Retail Shake Academy

The characteristics of similar products

The aim of comparing product characteristics is to allow clients to be able to compare their product with regard to criteria other than price. And to be able to enhance our data base for comparable products (as seen in the video about the price comparison tool)

My name is Irwan Djoehana, founder of Retail Shake, and I’m delighted to guide you through this lesson about the characteristics of similar products.


The 1st step is normalization

Definition of the word, “to normalize”: 

In-house, when we scrape a web page, the product characteristics will not be expressed in the same way: “length 5 cm” and on another site: “length of: 5 cm”. With a computer we therefore can’t compare them because they aren’t listed in the same manner. Our data scientist has worked on expressing this by computer, for example, “at Leroy Merlin L= Length at Saint Maclou”. For this task, we try to discover how each brand communicates. We thereby normalize the product.

The 2nd step is: standardization

The aim is for each piece of data to be expressed using the same unit. To this end, we use tools allowing us to standardize data (for example Pint) The tool ensures that the quantities are comparable.

The 3rd step is our “Similar product” department

In this department, we firstly eliminate any identical products (even Gtin). Then we work hand in hand with the client to find out what aspect they want to compare in their products: length, couleur, use, etc. We suggest to clients characteristics which we think are most suited to them, after which we work together to find the ones which make most sense. 

The trickiest thing is to compare several characteristics simultaneously, while ranking them according to the client’s order of importance. 

For times when there are several characteristics simultaneously, we have introduced a tolerance system; for example, if the length isn’t exactly the same, we grant a right to error depending on its importance in the order of comparable characteristics.

For each new client, we have to normalize products to best meet our client’s requirements. This also depends on the sector; for example, for clothing, it’s easier to make a visual comparison than one for fabric or length. 

Now you know more about the characteristics of similar products. 

Thanks for watching this video and see you soon at the Retail Shake academy. 

By Clémentine