SKUs or Store Keeping Units are unique identifiers that enable customers to find the exact products they need. Without SKUs, customers can end up purchasing the wrong product, particularly if you offer a lot of variations in your shop.
WooCommerce can assign SKUs to your products. However, the plugin doesn’t enable users to search by SKU. To enable WooCommerce to search by SKU, you’ll need to use a plugin such as Wholesale Order Form.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the concept of SKUs and why you should be using them in your store. Then we’ll show you how to enable WooCommerce to search by SKU using Wholesale Order Form. Let’s get to it!
What Is a SKU (And Why You Should Use Them)?
An SKU is a simple identifier that enables both you and your customers to differentiate products. Let’s say, for example, you sell multiple types of beanies:
When products are so similar to one another, customers might end up adding the wrong option to their carts. If they use the search bar to find what they’re looking for, using the wrong terms also means they won’t get the results they want.
Product names should tell customers exactly what they’re buying. However, names can lead to mistakes. Numbers, on the other hand, don’t lie. If you use SKUs, you can assign both of those beanies unique identifiers that customers will be able to look for.
Traditionally, SKUs are combinations of numbers and letters. Most stores use SKUs that look like this:
In that example, the first part of the SKU tells you the product category, the second refers to the specific item you’re buying, the third signals specific variations, and the fourth is the manufacturer’s code. The larger your store’s inventory is, the more detailed your SKUs will be.
That is just an example of what an SKU can look like. In practice, there’s no universal system for assigning SKUs. More importantly, WooCommerce enables you to create and assign SKUs using any system you want.
How to Assign SKUs in WooCommerce
WooCommerce makes it easy to assign SKUs to any of your products. To do so, go to Products > All Products and select the product you want to add an SKU to. Open the product editor and scroll down to the Product Data widget.
Go to the Product data > Inventory tab and look for the SKU field at the top. For this example, we went ahead and added an SKU of our own. However, the SKU field should be empty by default:
As we mentioned before, WooCommerce enables you to add any type of SKU that you want. That means you can develop your own system and as long as each SKU is unique, you shouldn’t run into any issues.
Once you select an SKU and save the changes to the product, that code will appear when users browse its store page:
Making sure that product SKUs are visible is key. With a visible SKU code, wholesale customers will be able to take note of it and save it in their files. By knowing the SKU for every product they buy, they can ensure that they don’t order the wrong items by mistake.
However, that only works if you enable WooCommerce to search by SKU. To make that possible, you’ll need to use a plugin such as Wholesale Order Form.
How to Enable WooCommerce to Search by SKU Using Wholesale Order Form
Wholesale Order Form is a plugin that adds a wholesale-friendly order form or store page to your website (and it’s part of Wholesale Suite). Customers can use that new wholesale order form to add products to their carts in bulk, see SKUs at a glance, check if there’s available stock, and more.
With Wholesale Order Form, customers will also be able to search by SKU in WooCommerce:
Wholesale customers will be able to search products either by name or SKU and filter them by category. To set up your order form, you’ll need to install and activate Wholesale Order Form.
Once the plugin is active, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Wholesale Ordering > General. Look under the General Options section and find the options that read Show Product SKU? and Allow Product SKU Search?. Enable both of them:
Once you turn on both settings, you can go ahead and finish configuring your wholesale order form. After you’re happy with its configuration, go to the Help tab and click on Create Wholesale Page to generate the form. Now customers will be able to search by SKU and shop from your wholesale order form.
If you sell lots of similar products, customers may make the occasional mistake and order the wrong one. Wholesale customers like using SKUs precisely for that reason. They can save the SKUs for the products they know they’ll need to re-order and search your store for them.
Although WooCommerce enables you to add SKUs easily, the plugin doesn’t offer a feature for letting customers search your catalog using the codes. If you want to add that functionality to your store, we recommend using Wholesale Order Form.
Do you have any questions about how to configure WooCommerce to search by SKU? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!