In this lesson, you will learn:
- What a SKU is
- How to manually create a SKU
- How to use the automatic SKU generator
- Track inventory using your SKUs
- Where to adjust inventory settings

So you’ve created your first product and even added Options to that product. Great start. But what about tracking inventory on each Option? You don’t want to set an inventory of one hundred on your T-Shirt product when you may have 10 small blue shirts, 10 medium white shirts, 10 large grey shirts, in that product. You want to track inventory on each size/color combination. To do this, you will track inventory “by Options”. But first, you’ll need to create a SKU for each option combination.
SKU stands for “Stock Keeping Unit”, which is like an “ID” for each product. Designating a SKU will allow store owners to track inventory on a product’s option combinations.
To create a SKU for each option, let’s head to the Products area of our Control Panel. I’ll go to Products in the navigation, and then click View. Select the product you wish to create SKUs for. I am selecting my T-Shirt by clicking the Title, here. Remember, you must have applied an Option Set to this product in order to create SKUs. Once we’re in the Product, we’ll click on the Options tab along the top. You should have an Option applied, here. You’ll know an Option Set is applied if you see two tabs present to the left, SKUs and Rules. Let’s click on the SKUs tab. You could manually create SKUs one-by-one for each Option combination by clicking the “Create a SKU” button.
But Bigcommerce offers this nifty SKU Generator that will automatically create the SKUs for you. Let me show you how to manually create SKUs. Click the Create a SKU button and a pop up window appears. At the bottom of this popup window you’ll see the options in this product’s option set. I like to start off with my very first Option values. Click the plus sign next to your first Option. In my case it’s Size. I see Small is our first Option under size, and Navy Blue is our first option under color. Check these two off and we’ll be creating a SKU for our Small Navy Blue T-Shirt. Back at the top I will begin naming this SKU. I like to use the name of my product and the options I’m selecting for this particular SKU. This helps me know what product I’m looking at when I’m just viewing a long list of SKUs without product names or photos, but feel free to use whatever works for you. Click Save and Close and you’ll see we have created our
first SKU.
This SKU represents the Navy Blue T-shirt in Size small. We can continue creating manual SKUs for each option combination on this T-Shirt, but let me show you how cool our SKU generator is. I’ll delete this current SKU so I can generate them all.
This time I will click Generate SKUs. I get a pop up window with two values present for Fixed Text and Unique ID. These are the rules my SKU will be created from. Based on these values my SKUs would simply read “SKU” and a randomly generated number.
Tough to know exactly what the product is, if I was looking at a long list of SKUs. I will change the default values so my SKUs are generated with different information. I will change my Fixed Text to an abbreviation of the product name. Let’s use “BCTSHIRT”.
Then I will delete Unique ID by clicking here, and click the Plus sign to add a different value. Here I want to use the product’s “Size” in the SKU. These values are pulling from the option set applied to this product. I will have to decide how many letters I’d like to use from the Size names. The first two letters of each option name will give me enough information in my SKU to know which size this SKU represents. I hit the plus sign again and I will choose to use the product’s Color in the SKU, as well. For color I’ll use the first 3 letters of each color option. That should be enough to tell me, the store owner, what option combination this SKU represents. Click Generate and we see all of our SKUs created in an instant. You see here my small navy blue shirt, or we have our Extra Large navy blue. Now I see these shirts used the first 3 letters of my color
“Bigcommerce Blue” if you need to adjust any SKUs simply drop down the action wheel and edit your SKU. Much faster than manually creating all of your SKUs!
Now, in order to track inventory on each SKU there is one more step to perform.
Let’s look to the top tabs once more, and click on the Inventory tab. Select the last option that reads ”Track Inventory by Options”.We’re taken back to the View Products page. Let’s Click Save and Close. You should now notice a plus sign to the left of your product. Click the plus sign and see the inventory fields for all of our new SKUs. Let’s fill out these fields accordingly, based on how many of these items we have in stock.
The Low Stock Level field is recommended, because it tells the system to send you an email alert when you reach that low level of inventory for that product. This helps you plan your inventory accordingly, by ordering more product before your store runs out. If you need to adjust any of your inventory settings you’ll find them in the Settings menu, under the Advanced Settings section. Just click this link, “Inventory”. Now that we’ve successfully created SKUs we can begin creating any Rules we might need. Join me in the next video to learn all about Product Rules!