The Multiply Series: A designer’s take on credibility

Hello folks, it’s been a while since I last updated my blog. Acads, business and so much more are to be blamed of course… okay, a little procrastination on my part, too.

So getting to business, if you’ll notice, the title of this blog has this part: “The Multiply Series”. Well it’s because, you guess, I will be writing a series of blogs related to Multiply (the social networking site) and mostly about trust issues. This may have been talked about a lot of times already but there are factors in Multiply trust issues that may not apply to other online buying and selling sites like Ebay. Factors such as the layout design of the site or what a scammed consumer or seller can do to get back at their enemy. Cat fights in Multiply can get really creative more than you can imagine.

For the first instalment of my “The Multiply Series”, I’d be talking about how a good-looking layout or theme can help online shops gain credibility and some exceptions to the rule.

It gives the shop a good first impression

They say first impressions last. Definitely a nice layout that will greet the visitor upon clicking on an online shop is definitely a plus and will get the visitor to navigate further on your site. Probably if you see a shop with a much cluttered layout and uses a Comic Sans font in rainbow color, you might hit that close tab right away without even looking at the products and the testimonials that can vouch for the seller’s credibility. Humans are indeed very visual (and we, capitalists should take advantage of that).

A shop that invested on a layout gives the buyers a sense of security

A layout design’s cost ranges from P500-P2000 and more. So if a buyer sees a fully revamped site, it gives them the security that the owner of this shop invested on a layout design and thinks that this seller would not have spent a huge amount of money just to lose his/her reputation in the Multiply e-commerce world.

It gives the shop that image that tells the customers: I’M A SERIOUS ENTREPRENEUR

I’m a designer, but at the same time a shopper as well so when I see a Multiply shop (regardless if we designed it or not, mind you I sincerely appreciate the works of other designers) that is neatly organized; the albums are labelled accordingly, the photos are not just hastily taken but even edited to look more presentable, the transactions are neatly posted, no annoying html glitter whatever texts, it attracts me to browse through the products and when I would want to buy, I pursue the transaction because the instructions are so easy to go through, no information overload!

Exceptions to the rule

Tsoknat Bags Pilipinas

It’s not always the case that a good layout dictates a Multiply shop’s reputation and patronage. A very good example of this is Tsoknat Bags Pilipinas. Toni, the owner of this shop has never had her site revamped. She just uses a simple base theme and placed a simple animated header and that’s it. But the flock of customers that visits her site whenever she has a new collection of her handmade bags is unimaginable. People virtually kill each other to get the bag they want since all bags are unique, no design is done more than once. A collection of 30+ or so bags costing around P800-P900 each gets sold out within a span of 24 hours! However, even if Tsoknat Pilipinas do not have an intricately customized site, it has customized album covers for each collection and delicately enhanced photos of her products which covers up for the simple theme.


If Tsoknat is an example of a Multiply shop without a customized layout but is definitely credible and a must-see site, Crave4style is the complete opposite. She had her layout made by one of the more popular designers on Multiply. The designer never expected the owner of the shop to have the makings of a scammer because the latter paid all her balances on time, no complaints whatsoever with regard to payment matters. They had a smooth transaction, so smooth that her designer even ordered from her around a P27,000 worth of Louis Vuitton bag and eventually got scammed after giving her down payment. This happened around 2 years ago and by the time the news erupted about her scamming schemes, she immediately deleted her account.

Moral of the story is, a layout design may help a seller build a reputation in the Multiply e-commerce world but it doesn’t stop there. In a world of virtual faces, without assurances whatsoever, it is important that an online seller backs herself up with proper identification and positive client testimonials for him/her to earn his rightful place in the hearts and shopping list of the new generation (online) consumers.

About Marj Casal

Maria Angelica Nepomuceno Casal is a student of the University of the Philippines Manila and this blog is created as part of the requirements of my OC152 class. And might as well be a long term hobby.
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