1. Multiple Handsets Supported
One of the key factors to drive Software Mall to be success is the ability to support multiple mobile handsets. Based on the current platform, the system can support the following mobile OS
- Windows Mobile
2. Java Phone
Customers using different mobile phone, with different OS, will see different applications and games on the page. This is because games and applications are usually not supported by all OSs. The system will select only the supported games and applications to show to the customers. This can avoid the problem of installing an unsupported application to the phone.
3. Handset Recognition System
The system is capable of offering only the supported games and applications to the user by means of verifying the mobile's user agent, namely a UA Profile. A UA Profile indicates the handset model, the browser version, and the operating system. Different mobile handset has a different UA Profile. Software Mall has more than 6,000 UA Profiles in its database. And the number keeps increasing every day as the new mobile is come out to the market every week.
4. Various Payment Models
The system offers 3 main payment models for our content partners, which are:
- Free Trial
- Buy Now
Details of each model are described below.
5. Free Trial
The application can be sold in a try & buy model. In this model, a customer is offered a free of charge download, and they are allowed to use an application for free in a period of time, like 30 days. Depends on the application, it might block the usage after the trial days expired, or it might warn the user about the expiry, and asks them to purchase. The payment method is initiated via the “Payment” menu in an application itself. This means there is a requirement for an application to have the special payment menu. By selecting the payment menu, an application will go through the payment process provided by Software Mall.
6. Buy Now
Buy Now is the payment model which requires a customer to make a payment prior to downloading. It is the most preferable payment method for mobile partners as they can get revenue instantly. The payment will be done in real time via the mobile billing. The system will check if the customer has enough credit/money in their account. For pre-paid customers, if they don’t have enough money in the account, the transaction will be rejected. For post-paid customer, on the contrary, there is not much error from insufficient money.
Customers, who are successfully charged, are allowed to re-download the same content for free. The window time to get a free download is within 7 days after the payment has been made. The customer can come to the page, and re-download by themselves. Or they can call to the call center to assist the download. This policy is proven to help increasing customer satisfaction.
Subscription is the way to periodically charge the money from the customer. Software Mall offers various type of charging in the subscription model, which are:
- Daily Charge
- Weekly Charge
- Monthly Charge
- Yearly Charge
Subscription model is proven to be the main source of revenue as it will continuously charge the member in daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. That depends on the chosen subscription model. Subscribers who don’t want to continue using the service can unsubscribe at anytime they want. Doing so, they just need to send SMS, a keyword; to the pre-defined short code, or call the call center if they like.
Free trial can be applied to the service. Subscribers will be asked whether they want to continue using the service prior to the time to enjoy the service is up. The whole confirmation process is done via SMS.
Content partners can freely select the payment model they like. The only thing needed to consider before selecting the payment model is the application functionalities. That is, it has to support the payment model chosen. For instance, if the application is not designed to dynamic activate and deactivate its functionalities, it cannot support a subscription model.
8. Viral Marketing
Viral Marketing can help increasing the traffic and revenue. It is a method designed to keep a customer stay tuned on the service. The method which is widely used is to offer a customer an attractive and special service, like free games or free applications. To get that temptation service, customers are required to invite friends or other people they know to use the service. If those people who are invited by the customer have subscribed to the service, the customer can get the prize.
9. Banners and Content Recommendation
Banner is another effective way to promote the contents. The system is designed to support an unlimited number of banners. Partners can design the banners by themselves. Once finished, they just need to submit the banner to the partner manager. If everything is alright, the partner manager will upload the banner to the portal.
Banners are queued up and wait to be showed on the portal. Normally, there window time for the banner is 30 days. However, the days could be extended if partner has a special plan to promote the content.
10. Content Management System
CMS is the heart of the system. It is the place where admin and publishers use to manage the contents. All contents available on the portal are added via the CMS. Main functions of the CMS are as follows:
- Content and Service Management
- Partner Management
- Revenue and Report System
- Transactions Report
- Member Management
- Handset Management
- Campaign and Promotion Management
- Account Authentication and Authorization System
Different account will be granted a different access level. This mechanism can ensure that the secret information will not be exposed to the people who are not authorized. For example, the revenue report section should be able to access only by the management and accounting department; whereas, the content and partner management section should be accessible by the content team, marketing, and business development team.
11. License Management System
Some applications require a license key, whereas some not. Software Mall system does support both type of applications. If there application requires a license key, there will be an extra procedure for the customer to do before submitting the payment. Generally, the customer would be required to supply their unique ID for license generating purpose. IMEI, Email, and PIN are the example unique ID mostly used by the application.
Two basic models are supported by the system:
- Bulk License
- Online Request
Bulk License is the type of licenses which are pre-generated. It is considered to be the easiest and cheapest way to generate licenses. For this model, nothing is specifically required for license key generation. Regardless of its simplicity, the registration method is considered to be impractical as the key could be reused at any time. The only solution to protect the key-reuse problem is to verify it with its server. An application will need to send a license key to the server so that the server will check whether the key is valid or not.
Online Request is, however, considered to be more practical way for a license key request. Partner doesn’t have to pre-generate a lot of licenses. Instead, the license will be generated in real time. By generating the license, Software Mall will initiate a request to the partner’s system, which is normally hosted remotely. Upon the requirement, a unique ID might be supplied with the request. Having been successfully generated by the partner, a license key will be given back to Software Mall, and Software Mall will forward to the end user via SMS. Using the method, partner is required to have their server where Software Mall can make an online request for the license key.