Today a labelling system is required to keep your inventory up to date.

Many businesses use a system known as SKU. SKU (pronounced “skew”) stands for Stock Keeping Unit. It is a company internal coding to identify their items. As direct consequence, the same product is more likely to have different SKU value from a company to another.

An SKU consists of numbers and letters to identity various characteristics and variants of every single product. Examples of variants are Size, colour, brands, suppliers, manufacturers, gender, cost, conditions, date of purchase, category, and so one.

Where to find them

On a product label, you will usually find the SKU number displayed in the way it is visible and readable for humans. They are often encoded in barcodes accessible with a barcode scanner.

How to use them.

Make sure you do not copy the SKU from your supplier or manufacturer. It is recommended to use a pattern for the generation of the SKU numbers. They should not be too long either. For example, it is possible to provide up to 40 characters in a SKU on the amazon marketplace.

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They are other codes like UPC to identify products, but they don’t serve the same purpose. UPC is a universal code used to identify an item wherever it is sold. Your customers would rely on the UPC number to compare your products with your competitor.


What to remember

Use an SKU number to identify your product internally. Keep the SKU numbers simple and short. Use UPC to harmonise the reference of your products with the market (competitors, marketplaces).