The age of big data has brought us some big changes in the way we were doing eCommerce business. One may say that it improved the workflow, but it also made things a bit more complicated. The fact is that tools for competitor’s price monitoring are now playing a big role in your pricing strategy, but there is something that makes price monitoring and comparison possible and cost-effective for you, and that is the product matching software. Without the product matching process done the right way, the price monitoring and comparison would be useless and your pricing strategy would most likely turn out to be based on some misleading premises.
A product matching software is any software that finds similar products across multiple websites, based on the attributes of the product (e.g. product title, SKU, picture).
Product matching is a process where a product matching software compares attributes of a product on website A with attributes on other websites and looks for matches. This may appear like a simple task, but what is simple for the human eye, can cause troubles for a machine. For example, many products can have different variations, which leads to a different SKU. Also, the product name can be slightly different on some websites, even if it’s the same product. This is the biggest challenge to every product matching software on the market.
So, as we mentioned, you can go around the web and look for product matches manually, using a spreadsheet. This, of course, can’t be count as product matching software, since a human performs the task. However, if we introduce some help from a machine, the process becomes semi-automated or even fully automated – and this is the main purpose of the software – to make the process as automatic and accurate as possible.
Most of the time, you won’t find a separate product matching software or a tool that has only one purpose – to match products. The main reason for this is that researchers, teams, and companies that develop this kind of software usually put it to use instead of selling it as a service. So, what if you want to perform price monitoring and comparison tasks, you should rather look for a price monitoring tool that has product matching software integrated, rather than looking for two separate tools. This will save your time and money, since you will pay for only one software, and you won’t have to import matched products to the price monitoring software manually.
In the age where data science became one of the most important fields of development if you want to survive, you need to use big data for your advance. If you don’t start monitoring prices and do the price comparisons regularly, you will stop being competitive very fast, and your business will suffer. Always keep in mind that competitiveness relies on information advantages. The better you are at gathering and analyzing data, the better results you will get. And this is not only the case for retailer businesses – but enterprises from many industries also can benefit from good data analytics and will definitely struggle to keep up with competitors, market trends, and customers if they fail to introduce a precise data gathering and analyzing technique.
Let’s imagine the price monitoring and comparison tool you are using is a car. You can buy a very shiny one, super fast and eye-catching, however, without the right fuel, it won’t even start. In this sense, we can consider the product matching software a sort of a Gas station for our price monitoring and comparison tool. You need reliable matches in order to perform price comparisons.
eCommerce is growing fast, and it has to thank for its success to the fact that it’s much easier to gather and analyze data online than in regular stores. In fact, it would be impossible to gather and monitor the prices of your competitors if they weren’t online. The problem is, you are online, too. So, you can monitor them, but they are most likely monitoring you, as well. The only way to make an advantage compared to them is to use better software than they are using.
Since there is a huge need for reliable product matching software, and, as we mentioned, it would be impossible for price monitoring companies to offer a good service without it, we are witnessing a big number of this kind of software popping up. However, not all of them have the same power, and some of them can be very unreliable. There are a few important points you have to keep in mind when deciding is some product matching software good for you
As we have already discussed, you won’t get to choose the product matching software itself. Instead, you will most likely choose between different price comparison tools that are offering some kind of product matching services. So, you need to pay attention here. The two most important features you need to look for in those offers are accuracy and flexibility.
When it comes to product matching, it’s all about accuracy. The most important rule of product matching is to minimize false positives. A false positive is generated when the software indicates that two products are identical, but aren’t. This is what you want to avoid because if the data provided by the product matching software is wrong, your repricing decisions based on that data will be wrong, too. Some of the best software is offering up to 99.8% matching accuracy, and this is what you should look for. Don’t settle with some lower rates, 95% could appear fine to you, but this can cause you some troubles in the future – so, if you want to be the best, look for the best software!
Not every solution is suitable for every business. This is why you need to look for a product matching software that offers different options and decide which one is the best for you. Automatch (automated product matching) is a great option if you need to match identical products. However, in many industries, it often happens that the products you want to match are not identical, they can differ in volume for example. This is why you would want to look for a price monitoring tool that also offers manual product matching, performed by real people. It can be a good solution for you if you don’t have a lot of products that need to be matched, but what if you have over 1000 products for example – then manual product matching can get expensive and will last a bit longer. This is why the best among price monitoring tools, such as Price2Spy, introduced another option within its product matching software. It is called Hybrid product matching. This is a semi-automated process relying on matches based on Machine Learning, reviewed and approved by humans.
Even though it is less likely you will get to choose a product matching software itself, it should definitely be one of the most important factors when deciding which price monitoring and comparison tool you are going to use because this decision will have a huge influence on your results in the future.
If you are not sure which one to choose, we recommend Price2Spy, since it offers an accuracy of up to 99.8% (the market high) and you can decide for yourself if you want to use automatch, manual product matching, or AI-based product matching via machine learning (Hybrid product matching). Try free for 30 days!