bows out on May 6, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Another Dot Com company bites the dust. recently announced that it will be closing its e-commerce site on May 6, 2013. They will still be processing refunds and other membership matters until the end of May. This announcement came after only eight (8) months since they transformed their company from a vibrant social networking site to an e-commerce site; and only a few weeks since they released their new logo.

A message from CEO Stefan Magdalinski:

“About a year ago, our local Multiply teams were given the mighty challenge of totally re-inventing the company,” said Stefan Magdalinski, Multiply CEO. “After much effort, we are forced to admit that we were not able to pull it off. I’m proud of my team for their diligence and determination, despite the disappointing outcome.”

I'm no expert but it was definitely a mistake to transform the site into a full e-commerce site. While they were earning a lot of money from their sellers, they totally alienated the segment of their users who use their site to blog and share photos. In the early 2000's, Multiply's edge was customization. Nobody could put their names beside Friendster or Myspace. Multiply was the only one who did that. This is why users - not just sellers - flocked to the site. And some of these users are STILL using these social networking features. More importantly, blogging and photo-sharing are both tools for sellers because some of these sellers started out as bloggers.

So Multiply is dunzo. But the real question is this: what does this mean to the e-commerce industry in the Philippines? Last year, there were a handful of shopping sites launched: Lazada, Zalora, AyosDito. Are these sites also in danger of following Multiply's demise?

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