New JJ Foodservice app aims to predict customer orders

JJ Food Service has this week launched a smart app, which employs machine learning technology to make suggestions based on previous shopping habits, resulting in what the wholesaler is calling “a quicker, easier and more efficient shop” for its customers.     

Chief operating officer at JJ Food Service Mushtaque Ahmed said: “Running a successful restaurant is a demanding job and our customers are busy people, so we’ve gone to great lengths to help them.” The new app can predict what customers need to order and personalise every customers’ experience.

“We used three years’ worth of transactional data to train the new machine learning model. Now, you can literally place your order in seconds”, continued Ahmed. “The result has been positive – we’ve already seen a significant increase in basket spend”, he added.  

Behind the scenes, a different mobile app has been created for drivers, replacing the formerly-used bulky hand-held devices.

“With just a mobile phone our drivers know what to deliver, where and when. It’s all automated”, says Ahmed.

Bluetooth temperature sensors have been added to the multi-temperature vehicles enabling the business to track real-time data via drivers’ phones. “Customers don’t see this – they just know that their order arrives fresh every time”, says Ahmed.

JJ first launched its transactional website in 2008 and after five years, online sales accounted for 50% of turnover. “We went from being a 100% call-centre based operation to an e-commerce-driven business”, says Ahmed. “But the challenge with that is that you lose the ability to upsell, cross-sell and to capitalise on impulse purchases.” The investment in the apps has enabled JJ to bring these elements back to the business.

“It’s estimated that 76% of online shoppers will be using click amp; collect by 2017 making it more important than ever before to have an online presence”, said Ahmed. “We are reshaping the way food distribution works, giving our customers more time to better serve their customers.” Today, online orders account for 63% of total group sales, and growing.    

The customer app is available free of charge and works on iOS and Android tablets and phones. To find out more, watch this short demo film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1VzLCivSfk 

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