LAYOUTindex created the most comprehensive digital solution for the 444 team. The digital solution is aimed at Sri Lankans around the island, to allow them to find nearby business establishments, offers and value added services around them. It’s the one stop lifestyle app that will cater to services required by individuals such as finding a business location, booking a ticket for a movie or an event which includes local and international concerts.
The 444 team approached us with the idea of creating a digital solution aimed at Sri Lankans, to allow them to find nearby business establishments, offers and value added services around them.
The app was to feature searching for business establishments by name, city/town or even the user’s current location. Information for selected establishments was to include details on the facilities offered, opening times, contact details, and so on. Their goal was also to become the leading search, discovery and booking platform in Sri Lanka.
444 (formerly known as FYI Sri Lanka) was developed to be a more interactive and mobile version of rainbow pages with additional value added services. Our intended audience are professionals and individuals in Sri Lanka who lead a busy life and look at having tasks completed online or via a mobile app. It can be daunting to find vendors, brands and services online. 444 aims to be the one stop lifestyle app that will cater to most services required by individuals such as finding a business location, booking a ticket for a movie or an event.
The solution we gave was a website or mobile app with different features being available to users depending on the platform they are on. The web platform functions primarily as a business directory where a user can either search for a business by category/location or register his/her business on the 444 platform. In addition to this feature, the website also supports event ticket reservations for local & international events with multiple payment options being available to the user to reduce the hassle in making payments online. Some of the additional payment options a user can access in addition to the normal card payments are eZ Cash, Dialog Add to Bill & Sampath Vishwa.
Even though each of the services that we have provided via our platform is also provided by other service providers, what makes our product unique is that we offer all these services in one location via a one-stop lifestyle app/website. There is no other service provider in Sri Lanka that offers all these services on one website or application and neither do they have the multiple payment options that can be accessed via the 444 platform. Our solution ensures that you can make purchases online even without a debit/credit card.
The 444 mobile app comes bundled with a few extra features in addition to the ones present on the web platform. The mobile app utilizes the smartphone’s location to give each user a geo-customized search result that lists businesses within a user-defined radius of the device. In addition to event ticket bookings, the 444 mobile apps also allow users to reserve movie tickets and book bus seats by collaborating with the relevant service providers.
Some of the key features of the app include a state-of-the-art event management platform for the first time in the country allowing custom event mapping, seat planning, ticket redemption not just for local but international concerts and events.
The 444 platform consists of multiple back-ends dedicated to each service. Some of the backends are:
- Event platform backend to manage all event related content and functionalities such as create new event, create seat plan, allocate pricing, inclusive of taxes & commissions for individual sales channels, and even map the stadium digitally on uploading a blueprint/image.
- Business directory platform backend that lets you create, edit & delete business directory listing.
- Call-center backend that is utilized by different Telco providers to sell tickets from the 444 inventory via their call centers
All these backends and external APIs that manage ticket reservations are connected together by a central API management system that keeps the system running smoothly while keeping all the data synced in real-time.
As a value added service to the ticketing platform, 444 also has another mobile application that functions as a ticket validator to check tickets at entrances where tickets are displayed. It alerts ticket providers on the validity of the ticket and other information such as number of entrances & exits per ticket for any given event.
From an ERP perspective, the platform provides call center management staff and other user groups the option of generating various reports that assist in the day to day running of all ticket and event reservations regardless of whether they were online or call center reservations. These reports include performance, statistical and other non-financial information as well.
The 444 web & mobile solutions are designed with the highest priority being user experience. Development-wise, the 444 solution relies heavily on APIs (technical interfaces to transfer data from one service provider to another) to provide the movie ticket reservation and bus seat reservation services. Seamless integration of these third-party APIs have gone a long way in the smooth functioning of the 444 solution. 444 also provides APIs to other Telco service providers such as Dialog & Airtel that allow them to sell tickets for events that are on the 444 platform.
A Success Story
The 444 platform is now powered by Dialog and that opens up an entire subscriber base that could be reached via one SMS. SMS Marketing is one of the more effective mass marketing campaigns for 444 as the Dialog subscriber base is over 11 million.
The 444 website is also heavily Search Engine Optimized (SEO) which ensures that any new business listing or event added is automatically optimized with mostly relevant keywords for it. This ensures minimal human effort in maintaining proper website structure and meta information and more importantly ranks the 444 pages high on Google Search Results for the relevant searches.
In addition to SEO, Social Media Marketing plays a pivotal role in ensuring that new events & movies get their deserved exposure. By tapping into the power of Social Media and other Pay-Per-Click Display Advertising, we ensure that people click through on related posts and adverts and wind up on the 444 website or mobile app which sets the path for a simple and easy ticket purchase with multiple payment options.
Furthermore, 444 also allows third party sales vendors such as wow.lk to integrate with their backend via APIs which allows them to sell event tickets and movie tickets from their inventory.
The website and mobile app have been in constant use ever since the launch date one and a half months ago and has always had the capacity to handle the load of ticket reservation requests from multiple sources, some of which have been simultaneous. Up-to date the 444 platform which includes mobile app, website, call center platforms and other third-party integrations has sold over 15,000 tickets for local and international events, movies and bus seats.
The website has seen an average of 500 visitors per day during peak times without much marketing and the mobile applications have over 5000 active installs with ticket bookings for movies and events happening on a daily basis.
This platform is also used on a daily basis by 50 – 100 call center executives of different telecommunication providers to reserve tickets.