Retail and product matching: how does AI optimize your team’s brainpower?

femme panneau help aide matching produits retail

Price is closely linked to a retailer’s attractiveness – and so, to its competitiveness, success and sustainability. The pandemic context confirms it: for a retailer, being able to fix the right price at the right time is a question of survival. Therefore, the competitive pressure on price is stronger than ever. A pricing strategy aiming to attract consumer cannot ignore competition. This is where an efficient product matching intervenes.

Powerful product matching to simulate and apply winning pricing strategies

Defining prices according to the competitive environment

Competition data collection – price, label, EAN and even picture – is the preliminary step to match products. For offline businesses and food market, data is usually acquired from major data providers. They can also be captured online, from competition website (Web Data Collect), or directly in-store (Scan In Store). Product matching increases these raw data’s value.

Product matching is the ability to link identical or comparable products of brand’s assortment and all related competitors. Once this link is created, the user can compare each one of his store’s products – and prices – to its competitors’.

The goal is simple: to analyze competitors price positioning and use relevant and exhaustive data when creating pricing strategies.

Our software suite, Optimix Pricing Analytics, relies on Artificial Intelligence to improve performance. So does its product matching module.

Improve product matching performance with Artificial Intelligence

Although essential in any competitive pricing strategy, product matching can be a bit boring. This process often requires that the user carries out the matching one product after another. Depending on the number of products and competitors the store refers to, this task can quickly become time consuming and discouraging for your teams.

To remedy this, our module uses Artificial Intelligence. It facilitates and speeds up matching process, supporting two types of procedure: automatic product matching based on EAN and product matching using AI to support the users.

Automatic product matching based on EAN

With automatic product matching, there is no user intervention required. The algorithm analyzes uploaded competitor’s data and compare them to the store’s own data. When it identifies identical EAN, it links the corresponding products together. This product matching is automatic.

Of course, this process allows our customers to save time and boost their performance. It contributes to generate a reliable product catalog, useful to increase competitiveness and improve price positioning.

Depending of the activity sector of the store, we estimate that between 40 and 80% of its products can be matched based on EAN. However, automatic matching isn’t always possible. The user must then intervene in order to complete the automatic product matching. AI will then support its decision-making process.

Product matching in one click.

Several scenarios require user intervention. For instance, when the compared products are:

  • Identical but their EAN don’t match,
  • Similar (own brand),
  • Identical but their size, volume, capacity, etc., don’t match.

Artificial Intelligence supports a simple and faster decision-making process. Let’s see how.

Our suite allows a simplified product matching based on two axes: the product’s picture and its label. The goal: to match one product in one click.

In order to do so, the Artificial Intelligence compares the pictures and descriptions of the products contained in the database. It standardizes the labels of competitor’s products, then gives each one of them a proximity coefficient weighted by prices. Based on this scoring, the AI sorts the closest competitor’s products compared to the brand’s. Now, the user just has to determine if the products are identical, similar or similar with a coefficient. One click is enough to match the products.

Optimix Pricing Analytics relies on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It allows AI to permanently improve price and products comparability.

The minimum threshold to define automatic matching can be setup on demand. For example, a possible configuration would be to allow AI to automatically match every product with a proximity coefficient above 98%.

The brand can be reluctant to mobilize high added value teams for the few remaining manual tasks (one click). If so, Optimix puts at its disposal the necessary resources to outsource product matching.

A fully customizable reporting

Our product matching module has dedicated screens showing the results of product matching. The user can consult different dashboards, picturing data such as competition frontality and competition detention percentage for example. The reporting is fully customizable in order to adapt to your environment and specific needs.

Recommended Posts