Mapping Alias SKUs to a Single Product ID

When you are selling on multiple platforms, it is not always possible that the products have unique SKU, or stock keeping unit, codes on all the sites. To help ensure a smooth-running business, Finale has the ability to easily map multiple alias SKUs to a single product ID to save on time and money.  Mapping alias SKUs allows store owners to have a better grasp of the inventory stock levels.

Alias skus, Mapping Alias SKUs to a Single Product ID

The Importance of Creating Product Lookups

Product lookups are especially useful when managing multiple SKUs in several marketplaces and selling channels, as you can map products back to a single ID in your inventory. It’s not always possible to give products specific SKUs for each marketplace. Therefore, alias SKUs can help you manage products with multiple SKUs across different selling channels. Product lookups are also called scan keys, which is another term for barcodes. Finale uses the product lookup to know where a particular product SKU is listed.

You can manage multiple products with a plethora of information from a simple product alias. You’ll also be able to analyze the relationship between products to know which inventory customers typically use together and provide product suggestions to customers.

Beyond warehousing benefits, product lookup can help your customers easily search and find your products. Product lookup should also attract new customers to your company while communicating your specific corporate brand and identity. You can make your product lookups adhere to search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly practices so your products will appear on result pages for online searches. Further, customers will be able to check product availability. 

Setting up and Mapping SKU Aliases With Finale 

Mapping new SKU aliases and importing product lookups with Finale is easy. When you access the product lookup tab in your stock and products screen, you can start by choosing “create new product lookup.” You’ll want to enter the product lookup and product ID before entering optional product notes and packing sizes.

Adding notes and packing sizes can help you remember which outlet you’re using to sell particular products. With these details, you can also automate product quantity in the future. 

Next, you can create the product ID lookup and add the store. While the product IDs and descriptions remain the same, the scan lookups differ. That way, you’ll be able to tell where each sale was made. You’ll have multiple SKUs that connect to the same product ID. 

The Benefits of SKU Aliases

With SKU aliases, you’ll be able to accurately manage your inventory across different channels. If your product catalog has the same listing with the same SKUs for a product, you can set an existing SKU as an alias. Further, you’ll be able to upload multiple CSV spreadsheets for each product with multiple SKUs. After adding SKU aliases, you can target specific products across multiple sale channels. You can quickly find inventory regardless of its location while seeing product information and pricing. 

Product SKUs allow you to accurately track inventory so you have the right stock when your customers need it most. You’ll also be able to easily identify products across multiple channels, quickly conveying product information and increasing fulfillment accuracy and efficiency. 

SKU aliases can benefit customers, too. Customers who have bought from your store multiple times can use SKUs from their previous product confirmation emails to find their favorite products easily.

(Videos: See complete list of available videos)

Video Transcription of Alias SKUs

Hello, Mike Kroeger here, Finale Inventory. In this short video, we’re going to learn how and why to create product lookups. So, let’s get started. You know, the first question you might want to know is what is a product lookup? Well, simply put a product lookup is a simple alias SKU or pointer that points to a product ID or a product ID and lot ID combination in Finale Inventory

That’s a lot to take in. Well, let’s kind of break it down. What is a product lookup used for? Well, it’s used to map a marketplace or a selling channel listing SKU to your inventory product ID that’s in Finale. So they may be the same, or they may be different, but this is how we map it. You also use a product lookup to link a Barcode or UPC value to your inventory product ID.

It’s also used to maybe link a multipack listing SKU to a single product ID in Finale Inventory with a multiplier called packing. So, in other words, you might have a three-pack of something that’s equal to three of one item, and you can use a product lookup to do that. You also use product lookups to tell Finale Inventory where your SKU is listed and to enable if you want it for stock level push back.

So, to recap, why do you need a product lookup? Well, when you have different SKUs on different marketplaces and selling channels, the product lookup is used to map them all back to a single product ID in inventory. And if you want to use the mobile barcode scanner, you must have a product lookup. That is the value of the barcode that links it to the product ID in the inventory that you are scanning.

And then lastly, the product lookup is how Finale knows where you have listed the SKU and that it gets its inventory from the product ID that it’s mapped to. So, let’s jump into Finale and see how you do this. So, you might want to know that there are basically three different ways to create product lookups.

You can do it manually, one by one, from the product lookup view screen. We’re going to cover that. You can import from a spreadsheet, and we’re going to cover that. You also need to know that if you use one of our integration product imports, you can also enable automatic lookups created there. And we’re not gonna cover that in this video.

So, let’s jump over to Finale Inventory and show you how to do this. So, where might you go to create a product lookup? Alright. The tip here is to go up to your Inventory menu and go to product lookup.

So, here’s where you’re going to find — the product lookup view and here right at the top of the screen, you’re going to see a create new product lookup. This is where you would do it onesie-twosie. And we’re going to go through that. You can import product lookups. You can also export product lookups.

Now, remember, a product lookup is gonna be a pointer to the product ID. So, what you see in the Product lookup column is either a marketplace listing SKU, or it could be a barcode value. You know, one of those two things.

So, there’s already some in my file, but let’s go create some. So, if I go back over to the product screen here, you can see how I have some product inventory items. One is 1111 and it’s a red shirt, 2222 and it’s a white shirt, 3333 and it’s a blue polo shirt. So, you’ll notice I don’t have any lookups.

Now, I also could get right back to the lookup screen here. You notice that we can get to lookups here, but it’s also right here right next to the product screen. So, if I wanted to create a lookup for the 1111 red polo shirt, and let’s say, it’s listed differently, let’s say it’s listed as a red shirt large.

So, I’m going to create one manually. So, I just create one. I type in what the marketplace SKU would be or the listing SKU. So, I can type in RED-SHIRT-L, this, I want to link this or map it to my inventory item called the 1111 red polo shirt.

Now, I can type a note. That’s not required. I don’t need to pay attention to the Lot ID because, in this particular instance, it’s not involving a Lot ID or any specific. It’s not a multipack, so I’m not gonna use the packing.

And at this moment, if I wanted to assign it to a store or a selling channel, and I could click here and I could choose, well, I’ve got two integrations enabled. You will not see these options in the stores if you have not added the integration to the marketplaces.

So, let’s just say, maybe this is going to be on my eBay Store, so I can choose that. And now I’m basically telling Finale that on eBay, I listed it like this. It’s going to link to this one in my inventory, and this is where it’s at. So, I created the product lookup. That’s all there is to it. If I want to create another one, I can just go right here.

So, another thing maybe I’m going to do is we talked about maybe a multipack where you might sell a three-pack of something. So, the three-pack is just a quantity of three times the one item. So, remember, let’s kind of refresh this. If I go back to my little product list here, let’s say I was going to create a three-pack of the blue shirts. 

So, you notice how I have blue shirts. Well, 3333 is my SKU, the inventory SKU for one shirt. Well, I don’t have to create another inventory item for a three-pack because the three-pack is really just going to the shelf and get three of product 3333. So, let’s say on eBay, I listed it and I listed it as a BLUE-L-3PK.

And I just want that anytime anybody orders that they’re gonna go, and we’re just going to take a quantity of three of 3333 from inventory. So, I’m going to set that up. So, I’m going to go over here. I can create a new lookup and I’m going to say, look, my lookup is blue or my marketplace SKU is BLUE-L-3PK. And I want that to be linked to my 3333.

And I’m going to say, look, that’s equal to a quantity of three of this object. And then I can go ahead and link it to my eBay Store. That’s as easy as it is. So, now, let’s go back to the product lookup and see the two that we created. So, we created these bottom two here.

So, we’re basically saying, look, if an order comes through from any site that says BLUE-L-3PK, it equals this part number in inventory and by the way, take three away from inventory.

And then this one is just a simple remapping of what’s a RED-SHIRT-L? It equals the 1111 object in inventory, and it’s just a single, so you leave the packing alone. You don’t need to put one in there for a single item. And then I can see where the SKU is listed over here on my eBay. And these don’t have a store because maybe these are barcodes.

Okay. So, now, now that you’ve seen how to create them onesie-twosie, you can also import them. You might say, “Oh my gosh, I have a whole lot. I’m not going to do them one at a time.” Yeah. Don’t.

So, what we want you to understand, you can do the import. And when you hit the Import, always pay attention here. You can get a downloaded template if you need one, don’t worry about that. You just need to kind of pay attention to the fields that you can use.

Now, the required fields are the lookup and the product ID that it’s mapping to. Optionally, you can use packing, lot ID, notes, stores to add and stores to remove. Meaning if you’re adding it to the channel or telling Finale it’s on a channel or an integration, you will use the stores to add. If you’re going to take it down, or no longer associate it, you can use stores to remove.

Now, the value that you put in these two columns, they come from your Integration. So, you notice how each of your Integrations that you add has an integration name. This one’s called Amazon. Now, this integration is called my eBay store.

So, we wouldn’t type eBay in the stores to add value, we’re going to type my eBay store. It is an eBay channel, but we named it explicitly differently. So, we’ll use this name, not this, okay? And then we could add a Shopify if we needed one.

All right. So, that’s where those come from. So, let’s go back to the lookup screen. We’re going to go back to the import. So, let’s import, so I’ve got a spreadsheet here, and in the spreadsheet, I’ve kind of gone ahead and pre-populated for you.

So, notice I had these two green columns here, wanted you to know that those are kind of like the mandatory or required. Optionally, you would be using some of these other fields. The yellow ones, I kind of coded in relation to marketplaces that you would be using mostly those in addition to the greens, but now you can see how easy it is. I can make a list of my listings.

So, these are my listing SKUs or my aliases or my barcodes. Remember, it’s any or all of those. So, you can see I’ve got some listings here for eBay and I’m going to point these SKUs to the inventory items and I’m gonna associate them to eBay. These here are the same objects, but they’re over on Amazon. So, I have a different SKU over there.

So, I’m basically saying this is another alias that points to the same inventory item, but this is one that I’ve listed on Amazon. Now, these here are some barcodes because when I check them out or use them in order fulfillment with our mobile scanner, I’m going to be scanning this barcode and it needs to deduct that from inventory. So, now you see how we do that, okay?

It’s not necessary that you put notes in here. I’m doing that note for my own good or for my own knowledge, or to share with somebody else that they look at it and say, “What is this? It makes no sense. It doesn’t match my listing.” Yeah. It’s because…I just put a note it’s a barcode. And then, of course, I’m going to go down here and show you how to use those multipacks.

So, I could create a RED-L-three-pack, and that means that equals this part three times. This is a white two-pack, so it equals this part number two times. This is how you do it. So, let’s go ahead and bring this information in. I’m going to copy, make sure you include the header row. So, it’s very important you copy the header row. 

Remember, notes is optional. Lot ID is definitely optional. You don’t even need to have it in your spreadsheet if you’re not going to be using them, okay? And packing is optional too. If you’re not doing multipacks, you could eliminate the column altogether, but we’re using this as an example. So, I’ve copied it.

Let’s go back to Finale. Here you go, click. You’re gonna say paste, and then Finale’s is gonna give you a review of what it understands. So, it understands you’re creating 11 new lookups and it recognizes all of them.

And it’s basically taking all the information in. It’s going to add them to the system. We say next and commit. We just now created 11 lookups by importing them from Excel. And now, I have a whole list of lookups. That’s as easy as it is to create lookups.