Multiply.com Closing by May 6, Unlikely to Affect PH E-Commerce

Multiply.com has announced last Friday that it will be closing on May 6, 2013.
Multiply.com has announced last Friday that it will be closing on May 6, 2013.

Multiply Philippines, one of the popular sites for online merchants in the country has announced that it will cease operation on May 6, 2013.

In a statement, Multiply said that it will maintain normal site operations through May 6. It has assured its merchants full payment for all transactions made through the platform. Also, a pro-rated refund will be given to merchants who availed of the site’s trust badges or premium accounts.

Despite its attempt to reinvent itself as an e-commerce platform, the cause of the decision is attributed to poor performance. “About a year ago, our local Multiply teams were given the mighty challenge of totally re-inventing the company,” said Stefan Magdalinski, Multiply CEO based in Jakarta, Indonesia in a statement sent to online news site DailySocial.

Magdalinki added that, “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.”

Multiply started as a blogging and social networking platform launched in 2003. Eventually, the site added an e-commerce platform offering individual merchants to sell products online. After its fall from popularity as a social networking site, Multiply moved its headquarters from Florida to Jakarta, Indonesia. The move was made to attend to users in the region where it has remained popular, especially as an online marketplace.

Last 2012, Multiply has announced that it would be ceasing its social networking platform by December 2012 and would be focusing on e-commerce. Early this year, the site has undergone refurbishing.

On Philippine E-Commerce

Shopping online is expected to become more popular in the country because goods online tend to be cheaper than those bought in commercial establishments. Despite this, stricter taxation will be implemented as the Palace has announced late 2012 its support to stricter taxation on online merchants. Early this year, the Bureau of Internal revenue said that it will go after buy-and-sell sites over its merchants who fail to issue receipts.

Multiply’s closing can have little effect in the country’s e-commerce industry. With its closing, online merchants have to change its platform or move to other sites. Since many merchants are already using other e-commerce and social networking sites as platforms, they shall retain their online presence.

Other major players in the Philippine e-commerce, particularly group buying, online shopping and buy-and-sell sites, can be utilized as other platforms for online trade.