Text-based product matching and other matching possibilities
There are multiple ways to match products. Text-based product matching or text-based cross-referencing is a technique used to identify similar or equivalent products based on textual descriptions. A match on text can be valuable or useless depending on the text itself. Other attributes which can be valuable are:
- Product numbers: one of the strongest indicators of a correct match is the product number. For example, in Europe the European Article Number (EAN) is used. The EAN is a 13-digit code that is used to identify products, and it is typically displayed as a barcode on product packaging. In the United States, the equivalent of the EAN is the Universal Product Code (UPC). The UPC is also a barcode standard used to identify products, and it consists of a 12-digit code. If you have a match on EAN or UPC you can be confident that the match is correct. Other product numbers like manufacturers code, supplier code or internal numbers also give a strong indication that a match is correct but do not guarantee that a product is the right product. For example, manufacturers use the same ERP systems to create product numbers, which can be the same.
- Brand name: having an overlap on brand name already gives the indication that the right brand is selected. Next to other attributes this can help select the right product or alternative.
- Dimensions: for many product categories a dimension can give an indication that a product is correct or incorrect. When customers request fasteners or bearings it is crucial that the dimensions are correct.
- Categories: an overlap on category often gives you a great visibility of the type of product your customer is looking for, but, does not mean the right product is matched. More attributes are necessary to make this conclusion.