#23: Meet Boxy

written by
Clara Cros

For this new meeting, we were able to meet Yann Merchier, Director of the Product & Data team at BOXY. His arrival at BOXY in June 2020 marks an important turning point for the company, as it was at this point that they moved from technology provider to full-fledged retailer. But before going into more detail about the product and the place of NoCode at BOXY, an introduction to the company is in order.

What is BOXY?

This is the first stand-alone convenience store open 24/7. The stores are actually old, recycled shipping containers in which you'll never find staff. But why? Because they can be accessed at any time of the day or night using a simple cell phone and cutting-edge technology. How does it work? Your phone unlocks the door, you shop and receive a bill shortly after leaving the store. The final step is to debit your account a few days later. A real revolution!

Today, BOXY has some fifty stand-alone stores, most of them located near business parks and areas without local shops. One of the most successful of these stores is at Disneyland.

To continue with the figures, BOXY's head office employs some 50 people, and after just 3 years in business, the company has already raised its first round of financing to the tune of 5 million euros, followed by a second round shortly afterwards to the tune of 25 million euros.

With those introductions out of the way, let's get back to the heart of the matter: the link between NoCode and BOXY.

When product and tech become one

The first subjects Yann tackled on his arrival were data-related. At the time, the teams were using Google Sheets to centralize and track data (inventory management, for example). And it was after discovering and integrating the NoCode Retool tool into their technical stack that the data and product teams ended up merging and working more closely together.

💡 Retool is a NoCode tool that lets you quickly build interfaces for your internal tools without coding and from external databases.

Retool has changed the way teams work, enabling them to concentrate on product logic and, in particular, to iterate and test more and more. The teams consider that they use Retool in a rather LowCode way, as the NoCode tool is mixed with the use of code such as SQL and HTTP languages.

In addition to enabling them to focus on the product and move faster, a tool like Retool has other advantages, according to the ROXY teams:

  • Easy to handle.
  • Simplified data management.
  • A permissions logic that revolutionizes the way we work: on Retool, admins can use permissions groups to control access to applications, workflows and configured resources.

A comprehensive stack under the NoCode banner

Yann also told us about the teams' complete technical stack and it turns out that NoCode is everywhere:

  • Retool: as mentioned above, this tool has revolutionized the way BOXY's data and product teams work. This tool is mainly used for manufacturing.
  • Webflow: the BOXY website was developed using Webflow. The latter is connected to Google Analytics to analyze the audience and track various KPIS.
  • Airtable: the collaborative database is used by marketing teams, particularly for tracking promotional initiatives. This makes it easy to centralize everything, and enables the whole team to monitor these initiatives in real time.
  • Typeform: the data collection tool is mainly used by business teams, and more specifically by marketing and HR teams.
  • Notion: the collaborative platform for centralizing all BOXY team documentation.

On the automation side, Yann also tested Zapier, but was not won over by the tool. He also confided that he found the interface not very easy to use, and that there was too little visibility over automation execution.

The future of NoCode at BOXY?

BOXY's teams are convinced by NoCode, and the solution has become an integral part of the company's business (marketing, HR) and technical teams. So it's only natural that BOXY's future should involve NoCode. Among the NoCode topics to be addressed in the future :

  • That Data Analysts can deliver value to users without a large development flow.
  • Democratize access to data for business teams, without them having to write SQL.
  • Setting up a semantic layer to facilitate tracking, particularly of sales.

Thanks again to Yann for his warm welcome at BOXY. The NoCode Series team is delighted to see that NoCode is once again an integral part of an innovative and promising project. 🧡