Product matching via Machine Learning – Abstract

Price2Spy will soon be launching something no other price monitoring tool in the world offers – Product matching assisted by Machine Learning (ML).

We are very proud of this project – it took us 18 months of hard work, with a lot of tumbling in the dark. 18 months is a lot for a commercial project, it’s not often that software companies the size of Price2Spy go for such an investment. We did, and we are very happy that we can finally present the results.

These days you will read a lot about various ML projects. Please be aware that ML can be roughly divided into:

  • Numerical problems (for example: try to predict oil price based on number of available supply & demand factors – all numerical)
  • Text processing (for example: try to identify a degree of similarity between two pieces of text)
  • Image recognition (heavily used by government agencies worldwide)

Product matching combines all 3 of the above – basically, you have 2 products shown on 2 websites, and you need to establish whether they are a match. Their naming might be similar or not, their descriptions will most likely vary, the images used might also have a degree of similarity, and of course, they both have a price, which should be similar, but not necessarily identical.

Let’s try to elaborate on the following example:

product matching example
  • Product prices are very similar: 28.75 vs 29.35
  • Product names are also very similar, but not identical
  • Volume is identical (75ml)
  • Product images are difficult to compare because the image on the right is skewed
  • So, is it a match or not? Please be patient, we get back to this question in a minute.

Pretty loose problem, isn’t it? And if you dive into ML aspects of it, not an easy one. Yet – Price2Spy managed to pull it off.

In the words of JF Kennedy – we did it not because it was easy, but rather because it was so difficult!

This is why we decided to share with you the story of this project – I believe it will be a good read both for Machine Learning (ML) enthusiasts and for eCommerce professionals who wonder how their product matching can be done in a more reliable and yet cost-effective way.

Back to our question – the above to products are NOT a match. Basically, Sensodyne has 2 very similar products:

  • Advanced Repair and Protect
  • Repair and Protect
  • (so, very close, but not a match!)

So, this was only a short introduction to this complex topic. Stay with us in order to find more about it in the following posts!

For more information please check these links:

About Price2Spy

Price2Spy is an online service that provides comprehensive and suitable solutions for eCommerce professionals including; retailers, brands/manufacturers and distributors in order to stay profitable in the current competitive market conditions. If you want to learn more about what Price2Spy can do for your business, please get a personalized free demo or start your 30-day free trial.

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Father of 2, Husband of 1, CEO of 3 :-)

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This blog is a place for eCommerce professionals to discuss ideas, methodologies and strategies to compete more effectively in the ever more tightening world of online retail. We explore things like competitive price monitoring, competitor business intelligence, competitive pricing, and counter-intelligence in general.

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