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Jelly Belly Candy Co. exec: Jelly Beans Jar Android app has 1.1M downloads

During the “Make Room For Mobile! Moving Mobile Projects From Afterthought To The Forefront” session, executives from Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Jelly Belly Candy Co. and GPShopper spoke about how brands are increasingly relying on mobile to meet consumer needs. The session was moderated by Jim Huempfner, vice president of the industries solutions practice at AT&T, Dallas.

“You might not make that transaction through the mobile site or through the app, but it does support your other efforts,” said Brandon Finch, director of ebusiness at Jelly Belly Candy Co., Fairfield, CA.

“For us, we can’t really control the in-store experience very well for the customer because for the vast majority of our business they are in somebody else’s store, but we can look at engagement” he said.

Mobile candy
Jelly Belly Candy Co. has been ramping up its mobile efforts this year for both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sides of the company.

On the consumer side, the company has put out consumer-facing apps for Android and iPhone devices and revamped a mobile site in the past six months.

Jelly Belly Candy Co. is also planning to launch a tablet-specific site for its business-to-business site and a full-fledged mobile site for the business-to-consumer side. The company has a wide variety of brands and the goal is to have a mobile presence for each brand.

The Jelly Beans Jar Android app for example, lets consumers shake and touch the screen to create a branded wallpaper.

Additionally, the company is seeing a substantial need from consumers to access Jelly Belly Candy Co. on mobile devices.

For example, despite having a broken mobile site at the time, the company saw an increase of 6000 percent in consumers wanting to access Jelly Bean Candy Co. over their devices. In August 2011, 0.13 percent of consumers wanted to access the brand over their devices – by August 2012, that number reached seven percent of users.

The brand is also implementing on-pack QR codes, which the exec claims is seeing a strong adoption rate.

Stay on mobile
On the other hand, Michael Goldrich, director of ecommerce, emeetings, ecollaboration and call centers at Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Rockleigh, NJ, said that the company’s trials with QR codes are not going well with consumers not scanning them.

The company used a trial that gave out business cards to travelers asking them to rate their stay. On one side of the card, a URL link encouraged consumers to go online and rate their stay. On the other side, a QR code included copy that told users it would be easy to rate the hotel by scanning. Per the exec, users did not scan the mobile bar code.

However, Dolce Hotels and Resorts have found that other initiatives, such as mobilizing Web sites, are working well. For instance, the company has mobilized the site and saw that conversions increased, page views increased, bounce rates went down and incremental revenue went up.

Dolce Hotels and Resorts is a small chain of hotels with 23 locations in the United States and Europe.

For mobile initiatives, the company is rolling out mobile sites for its chains as well as iPad sales kits. Additionally, the company is shifting its eblasts to be mobilized.

“If you think about hotels, hotels are only a bed in a box, so what the hotel companies are doing is saying, ‘how do we differentiate,’ and you differentiate through amenities and service,” Mr. Goldrich said.

“Our competition is doing it, the guests expect that and really all we can do is provide an optimal guest experience from when they come to us from the first touchpoint to the last,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York