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Case Staples

Streamlining Product Relationships: How PowerRelate Automates Variant Detection for Staples

Today, with customers in 30 European countries and an additional 20 markets worldwide, Staples is the largest company in its industry. They don’t just sell office supplies; they strive to help customers achieve their goals. This means that they offer their customers a user-friendly webshop where they are easily provided with the variants and alternatives of products. Detecting these product relationships can be automated with PowerRelate so that no unnecessary manual work has to be done.


Staples offers a wide range of all kinds of office supplies and strives to offer these items to its customers in an accessible way. It is nice for customers to be able to see the different variations of a product in one overview. For example, if a customer looks at the product detail page of a desk, it would be nice if there was also a list of the same desks in the other sizes and other colors available.

In order to be able to offer this functionality, it is important that the variant relations between the different products are recorded in the Product Information Management (PIM) system. In practice, however, recording these relations is an enormously time-consuming manual task. The challenge for Staples was to find a solution to automate this proces without a lot of manual editing.


The modern artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in PowerRelate automatically create clusters of similar products that are variants of each other. It is also determined per cluster on which characteristics (such as size, color, type, etc.) can be varied. The automatically established product relations are presented to Staples employees in an administrator portal for validation. After validation, the related products can be exported to the PIM system to feed the various e-commerce environments in the different countries.

Learn more about how AI can automatically detect product relationships for E-commerce.