What does SKU stand for?

In our world, the realm of retail and inventory management, SKU is a commonly used acronym that stands for Stock Keeping Unit. SKUs play a pivotal role in tracking, managing, and selling products efficiently. Most shopping carts, marketplaces and logistics partners will use the term SKU and SKU code to identify your products.

Definition of SKU
A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique alphanumeric code or number assigned to a specific product or item within a retailer's inventory. It serves as a distinct identifier, allowing for the identification, classification, and tracking of individual products. SKUs are integral to inventory management, as they enable our client's businesses to monitor stock levels, facilitate accurate order fulfilment, and track sales data.

What are the purpose of SKUs?

Product Identification: SKUs are primarily used to differentiate and identify various products in a retailer's inventory. Each SKU represents a specific variant of a product, such as size, colour, or packaging.

Inventory Management: SKUs enable businesses online and offline to effectively manage their inventory by providing a unique code for each product. This allows for accurate tracking of stock levels, optimising replenishment, and reducing the risk of stockouts or overstocking. All live on our online tools when you work with us via a RAG status and with full reporting.

Order Fulfilment: By associating SKUs with specific products, retailers can easily locate and pick the correct items for customer orders. This streamlines the fulfilment process and reduces errors in shipping. You will be able to marry up your SKUs with your sales channels and our warehouse tools improving the accuracy of all processes involved.

Sales and Analytics: SKUs play a crucial role in generating sales data and analytics. By analysing SKU-level data, businesses can gain insights into product performance, identify popular or underperforming items, and make informed decisions regarding pricing, promotions, and inventory allocation.

SKU Format and Components

The format of an SKU can vary depending on the website platform, retailer or industry. However, it typically consists of alphanumeric characters, and its structure may include the following components:

Product Identifier: A unique identifier that distinguishes the product from others in the inventory. It can be a number or a combination of letters and numbers.

Product Attributes: Additional information about the product, such as size, colour, style, or packaging type, which helps differentiate between various variants.

Brand or Manufacturer Code: In some cases, the SKU may incorporate a code specific to the brand or manufacturer, aiding in supplier management and brand identification.

Keeping it simple and efficient.

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Any size of consignment, anywhere in the world.

Our teams work with all packing suppliers as well as the National Couriers, Royal Mail and Pallet Networks all day every day. Talk to them about how to ship your orders securely and efficiently.


Over the years we have stored and processed e-commerce and wholesale orders for most industry sectors.
We are the chosen Distribution Centre, 3PL Logistics and Ecommerce Fulfilment Service Partner for hundreds of clients.  We specialise in fast-moving items from Small and Light to Two-Man lift products.

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Talk to us about your Returns processing and FBA stock preparation.
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Application of SKUs

Retail and E-commerce: Retailers utilise SKUs extensively to manage their inventory, streamline order fulfilment, and gain insights into product performance. E-commerce platforms often generate and assign SKUs automatically based on product attributes.

Supply Chain Management: SKUs play a vital role in supply chain management, enabling efficient tracking of products from manufacturers to distributors and retailers. They assist in inventory replenishment and demand forecasting.

Manufacturing and Production: Manufacturers utilise SKUs to track raw materials, components, and finished goods within their production process. This helps optimise production schedules and facilitates quality control.

Warehouse Management: SKUs are instrumental in organising and locating products within a warehouse. Warehouse staff can use SKUs to quickly identify specific items and manage inventory efficiently.

Simplicity in Process.
All in the Preparation.

One of the great benefits of pre-prepping your products with SKU specific barcode labels and in postage ready packaging means very quick turn around from orders appearing on our system to being turned around and sent out the door to your customers.

As part of our contract packing and kit build Team, this is something we have helped facilitate for a number of our clients. We process orders for multi-site retailers, FBA and to help support your own sales channels.

Free API Integrations for all your Shopping and Courier Channels


SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit and is a unique identifier assigned to individual products or items within a retailer's inventory. SKUs are essential for accurate inventory management, efficient order fulfilment, and data-driven decision-making. By utilising SKUs, our clients streamline their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and gain valuable insights into their product performance and inventory.

Keeping them in control of complex variants like specifications, colours, size and product type. Together we can work together to help you manage your SKUs and all the complexities they bring.


Your 3PL Ecommerce Fulfilment, Distribution Centre and Contract Packing partner. Planned, Integrated, Packed and Delivered.

T: 01242 802140


CBF Fulfilment
1-11 Alvin Street

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