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Adding Product SKUs

SKUs, or stock keeping units, are a code you can assign to products and variants of a product in order to track inventory. With BigCommerce, you can attach SKUs to the base product as well as assign SKUs to each variation of your product options.

In addition to being creatable in the control panel, SKUs and SKU-specific product data can also be imported via CSV file. See Importing Product SKUs for more information.

Using the popular example of color and size, your SKUs might look something like this:

Red, small shirtRS100
Red, large shirtRL100
Blue, small shirtBS100
Blue, large shirtBL100

Assigning SKUs to a Base Product

1. To assign SKUs to the base product only, go to ProductsView.

2. Click the name of the product to edit it.

3. Enter the SKU in the SKU/Product Code field. This is located under the Product Details tab.

4. Save your changes.

Assigning SKUs to Variants

To assign a different SKU to each product variation, you will first need to add the product options to your product. SKUs can be created for the following option types:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Swatch
  • Multiple choice
  • Product pick list
  • Checkbox

Once your product has options assigned, you can assign the SKUs using either of the following methods:

If you haven't yet created your options and want to do so manually in bulk, you can also assign SKUs in the same process. See Importing Product SKUs for more details.

Using the Auto-SKU Generator

The Auto-SKU generator is a built-in BigCommerce tool that will calculate every possible variant based on the product options assigned to your product, then assign a SKU to each variant. The Auto-SKU generator will create SKUs based on the following option types. If your product contains option types not listed here, you may need to use a different method.

  • Color
  • Size
  • Swatch
  • Multiple choice
  • Product pick list

All options must be marked as 'required'. This setting can be altered by editing the Option Set.

1. Edit your product and go to the Options tab.

2. Click the SKUs button to the left.

3. Click Generate SKUs. A pop-up will appear.

4. In the pop-up box, change any preferred settings, then click Generate SKUs. The pop-up will close and the Auto-SKU Generator will create SKUs for each product variant. They will be saved automatically.

Auto-SKU Generator

To quickly generate SKUs but use your own codes, use the Auto-SKU generator, then export the product. The variants will then be pre-arranged, and you only have to change the SKU listed under the Product Code column. Learn more about The Auto-SKU Generator.

Assigning SKUs Individually

Assigning SKUs individually is a simple process that we recommend if you only have a few SKUs that you need to create. This process lets you decide on your own SKU name rather than generating it for you.

1. Edit your product and go to the Options tab.

2. Click the SKUs button to the left.

3. Click Create a SKU. A pop-up will appear.

Create a SKU popup

4. Fill out the following information. You will need to complete this again for each combination.

  • SKU (required) — product code for the variant
  • UPC/EAN — variant's UPC or EAN
  • Cost — variant cost; used for accounting
  • Price — Use if you want this SKU to have a different price from the base product. It will be the new base price before any price change rules or discounts are applied.
  • Options for this SKU (required) — Select the values that should be attributed to this SKU. These are populated from the associated options.
  • Image
  • Weight — Use if you want this SKU to have a different weight from your base product. It will be applied as the base weight before any rule-related changes. This is used in real-time shipping quote calculations if enabled/offered.
  • Width, Height & Depth — physical dimensions for the SKU; used in real-time shipping quote calculations if enabled/offered. These fields can also be updated in bulk using Importing Product SKUs.
  • BPN — Bin Picking Number; used for warehouse organization/logistics
  • MPN — Manufacturer Part Number
  • Enabled — Check if this SKU is purchasable by your customers. If unchecked, you can set an optional, custom Purchasing Disabled Message.
If you have ShipperHQ enabled, you can also use the following ShipperHQ-specific fields.
  • Shipping Groups — offer different shipping options based on the product being purchased
  • Origin Locations — specify an origin location if you ship from more than one
  • Dimensional Rules — typically used for products which are packed in a different way, or separately from the rest of your products

For Options for this SKU, you will see the Options you've added to this product's Option Set.

  1. Click the plus (+) sign next to each option.
  2. Select the appropriate value from each option.

Options for this SKU

For example, if you are creating the SKU for a variant that is large and black, you would select L from the Size Option and Black from the Color (Swatch) Option.

5. Click Save & Close when finished. This will save the SKU, so you will not have to save again on the product page unless you make additional changes.

Tracking Inventory

Inventory-tracking in BigCommerce requires any product being tracked to have a SKU, either on the base product or on its options. If you are only tracking the base product, you will need a base product SKU. If you are tracking the options, you will need SKUs for the variants.

To set up inventory tracking, follow the steps below.

1. Go to ProductsView, and edit the product you wish to track inventory for.

2. Go to the Inventory tab.

3. Select Track inventory for this product to track inventory for the base product. Select Track inventory by options to track the individual variants. You will be asked to fill out the current stock level and the low stock level (at which you will be notified to restock).

You can edit SKU inventory under ProductsView. Click the plus sign (+) next to your product name, and the variants will drop down and allow you to enter the stock level.



Can I use special characters (e.g. @, #, $, %) in SKUs?

Yes. However, storefront search does not recognize special characters in search strings. If your customers search by partial SKU match, we recommend avoiding using special characters in SKUs.

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