What is a SKU?

A Stock Keeping Unit, referred to most commonly as SKU, is an alphanumeric code that a company assigns to a product to assist them in more quickly searching and identifying a product from lists, invoices and order forms. The SKU plays a different role than product identifiers, like ASIN, EAN and UPC numbers, in that its primary function to keep track of inventory and product catalog, and gives information on a product’s size, type, and the manufacturer.

SKUs are not standardized, and a vendor can establish a new SKU or keep that of the manufacturer, which is in stark contrast to the GTIN which is a globalized and standardized product identifier. When a product’s SKU number is displayed, it prevents competitive shopping sites from readily offering the same product at a lower price since a given SKU is specific to each store. SKUs are particular to the retailer and do not work in any global or uniform fashion.


Amazon SKU

An Amazon seller SKU is a unique code that refers to an item you are selling in Amazon’s marketplace. SKUs are a necessity for selling on Amazon, and if you cannot provide one for a product, Amazon will generate a SKU number for you. Ideally, sellers should create their SKUs so that crucial information can be more accessible and recognizable to that specific seller. SKUs often contain information pertaining to a broad description, supplier, cost, and warehouse. Once you have created a SKU format that works for you, it should be kept consistent within your e-commerce store so that you can maintain a high level of control and organization over your products.


SKU lookup

SKUs are not always necessary visible. It will be helpful to understand the products GTIN or UPC and then search for retailers via the product identifier. For example, a Walmart SKU lookup would require the searcher to enter the UPC and possibly zip code of the product in question. Algopix can help online sellers discover and take advantage of unique selling opportunities by providing valuable insights. For example,  in contrast to Amazon, Walmart has far fewer unique SKUs with 10 million compared to Amazon’s 300 million. This presents sellers with an exceptional opportunity for growth and expansion. Use Algopix’s product identifier converter to get started.

Related Terms