Behind the scenes

Journalism in an online shop? Sure thing!

Martin Jungfer
Zurich, on 11.10.2021
Co-author: Oliver Fischer
Translation: Veronica Bielawski

Galaxus offers more than just shopping. Enjoy news articles, background information pieces and product reviews. The editorial team is independent and brutally honest. Here’s how we do it – and what’s in it for you.

If you’ve landed at Galaxus in search of a new knife, lawn mower or smartphone, you’re already on the right track. After all, Galaxus is an online store. It’s where you can go to buy things. But Galaxus is more than just that. It’s home to an editorial team that counts nearly 30 editors, a video team, photographers and social media experts who write and produce a wide variety of journalistic content. But it isn’t textbook content marketing. What we create isn’t an advertisement for products. Our goal as editors isn’t to sell you things.

What we research and write or talk about in front of the camera has only one goal: to provide you, the reader, with exciting news, helpful reviews and interesting background information. Our daily work is guided by journalistic principles. These include being accurate and diligent, truthful and independent.

Why we’re experts

Our editorial team is made up of journalists. Every one of us is either an expert in the subject area we research and report on, or a trained, experienced journalist who has worked for magazines, newspapers, TV stations or online portals. In fact, most of us are both.

Editor Simon Balissat conferring with video producer Manuel Wenk.
Editor Simon Balissat conferring with video producer Manuel Wenk.

We strive to make this expertise clear in our articles whenever possible and meaningful. We explain why we’ve reached a certain verdict about a given product. But we’re also honest when we don’t know something. In this case, we either consult other experts on the matter or acquire the missing knowledge ourselves and disclose our sources to you.

We don’t claim to know every detail about everything. We don’t work in a lab, and we don’t take apart each piece of equipment or test each product to death. Our reviews are authentic, honest and oriented towards everyday use. We know – or at least believe we know – how to use the products and can judge whether they live up to what marketing copywriters promise us in flowery language.

How we choose what to report on

There are hundreds of thousands of products in our online store, and hundreds of new ones are added every week. And, of course, every manufacturer wants you to find its products and ideally buy them. But our job in the editorial team isn’t to help the sellers. What we report on and what we consider to be relevant news is decided solely by us in the editorial team. We always consider what might interest you, the reader. This could be the latest rumour about an Apple product. Or it could be the news that a popular shoe manufacturer has switched to using sustainable materials.

We’re constantly on the lookout for interesting things – and especially interesting stories behind the things. This could be the latest technology in TVs or the question of whether Pattex or Uhu is better at gluing together a ten-year-old football boot. Other times, it may be the little things in life that annoy us, such as the impractical touch controls on modern stoves.

After we decide to review a given product, we try to get our hands on a sample of it. In some cases, it’s provided to us by the manufacturer. If not, we order one from our warehouse – just like you. But there’s one crucial difference: we return most of the products after we review them. We don’t keep them for ourselves. Consumables are the exception – there’s not much use in returning a half-empty tube of grout. We do also keep certain products for reference. That way, we can compare a successor model of something with its predecessor. And, in other cases, we give away products in a draw.

Why we can review and rate products independently

Now, you might argue that a manufacturer who sends us a product will want to and be allowed to have a say in our review – and demand it be positive, of course. To be clear: we don’t do deals like this. All manufacturers that send us products know there’s no guarantee of a positive review. Everyone at Galaxus holds this line – not just the editorial team, but also our colleagues in purchasing, all the way up to senior management. And manufacturers have taken complaints about the editorial team’s harsh criticism to senior management before, arguing that this is no way to sell a product. And that’s exactly the point. We’re the editorial team, not sales stooges. We review products and write articles for you and you alone. We want you, our customers, to have access to the best possible information to help you make a purchase decision. And we know that if you’re satisfied with the information and advice we give you, you’ll be that much more likely to return to our shop. If we sell you a load of bull, on the other hand, not so much.

Editor Carolin Teufelberger during a tech rehearsal in our TV studio. This is where a lot of our videos are filmed.
Editor Carolin Teufelberger during a tech rehearsal in our TV studio. This is where a lot of our videos are filmed.

Why you the reader are important to us

The Galaxus Community brings a lot of interesting pieces of information to our attention. We read the comments under our articles ourselves and respond to questions and criticism there, too – provided it’s well founded and to the point. By the way, we know we’re not infallible. If you point out errors to us, or if we discover any ourselves after publication, we’ll own up to them, correct the article accordingly, and add a note for the sake of transparency.

Not everything is journalism...

Attention: not all of the articles you see on our website have been penned by the editorial team. Our buyers, also known as Category Management, routinely let you know about new manufacturers and products in our range. You can recognise these articles by the section «New to our range», as indicated above the headline. Articles in the section «Promotion» are also written by Category Management. These offer information on sales and other deals on products in our range.

We’re aware that our content still comes across as quite a mess, especially if you don’t just want to click around, but are looking for something specific, like inspiration, information about a product or the hottest deals. We’re working to make that easier.

Do you have any other questions?

We hope this article has given you some insight into the work of the editorial team at Galaxus. If you have any questions, want to give us feedback or want to let us know which topics we should cover, don’t hold back. Leave a comment below or write me an e-mail. You can find my e-mail address in my user profile.

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My career as a journalist began back when printing presses were still a thing. Writing pieces for a publication aimed at breeders of small animals was my first steppingstone. Several years later, I got a call from headquarters. I was put in charge of several digitisation projects and establishing audience management strategies for regional newspapers and the NZZ. I’ve been with Digitec Galaxus since 2020, writing articles whenever I get the chance. As I have semi-superficial knowledge of many things, my spectrum of topics is quite broad. 

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