Cazoo uses Segment to build a reliable, performant, and compliant tech stack to fast-track launch

With Segment, Cazoo was able to go from initial tech stack set-up to full launch in just a few months, developing a powerful new tech stack with a lean engineering team.

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“It’s difficult to overstate the impact that Segment had on our ability to get to market quickly. We built a high-performing tech stack, with full integration and tracking set-up, in just a few months, and we’ve not looked back since.”

— Bart Schelfhout, Director Data Engineering, Cazoo

Cazoo’s mission is to transform the car buying experience for consumers across the UK and Europe by providing better selection, quality, transparency, convenience, flexibility and peace of mind. Since launching in 2019, Cazoo has sold over 25,000 cars to consumers across the UK, and has made 4 acquisitions in the past 12 months. Following these acquisitions Cazoo is now Europe’s leading car subscription player with over 6,500 subscribers across UK, Germany and France.

Cazoo was founded in 2018 and immediately began preparing for launch, recognizing a massive opportunity to offer UK drivers a more seamless, transparent and innovative way to buy, finance or subscribe to a car.

Cazoo turned to Segment to integrate its technology platforms and build a reliable and compliant tech stack to power its launch. In doing so, it was able to:

  • Launch to the market within just a few months of starting out.

  • Track customer behavior to rapidly build up an understanding of customers with no existing market data.

  • Create personas and manage consent to deliver targeted, high-impact campaigns.

Integrating tech platforms and tackling complexity with limited engineering resources

Cazoo needed to build a high performing, compliant technology stack from scratch, as quickly as possible, to expedite its launch to market. And given the nature of its business, it would need to deploy and integrate a wide range of tools and platforms and manage large volumes of data, adding serious complexity to its technology infrastructure.

Cazoo wanted to avoid the pain of instrumenting each platform and application in its stack one at a time. And it didn’t want to take on the costs of hiring a large team of engineers to deliver integrations during its start-up phase. 

Cazoo also needed a way to track and analyze customer behavior in order to build an understanding of customers as quickly as possible – there was no existing market data to lean on in what was an entirely new category. Cazoo needed to quickly gather data from multiple sources to develop accurate customer insights, whilst managing consent in an efficient way.

Based on his positive experiences of using Segment in a previous role, Bart Schelfhout, Director Data Engineering at Cazoo, was fully aware of the benefits that Segment could deliver in terms of accelerating engineering capacity and integrating multiple platforms into a single customer data platform (CDP). Other senior leaders in the engineering and data teams had also enjoyed success with Segment before. 

Building a high-performing, compliant tech stack, at top speed

Cazoo immediately brought in Segment to integrate and manage data across all online channels. From day one, Segment was primarily deployed across Cazoo’s data engineering and data analytics teams to integrate all sources and destinations into a single CDP.

The company first integrated Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Stripe to ensure its current customer information and payment processing were connected to Segment. It also integrated Salesforce Service Cloud and Zendesk for customer service. 

Cazoo then deployed multiple tools for outbound marketing, including Facebook Pixel, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Doubleclick, Split.io (for feature toggling) and Amazon Eventbridge

Cazoo_destinations_screenshot

The Cazoo engineering team embraces a philosophy of being serverless and event-driven. And with a cloud set-up predominantly based on AWS, the fact that Segment offers so many AWS-centric destinations has been hugely helpful. Using Segment Functions, Cazoo’s data engineering team has been able to write source destination functions and web hooks for integrations where necessary. 

The marketing and CX teams have also started to use Segment Personas for CRM targeting - and are then pushing this data into Facebook and Google for retargeting campaigns.

Using Personas, Cazoo has now developed consistent audience definitions which sit centrally and fan out to different channels. This avoids marketing teams configuring customer campaigns differently in each platform and data analysts being asked to spend significant amounts of time working out why audience groups vary across channels. 

Accelerating to launch and laying the foundations to become the market leader 

Within months, Cazoo was able to build a reliable, performant and compliant technology stack with full-tracking in place. And, thanks to Segment, it was able to do this with only a very small team of engineers and data analysts. 

With this foundation built, Cazoo was very quickly able to start tracking and analyzing customer behaviors and trends to build up a picture of its key audiences. This allowed the marketing and CX teams to understand traffic and identify niches and opportunities. Equally importantly, it enabled Cazoo to recognize buyer intent in a market where lots of people are simply filling time.

What’s next? Cazoo will continue to deploy Segment to integrate existing and new technology platforms and maintain a single, reliable and real-time view of the customer. And with this foundation, Cazoo is now looking to increase its use of Personas to create compelling, hyper-personalized campaigns to engage new audiences and build on its incredible momentum. 

“Our values at Cazoo are being customer-obsessed and data-driven, and working with Segment supports these completely. We see Segment as a conduit for robust, compliant and high-value customer data. We know that whatever new platform we bring on, Segment will enable us to integrate it quickly, with minimal engineering required. That means we can always be agile and quick to respond to customer needs and take advantage of new opportunities." - Piers Stobbs, Chief Data Officer, Cazoo

Industry: Retail
Location: London, United Kingdom