Customer Story

ZALORA: Supporting sustainable, secure business expansion with Google Workspace

zalora hero image

Leveraging Google Workspace for nearly 10 years, ZALORA swiftly establishes a hybrid workplace model during COVID-19 while continuing expanding business quickly and sustainably.

Google Cloud Results

Enables efficient collaboration for 2,000+ users in 6 countries

• Realizes single sign-on to all internal systems and simplifies employee lifecycle management
• Drives productivity across offices with collaborative file editing features
• Supports swift transition to hybrid workplace model during COVID-19
• Accelerating business expansion by facilitating collaboration with external partners

“Google Workspace is easy to purchase and meets our business requirements. Besides facilitating our internal collaboration, it can also help us manage our growing partnerships with brands and businesses that sell through our websites and applications.” -- Nicky Ang, Associate Director of Infra Ops, ZALORA

For online fashion retailer ZALORA, maturing from a startup to a multinational business with more than two million active customers in South East Asia and nearby regions has been an exciting journey. But it also requires continuous improvements in work arrangements to support its rapid growth amid the e-commerce boom.

With offices spread across six countries, one of ZALORA’s earliest and most important decisions was to decide on a productivity and collaboration suite to run its business. After shopping around for the right solution, the company landed on Google Workspace in 2012 for its easy access and comprehensive collection of collaborative software.

“Google Workspace is easy to purchase and meets our business requirements,” says Nicky Ang, Associate Director of Infra Ops at ZALORA. “Besides facilitating our internal collaboration, it can also help us manage our growing partnerships with brands and businesses that sell through our websites and applications.”

Simplifying internal system access and employee lifecycle management

With Google Workspace, ZALORA simplifies the way teams manage their internal work processes. Before, ZALORA’s employees needed multiple credentials to access different systems. The company now employs Google Workspace as a user directory with authentication bridges running across all of its platforms, minimizing the complexity and associated administration involved in giving employees access to its systems.

“With Google Workspace, we don’t have issues with different credentials for different systems anymore,” notes Ang. “Whenever anyone joins the company, they receive a Google username and password to access the 2-step verification process, before logging in to the systems relevant to their role.”

On top of that, ZALORA has integrated its HR workflow with Google Workspace for employee onboarding and offboarding. When an employee leaves the company, ZALORA can easily remove their Google account while being able to keep all the data owned by the former employee. This way, ZALORA is able to streamline its employee lifecycle management process.

Driving productivity with intuitive collaboration tools

“One of the advantages of using Docs and Sheets is the fact that they enable us to work on a single file across several workstations and teams. The sharing and editing features are super helpful, as it cuts down the back and forth emails between collaborators. -- Nicky Ang, Associate Director of Infra Ops, ZALORA

Ang says that one of the greatest advantages of using Google Workspace for ZALORA is that most people in Southeast Asia, where the company is primarily operating, are familiar with Gmail and Drive, so the learning curve for its employees to use Google Workspace is near zero. ZALORA is therefore able to execute its business quickly with minimum technical limitations.

ZALORA’s 2,100+ employees across six countries now rely heavily on Docs and Sheets to process documents and spreadsheets. The sharing and collaborative editing features of the two tools have significantly enhanced the work efficiency of the multinational team.

“Part of the beauty of Docs and Sheets is the fact that they enable us to work on a single file across several workstations,” notes Ang. “The sharing and editing features are super helpful, as it means that we don’t have to send emails with different versions of files back and forth.”

Using a combination of Sheets and Slides, the ZALORA team is able to make presentations efficiently by embedding slides in multiple presentations and creating master slides that incorporate data from a Sheet that updates in real time. Calendar also provides the team a convenient and straightforward way to lock in meetings and book meeting rooms, which has helped enhance meeting efficiency.

Digitizing administrative tasks

By employing Google Workspace to digitize its business, ZALORA is able to process its emails, files and data in a highly secured way without investing too much in IT maintenance. The company runs a single domain spanning all its offices with Gmail, whose spam filters are highly effective in preventing its mailboxes from being swamped by spam, as nearly 90% of the emails it receives are unsolicited. It also leverages 2-step verification to provide additional protection to its employees’ Gmail accounts.

To store and share its files securely, ZALORA uses Drive that provides compliance and auditing capabilities, which minimizes the risk of valuable files or information being taken from the business. With the file search and review features of Vault, the ZALORA team is able to easily retrieve full copies of the files created years ago in a few minutes. Having such convenient access gives ZALORA the assurance that all the company’s files are accessible whenever needed.

Furthermore, Admin has helped ZALORA easily manage devices connected with Google Workspace and configure security settings by centralizing administration. For example, with the endpoint management feature of Admin, ZALORA can push its custom apps to selected mobile devices for warehouse operations and frontliners, without having IT personnel being onsite to install the app one by one.

Adopting a hybrid workplace model during the pandemic and beyond

Using Google Workspace has not only changed the way its employees conduct daily works, but also helped embed the mindset of flexible working, which enabled the company to swiftly adopt a hybrid workplace model during COVID-19. With all the Google Workspace tools that support remote working, the company successfully kept its business running as usual while complying with lockdown rules and even realized a record high annual profit growth of 26% in 2020.

“During COVID-19, Google Workspace made it possible for our business to continue operating by allowing our employees to work from anywhere, centralizing critical business data in a secure cloud environment,” says Ang.

Collaborations with external partners also continued as usual despite the lockdowns that were taking place due to the pandemic. The company uses Sheets for third-party logistics providers to update delivery status in real time, and has synchronized its file server with Drive to share huge amounts of photos and videos with creative employees, who mostly work from home. This facilitated smooth working processes beyond geographical limits. It even provided room for employee network expansion, since the company could hire foreign talents.

Shaping the future workplace

“Google Workspace has been the backbone of our business for years and will continue to be a key platform to help us realize our ambition of being the fastest-growing online fashion destination in South East Asia.” -- Nicky Ang, Associate Director of Infra Ops, ZALORA

Having experienced and benefited from the high efficiency and flexibility of remote work, ZALORA has decided to make the hybrid workplace model a part of its company culture. Currently, more than 80% of ZALORA’s employees have adopted its hybrid workplace culture. Ang says that flexible working is aligned with ZALORA’s corporate principles, which include putting the safety and welfare of its employees first, and shaping a sustainable fashion ecosystem while reducing its environmental impacts.

Meanwhile, the company continues to use the Google Workspace tools to further enhance work efficiency and increase employee engagement. It has recently developed an intranet that hosts various company policies and useful self-help documents with Sites, which according to Ang, allows users to easily create web pages like writing blogs.

ZALORA is convinced that it made the right call by adopting Google Workspace because of its high level of security and availability.

“We’ve benefited extensively from Google Workspace and the entire Google ecosystem, especially during COVID-19,” he adds. “Google Workspace has been the backbone of our business for years and will continue to be a key platform to help us realize our ambition of being the fastest-growing online fashion destination in South East Asia and beyond.”

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