There are a few key things to know about the difference between UPC and SKU codes for your product inventory. Universal Product Codes (UPC) are the 12-digit numbers that identify products at retail stores. Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are used by businesses to track inventory and are usually assigned by the business owner. UPCs are unique to each product, while SKUs can be shared among products.
What is UPC ?
UPC, or Universal Product Code, is the standard barcode symbology used in the United States and Canada for tracking trade items in stores. A UPC code consists of 12 numerical digits that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. The first six digits of a UPC code are known as the manufacturer identification number, while the last six digits are known as the product identification number.
The UPC code was first introduced in 1973 by George J. Laurer, an engineer at IBM. At the time, IBM was working on a project for the supermarket industry to develop a standard system for electronically tracking inventory. The UPC code was designed to be read by optical scanners, which were then newly invented devices. Laurer’s design was based on previous work on barcodes, such as those used on railroad cars.
What is SKU?
SKU is an acronym for “stock keeping unit,” and is a unique identifier for each distinct product or item in your inventory. SKUs can be numbers, letters, or a combination of both. You will need to assign a SKU to every product you sell in order to track inventory levels and reorder when necessary.
When customers place orders, they often reference the SKU rather than the product name. This is because the SKU is a more specific identifier that ensures the right product is being ordered. In some cases, two products may have the same name but be different sizes or colors, so the SKU helps to avoid any confusion.
You can also use SKUs to group similar products together. For example, all products in your winter collection could have the same first three letters in their SKU (e.g.
Main differences between UPC and SKU
When it comes to product identification, there are two main types of codes: UPC and SKU. Both are used to track inventory and help with marketing, but there are some key differences between the two.
UPC codes, or Universal Product Codes, are 12-digit numbers that are unique to each product. They can be found on the barcode labels of most products. SKU codes, or Stock Keeping Units, are also unique codes that are used to identify products. However, SKU codes can be any length and often include letters and numbers.
One of the main differences between UPC and SKU codes is how they are used. UPC codes are mainly used for tracking inventory and for scanning at the point of sale. SKU codes, on the other hand, are primarily used for marketing purposes.
Similar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the difference between a product and an SKU?
When it comes to product barcodes, there are two main types: UPC and SKU. Though they both serve the same purpose of uniquely identifying a product, there are some key differences between the two.
UPC codes are used for products that are sold in retail stores. The code is made up of 12 digits, with the first 6 being reserved for the manufacturer and the last 6 for the specific product. SKUs, on the other hand, are used more by businesses and can be any length. They typically include a combination of letters and numbers that help identify not only the product, but also things like size, color, or other variations.
So when it comes to deciding which type of code to use for your products, it really depends on where they will be sold. If they will be in retail stores, then you’ll need a UPC code.
In conclusion,the main difference between a UPC and SKU is that a UPC is a code used to identify a product, while a SKU is a code used to track inventory. While both are important in their own ways, it is clear that they serve different purposes.
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