What exactly is a SKU?
A SKU is a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) that is essentially a product code. Every item you stock in our warehouse to sell must have a SKU. This makes the item both easily identifiable and guarantees that it has a specific and unique home in our warehouse. Upon creating a product within ShipMonk, you’ll be prompted to include a product SKU and a product name. The easiest thing for you to do is to retain your original marketplace SKUs and product names.
If you're confused about the difference, just remember:
- the product name is exactly how the product appears in your shop
- a SKU can be an abbreviation
Here’s an example:
- Product name: Blueberry candle card
- Product SKU: BLUBRY _CC
Just like it sounds, a bundle is a group of multiple items sold together. There are two types of bundles:
- multiples of the same SKU
- multiples of different SKUs
When your product calls for multiples of the same SKU, this is referred to as a multi-pack unit. Here’s an example: Let's say that you’re successfully selling one lime green dinosaur pillow in your shop, but you’ve decided that you’d also like to sell three pillows together as a pack.
First, you would create a separate name and SKU your the shop for your product:
- Product name: Lime Green Dinosaur Pillow – 3 Pack
- Product SKU: LIMDINOPIL_3PK
Then you’d link this newly created product in your marketplace to the individual SKU (lime green dinosaur pillow) in ShipMonk and update the quantity to “3.”
This way, when someone places an order for the “3 Pack,” the warehouse will make sure that your customer receives the correct quantity of the item they’ve purchased.
Make sense? Yes, we know—lime green dinosaur pillows sound way too awesome so we’ll bet you just searched Google to see if they exist. (They do!)
How about multiples of different SKUs?
It works the same way. You’ll create the “product” (the collection of various SKUs) in your marketplace. Then you’ll need to make sure that each of the items included are mapped within ShipMonk to that marketplace product.
Sticking with those awesome dinosaur pillows:
Let's say you want to sell a “Super Pillow Bundle” which includes a Lime Green Dino Pillow, a Chartreuse Dino Pillow, and a Periwinkle Dino Pillow. You’ll map each separate pillow SKU in ShipMonk to the "Super Pillow Bundle" product in your store.
New scenario: Same SKU, but not packaged together
What happens when products arrive in inventory under the same SKU but are not packaged together? For instance, let's say that you offer a product marketed as having two spoons:
- one small spoon and one large spoon.
However, the product arrives at our warehouse and is received into inventory as two spoons with just one SKU:
Guess what? Both small and large spoons are going to end up in the same bin, and your customers will end up with only one spoon of either size instead of a two-pack. Oops.
You don't want this to happen, so just make sure you create a SKU for each and every product that you want to be included in the ASN (the Advanced Shipping Notice regarding pending deliveries) before it’s received by our warehouse.
If for some reason this system doesn’t work for you...
You still have the option to elect for ShipMonk to schedule your bundle setup as a special project. For this, you’ll be charged in increments of 15 minutes for however long it takes us to package your SKUs for you.
So, that's it! Now you know all about SKUs, bundles, multi-pack units, and what can happen when your products arrive separately or together.
And always remember:
SKUs are your friend—and so is your Happiness Engineer. So if you have any trouble at all, just send us an email or get us on the phone, and we’ll walk you through it!