Customer Story

Back Market: Going global in the refurbished electronics market with Google Workspace

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Back Market chose Google Workplace as the right solution to support its growth into a serious player in the refurbished electronics market, getting new employees up and running quickly.

Google Cloud Results

Easy onboarding of 15 new employees a fortnight

• Helps employees to communicate efficiently with time-saving tools such as Gmail Smart Compose
• Allows IT services to focus on value-added tasks, with almost zero service desk queries for Google Workspace
• Enables the swift onboarding of new employees anywhere in the world, supporting company growth

"Our strategy is to grow our presence in existing markets as well as expanding worldwide. The advantage of cloud technology is that it enables us to move fast, which is how Google Workspace is helping us to grow." -- Rémy Angel, IT Manager, Back Market

When it comes to modern electronic goods, applying the concept of reusing, reducing, and recycling can be a challenge. Because devices such as mobile phones or tablets are often difficult to repair, they can have a limited lifespan, and the frequent release of new models encourages consumers to buy new every time. But the push-back against planned obsolescence is gathering pace and e-waste, driven by ethically-minded users looking to limit their impact on the planet. That's where Back Market comes in, providing a digital marketplace for refurbished devices that put an emphasis on quality and trust.

Rather than refurbishing devices directly, Back Market works with independent vendors who have to go through a stringent validation process. Customers receive a minimum of 12 month warranty, as well as having 30 days to change their mind. This emphasis on great customer service, coupled with the increased demand for consumer electronics following the COVID-19 pandemic, means that the company has grown rapidly. "In the past two years, we've grown from serving 1.5 million customers in July 2019 to 5 million in June 2021," confirms Rémy Angel, IT Manager at Back Market.

To support its ambitious aims for opening up platforms in multiple countries, Back Market adopted a cloud-native strategy from the start. It wanted an email provider and productivity solution that would integrate easily with other cloud-native products, to make it easy to onboard new employees anywhere in the world. Google Workspace was the right fit for its cloud-first approach.

"Our strategy is to grow our presence in existing markets as well as expanding worldwide," says Angel. "The advantage of cloud technology is that it enables us to move fast, which is how Google Workspace is helping us to grow."

Getting new Back Makers up and running, fast

It was Back Market co-founder and CTO Quentin Le Brouster who initially chose Google Workspace, as he was already a Gmail user. To get new employees up and running quickly and easily, Back Market needed an all-in-one ecosystem that could support automatic account provisioning and keep IT administration to a minimum. "Our Back Makers are tech-savvy, and around 88% of them already had a Gmail account before joining the company," says Angel. "That really helps in terms of adoption."

Back Market now has 730 Google Workspace Enterprise accounts, supporting 500 Back Makers (the company's name for its employees), as well as multiple service accounts. When new Back Makers join the company and are assigned an account, they have immediate access to their entire digital work environment, from their Gmail and Google Calendar, to Google Docs and Sheets in shared Google Drives.

"It's extremely quick for us to set up a new employee with their Google Workspace environment," says Angel. "As we currently have 15 people a fortnight joining the company, that's an important time saving for us."

Saving time on every email with smart Workspace features

"Employees can share information in a Google Doc with just a few clicks. And the Gmail Smart Compose function is something else that Back Market's employees are increasingly using to save time." -- Rémy Angel, IT Manager, Back Market

Because its workforce is distributed across multiple countries, being able to work collaboratively online is key for Back Market's teams. For example, the HR department can book online training sessions by creating a Google Calendar event that can easily be shared across the entire company.

To enable the Back Makers to focus on delivering the positive experience that its customers expect from the platform, carrying out everyday tasks as efficiently as possible is also a key priority, Google Docs and Sheets are the default choice for creating and sharing files. "Employees can share information in a Google Doc with just a few clicks," says Angel. "And the Gmail Smart Compose function is something else that Back Market's employees are increasingly using to save time."

Using Google Forms to keep in touch with vendors

With over 1,500 certified sellers using the platform, communicating effectively with them is an important part of the sales process. To help vendors submit information about customer orders, Back Market uses Google Forms. Depending on the options chosen via the Google Form, an email is generated to the service team, which triggers a service ticket to be created.

"As well as logging vendor requests, we use Google Forms for a variety of internal surveys and questionnaires," explains Angel. "For example, if someone wishes to change their workstation, the IT team uses it to collect the relevant information."

Driving worldwide expansion with Google Workspace

"In terms of Google Workspace, we might have one IT service desk query per month, or even zero. That means the IT service can focus on other value-added tasks, such as improving onboarding." -- Rémy Angel, IT Manager, Back Market

With many processes automated and a high level of adoption among employees, Angel's team spends hardly any time troubleshooting Workspace issues. "In terms of Google Workspace, we might have one IT service desk query per month, or even zero," he says. "That means the IT service can focus on other value-added tasks, such as improving onboarding."

And most importantly, with Google Workspace, Back Market can onboard employees anywhere in the world, even if they're working from home. "Because we already had the tools in place for flexible working, the main challenge of the pandemic was accommodating surging demand," says Angel. "From the perspective of Workspace, the switch was effortless, as we didn't need to have any teams on site to manage IT infrastructure."

Back Market keeps strengthening its presence in Europe (having recently Portugal, Finland, Ireland, Greece and Slovakia to its portfolio), Back Market is expanding its presence worldwide, including Asia (the brand launched in Japan) and confirming its position in the US. With more and more Back Makers joining the company to make that happen, Angel's advice to other companies looking to adopt Google Workspace is to get it right from the start.

"We've always had great support from the Google team, who are quick to respond to any questions we might have," he says. "By making the right choices during the initial implementation, you can make it easier for your environment to grow."

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.