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Amazon regularly flexes its “world’s most consumer-centric company” badge in an effort to drive more traffic to its website. 

And while every seller technically has the same opportunity to attract consumers to their listing, with millions of sellers, doing it is no easy feat.

This is because the more competition there is, the more brands you need to try and stand out from. It also means that newer brands have a particularly tough time trying to compete with more established brands.

To help, Amazon designed a program called Launchpad. Basically, it launches new sellers into the limelight by increasing visibility, allowing premium content on product pages, and giving access to unique tools, to name a few. So how do you sign up and what are the criteria to qualify? Are there any downsides?

In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about Amazon Launchpad including, how to enroll, the qualification criteria, and if Launchpad really is your ticket to page one domination. 

Sound good? Let's get started!🔥

What is Amazon Launchpad and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

Announced in 2015, Launchpad was essentially a partnership with leading crowd-funding platforms, venture capitalists, and startup accelerators. It was launched with the aim to inject innovative and cutting-edge products into the market by promoting talented startups. 

Amazon’s Launchpad Network

By signing up for the Launchpad program, startups get more attention, and Amazon gets to introduce quality products to its customers (as well as *ahem* more seller commission in its pockets). Overall, it was a win-win situation for both Amazon and startups looking to drive sales and traffic. 

How to Enroll in the Amazon Launchpad Program?

According to Amazon, it welcomes all brand owners and entrepreneurs offering innovative and unique products.

Amazon Launchpad Sign-Up Page

The Amazon Launchpad section also offers inspiration for new product ideas, and you can visit Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see which campaigns have gathered the most funding. 

If your product has a unique selling point and manages to meet a customer need, there’s a high chance you will be able to successfully enter the program.

Launchpad Enrollment Criteria

To enroll, your business should:

  • Be listed on Amazon for less than 4 years
  • Have generated less than USD 5 million in gross sales 
  • Be eligible for FBA
  • Have a Prime badge
  • Have a product rating of 3.5 stars or above
  • Be at least 5 product reviews 
  • Be Brand Registered

Once an application is submitted, Amazon reviews it and responds within 7 to 10 business days. 

Note✍: Amazon’s Launchpad is available across 9 different marketplaces including the USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, India, and the Netherlands.

Naturally, joining comes with some terms and conditions, including an extra 5% premium charged on every sale on top of other selling fees. That said, if your business records gross sales exceeding $1 million over a 12-month trailing period, you could get the premium rate down to 3%. It also awards sellers with additional tools if your business accelerates. ⬆️👍

The Benefits Your Brand Stands to Gain from Amazon Launchpad

A startup or small business offering innovative products should definitely try to get into the program. Any brand that manages to get in will receive these perky benefits:

👀 Increased Visibility 

With Amazon by your side, your product visibility will be boosted. Members have their listings advertised via banner ads, focused email campaigns, storefront placements, and also get one 7-day or Lightning Deal for free each week. There’s also an opportunity to get featured on the front of the Amazon Launchpad category page. 

📷 Instant Access to Premium A+ Content 

Users have the option to enhance their brand image and differentiate themselves by incorporating videos, hotspot images, carousels, and comparison tables in wide-screen format. There’s also access to extra modules like the Amazon Imaging Services resulting in high-quality product photography. 📷

🤝🏽Unique Tools & Personalized Support 

Members are provided with a personalized onboarding experience and insights not available to non-Launchpad sellers. Support services also include guidance on how to improve detail pages and optimize your product listings and account. Additional benefits include quick-start guides, Benefit Support, AWS credits, and webinars. 

🌐 Sell Products in Foreign Marketplaces

Expanding into foreign marketplaces is a goal that bigger brands and big-time sellers usually eye up. Regardless of your startup status, with Amazon Launchpad you can market your products to 9 other Launchpad locales. What’s more, members receive benefits and launch support for each region including free translation services (especially beneficial for EU sellers that want to market and sell their products in neighboring countries).

🤔 A Few Things to Consider

If you’re looking to join Amazon Launchpad, you've likely done some research online and noticed some less than favorable comments, articles, and blogs about the program as well as more positive ones.

We believe this contrast has a lot to do with sellers’ expectations. The most important thing is to determine whether your business is suited for the program or not in the first place. 

Here are a few factors to take into consideration before signing up:

  • Shared Control: Amazon brings its expertise to the table but at the cost of relinquishing some degree of control. As a member of the Launchpad program, you are expected to stick to FBA, take into account Amazon’s suggested price point, and pay a premium which further adds to existing fees. 
  • Commit to the Program for at least 1 year: You are not allowed to leave the program for at least 12-months. The rationale behind this is to let members participate in all major holidays. However, low profitability or a change of heart aren’t good enough reasons to get off the hook. Once you’re in, you’re in for a whole year.
  • Source the Right Product: The biggest determinant for success on Amazon—regardless of the business model—is the product. The latest insights, cutting-edge tools, and help from Amazon itself won’t be good enough to sell a product customers don’t want to buy. Conducting keyword research and market study to determine viability is crucial.

Before we wrap things up, here are a few commonly asked questions regarding Amazon Launchpad.

How Much Does Amazon Launchpad Cost?

There is no upfront fee. Instead, there is a 5% premium applied to each sale. This is in addition to other costs such as referral fees, fulfillment fees, and the cost of your seller plan—Individual or Professional.

What is the Difference between Launchpad and Accelerator?

Both programs are quite similar as it pertains to marketing and promotion. The main difference is that in Launchpad, sellers retain control over branding and supply chain. In the Accelerator program; however, Amazon gains total control over the brand with sellers acting only as the suppliers.

Closing Thoughts

To summarize, you should only apply for the Launchpad program once you fully understand the pros and cons, as well as Amazon’s guidelines. 

With that, sellers that supplement the perks provided by Amazon Launchpad with third-party seller tools increase their chances of success. 

With ZonGuru--plus or minus Amazon Launchpad-- you'll get flexible pricing plans and access to a wide range of tools you can use to easily find products with high-demand and low competition. What’s more, you can use our tools to find out how to optimize your product listings and create a dominant Amazon brand that drives sales. Sign up today and get a 7-day free trial to see if our tools are really as amazing as we say they are!

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