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SKU Meaning on Etsy: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

2 Minutes

In this article, we will look at what SKU means on the Etsy platform and discuss the importance and best practices in generating SKU codes.

sku meaning etsy
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What is an SKU on Etsy?

An SKU on Etsy is a unique alphanumeric code assigned to each product in a seller's inventory that serves as a crucial organizational tool for managing and tracking items within their store.

Example: An Etsy seller assigns the SKU "ERGPN001" to their "Elegant Rose Gold Pendant Necklace". 

Importance of SKUs on Etsy

Here are four points highlighting the importance of SKUs specifically for Etsy businesses:

Efficient Etsy Store Management: SKUs enable Etsy sellers to efficiently organize their product listings, making it easier to manage and update their online stores.

Accurate Order Processing: SKUs help ensure that the correct products are selected for customer orders, reducing the likelihood of shipping errors and enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Inventory Control: SKUs are essential for tracking and controlling inventory levels, preventing stockouts and overstock situations that can negatively impact Etsy businesses.

Data-driven decision-making: By analyzing SKU-specific data, Etsy sellers can gain valuable insights into product performance, pricing strategies, and customer preferences, enabling them to make informed decisions to grow their businesses effectively.

what does sku mean on etsy
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How to Generate SKUs on Etsy

Using SKUs effectively on Etsy involves several key practices:

1. Consistent Naming Convention: 

Develop a clear and consistent naming convention for your SKUs. It could include product identifiers, variations (such as size or color), and numbers to differentiate similar items. For example, "BRACELET-SMALL-BLUE-001."

2. Unique and Descriptive SKUs: 

Ensure that each SKU is unique to each product or product variation. The SKU should reflect essential details about the item, making it easier to identify at a glance.

3. Inventory Tracking: 

Regularly update your inventory counts associated with each SKU. When an item sells, deduct it from your inventory immediately to avoid overselling.

4. Product Variation SKUs: 

If you offer products with variations (e.g., different sizes or colors), create distinct SKUs for each variation. This helps customers select the exact product they want and simplifies order fulfillment.

5. Etsy's SKU Field: 

Use Etsy's built-in SKU field when creating or editing product listings. It's a designated space to enter your SKUs, making it easy to manage them within the platform.

6. Consistent Record Keeping: 

Maintain a separate record of your SKUs, inventory levels, and product details outside of Etsy. This can serve as a backup and help with inventory reconciliation.

7. Regular Audits: 

Conduct regular audits of your SKUs and inventory to identify discrepancies and correct any issues promptly.

8. Integrate with Inventory Tools: 

If you have a high volume of products, consider using third-party inventory management tools that can integrate with your Etsy shop to streamline SKU and inventory management.

9. Training and Documentation: 

If you have employees or team members helping with order fulfillment, ensure they are trained on your SKU system and have access to clear documentation explaining its use.

10. Customer-Friendly Approach: 

While SKUs are primarily for internal use, avoid displaying complex SKU codes to customers. Use clear product titles and descriptions that make the shopping experience user-friendly.

what is sku on etsy
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Example on How to Generate SKUs on Etsy

Let's walk through the step-by-step guide of an Etsy seller named Sarah who runs a shop selling handmade ceramic mugs with various colors and designs.

Step 1: Understand the Basics of SKUs

Sarah begins by understanding that SKUs are unique codes assigned to each product or product variation. She recognizes that using SKUs will help her better manage her shop's inventory.

Step 2: Develop a SKU System

Choose a Naming Convention: Sarah decides on a clear naming convention for her SKUs. She includes product identifiers, variations, and numbers.

Example: Product - "Handmade Ceramic Mug"

Variations - Color (Blue, Green, Red) and Design (Floral, Geometric)

SKU for a Blue Floral Mug: "HCM-BLUE-FLORAL-001"

Step 3: Implement SKUs in Your Etsy Shop

Edit Existing Listings: Sarah goes through her current mug listings and adds SKUs to each product variation using Etsy's SKU field.

Create New Listings with SKUs: When adding new mug designs to her shop, she includes SKUs right from the start.

Step 4: Track Inventory with SKUs

Inventory Counts: Sarah regularly updates inventory counts associated with each SKU. For instance, if she sells two Blue Floral Mugs, she deducts that quantity from her inventory.

Reconcile Inventory: Periodically, Sarah conducts audits to ensure that the actual number of mugs matches the counts recorded in her SKU system.

Step 5: Use SKUs for Order Fulfillment

Order Processing: When an order is received, Sarah checks the SKU in the order details to ensure she picks the correct mug design and color.

Packaging: She uses the SKU to identify the mugs during the packaging process, minimizing the risk of errors.

Step 6: Train Your Team (If Applicable)

Employee Training: If Sarah has employees helping with order fulfillment or inventory management, she ensures they are trained on her SKU system.

Documentation: She provides clear documentation outlining how to use SKUs effectively within her Etsy shop.

Step 7: Regular Audits and Updates

Audit SKUs: Sarah conducts regular audits to identify discrepancies in inventory counts or SKU records and makes necessary adjustments.

Update SKUs: If she introduces new mug designs or variations, she creates corresponding SKUs and integrates them into her system.

Step 8: Consider Inventory Management Software (Optional)

Evaluate Options: Depending on her shop's scale, Sarah may consider using inventory management software that integrates with Etsy to automate SKU management and inventory tracking.

Step 9: Maintain a Customer-Friendly Approach

Product Listings: Sarah presents her mugs to customers with clear, descriptive titles and detailed descriptions, keeping SKU codes hidden from the customer-facing side.

By following this guide, Sarah effectively manages SKUs for her Etsy shop, ensuring accurate inventory control, improved order fulfillment accuracy, and overall efficiency in her business.

How to add SKUs to your Etsy listings:

1. Log in to Etsy: Sign in to your Etsy seller account.

2. Access "Shop Manager": Click on "Shop Manager" at the top right of your dashboard.

3. Choose a Listing: From your list of listings, select the one you want to edit.

4. Edit Listing Details: Scroll down to the "Inventory & Pricing" section.

5. Enter SKU: Locate the "SKU" field and input your unique SKU code.

6. Save Changes: Click "Save" or "Save and Continue" to apply the SKU to your listing.

7. Repeat as Needed: If you have more listings to update, repeat this process for each one.

8. Verify SKUs: Double-check your listings to ensure the SKUs were added correctly.

We hope this article gave you a better understanding of what SKU means on Etsy, its importance, and how to apply the best practices in generating SKU codes.  

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on Amazon seller SKU or our article on what SKU is in ecommerce.

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