Thursday, June 24, 2010

Multiply launches Trust and Promote programs

About 80 percent of the online stores in Multiply are based in the Philippines, which is aptly dubbed as the Multiply Nation by the Entrepreneur magazine.  

Multiply executive chairman Claudio Pinkus led the launching of the Multiply Trust and Multiply Promote programs attended by over 70 Filipino online sellers (including the author) at the ABS-CBN, ELJ Communication Center on June 23, 2010. As of May 2010, there are 50,000 online stores in Multiply, 40,000 of which are Philippine-based. 

Competing with online shops that have been doing business in Multiply for the longest time is challenging for newbies. Through Multiply Trust, potential customers will know that they can trust a new online seller to deliver its promised products/services because it has been “verified” by Multiply. Online sellers can choose between the three levels of verification that suits their needs and budget; Verified Seller (P1999), Verified Business (P2999) and Trusted Business (P4999) will get a badge showing the verification level.

 Filipino online sellers in Multiply convene at the forum and 
launch event hosted by ABS-CBN.
The Multiply Trust program is a great way to build credibility especially for online sellers who just started their business. However, for starters like me, you can still build customer trust without spending a dime. I will share some tips on building customer trust in another post. 

On the other hand, the Multiply Promote program is an advertising scheme within Multiply that lets online sellers create and optimize ads for their business. At present, the ads will be displayed within the Multiply network only. Pinkus said they look forward to place Multiply Promote ads in other website such as Facebook. 

I have not tried Multiply Promote yet, but according to one online seller I met during the launch that it was quite effective in directing traffic to her new Multiply store. In just a couple of days she had over 40 visitors. But I think I would not be signing up for Multiply Promote in the next months. You see, majority of my clientele find their way to my online shop via links in other websites like blogs, Sulit and Facebook. I shall consider placing an add when Multiply Promote ads reach websites other than Multiply. For the meantime, I will be spending more time and no money on link building to direct traffic to my online shop. 

Moreover, Pinkus shared to the attendees that more features will be added soon to make Multiply more functional for online sellers and shoppers alike. These features include: 
  • Integrated shopping cart 
  • On and off-line payment methods 
  • Review and rating system (This can be useful in establishing an online seller’s credibility; customers will be able to rate the online sellers based on different aspects such as quality of products/services, customer service, etc.) 
  • Site layouts tailored to online shops
  • Order tracking and inventory management (According to Pinkus, Multiply plans to incorporate order forms to eliminate the need to get order form codes from third parties and filters to facilitate order tracking)  
  • Improved analytics (Online sellers can monitor site visits, ad clicks, and other aspects measured in Google Analytics)
Aside from the good and enlightening discussions, Multiply gave away P4,500 worth of ads thru Multiply Promote to online sellers who signed-up for Multiply Trust during the launching event. Also, An iPad was raffled out to the attendees. Sadly, I did not win. But the experience, knowledge gained and the stories shared between other online sellers were priceless.

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