SKU versus UPC

While many users do not know the exact meaning of “SKU” and “UPC” mutually, they have separate meanings among small company owners and employees. Quickly, SKU products are physical product catalog codes individual to a special company, while UPC barcodes are outside products following standard universal codes use by all companies. SKU and UPCs are complex but have several of the same techniques and best works.

Here, we will go through each one separately, and compare these two options together.

Understanding and Using SKU Codes

SKU products (brief of “stock keeping unit,” and said “skew”) are alphanumeric principles applied by businesses to follow pieces of products in catalog and goods sold. Some believe that SKUs are codes allocated to a company’s billable items.

All companies can select their SKU products. SKU numbers are different from assigned product models by companies. Still, some groups sometimes add model number data in their SKUs for classifying objects.

Mostly, warehouses, marketplaces, fulfillment clubs, records, and eCommerce sites use SKUs. For instance, Amazon orders its products with a special 10-character Amazon SKU product, identified as an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). ASINs are different from business model products and SKU numbers applied by different agents in Amazon’s supply series.

Characters in SKU products can describe data like business, color, size, cost, or warehouse place. But, if you decide to collect too much data into an SKU product, it will become hard and complex, forming a higher risk of data note error or preparation and transportation error. Administer SKUs to less than 12 characters. Rather than working with a long SKU code packed with product features, you can save lots of items for product names and records.

Knowing and Working with UPC Codes

UPC barcodes (brief of Universal Product Codes) were founded in 1974 to assist marketers to track business items. UPCs are scalar codes that hold 12 digits. Imagine going to a grocery checkout lane; you will see the barcodes on the clerk scan that are UPCs.

UPCs are controlled and maintained by GS1 US, the American subsidiary of a worldwide organization GS1 (previously named the Uniform Code Council). If a UPC becomes committed to an outcome, it continues steadily for that result during the product’s shelf life. A product holds the equivalent UPC even if various retailers sell it.

Let’s talk about a kind of blueberries as an example. Here, all cartons of those blueberries, despite the specific market store that trades them, will hold the equivalent UPC.

If you are marketing outcomes for different nations, you might want to apply a special 13-digit account of a UPC named an International Article Number (IAN) or European Article Number (EAN). Sometimes, you might not be sure about the appropriate code for a distinct country; it is good to check it with your retailer.

SKU vs. UPC: Similarities and Differences

SKU products are different for different retailers, while UPC barcodes are applied globally and continue for an outcome no concern what retailer wants to sell it regularly. Based on this idea, while one special product retains one UPC, it can hold several SKU numbers from different companies.

The next contrast between SKU numbers and UPC barcodes is that we use alphanumerics for SKU codes, while UPC barcodes are scalar. UPC barcodes have to be about 12 digits, while you can choose SKU products in which length you want as a company. While you have to administer UPC barcodes by GS1, companies that use SKU numbers internally can create them. Corporations can easily create their SKU codes, while you have to buy and license UPC barcode products.

Today, business software app providers plan to design systems to combine SKU and UPC scanning by digital record tracking. They want to make using SKUs and UPCs more comfortable and more efficient. For example, QuickBooks Enterprise holds an Advanced Inventory form that combines barcode data with QuickBooks, allowing businesses to keep time.

No different what solution you choose for reliable inventory management; you have to know about the main differences between UPCs and SKUs.


While many customers do not know the difference between UPC and SKU, they are different. Read the above text to understand more about what each item stands for.

What's your reaction?

Waste of time

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in:Business