Creating SKUs and Inventory Tracking for Products in BigCommerce

SKU stands for “Stock Keeping Unit”. They are useful tools that help you to keep track of your products and be able to tell them apart. You can create unique SKUs for each option of a product so that, for example, a blue t-shirt can be easily told apart from a pink tshirt – even if they’re the same style.

Making Your SKUs

What to Put in a SKU

Create SKUs that are easy to recognize by using codes. Some people use the SKUs that their manufacturer or supplier created. Others make up their own SKUs. Usually, a SKU will include an abbreviation of the item’s supplier, color, and size, or any other information specific to the product. You can customize your SKUs however you want to.

When making several SKUs for each option of your product, differentiate the SKUs. As an example, a SKU for a green pair of woman’s size 6 Nike tennis shoe might be NIKE-W-S6-GR (brand, size, color). A blue pair of the same shoe would look like this: NIKE-W-S6-BL.

The Most Important Thing

The most important thing to have when creating SKUs is consistency so that you can easily know what the letters and numbers stand for. Make sure you use the same abbreviation for the word each time (for example, don’t abbreviate “Purple” as “PP” in one SKU and “PU” in another SKU).

Order of SKU Sections

For recognition purposes, it is often best to start your SKU with the abbreviation of the supplier. Then put the product number, and then the color, size, material, or other options (1). This will be quicker because the information you need is already in the order you narrow the item down in. You identify the supplier before you go to the product. And you identify the product before you select the option and send it to the customer.

Numbers and Letters

Steer clear of using special characters in your SKUs that could be confusing.

If you start your SKU with numbers instead of letters, avoid starting it with a zero to avoid data storage issues (1). Also, avoid mixing numbers, letters, and capitalizations because sometimes a “0” will look like an “O” or a lowercase “l” will look like an “I”. In some fonts, other letters and numbers can be easily confused too!

Basically, keep your SKUs as clear, consistent, and simple as possible!

SKU Limits

BigCommerce allows your SKUs to have up to 250 characters and up to 4 sections (each section is divided by a dash). Try to keep your SKUs as simple as possible, though. The less characters, the easier it will be to decrypt.

You can have up to 600 SKUs per product (so 600 different options).

To create a SKU for a product that has no variables/options, or if you are just changing the SKU of the base product, use the following steps:

  1. Click on “Products” (located in the control panel bar on the left).

  1. Click on the product you want to add a SKU to.

  1. Enter the SKU in the “Product code/SKU” field.

4. Click on “Save”.

To track the inventory for your product:

  1. Go to the “Inventory” tab. 

  1. Select the second tracking method, “Track inventory for this product”.

  1. Enter the current stock and low level stock amounts (entering the low level stock is how you keep track of the stock. BigCommerce will send you an email when the item’s stock reaches the number you put in the “Low Stock Level” field so that you can replenish the stock.)

  1. Click “Save”.

If you are creating several SKUs for the variables on a product that has different options, you will first need to add the options to an option set and apply it to your product. Once you have done this, use the following steps:

  1. Click on “Products” (located in the control panel bar on the left).

  1. Click on the product you want to add SKUs to.

  1. Click on the tab labeled “Options & SKUs” and then click “SKUs”.

  1. Click “Create a SKU” and enter your SKU and the attributes of the product that you are assigning that SKU. (Any of the fields that are left blank will automatically be the same as the base product’s.)

  1. To save the SKU, click “Save and Close”.

  1. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each of your product’s variations.

Next, if you want to track inventory for each of the options you have added:

  1. Go to the “Inventory” tab. 

  1. Select the last tracking method, “Track inventory by options (from the “Options” tab above)”.

  1. Go back to the “Options & SKUs” tab and edit the options by clicking on the group of 3 dots on the right of each product name (under “Action”) and clicking “Edit”.

  1. Enter the stock number. You can also enter an amount in the “Low Stock Level” field. When the stock of your item reaches the number you enter in the “Low Stock Level” field, BigCommerce will send an email to you to let you know so you don’t accidentally run out of stock on your product.

  1. Click “Save and Close”.
  1. https://www.symbia.com/blog/product-skus
  2. https://support.bigcommerce.com/s/article/Options-SKUs-Rules#skus

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