To cope up with the increasing demand for online business, the current situations, and the urge to reach multiple audiences, are increasing the demand for e-commerce websites. As an e-commerce website owner, you are going to face many data discrepancies and you will need to perform many tedious manual tasks.
Luckily, PIM – Product Information Management software is there for you to take care of your digital era and helps you in overcoming challenges of lower efficiency due to mismanaged data.
What is the Product Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) & Its Importance?
SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit and is a barcode or code, which is generally a combination of alphanumeric numbers. It is a scan-able barcode or code that is usually present on products. The purpose of this barcode is to differentiate products from each other and identify the product’s specific characteristics. The SKU code is generated with the help of different product variations that you offer on your online business platform.
SKU is important because with this code you can easily track down the inventory present with you. You can precisely know the amount of inventory left with you to sell. With SKU you can identify the inventory shrinkage- the unsellable items in your inventory.
At any point in time, you can know the number of products available in your hand. As SKU has information on the individual variations of products; you can learn which variants are boosting your profit. Thus, SKU gives you transparency and lets you know the information that you should know related to inventory.
Advantages of Using Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) for Your Business
1. Inventory management
SKU is one of the important and successful attributes for managing inventory. With SKU, you can manage the current inventory and state of your inventory. So when it’s time to restock, without being in a panic situation or doing it spontaneously, you can restock well in advance without going through any troubles.
For an eCommerce business, real-time restocking is very necessary; as you can’t keep your loyal customers waiting for their favorite products. If you do any delay in restocking, you will face customer’s frustrations and you might lose some customers. Why be careless when you can manage the exact amount of stock with SKU.
2. Optimized selling process
When you properly assign your variants with SKU, then you are also streamlining your sales, maximizing profit, and delivering a better customer experience. God forbid, if ever there is a situation when you are out of stock and are unable to deliver the right products to the customer, then in that situation, SKU will inform your customer and offer them alternatives.
Whenever a new order has been placed in your eCommerce platform, the system will display product SKU and you can locate the items in order management. This will free you from mismanagement and you will never lose track of new orders.
3. More insights on buyers’ behavior
SKU management will let you analyze the sales and will give you visual insights into your inventory flow. With the results of analysis and visualization; you will get a clear understanding of the products and product variants that are most popular amongst your loyal customers.
When you have better and more insights on buyer’s behavior, then you know which products are letting you make more profit. You can know which the latest trends that your buyers follow are and you can take advantage of insight to earn more profit.
4. Improved warehouse accuracy
Managing warehouse operations cost an arm and a leg. With SKU, you can increase the productivity of the warehouse and optimize your warehouse. When you have a transparent SKU system, you are also eliminating the chances of human errors, which usually take place while performing manual warehouse management.
With proper SKU, you have automated workflow management, through automated reports of the warehouse; you can reduce the chance of inaccuracy in warehouse operations. You have a complete picture and complete control over your warehouse management. You will have rightful information of mislabeled, damaged, or out-of-stock products.
5. Enhanced logistics
Third-party logistic services are confusing and there are high chances of error in that. SKU will let you identify and locate the products real quick so there won’t be any delay or confusion. With SKU you can analyze your customer’s profile and identify sales. When you have insights into a customer’s profile and their buying preference then with the help of SKU, you can make their preferred products available to their nearer warehouse.
In this way, you are increasing your sales by targeting the audience in the right direction and without putting in any additional effort. This will boost up your revenue, and ultimately your customers will have their favorite products.
Effective Management of Product Stock Keeping Data (SKU)
To sort products, to identify the products, and to have better management of inventory; you need SKU. The management of SKU is quite simple if you know the tactics. You can efficiently and effectively manage SKU with the below-given tactics.
Deciding Product Attributes
This is very important as it is essential for SKU. To decide attributes you don’t need to follow and the traditional method, you can create your own attributes that reflect your business. Based on the specification of your business, create attributes for SKU codes and prioritize them. Keep your brand name at the beginning of the code and put on additional variant information at the end of the code.
Create a Framework
Ensure that when you are creating SKU, to manage it successfully in the upcoming future create a pattern and follow it. This framework will give you a simple and easy-to-understand pattern. For SKU product patterns, ensure that you are considering all the important features of the product. When new features are added to the product, you can update those new features in SKU management.
When inventory expands, you don’t want to create a whole new SKU management system. Your primary goal would be to let new inventory manage itself in SKU management. Thus, while creating SKU architecture ensure that it is useful when new inventory is added. To develop this type of SKU, you can consider the factor of your current inventory and your upcoming plan of expanded inventory.
Testing and Improving
As a human, we are bound to make mistakes thus it is wise to test the accuracy and efficiency of SKU system. If in the test you find any drawbacks you can improve it before putting it forward. You constantly need to monitor the system and make the most from it.
Best Practices to Follow for Better SKU Management
For better management of your product Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), you should keep practicing the below-listed procedures.
Make SKU easy to understand
The purpose of SKU is to sort and identify the product, for this, you need to pay attention to product variants. Don’t just jumble with numbers as it will lead you to confusion. Make SKU easy to understand and easy to interpret. Your SKU holds a clear description of variants, when you keep it as simple as possible; it would be easy to understand.
Arrange words in accordance with the importance
There are many ways to define the product, but there are few to define the product in accordance with its importance. Learn the most important attributes of the product, and create SKU with the highest importance attributes at first then followed by least important attributes.
Avoid using letters that resemble numbers
Another important thing to take care of is avoiding letters that resemble numbers. This will create confusion as some letters- numbers like O and 0 both resemble each other. Your primary goal is to differentiate the products; you can’t afford to have confusion that creates mismanagement.
How Pimcore’s PIM Manages Millions of SKUs?
Many product information management platforms are available in the market but most of them come with a considerable licensing cost. Pimcore is an open-source platform so it comes with zero licensing cost. Moreover, it enables you with all the advanced features and functionality that are required to manage your millions of product SKUs effectively in a centralized repository.
Managing the SKU system is one thing and managing SKU with Pimcore’s PIM managers is something entirely different. PIM does not care if you have one product or millions of products as it can take care of millions of SKU and product’s internal relationship. As stated earlier, in an eCommerce business you are going to have data discrepancies, which will bring down your overall productivity. Repetitive manual tasks and those also associated with irrelevant data will lower your working efficiency, will reduce sales, and will have more losses than profits.
If your current product information system is not sufficient enough to take care of automated and relevant data then in no time your business will fall without you knowing. The incapability of your current product information tool can lead you to nightmares that you don’t want to be in. Why not go for a PIM system that takes care of millions of SKU management and lets you work flawlessly.
1. Enter PIM automation
When millions of products and their orders are managed manually, there are high chances of inefficiency, mismanagement of orders, more time consumption, less productivity, and massive losses. Tracking inventory, getting insights into product patterns, and getting insight into customer behavior is quite tricky. With a manual process, there is a lot to digest than you can chew.
Pimcore’s PIM software lets you store the entire product’s related relevant information to one single central platform. It does not matter what is the size of your SKU, PIM is going to store all product-related descriptions, SKU information throughout a single platform so that you have consistent, relevant, complete product information. With this software, you can have an automation system that works independently.
2. Organize SKU with Data Model
Pimcore’s PIM has the capability of managing data from anywhere and also you can easily access your stored SKU. Throughout the entire product life cycle, you can get access to product SKU whenever you want. Millions of products will have thousands of attributes; their management is quite easy with PIM.
PIM lets you connect with data and with SKU effortlessly and that too in real-time. You don’t need to wait for hours to get rightful information by your side. There would be many hierarchies of various products and though you don’t need to worry as there are no chances of data duplication.
3. Connect with ERP
The connection of ERP with Webshop is another hurdle itself. You deserve to have seamless and convenient access to millions of SKUs, you need to have a system that makes automatic changes in specific product prices, can eliminate expired data on its own, and offer personalized services to customers. These factors will give rise to a better customer experience.
Pimcore can easily integrate with any of your existing software and can manage the website in one single central platform. Integration of PIM and ERP will let you have multiple automated changes and will let you send product information seamlessly and in real-time.
4. PIM takes care of Large Product Catalog
In the Inventory management system and the warehouse management system one of the prominent challenges is taking care of a large product catalog. In a larger product catalog, it is quite difficult to find relevant information in a short time; you need to go against the page loading time and data governance.
PIM tool is a highly intuitive, scalable, and responsive platform. It has one of the greatest features of taking care of a large product catalog. Though it has the capability of upholding information of large product catalogs, it still provides real-time syncing of product information through the multi sales channels.
To know more about how Pimcore’s PIM manages the product SKUs, visit Pimcore’s Product Information Management: How to manage millions of product SKUs through PIM?
You are bound to make blunders if you opt to work on a manual basis without the helping hand of the PIM tool. PIM in general makes your working pattern more efficient, lets you work with maximum profitability, and lets you perform better. It ensures that your internal operations will never have any conflict between them, because of data discrepancies.