If you’ve noticed lately that Multiply has been very aggressive with online advertising, it’s because they’re on the road to claiming the top e-commerce spot in the Philippines. That’s to the tune of Php25 million in ad money.
A number of other players are contenders for the top spots, coming in from various platforms and business models — there’s the top classifieds ad site Sulit, AyosDito and eBay.ph. A few more challengers have been launch in recent years but have not really made a huge dent in market share.
Multiply has evolved from just being a simple blogging and social networking site to a full-fledged marketplace with tens of thousands of merchants under its fold (ranging from one-woman shops selling perfumes to big name PC vendors like Dell or VillMan).
To fast-track this evolution, Multiply has pumped in at least Php25 million in advertising money to promote the marketplace and possible another round of cash in the next quarter if the numbers are promising.
Multiply has tapped a number of fashion bloggers as endorsers and VIP merchants with some names getting Php20k a month just to have their pretty faces featured in those banner ads. Certainly not spare change but it could ad to the local flavor and attract more regular patrons in the process.
Based from conversations with active merchants, and my experience with shopping at Multiply, it looks like the site is absorbing the cost of shipping and the additional credit card charges in favor of the merchants so they’re motivated to use the shopping cart. I am also told that since Multiply uses their own payment processor, the risk of chargebacks and fraudulent transactions are absorbed by the company and not the individual merchants. That’s a pretty bold and interesting offer if you ask me.