Etail Solutions Blog

Creating a Single Source of Truth Across Your Sales Channels and Suppliers With a Master SKU

Creating a single source of truth across your sales channels and suppliers and why it matters

As an internet retailer your goal is to build a sustainable and profitable business that will reward you for years to come. And whether you’re a top online seller already... or you have dreams of becoming one... the strength of your foundation will determine how much and how fast you can grow. 

Your ecommerce software – the system used to manage your daily operations – is, or should be, the foundation of your business. Ultimately, the stability and longevity of your business depend on the strength and versatility of this one tool.

Tasks like inventory management, replenishment, repricing, listing creation, order fulfillment, and financial reporting are all core operations that are foundational to building a successful business. And how efficiently you manage operations directly impacts your potential for growth.

The Wrong Way to Manage Inventory

Some multi-channel platforms don't provide a foundation strong enough to support a rapidly growing business. This is because they require a one-to-one relationship between listings and SKUs. As a result, managing multiple listings and products in different units of measure requires creating duplicate SKUs for one item. This makes inventory management and replenishment difficult because when allocation and purchasing decisions need to be made these SKUs must be manually aggregated.

You’ve probably experienced the headaches and costly mistakes that can occur when you have to perform endless cycles of "spreadsheet olympics" just to keep inventory levels updated as you buy and sell.

And without real-time visibility to inventory velocity, you run the risk of losing sales, damaging your seller rating, and getting your account suspended because you published inaccurate availability that resulted in overselling.

The DIY Repricing Mistake That Is Killing Sales

But overselling and account suspension aren't the only pitfalls you have to watch out for when managing duplicate SKUs. Another major concern is the loss of revenue that can occur with manual repricing. 

Since each of your listings have different sets of competitors, your prices must also be different. If your platform requires a one-to-one relationship between your listings and SKUs, you have to bite the bullet and set the floor and ceiling value of each SKU one at a time to match each competitive environment…

…and whenever your cost basis changes you have to repeat the process to reprice.

In other words, if your cost basis can’t be controlled at the master SKU level, every time it changes – whether it’s product cost, fulfillment cost, or sales channel commission – it's up to you to adjust prices across all channels so your margins and Buy Box ownership are protected.

You already know margins would shrink if costs increased and you didn’t raise your floor. But what if costs decreased and you didn’t lower it? You could miss out on a lot of potential sales. Even a 2% decrease in cost might be the difference between winning the Buy Box or losing it.

As you can see, without a master SKU to centralize your sales and supplier data, daily operations like inventory management and repricing can quickly turn into a multi-person full-time job…

…one that becomes exponentially more difficult and dangerous as your SKU count increases.

How to Take Control of Your Business
Instead of Your Business Controlling You

On the other hand, imagine having a platform that allows you to:

  • Connect sales and suppliers and dynamically adjust inventory levels across all channels as you buy and sell. Avoid duplicate SKUs by publishing inventory availability at SKU level and product data at listing level.
  • Protect margins and Buy Box ownership by repricing when costs - not just your competitors' prices - change. Dynamically control costs at SKU level and dynamically reprice at listing level to match each competitive environment.
  • Accurately predict future demand by aggregating SKUs across channels and analyzing sales history. Make strategic purchasing decisions and free up time by automating purchase order workflow.  

In other words, a platform that creates a single source of truth by centralizing your sales and supplier data with a master SKU. Only when inventory for all listings, channels, and suppliers leads back to a single master SKU can you have complete, automated inventory and purchasing control. 

A Proven Foundation for Unprecedented Growth

Imagine turning operations into a competitive advantage by always making the best inventory management, repricing, and fulfillment decisions possible. Below are the average growth rates of our clients. If you take the same proven approach to growth that they have taken with our help, there's a good chance you'll achieve similar results in your business.

Years on the Platform Growth in Monthly Revenue
One Year 130%
Two Years 267%
Three Years 730%
Four Years 1077%

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