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Meantime’s e-commerce systems aids Mobile Chilli’s massive expansion

An internet-based e-commerce system adopted by Mobile Chilli has enabled the mobile phone content provider to increase its offering from 15,000 files to more than 2.1 million in just six months.

Mobile Chilli websiteMobile Chilli, which is based in Kendal, Cumbria and specialises in providing music, music videos, mobile games, screensavers and wallpaper for download to mobile phones, signed deals with Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner in 2010 which gave it the rights to sell around two million tracks from the world’s most famous artists. The supporting e-commerce system created by Meantime IT has enabled Mobile Chilli to expand from a WAP-only operation to a web-based system. The result is the capacity for hugely increased content and an integrated mobile payment processing facility which takes payment from users’ phone credit or adds it to their monthly bill, allowing users to download content without subscription, setting it apart from its major online competitors such as Jamster.

Mobile Chilli currently operates in five locations – UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa – with plans to expand into the USA within the next few months. The e-commerce system Meantime has created includes an overnight batching facility that routinely processes 150,000 new items at a time, automatically allocating items to each territory, currency and price point.

A major advantage of Meantime’s e-commerce system is its SEO facility to allow unlimited penetration by search engines and streamlined coding that ensures all pages are loaded in under two seconds, whilst images are automatically re-sized for web performance.

Steve Parker is Meantime’s technical director. He explains: “The biggest ongoing challenge was to optimise performance that could be sustained when Mobile Chilli’s content increased from several thousand items to more than two million. This involved massive performance tuning and database streamlining. We also created an overnight batching process to take in their content in xml, format it, put it into a usable storage engine for web application and then deliver the content to the user. Overnight there could be anything from 50 to 150,000 new files, and they could be single tracks to full albums, music videos or an animation, each at a different price point.

“Each item is regulated differently, so content may be available in UK but not Ireland, and we’re working with multiple currencies, so the system is incredibly complicated in that it takes each of these variables into account and processes everything automatically. ”

Mobile Chilli’s managing director Steve Kitchen is determined to make downloaded music and video more accessible to mobile phone users. “The big names such as i-Tunes and Amazon are only concerned with selling music to your PC,” he says. “We’re about getting music to people’s mobile phones in a quick, hassle-free way that cuts out wires, and the e-commerce system that Meantime has provided us with enables us to do just that.”

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