MediaMarkt and Saturn use artificial intelligence to write item descriptions for their webshops

  • Product descriptions now written using automatic natural-language generation (NLG)
  • AI software enables large amounts of data to be processed and provides customers with extensive product information
  • All item descriptions are to be generated over the coming months using AI

Ingolstadt, 04.11.2019: There are more than 350,000 items available in the online shops of both MediaMarkt and Saturn. To help customers decide what to buy, apart from technical information, detailed product descriptions are provided – and MediaMarktSaturn Germany is now harnessing artificial intelligence to write them. Using the innovative technology natural-language generation (NLG), descriptions can be quickly and easily generated automatically on the basis of products’ technical specifications and then posted.

The software for automatic product description is supplied by the Berlin-based company Retresco, one of the top providers of artificial intelligence solutions for the automatic exploitation of content and language. Its text engine operates on the principle of automatic natural-language generation (NLG), a branch of AI. Put simply, NLG is the process of converting structured data into easy-to-read texts whose quality belies the fact that they have been written by a robot.

“We want to offer our customers the best possible shopping experience in our online shops. This includes providing good, comprehensible product descriptions. With the aid of artificial intelligence, we can now offer our customers very detailed information about most of our items available online in order to help them decide what to buy,” says Florian Moos, Sales Manager E-Commerce at MediaMarktSaturn Germany. What’s more, the automatically generated texts are highly relevant for search engines, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.

Automatic product description also makes life easier for the online team at MediaMarktSaturn when it comes to managing large volumes of data. The system takes items’ technical data and inserts it into pre-formulated sentences to create individual descriptions. In addition, the system analyses variance within a product type. In other words, the software compares the data in a product category and then classifies the products accordingly. As a result, the customer also finds out for example whether a certain item is an entry-level model or a high-end product. Another advantage is that as the system keeps learning, it delivers increasingly accurate suggestions and even improves its use of synonyms in product descriptions.

“The more products an online shop contains, the more complex it is to write unique product blurbs. Automatic text generation significantly raises the efficiency of the entire content production process,” says Florian Spengler, who heads the project at Retresco.

More than 210,000 product descriptions have already been generated for articles in over 400 product groups for the German webshops of MediaMarkt and Saturn using the new technology. Over the next few months, MediaMarktSaturn plans to post an automatic product description for all the items in its online shops. Furthermore, all the services offered at MediaMarkt and Saturn are shortly to be integrated into the product texts.