eCommerce Expert Natalia Walicki of Cazoo: How to Balance Data with Customer Insights

Natalia Walicki on the eCommerce toolbox

Meet Cazoo – a company transforming the way people can buy used cars online in the UK.

How are they doing it? By being customer obsessed! 

On the latest episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, our host and co-founder Kailin Noivo sits down with Natalia Walicki, former eCommerce Product and UX Director at Cazoo to discuss her experience at Cazoo, delving into how exactly they are transforming the online UK used car market.

What Does It Really Mean to be Customer Obsessed?

So many companies claim to be customer-obsessed today. Just so many!

Often, however, they have differing views on what that truly means.

To Cazoo, to be customer-obsessed means to put the needs of the customer in front of the needs of the business. This is a big undertaking, and it’s not always possible. Teams have to pick their battles and stay aware of when it is necessary to bring the business to the front. 

To Natalia, what is most important is to empower product teams with this focus on customers. If they have the freedom to make business cases whilst always keeping customers in the forefront, then you will most likely end up with what the customers are looking for.

Building Trust From Day One

Customer centricity has been at the very heart of Cazoo since day one.

The founding idea was to make the experience of buying a car online as simple as buying anything else online. It was an idea that was simply unheard of in the UK used car market at the time. 

In order to stand out from the competition, Cazoo had to build trust with their consumer base. After all, nobody else was doing what they were, so why would someone in the market for a used car even consider them in the first place?

To build this trust, they immediately built a customer centric culture, building out the C-suite first and then hiring teams accordingly, the opposite of the standard startup approach. 

This ensured the company had the pillars in place to be successful, which then allowed them to evolve with their customers’ needs and stand out from the competition.

Natalia Walicki on building trust with customers

Proactively Approaching Bugs and Instability

Having built trust with their customer base, Cazoo soon found themselves growing rapidly. With rapid growth often comes technological bugs and instability, both of which are often approached reactively by fast-growing eCommerce businesses.

Cazoo, however, stands out from the crowd in this. Their approach has always been proactive, establishing a triage protocol when bugs arise:

Natalia Walicki on Cazoo's proactive approach

This culture was established at the very beginning, so when any issues arose, they would immediately find out what, not who, caused it, retrospectively determining how they could prevent it happening again. 

Natalia shares their good fortune in never having too many bugs, but this approach ensured that when they did crop up, they were handled appropriately

Step Away From The Trends and Think Like Your Customer

Natalia’s parting wisdom for eCommerce brands is to stop trying to over-personalize experiences

Nowadays, the trend is to utilize data and AI to repeatedly suggest products and services to customers, forgetting that customers know what they want and why they want it. 

To Natalia, it’s time we all step back from the trends and really think about what our customers truly want and need, after all – that’s what being customer obsessed is truly about.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The eCommerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Natalia Walicki to find out more about balancing data and customer insights.

 👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/3sXriyd

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3RAJTdw


Natalia Walicki is a customer-obsessed product leader with almost a decade of experience building and managing product and UX organizations, delivering impactful solutions in fast-paced environments. She was most recently the eCommerce Product and UX Director at Cazoo, an organization transforming the car buying and selling experience across the UK.

Share Post:

Stay Connected

More Updates

Deliver better eCommerce experiences.
Prevent revenue loss.

Get a Free Site Audit!

Contact Sales Specialist

Get Your Free Checkout Audit!

Contact Sales Specialist

Get a Demo