Merchant Encyclopedia

What are ISBNs, UPCs, and EANs? What is an ISBN?

The ISBN stands for the International Standard Book Number and is a very unique barcode for identifying commercial books. Each ISBN barcode is identified uniquely to a specific book. The ISBNs assigned after January 1 2007 encompass 13 digits, however previous versions commonly saw 10 digits. In most situations, the ISBN is written on the back of a book.


An example of a 13-digit ISBN barcode is below, with a 10-digit ISBN edited into the image for easier comparison. Keep in mind that the digits at the bottom of the barcode represent the ISBN code, and is always the same as the top digits. Often times, on a website selling books, it would be something like “*name of book and author*, US edition is 978-1888799972”, and this code identifies uniquely to the book and edition.

What is a Universal Product Code (UPC)?

A Universal Product Code, UPC, is a code that is printed onto the packaging of retail products in order to help with identifying a particular item. The UPC is seen almost everywhere in our daily, purchasing lives. It consists of a machine-readable barcode and a 12-digit number that is seen beneath the barcode. The UPC is used extensively in the United States and can be seen on some products in certain European countries.

What is the European Article Number?

The European Article Number, EAN, is a 12 or 13 (depending on the product and manufacturer) digit product identification code. Each EAN identifies the product, manufacturer, and more information such as the country of registration, color, weight, and other attributes.


An EAN is added on a product label or packaging a bar code. By doing so, businesses are able to quicken the speed and quality of a search result. The European Article Number is obtained from the manufacturer. If your products do not have manufacturer EANs, and you need to EAN codes, go to GS1 UK

For example, the EAN of “Sprite 330 ml” can is 5017726132774

What is a Barcode?

A barcode is a square or rectangular image composed of a sequence of different widths of parallel black lines and white spaces that a scanner can decipher. As a way of easy recognition, barcodes are added to items. They are used, among many other applications, in department stores as part of the procurement process, in warehouses to monitor inventory, and on invoices to aid in accounting.

Two Kinds of Barcodes

There are two popular types of barcodes: a 1-dimensional (1D) and a 2-dimensional (2D).

The first type of barcode is the simplest. The 1D barcode is a set of lines used to store text information, such as height, product type, and colour. In order to better track shipments around the U.S. Postal Service, they feature in the top portion of Universal Product Codes (UPCs) – which is commonly added on product packages – and also feature in ISBN on the back of all books.

The second type of barcode is more complex. The 2D barcodes can contain more details, such as the price, material, quantity, and even an image; rather than just only text. In addition, linear barcode scanners can’t read them, while smartphones and other image scanners will.

There are more barcode variations out there, but 1D and 2D are the most popular, and it also depends on the application.

What is a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)?

A stock keeping unit, SKU (pronounced as “skew”), is a unique code, often used by retailers, to identify and track inventory/stock. The code consists of letters and numbers that identify characteristics about each product. These characteristics can be who the manufacturer is, the brand, style, color, and the size.

Companies are able to issue their own unique SKU codes specific to what they sell. Five businesses selling the same item, such as denim jeans, would likely issue five different internal SKU codes.

The whole purpose of the SKUs is to simply help the business account for every piece of inventory more efficiently. Although they are different, model numbers can be incorporated into an SKU if necessary.

Where SKU Codes are Used?

You will typically find SKU codes in use in:

  • Warehouses
  • Retail stores
  • Catalogs
  • Product fulfillment centers
How are They Formed?

All businesses have their own methods and systems for creating unique SKU codes, however, there is always a specific method involved.

An SKU for a bottle of Tropicana apple juice, pulp variety, in a 50-ounce plastic bottle might be issued a SKU by a corner bodega that reads: TRAP-P-PLAS-50.

In order to more easily decipher the code, businesses that develop their own system will want to have a method that everyone follows and understands. SKUs are human readable; you don’t need any equipment to read the code.

What are Serial Numbers?

Serial numbers are unique digits that are tied to each specific product and are most frequently used for electronics. Examples of serial numbers in use is when a member of tech support at Best Buy asks for the serial number at the back of your computer. Serial numbers are used to track the ownership and warranty information of an item.

What Is a Product Description?

A product description is a form of marketing content that encompasses information about a particular product and persuades a particular target audience to purchase the product. Often times, a product description is short, to the point, and helps the Buyer imagine themselves using the product.

A good product description invokes confidence in a product and increases the brand’s trust. A product description often includes only text, but can encompass pictures, infographics, and other illustrations to help the Buyer make a quicker decision.

What does a product description need?

Any outstanding product description should encompass: relevant information concerning the product, why the buyer should purchase the product, how the Buyer benefits from the product, and why they should trust you and the product. In addition, a product description normally includes different features about the product.

Why use bullet points for the product?

Bullet points give snapshots of the product’s summary, including: what it does, what is included, and any applicable terms. Don’t try to implement every single detail about the products; just show what you think is most important for the customer to know. Use short phrases that Buyers can quickly and easily read.  Bullet points are indexed by search engines, thus, keywords included in this section affect a product’s ranking in search engines such as Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Lastly, if a bullet point has a key phrase that a Buyer is looking for in the Search Filter, your product is likely to show up.

Why are high quality product images important?

Why should someone upload high-quality product images? The more appealing a product looks; the more trust is built with the customer. The more trust; the likelier they will hit the Checkout button.

  • Increase your click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Grabs the Buyer’s attention
  • Decrease the number of Buyers leaving items in the cart
  • Increase customer trust
  • Decrease the number of Buyers returning the product
  • Improve the Buyer experience

Use different camera angles

If a Product Listing includes many photos from the same angle, it doesn’t provide Buyers with enough information. Trust and confidence drops, as Buyers want to know what they should expect from making a purchase – no matter the product. How does the pipe look from the back, from the side, from the top? How does the shirt look from behind? If these basic questions aren’t being answers, you’ll lose potential Buyers.

Fresh background

Most big shopping networks and e-commerce platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, have strict rules in regards to the images, their background colors, and what type of patterns are used. Images on the CannaSOS.Shop should be appealing, but the background should be white, with no pattern, color, or special effects. Otherwise, you may begin seeing a decrease in your conversion rate.

In addition, the images should be of the product only, with no additional accessories. It is also not recommended to add a business name or other added text. Photos should be tidy, simple, consistent and convincing for best results. If you follow the optimizations above, you can ensure that your buyers are not overwhelmed and confident with their order; minimizing refunds and increasing the product’s conversions.

What is a Brand Name?

If you have ever marketed a product, you might have been asked by a social network what your business name is. In most situations, your business name is your brand; either a full or shortened version. A brand name is a name (usually a proper noun), a symbol, or design applied to a particular good or service by a manufacturer or organization. Some examples of brand names are Apple, Tesla, Samsung, and Boeing. Brand names are most commonly carefully thought-out marketing instruments aimed at creating consumer awareness and encouraging brand loyalty.

Why do I Need a Brand Name?

A brand name is equivalent to a signature. A brand name gives credit to the creator of a product/service. A good, catchy brand name can also be effectively used in marketing in order to attract more visitors. Normally, in the business realm, brand names serve two main purposes: to differentiate one product/service from another (especially if the two brands are similar) and to authenticate that a product/service is genuine and not a knock-off.

Is my Logo a Brand?

The brand is a businesses’ backbone and the logo is the visual representation to the brand’s trademark. Some examples are the Supreme, McDonalds, KFC, Apple, and Nivea logos. When promoting your product or service, an attractive logo and strong branding system are essential to providing a reliable image and voice. Ever heard of “a brand speaks for itself”?

Can the Product Title be Duplicated?

The product SKU or product number shouldn’t be duplicated, but the product title is based on your experience. The CannaSOS.Shop marketplace will have an ability to automatically combine your product title with other parameters, which you will insert when installing the product and creating a unique Title.

Why can’t I see the URL when installing the product?

The URL is generated only once and it will not be possible to change it. The URL is formed after the product has passed the moderation phase.