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Human quality, machine speed: 180,000 product texts in three languages for a DIY giant

Achieving quantity without compromising on quality – Switzerland’s DIY chain JUMBO partnered with Supertext for texts and translations for its online store. The result: elegant technical solutions with a human touch.

Effective product descriptions are key to e-commerce. They improve the customer journey while boosting the visibility of a company’s online store. And the more languages they come in, the more effective they are. Unlike poetry or marketing copy, product texts aren’t about artistic language; they’re about conveying the most important information about a product in a unique text that reads well. You can find out more about how this works here.

Until 2018, the Swiss DIY chain JUMBO had no online store. The decision to launch a web shop meant its entire range of over 60,000 products – spanning everything from garden furniture to construction materials to bicycles – needed to be put online. In German, French and Italian, to boot.

Human or machine?

Huge volumes with tight deadlines are a familiar story when it comes to product descriptions. And JUMBO was no exception: the DIY giant needed 180,000 texts as quickly as possible. That meant it had to reckon with either high costs, or with compromises on quality. Option one was a machine-based solution, i.e. digitally generated texts which are then run through a machine translation engine like DeepL. JUMBO went for option two: texts written and translated by people – both services that Supertext specializes in. The decision to go with the human approach had a positive impact on the quality of the texts, as Head of Communications Daniel Hofmann observes:

“When it comes to machine translation, the probability of producing shoddy content is high. If you only have a few thousand texts, you can feasibly carry out a separate quality control phase; if you’ve got tens of thousands of items, however, you really need the texts to be high-quality from the start. And high-quality original texts only come from motivated writers.”

Top-quality content delivered straight to the system

JUMBO needed texts and translations at a high standard, and it needed them as efficiently as possible. Faced with such high volumes, there was no time for cumbersome manual processes. This would take far too long, and the risk of error would be far too high – not to mention the costs. Instead, JUMBO worked together with the Supertext IT team to create a workflow that meant JUMBO could manage its orders in the same place all of its product information was stored: its own internal PIM system.


You can find out more about the integration process here.

Using an API interface, JUMBO’s orders appear directly in Supertext’s in-house platform. This means that the 57 language professionals involved can get started with the copywriting, translation and quality assurance process right away. Once the work is completed, the process is reversed and the texts are automatically re-integrated into the JUMBO system. A translation memory and a company glossary help ensure consistency, as well as saving time and money.

“Supertext unites freelance translators, project managers and sophisticated technical systems in one, so clients get everything from a single source.”

Using this process, the texts for the entire product range were written by real copywriters in the space of just two years. Thanks to the smart set-up, up to 3,000 new product texts could be published a week during peak times. And the collaboration is still ongoing: around 15% more items are added to the online store each year. In addition, Supertext also translates editorial content and marketing communications for the JUMBO website.

Texts optimized for Google – and customers

SEO is part and parcel of every JUMBO project. The relevant keywords are integrated directly into the texts in all languages – which is only possible by having human writers and translators on board. This has boosted both online visibility and the conversion rate in JUMBO’s online shop. No two texts are the same, which not only improves the SEO ranking, but also the customer’s shopping experience. It gives them more trust in the retailer and helps them build a bond with the brand faster – two key ingredients for e-commerce success.

Looking for a multilingual solution for your online store? Whether you’d prefer to use human linguists or machines (or a combination of the two), Supertext will find the right set-up for you. Get in touch with us.

Video via Supertext

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