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Jelly Belly ups conversion, bounce rates with smartphone shoppers

Candy maker Jelly Belly Candy Co. is improving conversion and bounce rates among smartphone users with the mobile-optimized Web site it launched.

The company decided to optimize for mobile after noticing the high volume of mobile users on its traditional Web site. While Jelly Billy said it is still too early to draw hard conclusions, it has seen promising results.

“About 10 percent of our traffic is mobile traffic,” said Jason Marrone, ecommerce marketing manager at Jelly Belly, Fairfield, CA. “Not having an optimized site, our conversion rate [of mobile users] tended to be low.

Jelly Belly teamed with mobile developer Branding Brand to optimize its Web site for mobile.

How it works
The Jelly Belly mobile site lets users search for candy product information and make purchases via their handsets.

Mobile users who type in are automatically routed to the new mobile-optimized version of the Web site, where they can begin shopping.

The Our Candy section includes links to all of Jelly Belly’s brands of candy, such as Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Sports Beans and Sunkist Candies.

Clicking on any one of the brand images brings up a list of product offerings users can click through to find whichever candies they desire.

“Our Shop” features more options for picking out different Jelly Belly products, and includes filter options so shoppers can narrow down their search based on taste, container, price and color.

The store locator feature asks mobile users to fill in either their postal code or city and state, and directs them to the most convenient Jelly Belly vendor based on their candy preferences.

Here is a screen grab of the home page:

Individual product pages include information about the candy, user ratings, social media integration so users can share pages on services such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg, and options for adding the product to the shopping cart.

Users checking out of the mobile store can create or log-in to their Jelly Belly account, or proceed without checking in.

The mobile site uses virtually the same check out process as the standard desktop version.

The Web site also includes ordering information, recipes and an 800-number that mobile users can click to call for additional help.

“Our two primary goals with the mobile site were to provide as consistent a mobile experience as we could and not increasing our administrative workload, or at least minimizing the workload,” Mr. Marrone said. “In large part that was why Branding Brand was a good fit.

“We were building a new instance of the site,” he said. “We wanted to avoid having to do a totally new site.”

Jelly Belly said it optimized the site for iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices.

Eighty-five percent of mobile traffic came from those platforms.

The candy maker has not yet geared up promotions for its mobile-optimized site, but plans to get the word out on its Facebook fan page as well as in email marketing.

Sweet sales
The food and beverage industry has not been shy about mobile commerce recently.

For example, is selling its selection of vino on mobile devices (see story).

Additionally, Dylan’s Candy Bar has used mobile as a way to drive foot traffic to its retail locations (see story).

This is JellyBelly’s first foray into mobile commerce, and not a moment too soon, according to the company.

“I think the time had come,” Mr. Marrone said. “We needed to add this channel, no question about it.

“It made sense for us to launch the site,” he said.

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York