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Niemir Maciej (Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland), Mrugalska Beata (Poznan University of Technology, Poland)
Identifying the Cognitive Gap in the Causes of Product Name Ambiguity in E-commerce
LogForum, 2022, vol. 18, nr 3, s. 257-364, rys., tab., wykr., bibliogr. 16 poz.
Handel elektroniczny, Innowacyjność produktu, Jakość produktu
e-commerce, Product innovation, Product quality
Background: Global product identification standards and methods of product data exchange are known and widespread in the traditional market. However, it turns out that the e-commerce market needs data that have not already received much attention, for which no standards have been established in relation to their content. Furthermore, their current quality is often perceived below expectations. This paper discusses the issues of product name and highlights its problems in the context of e-commerce. Attention is also drawn to the source of liability for erroneous data. Methods: The research methodology is based on the analysis of data of products available on the Internet through product catalog services, online stores, and e-marketplaces, mainly in Poland, but addresses a global problem. Three research scenarios were chosen, comparing product names aggregated by GTIN, starting with e-commerce sites and ending with product catalogs working with manufacturers. In addition, a scenario of name-photo compatibility was included. Results: The results show that the product name, which in the real world is an integral part of the product as it appears on the label provided by the manufacturer, in the virtual world is an attribute consciously or not modified by the service provider. It turns out that discrepancies appear already at the source - at the manufacturer's level - publishing different names for the same product when working with data catalogs or publishing on product pages contributing to the so-called snowball effect. Conclusions: On the Internet, products do not have a fixed name that fully describes the product, which causes problems in uniquely identifying the same products in different data sources. This in turn reduces the quality of data aggregation, search, and reliability. This state of affairs is not solely the responsibility of e-commerce marketplace vendors, but of the manufacturers themselves, who do not take care to publicize the unambiguous and permanent name of their products in digital form. Moreover, there are no unambiguous global guidelines for the construction of a full product name. The lack of such a template encourages individual interpretations of how to describe a product. (original abstract)
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