Automated Product Texts at Schäfer Shop

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Harry Olfert was available for an interview about his work with AX Semantics. His experiences are certainly interesting for everyone who is involved in content creation for products.


1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. 

My name is Harry Olfert, and I am 40 years old, married, and the father of three children. 

Since 2005 I have been working in the field of Product Information Management (PIM). Initially, I worked in a purchasing and marketing cooperation, where I was involved in the development of a PIM system as well as setting up and managing the corresponding department. Later, I built up the sales work of a Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider. Since the beginning of 2017 I have been at the Schäfer Shop in Betzdorf, Germany.


2. What is your role at Schäfer Shop?

As head of content management, I am responsible for the process from product data on-boarding to completion and transmission to a wide variety of channels. Of course, this also includes the strategic development of the content.


3. The importance of content is undisputed. Which concrete goals do automated product descriptions help you achieve?

We know that the retail trade is constantly in motion and that we therefore must focus on the needs of our customers when selecting our product ranges. As a result, fast response times are absolutely essential. We asked ourselves how we could significantly shorten the “time to market” and at the same time improve the quality of our product data in such a way that the customer enjoys ordering at the Schäfer Shop.

We set high standards for our content, so that sometimes up to an hour is needed to write new product text–too long to meet our requirements. Thus the original goal was to increase the speed drastically by means of automated text generation. 

Furthermore, we pursue the goal of using the competence of our copywriters in the content team for the work on our text. Automation frees people from rote tasks. In this way it empowers the copywriter to deal with product characteristics and to incorporate answers to questions that the customer may ask when purchasing. 

In addition to speed and quality, we also pursue economic goals. Due to the lower costs, we easily can optimize the descriptions more frequently and are therefore always up to date.

Here is an example for a product description generated with the software from AX Semanticsschäfer

4. How did you convince the company of the benefits of automated text creation?

That was easy. First of all, at the Schäfer Shop, we address topics that we think will still be useful in 5 years and beyond. This means that there is always a healthy curiosity to try something new. On top of that there were very promising statements from you and your software, which convinced us in terms of their content. Since there was practically no entry barrier due to the modern price concept, we got started quickly.


5. What has happened at Schäfer Shop as a result of this innovation?

I believe the most important development is that we are discovering more and more potential.  Large quantities of new articles will not create bottlenecks in the text in the future. 

When we “pressed the button” for the first time for a category with approx. 600 articles and 10 minutes later received top-quality text as a result for these 600 articles, we were really astonished, and the last skeptics were silenced. Our copywriters work more closely with the product managers. They build up product competence, learn what really matters, and advise our customers increasingly better through optimized content.


6. What are your plans for the near future?

First, it is now about finishing the templates for the whole assortment. At the same time, we are working on integrating other languages in order to be able to offer our customers abroad perfect product descriptions.

Thank you for the interview and the nice insights into the work at Schäfer Shop. I am happy to share further experiences with AX Semantics.


For more reports about the experiences with our software and the Hybrid Content Editors, have a look at the interview with Bernd Vermaaten from