How to create a SKU number in 4 easy steps

If you're wondering how to create a SKU number for your business, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step. Let’s dive into it!

What Are SKU Numbers?

A SKU number is a unique code that helps businesses track the products in their inventory. It typically consists of a combination of letters and numbers that identify a specific product. SKU numbers can also include additional information such as size, color, and style.

how to create a SKU number

What Are SKU Numbers?

>>> See more: SKU Optimization: Maximizing Performance and Reducing Costs

How To Create SKU Numbers

Step 1: Determine Your SKU Number Format

The first step in creating SKU numbers is to decide on a format that suits your business needs. Consider the information you want to include in your SKU numbers, such as product attributes (size, color, material), product categories, or any other relevant identifiers. There are several different formats you can use, including:

  • Sequential numbers (e.g., 0001, 0002, 0003)
  • Date-based numbers (e.g., YYMMDD)
  • Hierarchical numbers (e.g., category-subcategory-item number)

Choose a format that is easy to understand, consistent, and scalable as your business grows.

Step 2: Decide What Information To Include In Your SKU Numbers

Once you have determined the format, decide what specific information you want to include in your SKU numbers. This could vary depending on the nature of your products. For example, if you sell clothing, you may want to include attributes like size and color. If you sell electronics, you might include the brand, model, and specifications. Here are some common elements to consider include:

  • Product type
  • Brand
  • Size
  • Color
  • Material
  • Style
  • Seasonality

Ensure that the information you choose is relevant, and meaningful and helps identify and categorize your products accurately.

how to create a SKU number

Information To Include In Your SKU Numbers

Step 3: Assign Unique Codes To Each Product

To create SKU numbers, assign unique codes to each product based on the format and information decided in the previous steps. Ensure that each SKU number is distinct and does not overlap with existing or future product codes. Using sequential numbers or a combination of letters and numbers can help maintain uniqueness. Consider using a consistent pattern or logic to make it easier to identify product attributes or categories from the SKU number itself.

Step 4: Test Your SKU Numbers

After creating SKU numbers for your products, it is essential to test them for accuracy and effectiveness. Check if the SKU numbers are unique and correctly reflect the intended information. Test the SKU numbers by applying them to actual products and performing inventory management tasks. This will help identify any potential issues or improvements needed in the SKU numbering system before fully implementing it across your inventory.

>>> See more: Top 10 Sales management software

Tips For Creating Effective SKU Numbers

To help you create adequate SKU numbers, we have compiled a list of useful tips to consider: 

  • Keep it Simple: Design SKU numbers that are easy to understand and remember. Avoid overly complex or lengthy codes that can lead to confusion and errors during SKU Management.
  • Incorporate Key Information: Include relevant product details in your SKU numbers, such as product attributes (color, size, material), categories, or other distinguishing factors. This information helps identify and categorize products quickly.
  • Ensure Uniqueness: Each SKU number should be unique to prevent confusion and inventory inaccuracies. Implement a system or process to check for duplicates and ensure each product has a specific SKU number.
  • Consider Scalability: Plan your SKU numbering system with future growth in mind. As your business expands, ensure that your SKU numbers accommodate new products and variations.
  • Test and Refine: Before implementing your SKU numbering system, test it on a small scale. Evaluate its effectiveness, ease of use, and accuracy. Make any necessary adjustments or refinements based on the results.
  • Utilize Technology: Leverage inventory management software or SKU generator tools to simplify the SKU creation process. These tools can automate the generation of SKU numbers based on predefined rules and attributes, saving time and reducing the likelihood of errors.
how to create a SKU number

Tips For Creating Effective SKU Numbers

>>> See more: Top 5 SKU Software Can Streamline Your Business Operations


While it may not be necessary to use SKU numbers if you have a small inventory, they can still help streamline your operations and improve efficiency.

It's generally not recommended to change or reuse SKU numbers, as this can lead to confusion in your inventory and reporting.

You can assign different SKU numbers to each variation (e.g., size, color) or use a hierarchical format to include this information in the SKU number itself.

While SKU numbers are primarily used for physical products in inventory, they can also be adapted for use with non-inventory items such as services. Simply modify the format and information included in the SKU number to fit your needs.

 Is it possible to have duplicate SKU numbers?

While it's technically possible to have duplicate SKU numbers, it can lead to confusion and errors in your inventory and reporting. It's best practice to ensure all SKU numbers are unique and never reused.

Hopefully, our guide can help you know how to create a SKU number to keep track of your products and streamline your operations. Follow Viindoo's blog for more valuable insight into Enterprise Management Software.

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How to create a SKU number in 4 easy steps
Viindoo Technology Joint Stock Company, Monica Nguyen 18 May, 2023

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