On Tuesday, Amazon announced a new program: Amazon Launchpad. The program provides a platform, “for startups to launch, market, and distribute their products to hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe.”1 Amazon is clearly flexing its muscles here. Over the past several years, there has been a proliferation of businesses and services aimed at making it easier to build, launch, market, sell, and ship products. To date, these businesses and services have been somewhat fractured, with different offerings in all the various segments listed above. However, as Amazon is either at the top or very near the top in all of these segments, Launchpad can help startups replace several services with one all inclusive platform.
Though the Amazon Launchpad will be run by the ecommerce giant, they have brought in an impressive list of partners, including “more than 25 venture capital firms, startup accelerators, and crowd-funding platforms to bring startups into the Amazon Launchpad program.”2 Amazon did not just throw together a list partners, rather they recruited some of the best in the business. Amazon Launchpad partners include: Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, Indiegogo, 500 Startups, Techstars, Highland Capital, R/GA Accelerator, and many more.
Amazon Launchpad will help startups in a few key areas: brand development, customer reach, and expansion. In terms of brand development, Amazon is offering startups custom product pages which support larger images and videos (See image below). These new product pages also contain several unique sections with featured testimonials and a Q&A section with founders. Further, the products will be featured on the Amazon Launchpad store, providing an added visibility boost. In terms of customer reach and expansion, Amazon is a proven leader in this department. The participating startups will have access to Amazon’s robust set of marketing tools, customer review networks, Amazon fulfillment, and access to more than 10 major international Amazon markets around the world.
Over on the info page for the new service, Amazon lays out the benefits of Amazon Launchpad pretty concisely:
We appreciate that startups have different needs than more established companies. Amazon Launchpad has been designed to meet these needs while giving you the marketing benefits typically reserved for our more established Amazon vendors, right from day one. We’ll help you establish a direct retail relationship with Amazon, enroll your products in the Amazon Vine program to get them reviewed, and merchandise them across Amazon.com and on our program storefront to make sure they are discoverable for Amazon customers. You’ll also be able to tell your story to customers using larger images, videos and custom product detail pages. All this, of course, is on top of the standard Amazon benefits – access to millions of loyal and engaged Amazon Prime members, Amazon’s world-class fulfillment infrastructure, trusted customer service and fast and free shipping benefits.
- Amazon Pressroom, “Amazon Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Startups with Amazon Launchpad,” 28 July 2015 ▲
- Ibid ▲