Marketing Glossary
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Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

What is a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)?

A SKU is a unique identifier used to track inventory in a retail store or warehouse. It is typically a combination of letters and numbers that is assigned to a specific product or item. SKUs are used to track inventory levels, pricing, and other product information.

Why is a SKU important?

A SKU is important because it is a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that is offered for sale. SKUs are used to track inventory, manage pricing, and identify products for ordering and purchasing. SKUs also help to ensure that customers receive the correct product when they order online or in-store. SKUs are also used to track sales and analyze customer buying patterns.

How can I use a SKU?

A SKU is a unique identifier assigned to a product by a company to help keep track of inventory. Here are some ways you can use a SKU:

  1. Inventory management: SKUs help companies keep track of their products and manage their inventory effectively.
  2. Order processing: SKUs are used to accurately identify and fulfill orders, ensuring that the correct product is delivered to the customer.
  3. Purchasing: SKUs can be used to quickly identify the products that need to be reordered, helping to ensure that inventory levels are maintained.
  4. Product catalogs: SKUs can be used to catalog products, making it easy for customers to find and order the products they need.
  5. Data analysis: SKUs can be used to gather data about product sales, inventory levels, and other key metrics, helping companies make informed decisions about their operations.

Overall, using SKUs can help improve efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making in a variety of business operations.

Brief history of SKUs

The use of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) as unique identifiers for products can be traced back to the early days of retail and inventory management. Companies needed a way to keep track of their products and manage their inventory, and SKUs provided an efficient and effective solution. Over time, the use of SKUs has become widespread in various industries, and they are now an essential tool for managing product information, tracking inventory levels, and facilitating the sales and distribution of products.

The specific history of SKUs is not well documented, but their use has evolved alongside the development of modern inventory management systems and technology. With the rise of e-commerce, the importance of SKUs has only increased, as they play a crucial role in ensuring that products are accurately identified and delivered to customers. Today, SKUs are an integral part of many business operations, and their use continues to grow and evolve as technology and the needs of companies change.

Related Terms

Product Matrix