Cazoo embraces AWS serverless and machine learning services

Cazoo leverages AWS to scale quickly and improve the car buying and selling experience for consumers.

Cazoo, Europe’s leading online car retailer, is going all-in on AWS, building their entire IT infrastructure on the world’s leading cloud. Cazoo, the fastest growing British company to reach unicorn status during its first year of launch, is using the breadth and depth of AWS’s cloud services to disrupt the traditional automotive industry by creating a new way for consumers to buy, sell, finance or subscribe to a car entirely online.

Cazoo wanted to scale quickly from an idea to a fully fledged business and retain its first-mover advantage from day one, so it turned to AWS and UK-based software provider and AWS Advanced Consulting Partner Codurance. Cazoo adopted serverless architecture to support its compute and data analytics needs. This enabled the company to build and launch an end-to-end ecommerce platform in just 90 days, instead of spending years provisioning servers and building out on-premises infrastructure.

The flexibility of the AWS Cloud allows Cazoo to respond quickly and easily to meet consumer demand. For example, when Cazoo launched a primetime TV advertising campaign in the UK, traffic increased by two orders of magnitude in 90 seconds. Using AWS, Cazoo was able to scale in response to demand instantly without dropping a single request.

Bob Gregory, Engineering Coach at Cazoo, said, “We knew we wanted to use serverless architecture early on to help us scale quickly and easily. We saw the opportunity to focus on our core competencies, rather than building infrastructure. Building modern application delivery capabilities in-house takes years, but with AWS Lambda, we had those capabilities from day one. We are now all-in with AWS, and we look forward to doing more with AWS to scale and compete across the UK and Europe in the year ahead, and deliver even more personalized and relevant services for our customers.”

Cazoo is now using AWS to expand its business into Europe. The company recently launched in France and Germany, without needing to change its underlying architecture, and plans to launch in Italy and Spain this year.

Darren Hardman, VP and General Manager, UK and Ireland at AWS, said, “In just three years, Cazoo has gone from an idea to selling over 60,000 cars to customers to date by building the Cazoo platform using AWS’s secure, reliable, and scalable cloud services. We look forward to supporting the business on its next phase of growth as it continues to drive innovation, improve customer experience, and scale across Europe.”

Today Cazoo is using more than 50 AWS services including AWS Lambda for serverless compute, Amazon DynamoDB for NoSQL database services, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for object storage, AWS Glue for data integration, and Amazon Athena for interactive queries and data analytics.

Cazoo will expand its use of AWS services to build new functionality and services for its customers. For example, Cazoo plans to use machine learning services including Amazon Rekognition, which makes it easy to add image and video analysis to applications, to process car registration plate numbers to improve the speed and accuracy of inventory handling processes, and Amazon Textract, which automatically extracts text, handwriting, and data from scanned documents, to reduce the time it takes to process paperwork and invoices from third parties. Cazoo also intends to use Amazon Location Service, which makes it easy to add location functionality to applications, to support the company’s logistics and route planning systems, and ensure the business fulfils its promise to customers that cars will be delivered within a given two-hour window.

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