January 3, 2024

What is an Amazon FNSKU - What You Should Know

Unlock the secrets of Amazon FNSKU with our comprehensive guide. Learn what an FNSKU is and discover essential tips for successful Amazon selling. Elevate your e-commerce game with expert insights. Dive into our resource now!
What is an Amazon FNSKU - What You Should Know
What is an Amazon FNSKU - What You Should Know

For sellers navigating the Amazon marketplace, understanding the intricacies of its systems is paramount to success. One such crucial element in the fulfillment process is the Amazon FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). 

If you are sending products to Amazon, you will need to ensure they are properly labeled with an Amazon FNSKU or a manufacturer’s barcode. 

In this article, we delve into what an Amazon FNSKU is, its significance, and how it plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth operations for Amazon sellers.

What is Amazon FNSKU?  

The FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit)  is a unique identifier assigned by Amazon to a specific product within its fulfillment network. It serves as a distinct label, connecting a product to its listing on the Amazon marketplace. Each product that enters the fulfillment center must bear this unique identifier, facilitating efficient tracking and management throughout the entire fulfillment process.

Get free expert advice from our ebooks

FBA or FBM: Which is best for you?
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The stickerless commingled inventory system

In the commingled inventory system, products from multiple sellers are stored together in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and the system relies on the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) to identify and fulfill orders. However, this system has some drawbacks, as it can lead to potential issues with product authenticity and quality control.

To address the challenges associated with commingled inventory, Amazon introduced the stickered inventory system. In this approach, each unit of a product is labeled with the seller's unique FNSKU, ensuring that only identical products from the same seller are commingled. This provides sellers with greater control over the quality and authenticity of their products.

Importance of FNSKU

Here’s why FNSKU is important when selling on Amazon: 

  1. Inventory management: The FNSKU is a vital part of Amazon's sophisticated inventory management system. When you send products to an Amazon fulfillment center, each unit must be labeled with its unique FNSKU. This labeling ensures that the inventory can be accurately tracked within Amazon's vast network of warehouses. As a result, Amazon can efficiently manage stock levels, prevent the commingling of inventory, and reduce the risk of errors in fulfilling customer orders.
  2. Product identification: In the vast sea of products available on Amazon, clear and precise identification is crucial. The FNSKU acts as a digital fingerprint for a specific product, enabling Amazon's systems to match the physical item with its online listing. This identification is vital for accurate order processing, ensuring that customers receive the correct product promptly.
  3. Order fulfillment: The FNSKU is integral to the order fulfillment process. When a customer places an order on Amazon, the system references the FNSKU to locate the corresponding product in the fulfillment center. This streamlined process reduces the likelihood of errors in picking and packing, ultimately contributing to a positive customer experience.

How to Create an FNSKU

You can create and apply Amazon FNSKUs using the Amazon Seller Central dashboard. Here are the steps to create an Amazon FNSKU:

  1. Create a product listing on Amazon: Before obtaining an FNSKU, you must create a product listing on the Amazon marketplace. This involves providing detailed information about the product, including its title, description, images, and other relevant details.
  2. Enroll in Amazon's FBA Program: The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program allows you to leverage Amazon's vast logistics network for the storage, packing, and shipping of their products. To use FBA, you must enroll in the program, and their products become eligible for an FNSKU.
  3. Generate FNSKU through your Amazon Seller Central: Once enrolled in the FBA program, you can generate FNSKUs for your products through your Seller Central dashboard. First, navigate to the "Inventory" section. Then, click on "Manage Your Inventory." Click on "Add Product and "Enter the product details, including the FNSKU. Lastly, Save the product details.

You can print them on labels and attach them to your products before shipping them to an Amazon fulfillment center. To print labels, go to Manage Inventory, locate the product you want to label, click on the Edit button, click on the down arrow, and choose “Print item labels”. 

Best Practices for using Amazon FNSKU 

Here are some best practices you can implement when using an Amazon FNSKU: 

  1. Proper labeling: You must ensure that each unit of your product is correctly labeled with the assigned FNSKU before sending it to an Amazon fulfillment center. Failure to do so may result in delays, mismanagement of inventory, and potential penalties.
  2. Regular inventory checks: You will need to conduct regular inventory checks to reconcile the physical stock in Amazon's fulfillment centers with the recorded quantities in your Seller Central account. This helps identify discrepancies and prevent stockouts or overstock situations.
  3. Understand FBA fee structure: If you’re using FBA, you should be familiar with the fee structure associated with the program. FBA fees cover storage, packing, and shipping, and understanding these costs is crucial for effective pricing and overall profitability.
  4. Monitor FNSKU changes: Occasionally, Amazon may require a new FNSKU for a product, such as when changes are made to the packaging or other key attributes. It is important to stay vigilant and respond promptly to any such requests to avoid disruptions in your fulfillment processes.

Pros and cons of using Amazon FNSKU

Amazon FNSKU is a popular choice among many Amazon sellers for many reasons. Here are some pros and cons of using Amazon FNSKU: 

Pros of Amazon FNSKU

  • Accurate inventory management: FNSKU facilitates precise tracking of inventory within Amazon's fulfillment network. This accuracy is crucial for preventing stockouts, minimizing errors, and ensuring the availability of products to meet customer demand.
  • No commingling inventory: FNSKU helps prevent commingling of inventory, ensuring that customers receive products from the intended seller. This is particularly important for maintaining quality control.
  • Standard labeling: FNSKU provides a standardized labeling system within the Amazon ecosystem. This uniformity simplifies the fulfillment process and reduces the likelihood of errors related to mislabeled or mismatched products.
  • Efficient order fulfillment: FNSKU is integral to Amazon's order fulfillment process. It enables quick and accurate identification of products in the fulfillment center, contributing to faster and more efficient order processing. 

Cons of Amazon FNSKU 

  • Not visible to customers: FNSKU is not visible to customers. While this is great for backend operations, it means that sellers cannot use FNSKU as a marketing tool or as a way to communicate product information to customers.
  • Available only on Amazon: FNSKU is specific to the Amazon marketplace, limiting its applicability to other ecommerce platforms. If you’re operating on multiple platforms, you may need to manage different labeling systems for each.
  • Regular updates: Amazon may introduce changes or updates to the FNSKU system, requiring you to adapt their labeling processes. Staying informed about any changes is crucial to ensuring compliance with Amazon's requirements.

Amazon FNSKU vs. EAN

While both Amazon FNSKU and EAN (European Article Number) are unique identifiers used in the retail industry, they serve different purposes. An EAN is a 13-digit number used in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It functions similarly to a UPC (Universal Product Code) but has an extra number at the beginning. On the other hand, an Amazon FNSKU is a unique identifier used by Amazon to track and manage products sold through the FBA program. 

Amazon FNSKU vs. ASIN

Both FNSKU and ASINs are used in the ecommerce and retail industry. However, both are used in different ways. FNSKU is specific to products enrolled in the FBA program and is crucial for inventory management within Amazon's fulfillment network. On the other hand, ASIN is universal and applies to all products on Amazon, regardless of the fulfillment method.

FNSKU is instrumental in ensuring accurate tracking, preventing inventory commingling, and facilitating efficient order fulfillment within Amazon's FBA program. On the other hand, ASIN plays a broader role in cataloging products across the entire Amazon platform, allowing customers to find and purchase items. 

Amazon FNSKU vs. SKU 

SKU applies universally across various retail platforms and is not specific to any particular marketplace. On the other hand, FNSKU is unique to Amazon's FBA program and is used exclusively within the Amazon marketplace. White SKU can be used across various fulfillment methods, FNSKU is exclusive to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). 

Can Amazon sellers use their custom identifier instead of Amazon FSKU? 

While you can use your own custom SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) for tracking and managing your inventory across different Amazon marketplaces, using a custom identifier instead of an Amazon FNSKU (Fulfillment Network SKU) is not recommended. You cannot create or edit an FNSKU. It is unique and fixed, and Amazon can only create and use it. Using a custom identifier instead of an FNSKU could potentially lead to errors in order fulfillment and inventory management, as Amazon's systems are designed to work with FNSKUs. 

FNSKUs ensure that Amazon's systems can accurately track and manage your products, which is crucial for the successful operation of the FBA program

Wrapping Up 

In Amazon's fulfillment network, the FNSKU emerges as a vital thread, weaving together the various elements of inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer satisfaction. Understanding the significance of the FNSKU and adhering to best practices in its usage increases your chances for success in the Amazon marketplace. 

Turbo-Charge Your Revenue!

You’ve probably already considered selling on Amazon but its way easier than you think.

Call Us Now

Enjoying our articles?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive ePlaybooks insights directly in your inbox. Don't worry we will respect your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.