Shopify - Assign SKUs to Product Variants

If you do not have products with variants, you can skip to the next step:

Export SKUs from Shopify.

Product variants created in Shopify are not assigned a unique SKU by default. The SKUs for these variants import as blank to PackageBee.

PackageBee automatically converts blank SKUs to the string Not Available. However, these "Not Available" SKUs may be rejected by the WMS.

For this reason, it's important that all product variations in Shopify are assigned a unique SKU.

Note: If you have existing product variants in Shopify, it is strongly recommended that each variant is assigned a unique SKU as described below.

Example: Create a variant with a unique SKU

In the following example, we will create a product with three variants. We'll assign one of the variants a unique SKU, but leave the other two variant SKUs undefined. Then, we'll look at the errors that can occur when the "undefined" variants are imported to PackageBee and sent to the warehouse.

Create a New Product

In Shopify, create a new product. Specify a product name (such as "Father"), and a brief description.

In Shopify, create a new product.

Add Variants

Variants can be specified under the Variants section on the product page. Here, we have added three variants for the Father product: Child-1, Child-2, and Child-3.

Create new product options, Child-1, Child-2, etc.

Next, select a variant to edit. Here, we've checked the box next to Child-1. With the variant selected, we click the Actions button, then Edit SKUs.

Check the box next to Child-1. Click Actions, Edit SKUs.

Then, in the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) field, we specify a unique SKU - in this case, "child1".


We'll leave the other variants (Child-2, Child-3) as is, so we can see the difference in the data that comes through to Dropstream.

Note: Don’t forget to Activate this product. (By default, once a product is created it has a status of Draft.)

Create a Test Order

To test the variations as configured, we can create a new order. Here, our test order includes two variants of product “Father”: Child-1 and Child-2. Notice that Child-1 has a unique SKU, while Child-2 has no SKU.

Child-1 has a unique SKU, but Child-2 does not.

When the Child-2 variant is imported into PackageBee, its SKU will appear as Not Available — PackageBee changes all empty SKUs to this default string value.

Once saved and marked as paid, the order will look like this in Shopify:

Test order screenshot

Although this order imports successfully to PackageBee, the entry for Child-2 may trigger an error when sent to the WMS, which rejects the SKU Not Available as invalid.

The result is an error when PackageBee sends the order for fulfillment, because of the Not Available SKU in Child-2

To avoid errors such as these, it's important to make sure that all product variants in Shopify are assigned a unique SKU.

Note: in PackageBee, the description of the variants includes both the parent SKU and the variant title.

For more information about creating and editing product variants, see:

Shopify Help Center: Adding and Editing Variants

Next: Export SKUs

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