A Beginner’s Guide to Creating an SKU

As an ecommerce vendor, you most likely sell a variety of products and, sometimes, in different colors and sizes too.

But, how can you easily identify each of the products you sell?

Rather than coming up with lengthy and confusing descriptions to keep track of your products, you can assign a unique SKU to each of them.

What is an SKU?

An SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a code that allows you to easily search for and identify a product in your inventory system.

How do you create an SKU?

While there are many guides out there to help you create a comprehensive SKU generation system, the purpose to this guide is to help those new to the ecommerce game come up with a simple system that works (at least, for now).

With that in mind, here’s how you can get started.

Start with an overall identifier.

For example, if only you sell 1 model of coat hangers in 3 different colors (green, orange, and blue), your SKUs could be:

DescriptionSKU
Coat Hanger, GreenCH-GR
Coat Hanger, OrangeCH-OR
Coat Hanger, BlueCH-BL

If you sell diverse products with multiple variants, such as product type, model, color, size, type of packaging etc., your SKUs will become more complex in order to account for all the extra product details.

For example, if you sell 2 models of t-shirts in 2 different colors (green and blue) and 2 sizes (small and medium), your SKUs could be:

DescriptionSKU
T-shirt, model 1, green, smallTS-M1-GR-S
T-shirt, model 1, green, mediumTS-M1-GR-M
T-shirt, model 1, blue, smallTS-M1-BL-S
T-shirt, model 1, blue, mediumTS-M1-BL-M
T-shirt, model 2, green, smallTS-M2-GR-S
T-shirt, model 2, green, mediumTS-M2-GR-M
T-shirt, model 2, blue, smallTS-M2-BL-S
T-shirt, model 2, blue, mediumTS-M2-BL-M

To come up with SKUs when you have multiple variants, always keep all the variants constant (the same) and only alter one variant at a time.

Here are some more tips for creating SKUs.

a) Keep the SKUs as short as possible, somewhere between 4-10 characters.
b) Avoid using letters that can be easily confused with numbers, such as I, L, and O.
c) Do not use any symbols that can result in formatting errors, such as “/”, “<”, “>”, “*”.

Need help creating an SKU for you product?

Reach out to an expert at enquiry@zhenhub.com.