Using SKUs in Etsy is a great way to keep yourself organised and they are especially useful if you are selling across multiple platforms, such as Etsy and Shopify.
The good news is once you learn how to create an Etsy SKU number, you’ll see that it is really straightforward and soon you’ll be assigning unique SKUs to every product you sell.
How to add SKU numbers to your Etsy listings
To add SKU numbers to your listings on Etsy, all you have to do is:
- Add or edit a listing.
- Scroll down to Inventory and pricing.
- Add a SKU next to SKU.
- Once you're done, click Publish.
Creating an Etsy SKU system
Before you add any SKU to an Etsy listing, it’s worth putting some thought in to the format of it. Ideally, you should pick a SKU system that highlights important details about your products – this will make it a lot easier in the long term to scan a list of SKUs and look for any low stock items. For example, let’s imagine you sell greeting cards on Etsy, you could set up the following format:
Product Vendor - Product Type - Number (ie. CA-BRT-0001)
- Product vendor – Uses the first two letters from the product vendor i.e (CA for ‘Cards’)
- Product type – Uses the first three consonants from the product type i.e (BRT for ‘Birthday Cards’)
- Number – A 4 digit unique number
If you offer personalisation on your cards, that can be added as a variant on the Etsy listing – and this should have a separate SKU, so you can spot the difference.
To add variants to your Etsy listings, simply visit your listing page, scroll down to the Variations section and click Add variations. You can then add in your variations and update them with their own SKUs, for example:
You can see that the variants above have additional suffixes on them – ‘PB’ to stand for ‘personalisation - send to buyer’ and ‘PR’, which means ‘personalisation - send to recipient’.
The key to adding variations into Etsy SKUs is to use a format that you completely understand from day one, otherwise it is easy to get confused.
Managing your Etsy inventory with SKUs
SKU numbers will help you track items in your shop as well as your overall inventory if you’re syncing orders across multiple channels.
By using a SKU system in Etsy, you can use them to search for and locate items using the search bar in the Listings section of your Shop Manager. It is always our advice to keep track of your SKUs, even if its just with a simple spreadsheet – the more organised you are, the less chance you have of missing an order or running out of stock.
SKU numbers FAQs
What is a SKU number?
A SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique number used to internally track a business’ inventory. Shop owners can use SKUs to track their inventory and sales, which can provide useful data that is beneficial to boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.
What does a SKU look like?
You can make your SKUs numbers, letters or a combination of both – it is totally up to you and you should opt for a format that helps you to organise your inventory.
Why are SKUs important for my Etsy store?
SKU numbers are important because they ensure your inventory is accurately tracked and help you to pinpoint when exactly to order or make new products so your items never go out of stock.
Can two products have the same SKU number?
No. SKU numbers should be unique to each product. This is especially important if you are using a syncing app to fulfil orders from multiple marketplaces.
Are SKUs and barcodes the same thing?
Although SKUs and barcodes are similar, they are not the same. A barcode is different from a SKU by the way it is assigned to a product – SKU numbers are unique to a business or seller, and barcodes should be assigned to all like products regardless of where they are sold.
Why would you use a SKU generator?
Some of the main benefits of using a SKU generator include:
- To avoid any errors that may cause confusion in your inventory management system
- To avoid any duplicates in your SKU system
- To quickly generate SKUs, saving you time
- To instantly assign SKU numbers to new products in your store
- To always stick to your previously created SKU architecture. If you were to do this manually, there is a higher chance of error
- To better organise stores with large inventory collections
Do you sell on Shopify too? Learn how to add SKUs to your Shopify store.