Support » Plugin: WooCommerce » SKU being put in inventory

  • Resolved sugilite


    Not a fault, more of a comment as I do not know who else to tell at Woocommerce.
    Moving the SKU field to the Inventory tab is very inconvenient for those that clone a lot of products. Very easy to miss changing the SKU now. Really not sure what benefit has come from that field being moved away from the “General” area.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Plugin Author Mike Jolley


    SKU is a stock keeping unit. It is directly related to inventory.



    I have a client who isn’t happy about this too!
    Is there a custom function the will override this and move the SKU input field back to General?

    Plugin Author Mike Jolley


    I’ve not written one. Whats with the anger? It’s one click away, and as I said, it’s a stock keeping unit for inventory. So it makes sense to group it with other inventory options 🙂

    Is it just anti-change?

    Hi Mike,
    To tell the truth, I’m still finding it a bit irksome.
    I sell unique items, so one SKU per single item every time. Some of the the items are very, very similar – so for my business, the SKU represents a unique identifier.

    If I need to edit multiple items (opening them in multiple tabs) that are of a similar nature – yes it does get a bit annoying having to do that one extra click to make sure I have the right item. There are other scenarios the issue crops up for me too, like error checking when I’m copying multiple new drafts while adding products and so on. I currently have over 600 active sku’s in my inventory.

    To my way of thinking the unique identifier for any given product should be seen at a glance, not have to be dug up.

    They say ignorance is bliss, and it may just be that I’m the most blissed out person in woocommerce land – but I’m genuinely struggling to see one possible use or benefit that got the SKU field moved in the first place?

    Is it change for change sake? 😉

    Caleb Burks


    Automattic Happiness Engineer

    It’s a change to better group the settings. Not every store needs every product to have a sku. It’s really only necessary if you have stock – i.e. inventory – which is why this setting is in the inventory tab.

    Had the SKU field always been where it is now, the thought of moving it to the first tab would have never crossed your mind.

    Regarding your reasons: the product ID also serves as a unique identifier (shown in the edit product url), and the product name could also be an identifier (shown at the very top of the page).

    I understand what your saying, not everyone needs a SKU number.

    I’m not entirely sure you are correct that it would not of crossed my mind the SKU field should be on the first tab and I’m pretty sure I know my own mind better than you lol.

    For us unique collectable product type merchants, we are adding items every day and many of the items are way to small to put the “product name” on them as an identifying label. Furthermore, having lots of different product categories means that predicting which item is going to have which product ID would be a nightmare. I sell crystals and minerals, across many categories. Right at the initial photo stage I know what the next sku will be and label the photos appropriately. Then I put a nice little short SKU number on the product itself to match it up at order packing time. I have entire batches and families of minerals pre named, photographed and ready to go into the system as and when demand requires it. That would not be possible if I were to use the Product ID, not to mention the product ID is quite long for me already and will not fit on smaller mineral specimens.

    So although you may feel the front tab has now been streamlined and grouped correctly, it really does have an impact on some of us merchants. It is not like the SKU was “in the way” or needed to be moved in order to make some valuable space for some other feature. I feel the designers initial reason to put the SKU field in its earlier position was a sound one.

    Having said all that, I acknowledge my business model is in a minority, and only one other person has felt the need to comment – so I do not expect things to revert back. Hopefully someone will make a little plugin to do it – A small minority business model merchant can only live in hope?

    Plugin Author Mike Jolley


    I will say, there is a project ongoing where we’re revisiting all of the UI (products, orders etc) and including new ways to edit products such as grids and bulk edit, so improvements are coming. But this is a long-scale project not a short term thing. Keep an eye out during the next year 🙂

    Heyya Mike,
    So not a long term project means… not last week, but tomorrow? 😉
    Seriously though, thanks for the heads up, sounds great!
    Will keep an eye out.
    Thanks for all the hard work you put into this plugin!



    After updating the plugin for my client they called me immediately to inform me that the sku field had been moved and that the extra click is a nuisance. Is there any way to add it back to the General tab?

    Same here – We’ll have to move for woocommerce if no “sku fix” is coming. To look at a ski being only use for inventory is a limited thinking. The ski is the “identity of the product” Products might have similar names (titles). We only refer to products using their sku. Images need to have the sku in their titles, client re-order by sku number, etc…. To “downgrade” the sku to only an inventory tool is wrong.

    Let me guess, your client sells unique products? I still gnash my teeth on a near daily basis as I have to click on a tab I previously never needed too, sometimes more than once for the same product, and times that by the amount of multiple products I may need to open at any given time!
    My impression is the developers do not really get it, as they do not use the system like we are using it. I would like to know if the developers actually ever received a request/s to move it? Or was it just deemed a good idea and tally ho!

    It’s just a limited view of what a sku# is (As mentioned by the developer “SKU is a stock keeping unit”.. No it’s not. Anyaway here is what I did. Keep in mind I am not a developer neither a php guy.
    Here is my reasoning:
    1 – Sku# appear now on the Inventory tab.
    2 – Find the page in woocommerce admin with the tabs code.
    3 – The page is wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/admin/meta-boxes/class-wc-meta-box-product-dataORG.php
    4 – Find the code calling the sku# in the inventory tab, copy it and add it to the code calling the General tab
    5 – Found the code starting line 282 to 289:
    // SKU
    if ( wc_product_sku_enabled() ) {
    woocommerce_wp_text_input( array( ‘id’ => ‘_sku’, ‘label’ => ‘<abbr title=”‘. __( ‘Stock Keeping Unit’, ‘woocommerce’ ) .'”>’ . __( ‘SKU’, ‘woocommerce’ ) . ‘</abbr>’, ‘desc_tip’ => ‘true’, ‘description’ => __( ‘SKU refers to a Stock-keeping unit, a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased.’, ‘woocommerce’ ) ) );
    } else {
    echo ‘<input type=”hidden” name=”_sku” value=”‘ . esc_attr( get_post_meta( $thepostid, ‘_sku’, true ) ) . ‘” />’;

    do_action( ‘woocommerce_product_options_sku’ );
    6- Copy and paste this code on line 142 (general tab) before // Price.
    7 – It seems to work fine.
    8 – It will probably need to be done after each woocommerce update (I’ll try to put it in the clid theme and let you know).

    Still working on a more permanent solution

    Hi There,
    THANK YOU so much for this code!!!
    Initially it did not work for me, until I added the last part of the “SKU code
    if ( ‘yes’ === get_option( ‘woocommerce_manage_stock’ ) ) {

    I “cut” the code out so the SKU did not show up[ in two different places within the add product page.
    So the exact code I cut out and posted just where you said too was…

    // SKU
    if ( wc_product_sku_enabled() ) {
    woocommerce_wp_text_input( array( ‘id’ => ‘_sku’, ‘label’ => ‘<abbr title=”‘. __( ‘Stock Keeping Unit’, ‘woocommerce’ ) .'”>’ . __( ‘SKU’, ‘woocommerce’ ) . ‘</abbr>’, ‘desc_tip’ => ‘true’, ‘description’ => __( ‘SKU refers to a Stock-keeping unit, a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased.’, ‘woocommerce’ ) ) );
    } else {
    echo ‘<input type=”hidden” name=”_sku” value=”‘ . esc_attr( get_post_meta( $thepostid, ‘_sku’, true ) ) . ‘” />’;

    do_action( ‘woocommerce_product_options_sku’ );

    if ( ‘yes’ === get_option( ‘woocommerce_manage_stock’ ) ) {

    Again, A HUGE Thanks for sharing this with us – I’m STOKED! 🙂

    Glad it’s working for you. I’ll keep you updated if I can improve it.

    Heyya esp5466,
    They have completely rewritten the page for this for version 3.0 series…any ideas on how to move the SKU now????
    Fingers crossed, because my eyes are crossed trying to work out how they position stuff with this new version!!!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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