September 27, 2011, 2:55 PM’s redesign boosts conversion and average ticket

The candy maker revamps navigation, site search and adds international shipping.

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Since Jelly Belly Candy Co.’s redesigned site launched in early June, conversion rate from search engine traffic has jumped 38% and average order value is up 15%, says e-commerce director Jason Marrone. About 65% of total traffic comes from search engines, he adds.

The new look on, No. 765 in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide, includes a smaller main banner image, as well as a variety of colored candies lining either side of the site.

“We wanted to take more of a minimalistic approach,” he says. “We needed less clutter and more focus on the product, as well as a site that better reflects the look and feel of our package design.”

The e-retailer also removed most of the site features that used Flash, catering to visitors using such Apple Inc. mobile devices as iPhones and iPads that do not support Flash, he adds.

The retailer also revamped its site search and navigation capabilities. A new drop-down navigation bar on the top of the screen allows shoppers to search by occasion, color, taste or package type. Filters by price, color and container size enable shoppers to further narrow down search results.

Jelly Belly has added pop-up boxes that display when a visitor hovers over an item, for example, to provide detail about a product on a category page without clicking on the product image. A consumer also can also change the product appearing on the category page without refreshing the page, for example by clicking on a “rating” tab to see a new version of the page with highest-rated products. These features make use of a technology called Ajax, or asynchronous JavaScript and XML, which takes away the need for a page refresh each time a site visitor searches, refines search results or goes to the next page.

“People can find what they want a lot easier now,” Marrone says. “It’s making a difference.”

Additionally, the site now lists the most popular products first on search results pages, Marrone says. Previously, in-house staffers would have to determine the listing order, but as part of the redesign Jelly Belly is working with site search vendor SLI Systems to reorder results continuously based on how well items are selling.

“The priority of the products is based on sales,” he says. “The more popular items will float to the top and that can change at any time depending on what is selling.”

Also this week, Jelly Belly began international shipping. It is working with Bongo International to coordinate shipping to 220 countries.

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