October 15, 2008 08:00 ET

Jelly Belly Sweetens Its E-commerce Site With Hosted Search Solutions From SLI Systems

Candy Retailer Sees 33% More Conversions and 10% Higher Average Order Size With Learning-Based Site Search and SEO Tools

CUPERTINO, CA--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - Some people shop for Jelly Belly® jelly beans by taste, some people shop by color -- but whatever each individual's preference, they're finding them much faster at, thanks to search solutions from SLI Systems (

Jelly Belly Candy Company (, a gourmet jelly bean and candy company headquartered in Fairfield, Calif., recently selected Learning Search ( and Site Champion ( from SLI Systems, a provider of intelligent, on-demand search services ( for Internet and e-commerce sites. Since implementing SLI's site search in August of this year, conversions have grown nearly one-third, average orders have increased 10 percent, and Jelly Belly has boosted its visibility on major search engines -- a combination that helps the candy retailer's bottom line.

Based on SLI's advanced analytics engine, the company's hosted search solutions "learn" from past site search activity, matching search terms to the items that previous online shoppers click through the most, increasing the likelihood that people will find what they're looking for and make a purchase. Based on this same click-through data, SLI's user-generated SEO ( solution -- Site Champion -- automates the process of selecting the best keywords and optimizing landing pages for search engine marketing.

Jason Marrone, e-commerce marketing manager for Jelly Belly Candy Company, brought in SLI Systems when the candy company re-launched its Web site earlier this year. "We wanted our online customers to quickly find the jelly beans and candy they wanted -- we make 75 flavors of Jelly Belly beans and over 100 other candies such as gummies, licorice, chocolates and holiday sweets," said Marrone. "People often want a specific flavor or color. The site search that was in place from another vendor didn't allow visitors to search using all of these product facets -- it wasn't e-commerce-friendly."

Marrone considered six site search vendors before choosing SLI Systems. "SLI offered superior technology, the price was right, and the responsiveness of the sales department to our particular site search needs was amazing," Marrone said. SLI also offered more sophisticated merchandising tools, such as the ability to add jelly bean color swatches to search results.

"We also liked the fact that these are hosted solutions," said Marrone. "We have a limited amount of IT support, so it's nice to take this off our plate."

Only a few months after implementing Learning Search and Site Champion, conversions have increased 33 percent, and average order value has increased 10 percent.

Site Champion, SLI's SEO solution, has also helped Jelly Belly improve its placement in search engine results by automatically optimizing Web pages for the keyword searches of site visitors. "We don't have a large enough Web team to develop landing pages for every one of our jelly bean flavors," Marrone said. "With Site Champion, we've automated this process."

Data from Learning Search has also helped Jelly Belly make product decisions based on search requests from site visitors. "We used to offer only a 10-pound bulk case of our Champagne Bubbles candy," Marrone said. "Using information from Learning Search, we discovered that Champagne Bubbles candy had become the third most-requested search. We decided to offer a one-pound container -- and it's now one of our biggest sellers with people planning weddings."

Using Learning Search, Jelly Belly marketers also discovered that visitors who searched for information about the company's popular factory tours left the site quickly, indicating that they didn't find what they needed. In response, the company has now created a landing page specifically about factory tours, making it easy for site visitors to find tour information.

About Learning Search and Site Champion

Based on SLI's patented "Learning Search" intelligent search ( technology, the company's hosted site search and user-generated SEO solutions "learn" from user behavior by tracking the search terms people use on a retailer's site and the resulting items they click on. SLI's solutions improve the user experience for Web site visitors and ensure the products people are searching for show up in the right searches -- whether those searches are conducted on their own sites or on a Web search engine like Google.

Learning Search also allows users greater flexibility in creating special landing pages and aligning search results with sales and product promotions. Through an enhanced merchandising console, SLI customers can easily change the order of search results, create banner ads, and customize landing pages to merchandise products and content, and leverage search activity for more targeted online marketing.

More than 300 sites use SLI Systems' hosted search offerings, including ULTA, Smith & Hawken, FTD, and Vermont Teddy Bear, among others.

About SLI Systems

SLI Systems is the developer of learning-based search and navigation technology for corporate Internet sites, e-commerce destinations and consumer Internet portals that Searches, Learns and Improves the user experience. SLI Systems' hosted site search and user-generated SEO solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and yielding valuable customer information. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems' patented technology continuously "learns" from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information, visit, or see the company's blog at

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