Grouping SKUs

Understand the purpose of SKU groups as well as how they're defined, managed, and associated with products

A SKU group represents a collection of products with similar compliance requirements. SKU groups store product compliance data so that it can be used when calculating taxes, determining landed cost, identifying goods at international borders, creating invoices, and numerous other downstream operations.

Product compliance data in SKU groups

Tax codes, export control classification numbers, dangerous goods handling requirements, and delivery confirmation requirements is just some of the product compliance data that is held in SKU groups.

Why use SKU groups?

You can use SKU groups to:

Reduce compliance burdens

SKU groups minimize the complexity of product compliance. With SKU groups, you're no longer solely responsible for researching and defining product data.

When you use this resource, you don't have to know your product's tax code, country specific tariff codes, and other arcane data. Digital River uses its product classification services to help you identify these values.

Simplify catalog management

SKU groups can also simplify the process of managing product data.

If you decide to use product details and SKU groups in checkouts or checkout-sessions, then you don't have to persist any basic product data in Digital River's system.

Instead, at run-time, you simply retrieve this basic product data from your system and send it to us. This means you're not required to keep product catalogs in your system synchronized with SKU data in our system.

Open new markets

SKU groups allow you to open new markets with less effort.

As Digital River adds product compliance fields to the SKU group resource, you can use the data contained in these fields to access new markets. In other words, your application continues sending the same basic product data in checkouts or checkout-sessions. But, due to internal modifications made to the SKU group by Digital River, your products become compliant in new markets.

Similarly, new data added to existing SKU group fields can also be used to open markets.

Example one

At some point, Digital River identifies product compliance data that is needed to ship goods into Indonesia. If this is a market opportunity you're interested in pursuing, we can add this data to your SKU groups.

After that, whenever a customer in Indonesia makes a purchase on your site, this new compliance data is passed downstream to the appropriate logistics services.

Example two

Your SKU groups may currently configure your products for sale into ten different countries. At some point, however, you identify another country that you'd like to export your products to.

In this case, Digital River only needs to add product tariff codes specific to that country to your SKU groups (along with any other required compliance data) to make your products eligible for export to this country.

Defining and managing SKU groups

Prior to launch, Digital River works with you to analyze your product catalog and understand your trading patterns (i.e., what products you're selling, where you're shipping these products from, and where you're shipping them too).

We then help classify your products and determine the compliance requirements for each category. That information is used to define and create your SKU groups.

Once created, you have access to each SKU group's unique identifier and alias.

The SKU group

Digital River exposes a SKU group's unique identifier and alias.

Unique identifier

A SKU group's unique id reflects the products that are associated with it. For example, if your site sells computer accessories, your SKU groups might have some of the following id values:

  • wireless-keyboards

  • wireless-mice

  • memory-cards

  • docking-stations

You use can use this identifier to (1) associate SKU groups with products and (2) list SKU groups.


A SKU group's alias is meant to provide a more detailed description of the SKU group. For example, a SKU group with an id of wireless-keyboards might have an alias of wireless keyboards with lithium-ion batteries.

Managing SKU groups

Digital River and you are responsible for:

Digital River is responsible for:

  • Creating SKU groups

  • Updating SKU groups

  • Deleting SKU groups

You are responsible for:

Associating SKU groups

Depending on how you decide to send product data in create checkout or create checkout session requests, you need to either (1) associate your SKU groups with SKUs or (2) associate your SKU groups with products in your system.

You can associate SKU Groups with SKUs by specifying skuGroupId in the body of a POST/skus, POST/skus/{id}, or PUT/skus/{id} request.

A GET/sku-groups request provides a menu of your available SKU groups:

    "hasMore": false,
    "data": [
            "id": "wireless-keyboards",
            "alias": "Wireless keyboards with lithium-ion batteries"
            "id": "wireless-mice",
            "alias": "Wireless mice with lithium-ion batteries"
            "id": "memory-cards",
            "alias": "Compact flash memory cards"
            "id": "docking-stations",
            "alias": "Port replicator/hub docking stations"

You could use this returned data to run a job that associates each SKU group with the appropriate SKUs in our system or products in your system. (e.g., For each of your SKUs that describe a wireless keyboard, set its skuGroupId to wireless-keyboards).

You could also use a GET/sku-groups to help you build a GUI widget in your admin portal that allows users to associate and disassociate SKU groups with SKUs and products.

Migrating to SKU groups

If you’re currently using SKUs and are considering a migration to SKU groups (or are in the process of doing so already), then you should be aware that for every items[] you add to a checkout or a checkout-session, SKU group data takes precedence over SKU data.

This prioritization logic applies to any differing tax codes, harmonized system codes, and export control classification numbers that are stored in both the SKU and its associated SKU group.

For example, let’s say an items[] in a checkout contains a reference to a SKU whose taxCode is 4323.310_A and that same SKU is associated with a SKU group which stores a different tax code.

    "id": "7ce5a1a4-9b2b-419c-b6d0-4be836c273f9",
    "items": [
            "id": "f131a7b3-c1bb-4c83-bd8a-c0ba2bcc3b0f",
            "skuId": "13e038fe-0b23-4502-86c5-ab4496a9674d",
            "tax": {
                "rate": 0.07525,
                "amount": 1.51

In this case, Digital River’s tax service uses the SKU group’s tax code when computing that line item's taxes. The service also uses that same tax code to determine whether the item’s products should be treated as physical or digital goods.

For more details, refer to:

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