haven't set up an SKU system yet, there are a hundred reasons to start before you wish you had!
Daily situations in the world of product sales could cost you countless hours of work and money if your items are not labeled with SKUs.
SKUs and their format will vary from business to business. SKUs are usually customized to make the software or fulfillment system the company is using more efficient.
Some SKUs contain a barcode, model number, variation attributes, warehouse picking locations, etc.
Most of the item information is abbreviated or condensed into 2-4 letters or numbers. Then, a Special Character (Separator) separates each part of the item information, making it easier to identify and read.
Check out the "how to write an SKU" question below for examples and a quick walkthrough of SKU formats.
How to create a SKU number?
Creating your SKU format will be personalized to your business needs.
Sellers will typically combine item information into a code that they and their team can read.
- First, consider any important item data you may need while processing an order, restocking, or customer support. Info such as a model number, UPC, or reference to a warehouse picking location can be very beneficial to have on hand at a glance.
- Because an SKU is a unique identifier for each item you sell, you will also need to use information, including the color, size, and so forth.
Then, abbreviate each of these item details (if possible) and separate each attribute with a special character.
For example, an acceptable SKU for a Blue Wilson Baseball Glove might be:
Let's break down this SKU. The above SKUcode:
abbreviates the brand (Wilson → WLSN),
then product name (Baseball Glove → BGLV),
and ends with the attribute, color (Blue → BLU).
Note that custom separators are used to make the SKU readable. Different businesses will use different separators, such as # $ ; . \
—for example: WLSN:BGLV|BLU
Make sure whichever format you choose, it can be repeated and applied to all your other items in a similar format. This will keep you consistent and prevent any confusion later on.
SKU vs UPC/EAN - What's the difference?
A product SKU and a UPC are two different ways of identifying a product.
An SKU is a code that represents a specific variation of a product, such as the color or size. Merchants will assign SKUs for their own inventory and item tracking.
However, a UPC is not an SKU. UPCs are used to identify products by their bar code, such as when someone scans their item at the grocery store or other retailers. A UPC can be used in the United States and Canada.
A UPC (Universal Product Code) and EAN (European Article Number) are two different types of barcodes used for products. A UPC-A barcode is a 12 digit code that can be easily identified with the following pattern:
What kind of businesses use custom SKUs?
eCommerce businesses, brick-and-mortar stores, and warehouse suppliers all use SKUs in a variety of situations to identify products.
Can I reuse SKUs?
Each SKU should be unique to an item; SKUs are not reused once the item is sold out of stock.
Top 5 Ways SKUs Help Manage Inventory, Products, and Business:
SKUs are essential for providing smooth business operations:
1 - Track Inventory
Databases of SKUs help sellers, retailers, and warehouses determine stock availability throughout each operation. Commonly, SKU and product databases are made with Excel or Google Sheets workbooks.
Sales reports are then imported into the workbook to update new inventory values.
If using software to track inventory, the program essentially does the same as the process explained above.
Using SKUs to track inventory not only helps your team track stock, SKUs can connect your items' stock throughout marketplaces, warehouses, and suppliers. More info on this below!
2 - Replenish Inventory
Running out of an item? If you need to replenish your store's inventory, SKUs make it super simple to upload a CSV file to update new inventory values.
The SKU is used to identify the item to update, so no matter which channel you upload the CSV to, you will always update the same product.
Not to mention, many purchase orders to suppliers will use SKUs to identify each product.
If your supplier provides SKUs (or a label that will work as an SKU) it is best to keep that same SKU for your own products. This allows you to essentially download a list of SKUs that have low inventory and simply send the list to you supplier for re-order.
3 - Diversify Easily
Use SKUs to identify the original item of different listings on different marketplaces or selling channels.
For example, the product details of one listing in the USA may be very different from the same item listed in the India.
Instead of tracking new titles and product info, you can label each product with the same SKU and know that both products are the same item.
4 - Analyze Product Performance
Track variants and product sales via SKUs to pinpoint the best-selling items in your store.
Many merchants analyze their sales performance this way by logging totals in an Excel/Sheets workbook.
This process also provides insight into underperforming items.
5 - Identify Shrinkage:
Damaged or missing items can occur anywhere along the supply chain.
If something happens to one of your products, a solid SKU system allows you to manage the missing or damaged inventory quickly.