A Beginner's Guide: How to Create SKU Numbers for Your Shopify Store

May 24, 2023



    In this guide, we will walk you through the process of creating SKU numbers for your Shopify store, organizing your product catalog, and using these numbers to manage inventory more effectively.

    Setting Up SKU Numbers in Your Shopify Store

    Setting up SKU numbers in your Shopify store is a straightforward process that can be done in a few simple steps:

    1. Log in to your Shopify account and navigate to the Products section.
    2. Select the product for which you want to create a SKU number.
    3. Scroll down to the Inventory section and click on the "SKU" field.
    4. Enter the SKU number for the product and save your changes.

    You can also use third-party inventory management apps to create and manage SKU numbers in your Shopify store. These apps offer additional features such as barcode scanning, automated inventory tracking, and more.

    In conclusion, SKU numbers are a crucial aspect of efficient inventory management in your Shopify store.

    By understanding what they are and why they are important, you can set up your store to effectively manage inventory levels, simplify order processing, and make informed decisions regarding product trends and needs.

    Setting Up Your Shopify Store for SKU Management

    Before creating and implementing SKU numbers, you need to set up your Shopify store to handle SKU management efficiently. This involves organizing your product catalog and enabling inventory tracking features available in the Shopify platform.

    Organizing Your Product Catalog

    A well-organized product catalog is essential for effective SKU management. Begin by categorizing your products into collections, which represent different product types or themes.

    This will help you create a more structured SKU number system and make it easier to group, search for, and identify products in your inventory. For example, you can have collections for men's clothing, women's clothing, and accessories.

    It's important to note that your product catalog should be organized in a way that is intuitive for your customers. Consider how they will browse your store and what categories will make the most sense to them.

    You can also use Shopify's built-in search and filtering tools to help customers find products based on their specific needs.

    Another way to organize your product catalog is by using tags. Tags are descriptive keywords that you can assign to products to help customers find them more easily. For example, you can tag a shirt with "cotton" or "striped" to make it easier to find when a customer searches for those terms.

    Enabling Inventory Tracking

    Shopify provides built-in inventory tracking features that you need to enable to effectively manage SKU numbers. To turn on inventory tracking, navigate to Settings > Inventory in your Shopify admin dashboard.

    Here, you can enable inventory tracking for your products and allow Shopify to automatically update your inventory levels based on incoming orders and manual adjustments made by you.

    It's important to keep track of your inventory levels to avoid overselling products and disappointing customers. You can set up alerts to notify you when inventory levels are running low, so you can restock before it's too late.

    With your store set up for SKU management, you can now proceed to create a SKU number system that works for your business needs.

    Consider factors such as the number of products you have, the complexity of your product lines, and how you want to group and identify products in your inventory. A well-designed SKU number system can save you time and reduce errors in your inventory management processes.

    Creating a SKU Number System

    Developing a robust SKU number system is key to efficient inventory management. This involves choosing a format, incorporating product attributes, and ensuring each product variant has a unique SKU number.

    By creating a SKU number system, you can streamline your inventory management process, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.

    Choosing a SKU Number Format

    When creating SKU numbers for your Shopify store, consider using a consistent format throughout your inventory. This can be a combination of letters and numbers that convey essential product information. Common formats include:

    1. Category code + product code + variant code (e.g., CLO-MJKT-L for a large men's jacket).
    2. Manufacturer code + product code + color code + size code (e.g., NKE-0142-BLK-9 for a black Nike shoe in size 9).
    3. Sequential numbering that doesn't convey specific product information (e.g., 100001, 100002, 100003).

    Choose a format that is easy for you and your employees to understand and remember. Make sure it accommodates your entire product range and has room for future expansion. A well-designed SKU number format can help you quickly identify products and improve your inventory management process.

    Incorporating Product Attributes into SKU Numbers

    Including relevant product attributes in your SKU numbers helps in identifying products more quickly and provides added value to your inventory management system. Examples of product attributes to consider include:

    • Product category or type.
    • Product variation, such as size, color, or material.
    • Manufacturer or brand code.
    • Special features or unique identifiers.

    By incorporating product attributes into your SKU numbers, you can easily identify products and their specific attributes. This can help you quickly locate products and improve your inventory management process.

    Only include essential attributes to keep your SKU numbers concise and easy to read. Avoid creating unnecessarily long SKU numbers that could be confusing or difficult to handle. A well-designed SKU number system can help you easily identify products and improve your inventory management process.

    Ensuring Unique SKU Numbers for Each Product Variant

    Every product variant must have a unique SKU number to ensure accurate inventory tracking and management. For example, a T-shirt in different sizes and colors needs separate SKU numbers for each size/color combination.

    When creating SKU numbers for your products, keep this in mind and make it part of your SKU number system design.

    By ensuring each product variant has a unique SKU number, you can accurately track inventory levels and avoid errors. This can help you make informed decisions about restocking and improve your overall inventory management process.

    In conclusion, a well-designed SKU number system is essential for efficient inventory management.

    By choosing a format, incorporating product attributes, and ensuring each product variant has a unique SKU number, you can streamline your inventory management process, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.

    Implementing SKU Numbers in Shopify

    Now that you have designed a SKU number system, it's time to implement it in your Shopify store. This includes adding SKU numbers to existing products, creating new products with SKU numbers, and updating SKU numbers when necessary.

    Adding SKU Numbers to Existing Products

    Adding SKU numbers to the products already listed in your Shopify store can be done individually or in bulk by using the bulk editor or importing a CSV file.

    To add a SKU number to a single product, open the product page in your Shopify admin and enter the SKU number in the 'SKU' field, then save your changes. For bulk updates, use the bulk editor or follow Shopify's guidelines on importing and exporting product CSV files.

    Creating New Products with SKU Numbers

    When adding new products to your Shopify store, allocate a unique SKU number according to your defined SKU number system. During product creation, enter the SKU number in the 'SKU' field on the product details page. Remember to create separate SKU numbers for each product variant, as needed.

    Editing and Updating SKU Numbers

    If you need to update or modify a SKU number, you can do so by editing the product information in your Shopify admin dashboard. Make sure you update your internal inventory records, product labels, and any associated documentation to maintain a consistent SKU system.

    Managing Inventory with SKU Numbers

    With your SKU numbers in place, you can now effectively manage your inventory and make informed decisions about your store's product offerings. Use SKU numbers to track inventory levels, reorder products based on demand, and analyze sales data for insights into product performance.

    Tracking Inventory Levels

    Shopify's built-in inventory management system allows you to track inventory levels using SKU numbers. Enable inventory tracking, and the system will automatically update your stock levels as orders are processed and inventory adjustments are made.

    This will help you ensure that your store always has an adequate stock of high-demand products and prevent stockouts.

    Reordering Products Based on SKU Numbers

    SKU numbers allow you to monitor product sales and determine when it's time to reorder. By identifying products with low stock levels, you can place purchase orders with suppliers well in advance to avoid stockouts and maintain a consistently well-stocked inventory.

    Additionally, historical sales data by SKU numbers can help you make informed decisions on reordering quantities, taking into account seasonal fluctuations and overall product demand.

    Analyzing Sales Data by SKU Numbers

    Lastly, SKU numbers can provide valuable insights into your store's sales performance. Analyzing sales data based on SKU numbers can help you identify top-selling products, slow-moving inventory, and developing trends in your product offerings.

    By understanding which products drive your store's success, you can make informed decisions about introducing new products, discontinuing underperforming items, and adjusting your overall product strategy.

    In conclusion, implementing a well-designed SKU number system is crucial for effective inventory management and tracking sales performance in your Shopify store.By following this step-by-step guide, you can create SKU numbers, manage inventory efficiently, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your store's success. Start creating SKU numbers for your Shopify store today and enjoy the benefits of streamlined inventory management!

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