This is what editors look like who know exactly what they’re doing.
This is what editors look like who know exactly what they’re doing.
Background information

«But you’re an online shop!» – why we do what we do

David Lee
Zurich, on 05.04.2018
Translation: Eva Francis
I sometimes get the impression I need to explain why I do my job the way I do – why we look at products from our own shop with a critical eye or why we write about things that you can’t buy with us. There are good reasons for this.

Over a year ago, digitec launched an ad campaign that showed genuine user ratings. Many of them were bad ratings.

You are the stars of our new digitec campaign!
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The message was: We give you honest opinions. Because everything else is worthless. A preconceived opinion doesn’t help customers at all ¬– in fact, it does quite the opposite.

We don’t want our customers to hold back their opinions ¬– and the same applies to us. Let’s say we’re testing a product. If the review is only allowed to include positive aspects, there’s no point in writing one. Such a review is a waste of time. It’s as simple as that.

«But you’re not independent! »

We’re often asked how (or whether) it’s possible to be independent, as our business is selling products.

There’s a simple answer to this. To Digitec Galaxus AG as a company, it’s not important which smartphone you buy, as long as you buy it from us. And you’re more likely to do so if you trust us to give you honest reviews and genuine advice.

Which takes us to the second aspect: In the long run, happy customers are worth more to us. They buy from us again and they recommend us. If we tried to trick you into buying a bad product by writing fulsome praise about it, you might fall for it once, but you’d probably never buy from us again.

This is why the editing team at Digitec Galaxus AG writes independent reviews and works in a similar way to traditional media (newspapers, magazines, online portals, etc.), who don’t sell any products.

Sure, we don’t only make friends by writing critical texts. Manufacturers who sell their products on our shops are «not amused» to see us publishing bad reviews about their products. And yes, it makes life harder for any employee who’s trying to negotiate a new deal with said manufacturer. But the difference to traditional publishers isn’t that big: Negative newspaper reports can also get those into trouble who are responsible for newspaper ads.

The point of the matter is: By giving in to short-term harmony, you undermine your long-term credibility and trustworthiness and lose out on what’s much more valuable. Digitec Galaxus AG’s decision to publish genuine opinions and write honest articles requires not only courage and pioneering spirit but also steadiness. This might be one of the reasons why we’re unique in doing what we do. So far, anyway.

Breaking news: There’s no escaping reality

News gets around quickly on the internet; that includes news on new products and whether they’re any good. On top of this, facts are facts and are obvious or verifiable by each and every one of us. There’s no point in trying to manipulate this by writing articles. This doesn’t change the reality or the opinion of the general public. If you try, you’re sure to make a fool of yourself.

This seems obvious, but I’m mentioning it because some people seem to think editors have supernatural powers; that we can warp reality. As if we were thinking: Just write it’s a great product, then everyone will think it is and if we all believe in this, it will come true.

Why do we recommend products that we don’t sell?

We only do this from time to time. Check out my article below and you’ll see that I talked about the most popular RAW converters as possible alternatives to Adobe Lightroom. I listed several products that you can't buy from us.

Adobe Lightroom 6 ist die *letzte Version ohne Abo-Zwang.** Was nun?
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The thinking behind it is the same as with critical reviews: The prime principle of the editing team is to create valuable content for our readers. At the time, the topic «alternatives to Lightroom» was an obvious choice due to Adobe's licensing policy. And if the most interesting alternatives are all products that we don’t offer in our shop, this might not be ideal for us, but it would be even worse not to mention it. Why?

  1. Inexperienced readers might be fooled into making a bad buying decision and be dissatisfied.
  2. Experienced users would know that this information is misleading and would no longer take us seriously as a source of information.

Why do we write about nude selfies?

Put more generally: Why do we write about topics that seem to have nothing to do with our products?

First of all, it’s wrong to say nude selfies have nothing to do with our products. They are taken with products from our shop (smartphones). This fact can be ignored or it can be made a subject of discussion. Both is legitimate – the latter is more interesting.

*Naked selfies**: How to safely share saucy snaps on the net
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The idea of offering more than products or services – adding so-called «content marketing» – on business websites isn’t new. Wikipedia defines the term as follows:

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online in order to attract prospects and transform prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content.

Typical aims of content marketing are:

  • underlining your own competence
  • attracting more visitors to the website, supported by better visibility to search engines
  • increasing brand awareness and reputation
  • strengthening identification of customer with the company

As I said, this idea is neither new nor original. Numerous companies have a blog or comparable site, but most of them do it half-heartedly; they don’t have the guts to go all the way. If you want to attract genuine interest from readers, it’s not good enough to post a few streamlined articles in a hidden corner – articles that aren’t sure what their purpose is, except not to annoy anyone. If you want to please everyone, you’re going to make readers fall asleep.

If a company decides to focus uncompromisingly on content marketing, it’s essential to have the right know-how. Everybody can write an article, but not everybody can write an article that’s going to be read. With today’s overabundance of free content, sprinkling in one or two articles written by an expert won’t work. We achieve better results by dividing work: Internal or external experts give valuable inputs or check the content of an article for correctness. This also applies to the users in our community and their comments that are sometimes very valuable.

«Can't you reduce product prices instead?»

Whether Digitec Galaxus AG has an editorial team or not doesn’t affect the prices of our products in the slightest. Firstly, with over 1,000 employees and many other costs, the editorial team isn’t such a great matter of expense. In fact, the team even makes up for these costs by generating more traffic. Secondly, we adjust the pricing of our products to the market and not to our internal accounting. Product prices are never the result of receipts and expenditures but part of a shop's strategy. Just like content marketing.

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David Lee
David Lee
Senior Editor, Zurich
My interest in IT and writing landed me in tech journalism early on (2000). I want to know how we can use technology without being used. Outside of the office, I’m a keen musician who makes up for lacking talent with excessive enthusiasm.

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