September 26, 2012, 5:07 PM

Jelly Belly sweetens its m-commerce site

The candy retailer switches to a better-performing mobile site that is easy to update.

Lead Photo

Jelly Belly, a candy retailer that offers a plethora of jelly bean varieties from popcorn to jalapeno, wanted a new variety of m-commerce site.

The merchant was displeased with its old site and m-commerce technology vendor and last month decided to launch a new site using m-commerce technology provider mShopper, says Brandon Finch, director of e-business for Jelly Belly.

The new site, which took about two months to launch, is easy to use for both Jelly Belly staff and consumers, Finch says.

 

 

 

“Any time we want to change a promotional banner or want to feature a special product we can go into our dashboard and upload a new banner or product image and the change is made pretty much instantly,” Finch says.

He says MShopper worked with Jelly Belly to create a new mobile site that, unlike its old site,  is easy to update, allows visitors to see the most popular Jelly Belly flavors, and works well and is easy for consumers to navigate.

The mobile commerce site also includes all of Jelly Belly’s informational content, such as Fun JB Facts and factory tour information.

Other features include a scrolling home page carousel of hot deals; the ability for visitors to sign up for text message alerts; the option to feature up to seven scrolling banners on the home page (two more than the retailer’s e-commerce site currently displays); a dashboard the retailer can access to quickly change designs, update merchandising and send text message alerts; and the option to create an unlimited number of informational pages.

The new site costs Jelly Belly $299 per month plus a development fee for analytics tracking data that Jelly Belly requested. 

Finch, who declined to name his previous m-commerce platform provider, says the new site is a welcome change.

“This site actually works,” Finch says.  “The previous version was not serving the needs of our customers. The functionality of the web site was broken and the vendor wasn’t willing to fix it without charging us an arm and a leg.”

For example, on the old site Finch says the checkout did not function properly, so many customers who wanted to purchase could not complete their orders. Additionally, images were skewed, often appearing on top of one another and fuzzy.

The previous m-commerce site predates Finch’s arrival at Jelly Belly six months ago.

“When I came in, it was not working,” Finch says. “Our contract with the vendor had expired and they had simply stopped monitoring the site. I don’t think anyone on that side noticed.” When Jelly Belly approached the vendor about the problems, it wanted to charge a hefty development fee to fix the issues, Finch says.

While the revamped site is still new, Finch says it is now generating sales, whereas the other site was not. Average order size for mobile is around 18% lower than traditional e-commerce. But, Finch adds, Jelly Belly has not yet promoted the site or launched mobile-specific deals—both of which it plans to do by the end of the year.

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