What car parts, cosmetics and beverages have in common, that is, how tricky product matching can be?
- 07 July 2020
The price monitoring configuration process in Dealavo starts with offer matching, i.e. matching them with products that the client wants to monitor. Due to an increasingly growing number of platforms with products that are sometimes not exactly described the process can however be complicated, and it’s not difficult to make a mistake. However, our experts from the Quality Assurance division developed a system that allows for matching offers with very high accuracy and correctness. How?
We cooperate with clients
We wrote more about how exactly our matching process looks like in this article. Obtaining information from the client is its first and most important phase. The more details concerning the products monitored by them we receive, the easier it will be for us to make a correct match. Indication by the client of unique differentiators, such as EAN or MPN, makes it possible for us to effectively assign offers from many sources, even those not directly marked with EANs.
Correct matching of offers sometimes involves the necessity to gain industry knowledge necessary to properly distinguish between product variants. The problem may be for example wrong recognition of a product marked with a symbol which is not known to us but is commonly recognizable in the sector concerned. Thus, talks with clients are essential, in particular at the initial stage, since they allow us to eliminate a significant part of potential errors at the outset.
We carry out manual verification
It happens that products chosen for monitoring by the client are difficult to match, e.g. due to the fact that EAN is not known. However, sometimes even unique differentiators are not enough. A typical example of such a situation is products in two-packs or 12-packs, which is common in sales of beverages. Although individual SKUs have the same EAN, their multipack has a different code and a different price. Also, MPN codes are not always clear – it happens that the manufacturer assigns the same symbols to the entire batch without distinction between colors or variants. In such situations, we carry out additional manual verification.
We constantly improve the algorithm
One of the typical errors faced while matching offers is matching wrong volume units. It applies mainly to medicines, cosmetics, detergents, and other products available in various sizes. If our algorithm operating in semi-automatic mode is not sure whether a given match is correct, it forwards it to us for manual verification. We then analyze the case by comparing the prices and volumes to our knowledge of a given product category, and then we configure our algorithm so that it will be able to independently solve a similar problem in the future.
Matching errors may also happen with complementary products whose description contains the name of the model for which they are intended, e.g. laptop, car, or washing machine. In order for an algorithm not to make wrong matches, treating accessories identically as the products themselves, in such situation we configure the algorithm so that it eliminates offers containing, in their description, any words being names of additional articles (e.g. “toner” in the name of a printer toner).
We ensure constant oversight
In order to ensure the highest possible quality of matching, we constantly oversee the offer matching process. Once in a while we thoroughly review the account and adjust the algorithms so that they effectively eliminate the false positive and false negative, i.e. wrong matches and wrong skips, based on the manual. Every day we also carry out additional matching and collect new offers.
Our strength also consists in the fact that we remain in constant contact with the client and ask them not only about their current needs but also about any potential changes in a relevant category. Over the months or years, the market may change significantly since new products and websites are still appearing on it. The fact that we take it into consideration in our process allows us to constantly ensure the highest matching quality.
If you wish to get more information about price monitoring and offer matching process, please contact us – our experts will advise you on the best solutions to ensure you will be able to effectively obtain knowledge about the market in which you are operating.