Earlier this year Multiply made the big decision to transform and dedicate the site entirely to e-commerce. In the process, the company announced this month its decision to shut down the site’s social networking and content sharing functions. We recently talked to Multiply’s CEO Stefan Magdalinski and Indonesia country manager Daniel Tumiwa (pictured above) about the decision to take down the blog platform, and about the company’s plans for 2013.
Daniel said that they will be taking down the blogs soon, and have given its members around two months to download and migrate their content to other blogging services. They are still giving an additional one month grace period to make sure members have enough time to settle their affairs. But starting this month, users are no longer able to post anything new on their Multiply-hosted blogs, but we can still view and read the blogs for several months. Then they’ll vanish for good.
Stefan added that competition among social networking sites is unique, as there’s often a dominant entity, making it more difficult to be successful. But e-commerce is a bit different, because there are a lot of successful e-commerce businesses, even if they only get a smaller market slice.
Before this decision to cease blogging services was made, Multiply’s team frequently held sessions with its members for about a year to get feedback on the company’s plans. Daniel said that the decision was a difficult one, especially when there has been a lot of stories and memories invested in numerous Multiply blogs, including people who met their spouses via their own blog.
Looking to E-Commerce
Nevertheless, 2012 has been a great year for Multiply. Up until November, the site’s fledgling e-commerce transaction count has increased two-fold, with its corresponding value increasing by a factor of 13. Multiply’s customer count has also gone up by a factor of eight. The online shopping platform now has 100,000 Indonesian sellers and around 75,000 Filipino sellers. Indonesia has overtaken the Philippines in terms of sales in November, and Stefan forecasts that Indonesia will continue to grow strongly.
The Multiply team is now looking forward to new challenges in 2013, where the company will be rebranding and relaunching itself as a 100 percent e-commerce site, complete with a new logo. Besides moving its headquarters from Florida to Jakarta this year, now the company’s developer team is located in Jakarta, and online payments are being processed locally, with its data hosted fully in Asia. Now they are looking to move sellers to the new platform as seamlessly as possible.
Stefan speculates that 2013 will be the year where Indonesia’s online shopping sector takes off, and the team is preparing to ride that wave. Next year, Multiply will focus on introducing better delivery services and more payment methods, including cash on delivery. In the next two to three months, Multiply will also be relaunching its website with a better and cleaner user interface better suited to shopping.