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Ecwid Ecommerce Glossary

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

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What is SKU?

stock-keeping unit (SKU) is a machine-readable barcode. It is most often seen on product labels. SKUs let vendors scan and track the movement of inventory. 

SKUs usually consist of an alphanumeric combination of eight or-so characters. 

SKUs are used to track inventory levels in order to determine which products require reordering. They are used by catalogs, brick-and-mortar retail stores, online sellers, warehouses, and product fulfillment centers.

Each business creates different SKUs for its products and services. For example, apparel stores can create SKUs that reveal product details, such as color, size, style, price, manufacturer, and brand. 

To create SKUs for your products:

  • Choose alphanumeric formats
  • Use more than six characters
  • Use 1-3 characters for each attribute
  • Never use spaces, use a hyphen or underscore instead
  • Avoid special characters
  • Avoid confusing numbers and letters
  • Always use uppercase letters
  • Use serif or monospace fonts.

Read more about creating SKUs for your store.

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