When selling on Amazon, SKU numbers are one of the most useful tools for your business and provide a plethora of benefits. They can simplify inventory management, increase visibility into inventory levels and sales data, and improve the customer experience.
However, adopting a SKU system can get messy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
In this article, we will discuss some key details when it comes to SKUs such as how to find them, how to create a product SKU, why it’s important, and whether you need one to sell on Amazon.
How to Find Your SKU on Amazon?
SKUs can be found both behind the scenes and in front of the customer.
Most SKU numbers range between eight to 12 characters and are typically located on the price tag of a product. If you look at the price tag on a product, you’re likely to find something called a stock keeping unit number, or SKU number for short.
Another way to find your SKU, is to go to the Shipping Queue, click on the Track Shipment button to the right of your shipment, and then click the View Shipments tab. Once that’s done just click on the Download SKU list to see information for each shipment.
Where is the SKU number on a receipt?
The SKU can be found on the outside of a product carton and sometimes on your receipt. This number can be easily identified as a 7 digit number on the receipt, here’s an example: 8000148. However it can be shortened to 4 digits such as: 0148.
Do you need an SKU in order to sell on Amazon?
Yes it is a specific merchant’s product identifier and a critical piece of data in every inventory file that you send to Amazon. Amazon uses the SKUs in your inventory file to associate your products with the appropriate product detail page in their catalog. Bottomline, SKUs are a mandatory prerequisite for selling on Amazon.
Why SKUs Make It Easier To Track Sales On Amazon
Amazon uses a dependable SKU system that efficiently monitors warehouse transfers to avoid confusion and helps Amazon fulfillment centers to pick, pack, and ship products. When combined with UPCs, SKUs help Amazon manage inventory sold across all their channels.
Amazon SKUs also allow you to track sales trends, stock levels of products, warehouse transfers, profitability, and consumer spending habits.
How To Create a Product SKU for Use on Amazon
When structuring your SKU, you’ll want to use information that can help you obtain product information as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The number also has to be able to effectively manage your inventory, help you understand sales quantities, and Understand how long a product ‘sat on the shelf’. Here are a few steps to help with creating a product SKU for Amazon.
- Have the first two letters represent your supplier or manufacturer.
- The next two letters should represent your product type. For example using BK for books.
- Enter a date, preferably when you sent your products to Amazon’s warehouse. For example use 02072022 if the date was 02/07/2022.
- You can add the condition of your product. Enter NP for new products and UP for used products.
- Enter your purchase price.
- The last few digits can be anything you want them to be.
SKU Best Practices
While there are plenty of ways to create an effective SKU number there are some concrete practices when it comes to making SKUs. Here are some best practices to keep in mind based on our experience as an Amazon agency.
- Stay Consistent: Use the same SKU for identical products when selling in different Amazon stores. If you’ve already set up a system try not to deviate too much. If the supplier is always first and the product type is always second then keep it that way.
- Differentiate: Use each SKU for only one product or product type (ie sunglasses, video games, clothing, etc.)
- Establish Rules: Make a set of ‘SKU creation’ rules and make sure every employee or business partner receives a copy.
Pros and Cons of Creating Your Own SKU vs. Amazon Generating One
When allowing Amazon to generate your SKUs for you the code will essentially be meaningless to you and/or those who work with you in your business. You won’t have specific details of a product such as the date of purchase or supplier.
If you have multiple Amazon stores, Amazon will create different SKUs for each store even if the product type is the same. While it might not be that big of a deal now it may become a logistical nightmare in the future.
By creating your own unique SKU you’ll be able to easily identify different product groups and types. You can keep track of which product types are performing the best and you can quickly identify which warehouse a product is located in.
Using an SKU Generator
Alternatively, you can keep your SKUs consistent by using an SKU generator such as Zoho’s SKU generator. This way you’ll be able to save a significant amount of time by generating consistent item naming numbers that are clear and easy to remember. This is especially helpful if you have a long list of items in your inventory.
- Is SKU the same as item number?
- Yes. SKUs are also referred to as item part numbers. SKU numbers or stock keeping unit numbers are unique to each store and allow the store to keep track of each item in inventory.
- Is SKU and serial number the same?
- Serial numbers are not the same as SKUs. Serial numbers are used to track the ownership information of an item and can also be used to track warranty information. SKUs allow retailers to keep track of each item of stock.