Manufacturer Name Standardizer (MSN)

Posted by Lydia Vasilyeva 2 years, 9 months ago 2 comments

A common problem in eCommerce when dealing with catalogs from multiple vendors is slight variations of manufacturer name. As trivial as it sounds, it presents a significant problem with training of categorization models, item grouping and linking products to external catalogs.

The specific use case is to be used as an API in backed catalog processing to normalize the manufacturer name for other back end components. For example, in the below scenaio two vendors submit the same item, with variations in manufacturer name. To most people, HP and Hewlett-Packard are synonymous, however not to computers.

If catalog processing  system is not able to link the two manufacturers under a common term; both items will be processed as two separate products. This means several things:

  • External catalog data that could enhance product information will be missed
  • Categorization may not properly categorize the product
  • Consumers will not be able to easily compare prices

If this happens to a single item, it may not present a significant issue. However, as the catalog grows into the millions, these types of discrepancies become more common and hundreds of thousands of items get missed.

Manufacturer Name Standardizer (MNS) resolves this problem through a simple API that maps common variations of manufacturer names and outputting a single standard value that can be used for these back end processes.

MNS should be incorporated into initial catalog loading, as well as retrieval of data from 3rd party systems. This normalization will provide a standard manufacturer name for the rest of the processing that will increase effectiveness of other internal processes. 

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