You successfully crowdfunded your product and were able to start production. Now what? If you’re asking yourself that question and not sure where to go next in order to sell all that you’re producing, Amazon Launchpad may be just what you’re looking for.
What Is Amazon Launchpad?
Working in conjunction with more than 25 venture capital firms, startup accelerators and crowdfunding platforms, the e-commerce giant created a portal in 2015 to allow startups the ability to easily market and sell their products on the Amazon.com website.
What Are the Benefits of Amazon Launchpad?
Entrepreneurs with successful crowdfunding campaigns know they have a base of interested consumers. With this portal, however, Amazon provides startup companies the opportunity to connect with new audiences on a global scale. Thus, the initial campaign doesn’t have to be a one-shot deal. This is especially helpful to startups that have inventory and are ready to get it out the door.
It’s a user-friendly process wherein Amazon streamlines the creation of specialized product pages with visually-compelling imagery and videos to showcase products. Access to these powerful marketing tools allows startups to increase awareness of their products.
How is Amazon Launchpad Different From Just Selling on Amazon?
Let’s face it: Amazon is a pretty powerful force in the world of retail and provides opportunities that individuals may never have otherwise. As Amazon Vice President Jim Adkins explained when the portal debuted, “For startups, we handle inventory management, order fulfillment, customer service and more, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more cool products.”
Startups also get benefits different from other sellers on Amazon, such as a dedicated Launchpad team that answers questions and assists with onboarding. There is also a place to provide content and share your product’s story (and consumers love a good story). Additionally, there is access to special promotions such as gift guides.
How Do I Know if Amazon Launchpad is Right for my Product?
Just as there are items that still sell very well at small brick and mortar businesses, your product might not be the right fit for Amazon Launchpad. Look at how well similar products do on Amazon. For example, if you’ve successfully crowdfunded a specialized medical device, that won’t likely be something the general public would purchase on such a portal. However, Amazon is ideal for consumer goods.
You also have to be sure you have enough of your product for fulfillment. Amazon wants you to have the inventory on hand to begin selling on such a large scale.
Also remember that selling direct to the customer always results in the highest profit margin. While there isn’t a fee to use Launchpad, Amazon is a middleman and profits when your items are sold. By participating, you enroll in the program as an Amazon vendor, “which means you sell your product to Amazon on wholesale terms and Amazon sells the product to consumers at the retail price.”
The portal is also tied into Amazon’s Vendor Express program. Thus, if you will want Prime status, it is necessary for you to submit free units. Doing this may be difficult for a cash-strapped startup.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be pushing your product in front of millions of eyes worldwide, and not every person will be an honest customer. Amazon requires that you own a trademark on your brand name in order to qualify for Brand Registry and consequently, Amazon Launchpad. That doesn’t always protect your concept. Thus, you’ll need to keep a close watch to see if counterfeit items pop up anywhere and report infringements.
Once you weigh the pros and cons, if you find that Amazon Launchpad is the place to be and you’re ready to start selling, start with an application. For the right product created by the right startup, the portal can be a great first step toward something much bigger.