Hancocks wholesaler engages AI-enhanced platform driving customer engagement

UK confectionery wholesaler Hancocks, part of the World of Sweets Group, is set to use an advanced customer engagement programme from Algonomy to drive more effective product recommendations for its customer base, writes Neill Barston.

As the business asserts, using the new AI-assisted multichannel system will enable the company to gain a stronger understanding of consumer requirements, through using a series of predictive models to model shopper behaviour.

Wholesaler Hancocks serves a range of customers, from convenience stores and independent retailers to smaller online confectionery businesses. Alongside its 14 depots located across the UK, Hancocks offers its customers a strong e-commerce alternative.

The site serves more than 55,000 customers per week offering a click-and-collect and delivery service. The company generates a quarter of its business online. With over 4,000 products, there is a whole load of choices that customers need to make to find what is right for them. This diversity of customer types, purchase behaviours, and needs means an evolving and dynamic site experience is needed for every customer.

This is where Algonomy comes in to automate customer profiles based on customer type, custom pricing models, and explicit knowledge of when and how each shopper purchases. These real-time profiles provide insights that help deliver contextual engagement every time a customer visits the site.

“Algonomy was the perfect fit for our requirement as their personalisation platform encompasses not just product recommendations but also other path-to-purchase touchpoints of Search, Navigation, and Content,” said Gareth Walbyoff, eCommerce Director at Hancocks.

Algonomy’s personalisation platform uses a library of 150+ pre-built strategies to ensure every customer engagement is contextually relevant. Besides offering pre-built strategies, the platform provides configurable strategies that allow non-technical users to create their own personalisation strategies for specific use cases. This self-serve personalisation capability eliminates the dependency on technical/IT teams, enabling business users to evaluate their hypotheses on the fly.

By deploying the platform, Hancocks will extend its leadership position with the seamless delivery of end-to-end, multi-channel personalisation to customers based on individual preferences and behaviours. The platform also provides advanced merchandising and brand controls that will help the company align personalisation with specific business goals — engagement, conversion, active promotions, basket size, or margin management.

“We are excited to be a part of Hancocks’ growth story. We look forward to helping them convert every digital interaction into a personal experience for their customers, and thereby drive greater engagement and revenue,” said Lisa Flanagan, Head – Revenue at Algonomy.

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