Automate product matching and cross referencing

Product matching, product cross referencing and product coding are all synonyms for the same process. Product matching is the process of identifying products that are similar or equivalent to a given product. This is typically done to help customers find the products they need or to find alternatives to a product that may be out of stock, discontinued, or simply unavailable. Product matching can be done manually or with the help of algorithms and solutions.


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.

Benefits automate product matching and cross referencing

Product matching, product cross referencing or product coding can be complex and time consuming. This is why our solutions automate product matching and cross referencing. This is done through smart algorithms and with our next update, Machine Learning.


Why automate product matching and cross referencing?

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