which product do you buy and why do you prefer a certain eCommerce platform? Welcome to the digital world. You are here and are here to stay!
There are billions of products which get sold online by several stores. It is challenging to identify and match the products for various reasons such as price comparison as there are no universal identifiers. It is here that machine learning and AI comes into the picture. AI helps you figure out those competitors’ products in the most efficient manner.
Today’s blog is all about product matching and how eCommerce retailers can benefit from it.
Let us explore more on this, shall we?
Now, product matching solves many problems. Let us tackle them in detail.
1. Several Products With No Way To Match Them
There are many situations where product matching is important. Retail stores might wish to compare the price of competitors for the same products. Customers use price comparisons for getting the best deals on the desired products. Online stores such as Amazon which enable sellers to offer similar products make sure that similar products are listed on a single product page.
Product matching helps everyone from the manufacturers, retailers, and sellers to the customers. Matching products online can lead to better product development from the manufacturer’s point of view.
PriceIntelGuru’s product matching software is one of the leading tools used by many across the globe.
Product descriptions and titles seldom have a standard format. Each online store and its listed sellers have different titles and descriptions for a similar product. The format for the feature list is also different and so are the images. There might be some differentiating factors and identifiers such as MPN, UPC, GTIN, etc. but they are not mentioned on the product page for the stores selling them.
Even the attributes might be described in a different manner. While some might mention 5”, others might write 5 inches. Images might differ in clarity, perspective, tone, etc. The brand name might be referred to differently. Thus, it is not possible for a human to visit various pages and check the product pages for product matching. It’s here that machine learning comes to the rescue.
3. Role of AI for Product Matching
When it comes to machine learning solutions for product matching, the service provider creates a database for billions of products. In this process, the information is collected with web crawls and feeds.
The system then comes up with a universal classification. It can be difficult as retailers use different classifications for the products. As a result, the same product might get listed in more than one category. The product matching system needs to first design a standard classification irrespective of the classification done by the online store.
There are some standard classification models such as GS1, Amazon, and Google Taxonomy. However, the product match solution will create its own classification. It is created after identifying patterns and signals from titles, breadcrumbs, product attributes and descriptions, and images. Once the classification has been done, the product match comes into the picture. There is a need for precise comparison to make sure that it’s the same product inspite of the difference intitle, description, images, etc.
How does product Matching Work
The UPC, GTIN, and other identifiers on the product page are searched. The product title needs to get compared. Two product titles can never be the same in various stores for the same product. Deep learning techniques are used for identifying the recognizing the similarities, learning the differences, and creating word-level embedding to develop a system of representation for common words. It consists of teaching the system to identify different references and come up with a unique representation for each entity.
1. Identification: A product is identified using the title, description, images, specifications, attributes, etc. In some cases, the product title alone will offer a lot of information. The product matching system needs to learn to sort the product name from the specifications. For example, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the phone model and title offer additional information such as US version, memory size, factory unlocked refurbished, etc.
2. Extraction: This information needs to be extracted and sorted and placed in suitable categories such as memory size, phone model, version, etc. Various product matching methods might be used for helping the system classify the sets of information.
3. Comparison: Another comparison might be a similar product with more information in the form of a description which consists of memory and screen size information, tags in the title, and a specifications table. They help in adding more knowledge about the product. This helps the machine in identifying an exact product match or mismatch during next the comparison.
4. Classification: The standard identifying signals are the same results for unique identification numbers, brands, classifications, titles, attributes, and images. For each type of comparison, the system has to go through several steps and checks. A search for a unique identification number is performed followed by the test for keyword similarities, brand normalization, attribute normalization, image matching, etc.
5. Results: For the best product match result, there must be at least 99% of positive results. If the percentage is lesser, it is considered a mismatch even if it’s a variation between the same product such as iPhone 8 5.5” and iPhone 8 4.7”.
It is a complex process and it is to be known that different product match solutions might use different techniques as well as training methods. However, the benefit is that neural networks or machine learning system learns over time and get better with each use.
Why is Accuracy Important?
Businesses make their repricing decisions based on the data provided by the product matching. Therefore, if the steps are not performed the right way, it can lead to wrong decisions which result in wrong business decisions. It will be a result of a false positive which is generated when the algorithm recognizes two products are identical when they aren’t! This outcome should be avoided by every business.
How To Secure the Accuracy of Product Matching?
There are several price monitoring tools available in the market but one needs to pay close attention to how product matching is being conducted. As mentioned earlier, if the process is done on Google Search or marketplaces, the results can be misleading.
An automated price match is a process which can be tailored for meeting the specific needs of a business. It is performed at different intervals such as weekly, daily, and monthly. It is recommended for industries which use standardized product identifiers like MPNs, UPCs, ASINs, and EANs, or if you need more than 1000products matched.
In some cases, hybrid matching is the best solution wherein the product matching results need to be approved by a human. Machine learning based product matching can prove to be extremely beneficial for any business.
Benefits of Product Matching
1. Better Customer Insights: As we mentioned earlier, customers go online to match the price, products, brands and many other aspects. So, while you use an effective product matching tool like ours, you will get the customer insights regarding your customer searches. Additionally, this also helps in building better customer loyalty by addressing their complaints and providing solutions to those pain points. You can show more relevant products to customers. Moreover, product matching can also help in finding out the exact things your customers are searching for. Now, isn’t that interesting?
2. Enhanced Product Development: If your product development team doesn’t have access to the product matching software then they are missing out on many integral aspects. Let us explain. Product matching is not just a tool to monitor similar products and prices, but it also gives you an in-depth analysis of the complete product segment in the industry. For instance, you can find out which product of yours is performing better. Then, you can also get to know information like which are your loss-making products, competitor products, stock details and market trends.
3. Competitive Advantage: Now, as we talk about the eCommerce sector, it is not a secret that it is highly competitive out there. Product matching like ours can help you reach that goal with flair and also give you an edge over your competition. You can focus on providing the best product listings as compared to your competition.
4. Explore Opportunities: Global economy is growing and making newer changes as we speak. And with more tools like this can ease your life in growing in such scenarios.
Build, Connect and Innovate with Product Matching
As eCommerce continues to grow and evolve, companies are leaving no stone unturned to get the best piece of cake. A customer-centric approach, the best UX/UI websites, amazing interactions and being present on every platform – everything is being done by the companies. If you are a company trying to make a difference, then PriceIntelGuru’s product matching is one such tool, that you can’t live without. Contact us to get the detailed information regarding our exclusive offerings. You can also order a free demo!