What Is SKU (Shopify)? How to Use Stock Keeping Units

what is sku shopify

What is SKU? Shopify users often ask this question, so we decided to answer it in detail. SKU stands for “stock keeping unit,” and it has to do with tracking your inventory. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)?

SKU stands for “stock keeping unit.” It’s an alphanumeric code used to track inventory levels for products in your shop. You can assign a SKU to each product, and then use that code to keep track of how many of that product you have in stock, as well as to report on your sales.

What Is SKU – Shopify’s Definition

In the context of Shopify eCommerce stores, what is SKU? Shopify defines SKU as “codes that you can use internally to track your inventory and report on your sales.” The Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) requires you to have SKUs for all of your products.

Shopify also lets you use the Sales by product variant SKU report to analyze your sales. This report can be found in your shop’s admin under Analytics > Reports.

Use SKUs for Easier Exchanges and Returns

If you use SKUs for your products, it will be easier to process exchanges and returns. How? You can label the products with stickers showing the SKU. When a customer contacts you about an exchange or return, you can look up the SKU and quickly find the right product.

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It also helps to address questions about specific variants of products, like the size or color a customer ordered. So, what is SKU? Shopify makes it a useful feature for managing inventory and sales!

How to Create a SKU in Shopify

Now that you know what a SKU is and how it can help you run your shop, you might be wondering how to enter a SKU in Shopify. It’s actually very simple!

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products. Then, find the product you want to add a SKU to and click on it.
  2. You should now see the product details.
  3. Navigate to ‘Inventory,’ and you’ll see a field called ‘SKU (stock keeping unit)’. This is where you can enter the SKU code for your product.
  4. Save your changes, and you’re all set!

You can always edit or remove a SKU by going back and editing the product. Keep in mind that orders placed before the change will contain the old SKU.

What Is the Right SKU Format for Product Variants?

Each SKU should have both numbers and letters, and it should be shorter than 16 characters. For example, if you’re selling red and blue balls in 3 different sizes, you could label them:


By using a simple code like this, you can keep track of your inventory without having to remember what each product is. Choose a format that is easy to understand and use, so you can avoid any confusion down the road.

SKU Code vs. Barcode vs. UPC Code

You might be wondering what the difference is between a SKU code and a barcode. A SKU code is used to track inventory levels internally – it’s there for shop owners to use. A barcode, on the other hand, is an international standard that is used to identify products. You can find barcodes on products in stores, and they’re scanned at the point of sale.

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The SFN requires each product to have both a barcode and a SKU. You can edit both codes in the product details.

Knowing the answer to “What is SKU?”, Shopify vendors can take advantage of this feature to better manage their inventory and sales. What do you think? How will you be using SKUs in your shop? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t hesitate to ask any further questions if you have them!

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