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Building an end-to-end platform for UK's fastest growing start-up


image of Cazoo van dropping off new car to new owners

Building an end-to-end platform for UK's fastest growing start-up

  • Category: Retail Modern Software Engineering Automotive

Cazoo is Britain’s fastest unicorn thanks to its industry-defining solution for the way we buy used cars. It’s the latest brainchild of Alex Chesterman, also known for creating Zoopla and LoveFilm.

The used-car market was desperately lacking transparency, convenience and customer satisfaction and was crying out for a solution that simplified the process of buying and selling vehicles.

With Cazoo, customers can now choose from thousands of top quality cars, pay via card, part-exchange or financing options and get their chosen vehicle to their doorstep in as little as 72 hours, or collect it from a Cazoo Customer Centre at a time that suits you.

At Kin + Carta, we helped take Alex’s vision from an A4 piece of paper to a designed, built and operational service in 4 months. It sold 1,000 cars within 12 weeks of going live.

screenshot of the webpage to browse available cars

Bringing the proposition to life

This discovery phase saw a cross-functional team utilise journey mapping, event storming, service design and rapid design iterations to shape the ideal customer experience.

The first touchpoint of the Cazoo website needed to function like any eCommerce site, but we were selling £10,000+ cars, not £20 toasters. This presented a unique challenge for the checkout journey, so we needed to work closely with the founding team to 'design for trust' and simplicity if we were to instil confidence in customers for such complex and emotional purchases.

We also overcame larger logistical challenges by seamlessly connecting the points of purchase to the delivery processes thanks to a deep understanding of over a dozen third-party back-end integrations - all the while providing regular email communications to keep customers informed at every stage of the journey.

screenshot of the webpage to look at the cars more in depth

Laying the modern architecture foundations: an entirely serverless architecture

A modern start-up with rapid growth in its sights necessitated the technical groundwork from which to successfully launch and scalably grow, so we worked closely with Cazoo’s CTO to develop the product with an entirely serverless architecture.

We started with the creation of data pipelines based on AWS services, including SQS, SNS and AWS Lambdas, and an event-driven architecture to maintain maximum capacity and streamline the processes of vehicle acquisition, merchandising and refurbishment.

CI/CD processes enabled us to release multiple updates per day and allow for more scalable business operations, whilst our co-sourced team of engineers achieved world-first functionality for a range of features with AWS Lambda and CloudWatch Events (functionality that preceded what is now Amazon EventBridge).

a visual roadmap of our partnership with Cazoo

Helping Cazoo scale and grow: making decisions backed by data

Cazoo’s ambition to spearhead used car sales in the UK required a robust data architecture from Kin + Carta that could scale with consumer demand and inform the company’s shopping lists with accurate search and sales records.

Our flexible strategy and ongoing engineering support not only optimised the product experience, but also enhanced Cazoo’s operational efficiencies and additional revenue opportunities.

screenshot of web finance page

To bring Cazoo to life we needed an end-to-end product & technology partner that would help us to achieve our ambitious timeline to launch whilst building a modern start-up at the same time. The Kin + Carta team brought the speed and capabilities we were looking for, and worked with us as true partners to make Cazoo happen.

Jonathan Howell - CTO, Cazoo

What did we achieve?

4 months to launch private beta
1,000+ cars sold in first 12 weeks
2 months to build complete consumer finance journey

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