What is the difference between a SKU and a UPC code? It is a frequently asked question; a SKU is known as a Stock Keeping Unit and is an internal tracking metric for retailers. A SKU number helps retailers keep track of their sales data and unique items associated with the manufacturer’s UPC code.
A UPC code is accepted globally for that product, while a SKU number is internal and created by a specific brand or retailer. It helps them to accurately monitor inventory in that store. Some items, while the same product, may come in different colors and sizes. They will all have different barcodes, but a retailer can assign a SKU for that product type to keep track of all the barcodes associated with that item.
For example, a pair of shoes that a retailer sells can have a different UPC for every color and size variation, and to properly track all the various UPCs, the retailer creates one unique SKU number. Two retailers can sell the same item with the same UPC codes, but they will both use their own SKU number.