Using SKU Codes in Shopify for Internal Inventory Control


Keeping track of inventory in a retail setting becomes more complicated as a business grows. Therefore, if you are having trouble with internal inventory control due to sales volume, it is a good problem to have. You can take a step toward rectifying matters by instituting a system of SKU codes for your Shopify store that would certainly make your life easier.

Also known as ‘stock keeping units’, SKU codes are unique strings of letters, numbers and characters used for internal inventory purposes. The word ‘internal’ is the key operating word here. SKU codes are intended to track inventory only within your organization. They are NOT Universal product codes (UPC) created by manufacturers.

Implementing SKU codes in Shopify

The hardest part of implementing SKU codes in Shopify is actually coming up with them. The best way to do this is to devise a system that is easily recognized and understood by staff members. Keep in mind that SKU codes do not require any specialized equipment to read. Any staff member should be able to understand a code just by reading it.

Let’s say you are preparing to introduce a plastic, 2-litre mixing bowl from the Acme Kitchen Company. Your new SKU code might look something like this: AKC-MB-P-2L. Any staff member who understands the system would immediately recognize what product the code refers to on sight. The code is assigned to every identical mixing bowl in your inventory.

On the Products page of the Shopify admin is where you will find the option to enter new products. You will enter common data like Title, Description, and Pricing. Scroll down the page until you find the SKU box; enter your code in this box and save your settings. That’s all there is to it. If you want your SKU codes to be visible to your customers, you can implement that function with a little bit of code and copying and pasting.

Making SKU Codes Visible

According to the official Shopify documentation, you can make SKU codes visible in your store by editing the theme you are working with. The process is as follows:

  1. From the admin page, navigate to Online Store>Themes. Click the ‘Edit HTML/CSS’ link next to the theme you want to modify.
  2. In the Templates folder, open the product.liquid file in the embedded code editor.
  3. Copy the text at the end of this line and paste it into the product.liquid file wherever you want the SKU code to appear, like under the title for example. Code:

  4. <span class="variant-sku"></span>

  5. Press Ctrl+F to search the document for the selectCallback function, then copy the code below and paste it under the selectCallback line. Then click the ‘Save’ button to save the changes and you’re done.


if (variant) {
else {

Now you and your customers should be able to see SKU codes on all your product pages. This will help your customers more easily identify products they might have specific questions about.

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