SKUs and Barcodes

A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique ID for each individual product you're selling.

Generally, you will already have a SKU system set up, but if not, you will need to do so prior to getting set up with Whiplash. If your product has an official UPC, you should use that for your SKU instead of creating one.  


Let's say you've got a shirt called 'Bird on a Wire' that comes in red and black, men's and women's, sizes S-XL. That's a total of 16 SKUs. A good way to create them is like so:


So your 16 SKUs might be:

For each SKU, you also need to enter a title, such as 'Bird on a Wire T-Shirt', and a Description ('Mens Medium'). Creating unique SKUs that hold to a pattern will make your life much simpler as your business grows!

Barcodes and Scancodes

A barcode is a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths.

A scancode is a number or group of digits assigned from the barcode.

Everything in a Whiplash facility needs a barcode to maintain accuracy and keep track of your inventory. Each item has a barcode and accompanying scancode associated with it.

  1. If product has a barcode printed on it, that is assigned in Whiplash as its scancode.
  2. If product doesn't have a printed barcode on it but does have a SKU, we'll assign the SKU as the product’s scancode in Whiplash, and attach barcode stickers for a feeNote that Whiplash generated barcodes are not UPC codes.  UPC codes must be purchased from a UPC vendor.

Required barcode formats

We support a broad range of barcodes, including but not limited to:

Duplicate SKUs

If two of these methods overlap, or if you sell on multiple commerce platforms,  you may end up with duplicate SKUs.

You can learn more about managing duplicate SKUs here.

Barcode Syncing

Whiplash allows for Barcodes to be sync'd automatically from Shopify. Any changes made to a product/variant's barcode in Shopify will be reflected in Whiplash by a new scancode alias. If the barcode that is attempted to be sync'd from Shopify is already taken by another product you own in Whiplash then the update will be blocked as scancodes are required to be unique. To get around this, change the barcode in Shopify to a unique value and sync's will continue as normal. 
Turn on Shopify barcode syncing in the shop settings page

Last updated Aug 4th, 2020