Article overview

The article tells you how Sniffie handles product matches. You will learn following things:

  1. What is a product match?

  2. How is product match information stored in Sniffie?

  3. How does Sniffie suggest product matches?

  4. How to get optimal product match suggestions?

  5. How to confirm a product match

  6. How to remove a match

  7. How does automatic Sniffie Matching work?

What is a Sniffie match?

To make sure you compare apples with apples we need to first distinguish what is a comparable product. Let’s take an example: iPhones. If you are matching an Apple iPhone 8 to another similar one, Sniffie offers you two possibilities to match. Either the match is an Exact match or it is a Substitute Match. To explain you the detailed difference between a Substitute Match and an Exact match here is an example with iPhones:

  1. Apple iPhone 8 vs. Apple iPhone 7 -> not a match

  2. Apple iPhone 8 vs. Apple iPhone 8 -> might be, but more likely a Substitute

  3. Apple iPhone 8, 64 Gt, Gold vs. Apple iPhone 8, 64 Gt, Gold -> Exact match, because the product is exactly the same

As the above picture shows, the match level always starts from the smallest combining factor such as a product code (EAN, UPC etc.), to make sure we are comparing similar products. If the product is not exactly the same but is a similar one, then the product is given a substitute level.

How product match information is stored

Sniffie stores information about similar products in product groups (technically product graphs). That is, each product that has been matched with other similar products has a direct, two-way relationship to all other products in that product group. 

Exact product matches belong to a certain product group. Substitute matches can link to different product groups and be substitutes to different kind of products.

How Sniffie suggests matches

In many cases matching is done automatically, but sometimes you may want to do it manually. In such cases Sniffie will suggest you the right matches for your products. Here is how it works: Sniffie uses all the available data you have extracted from the websites for each product and makes comparisons to all other products you have in your catalog. It starts by looking exactly similar products and shows you the best matches based on the data in the system. If there are no exact products to be shown, Sniffie gives you similar products based on the similarity of the product information.

Note that Sniffie’s matches are suggestions based on your whole data set. You can always override Sniffie’s match suggestions with your own preferences or needs.

To get optimal match suggestions, make sure you collect and provide us enough data

Collecting enough data is important for Sniffie to be able to make distinctions between two similar products. The more information you give us on a product, such as all its existing codes (EAN, Product code, Manufacturer code, SKU code etc.) and characteristic information (Size, Colour, Brand etc.), the more reliable and full your data will be.

What happens when you confirm or override matches

When you make changes to product matches by either adding or removing matches that Sniffie has made for you, the relationship between the items changes. Here is how it goes:

1. Confirming a product match

If you confirm exact product matches, all two-way relationships between the products are generated automatically. That means all products are linked to each and everyone in that product group.

2. Removing a product match

If you remove any product matches, all two-way relationships between affected product and its peers are removed. That means all products that are removed will no longer have any links to that product group or any of its products.

3. Combining product match groups

If you combine a product match group to another, it generates one group where all products are linked to each and everyone in that product group.

Question you might be wondering:

Can I match all products automatically?

Sniffie’s automatic product matcher sensitivity and specificity is over 95% in cases there’s plenty of data extracted for each product. This means that Sniffie is able to provide automatic matches with high accuracy and high probability. If you are really certain that Sniffie’s matches are correct automatically (e.g. exactly same product code between products), just contact Sniffie support. Sniffie data experts will help you to do the automatic matching whenever needed. 

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