Jelly Belly Finds Sweet E-Commerce Growth

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Jelly Belly Finds Sweet E-Commerce Growth

By Alarice Rajagopal & Jamie Grill-Goodman - 05/09/2016
Jelly Belly has been a household name synonymous with jelly beans for 40 years. Like most branded manufacturers, this candy maven has understood the potential to reach online consumers through engaging digital experiences that enhance the brand, showcase its delicious products and most importantly, entice its customers to feed their sweet tooth through direct online transactions.
 
Jelly Belly developed a homegrown e-commerce system with the goal of connecting consumers to retailers. As Jelly Belly grew, so did its need for an e-commerce system that could be scaled to sell its candy. The company’s eBusiness team and developers began experiencing the headaches associated with scaling the platform to meet customer demands.
 
Jelly Belly needed to launch multiple sites that were also responsive, would scale with their growth and give their eBusiness team the power to update merchandise, promotions and content, without the help of IT.  And they wanted to do it fast.
 
“Our internal development process was broken and we needed a solution to move away from custom, in-house development,” explains Brandon Finch, director of eBusiness, Jelly Belly. “We sought a customizable and scalable solution that would grow with us.”
 
Mozu’s true multi-tenant SaaS platform immediately solved Jelly Belly’s concerns over the cost of onsite hosting and maintenance of their homegrown platform, giving Jelly Belly regular feature updates. It also freed up web developers’ time to focus on innovation and gave them peace of mind that their sites are reliable and secure. For the first time, Jelly Belly has a natively responsive mobile experience that simplifies the mobile purchasing experience.
 
“Mozu’s API-first structure allows us to utilize its out-of-the-box functionality to handle 80 to 90 percent of what we need, and we can create the remaining 10 to 20 percent.” says Finch. “When we have to build out more sites, we don’t have to do it from scratch. We build off of previously-created sites to maintain consistency and be efficient with our time and money.”
 
Jelly Belly’s eBusiness team now quickly launches multiple sites from one account, on a single catalog all with the ability for business users to manage their own portions of the sites and make their own updates to products, promotions and content. This has been a huge advantage for Jelly Belly as they develop channel-specific pricing and promotion.
 
“We had been working with our in-house team to develop everything, but it took a lot of time and effort, and we couldn’t handle competing priorities very well. Now, we function as part of a three-way co-development environment,” explains Finch. “It’s been great to work with a partner that can do the work and hand it to us to carry it the last mile. They respect and support our roadmap, and at the same time they are building things that we might not necessarily know we need until they’re available.”
 
Using the new solution, Jelly Belly successfully integrated Mozu with its ERP system to manage order and inventory information. Jelly Belly’s entire commerce eco-system was instantly upgraded and future ready. Performance tests prove their website is loading faster than ever, and their once over-burdened IT and development teams are now focused on innovative customer experiences. Jelly Belly sites are now twice as fast, revenue from mobile sales immediately increased from 2 percent to 32 percent, and they have a happy eBusiness team.
 
Now Jelly Belly is in the process of building its international content B2C sites in support of its international distributors. It will also continue to increase its B2B functionality to meet the needs of various sales channels.
 
“All of this is much easier and on a faster timeline with Mozu,” says Finch. “On the B2B site, we’ve been building out functionalities including a rapid order form, better catalog accessibility, robust search, merchandising, and promotions engine. Next up, Mozu is helping us bring to life tools and functionalities on our B2B site that improve the engagement with and businesses of our retailers.”
 
Finch advises other consumer goods companies looking to modernize their e-commerce platform to make sure the project scope takes care of immediate needs along with anticipated needs two to four years from now.
 
“Find a company that wants to work with you and is willing to work off of your roadmap rather than forcing you to conform to theirs.”
 
Additionally, he urges companies to consider the market’s shift to mobile and how a prospective platform can provide solutions rather than obstacles.
 
“This shift to mobile is not slowing down, so you might as well make the most of it,” closes Finch.­