Product Mapping

What is a product SKU code?

A ‘Stock Keeping Unit’ or ‘SKU’ for short is basically the retail industry term that refers to a product identifier code. Every unique product that you stock and keep in your product catalog needs to be identified by a product name and should also be assigned a product SKU code, so you and everyone in the retail supply chain is able to reliably recognize it. You could think of SKU codes as short names that represent your products.


Why do I need SKU codes?

Product names can be long and contain more than several words. Using names only to identify products becomes less reliable when transferring data and its much more convenient for everyone involved in the retail supply chain to identify products with products codes (SKU’s).


Why does MultiChannelWorks recommend that you use SKU codes?

Firstly please don’t blame the messenger we didn’t invent SKU codes however there are benefits to using SKU codes that will become apparent when you use them in your business. One benefit is that its much easier to track your products from ordering from your suppliers through to delivery to your customers.

Every product entered into your MultiChannelWorks account must have a unique product code (SKU) as a unique identifier so that MultiChannelWorks is able to identify your products and track orders, inventory and listings across multiple channels.


If you do not use product SKU’s then MultiChannelWorks would generate random SKU codes for your products as they are imported. However its probably in your own interest to assign your own SKU codes because you can then decide to use short descriptors in your codes so you can identify products easily just from the SKU code. Click here to see an article about how to create your own SKU codes.


What is product mapping?

We’ve already discussed why you should be using SKU codes and that MultiChannelWorks uses SKU codes to build your product catalog and to identify and track your products.

Some sales channels such as Amazon make is mandatory for you to list your products using a SKU code however other channels such as eBay and others do not make this mandatory, therefore its possible that you could have mixed SKU codes.

  • IMPORTANT! MultiChannelWorks will automatically link SKU codes

    MultiChannelWorks will automatically link SKU codes imported from sales channel listings to products in your product catalog so you’ll have absolutely no need to map products if you’re SKU codes match. This is why it is highly recommended that you update your SKU codes on your sales channels before importing those particular channel listings into MultiChannelWorks.

    MultiChannelWorks also offers you ‘mapping tools’ so that if your products ARE identified on sales channels using different SKU codes then you’ll be able to ‘link’ or map those product codes to the SKU codes in your product catalog so that MultiChannelWorks can link channel listings to the products in your product catalog.

Product mapping is simply the term used that means to ‘link’ identical products that are not yet using a unique code to identify them.

For example if you list a pair of shoes on eBay using the code ‘x50010trainer‘ and you list the same exact shoes on Amazon using ‘SHOE001‘ these two codes are not the same even though you’re listing the same product on both channels.

In this case MultiChannelWorks wouldn’t be able to track orders and inventory for this product as one product – it would instead be tracking these product codes as two different products.

Of course it would be ideal if you’re already using the same product codes on every sales channel (or if you updated all your listings to use standardized SKU codes before importing them), however we’ve found that in the real world this doesn’t always apply.


How do I know if I’m using unique product codes on different sales channels? 

You can easily check to see if you have listed your products on different sales channels with the same SKU codes or not. Simply login to the sales channel and search for your listings and identify what product codes you’ve assigned. Then compare those codes to the same products on other channels that you’ve listed you’re products on.


How do I map product codes in MultiChannelWorks?

There are currently 2 methods for mapping products in MultiChannelWorks:

Method 1: Map product codes individually (this is useful if you don’t have many products to map).

Method 2: Map product codes in bulk (this is useful if you need to map many product codes in one go and you haven’t used standardized SKU codes for your listings on more than one sales channel).


Method 1: How to map product codes individually

To see and manage product mapping go to ‘Integrations’ > ‘Marketplace Integrations’  and click the view listings button next to the channel you want to manage product mapping for.

Product Mapping


As previously mentioned and unlike some other systems, MultiChannelWorks will always automatically link your channel listings to products in your product catalog when there is a SKU match.

For example if you import eBay listings containing products with SKU codes that already exist in your product catalog, the link will be made automatically because the SKU codes match.

There may be instances though when you want to manually link products to channel listings or unlink products from channel listings or map listings to products manually. To do this open the channel listings and click on the ‘link’ icon to show the following options:



View Linked Product – Click this to view the product in your catalog that the listing is currently mapped to.

+ Unlink from Product – Click this to unlink the channel listing from all products in your catalog

+ Link Manually/Create A Bundle – Click this to map the listing to a product in your catalog. You’ll be able to map the listing to one or more products in your catalog.

EXPERT TIP: You can also map listings to multiple products in your catalog to create bundles (ie, if you sell one or more product in one listing as a set, package or bundle).


Method 2: How to map product codes in bulk


To map products in bulk goto ‘Inventory > Import Manager’ and click the ‘Map products in bulk’ tab.

  1. Download the sample csv file.
  2. Enter your product SKU codes into the csv file and the corresponding codes to map to. (If you need a list of your existing SKU codes in your product catalof you can also download one from the ‘Products’ menu). 
  3. Upload the csv file using the uploader tool
  4. Done, you’re codes are mapped.
  5. To check that your products are mapped go to Integrations > Marketplace Integrations > View Listings and click the ‘link product’ icon to see mapped products.


How to map channel listing variations sometimes called ‘child’ variations to products in your catalog

Listing variations (or child SKU’s) can be linked in the exact same way as listings (or parent SKU’s).