Boost Your Product Launch with the Amazon Accelerator Program
The Amazon Accelerator program was introduced in 2018 to increase the number of brands on Amazon. Just three months after its launch, the marketplace introduced more than 150 new exclusive brands – more than doubling its pre-program figures.
Brands join the program because they know that having Amazon behind them is an ingredient for success. However, signing up comes with many drawbacks.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Amazon Accelerator Program.
What is the Amazon Accelerator Program?
The Amazon Accelerator Program allows manufacturers and brands to partner with Amazon to bring new products to market.
Amazon uses the accelerator program to increase the number of brands selling products exclusively on its marketplaces. This attracts more shoppers to its site and allows Amazon to expand their product offering into new categories.
It may sound like Amazon reaps all of the rewards. But the Amazon brand accelerator offers businesses plenty of benefits too. All of which are designed to help startups launch successfully and accelerate their growth quickly.
In exchange for launching a brand exclusively on Amazon, participants gain greater product visibility on the world’s largest marketplace. Taking part in the program may also offer an opportunity to become a supplier for Amazon’s own brand private labels.
The Amazon Accelerator Program is like eCommerce’s version of franchising – except that your business provides the products. Lots of budding entrepreneurs take part in it, but big names have created exclusive products for Amazon too.
Reasons to join the Amazon Accelerator Program
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that come with signing up to the Amazon Accelerator Program.
Amazon says that: “Products with high ratings and reviews may receive additional placements across Amazon.”
But the evidence suggests that Amazon gives its private labels and exclusive brands a lot of exposure. It promotes its own brands at the bottom of competitor product listings. Recent research also indicates that its algorithm places Amazon exclusive brands ahead of other products in search results. In fact, this seemed to be the most influential factor in deciding what appeared in the top spot.
All of this extra visibility should mean more sales for your business.
The possibility of becoming an Amazon supplier
As we mentioned, the Amazon Accelerator Program offers manufacturers a pathway to becoming a supplier for one of Amazon’s private labels.
If the quality and popularity of your brand impresses the people over at Amazon, they may well ask you to supply them with products that they can put their own name on. Because Amazon is considered trustworthy and reliable, it moves a lot of inventory. This means becoming a supplier could be very lucrative for your business.
If your brand is really impressive, Amazon may even purchase it. To take part in the Amazon Accelerator Program, you have to give Amazon the option of buying over your brand.
Extra marketing and growth supports
To help your new brand succeed, Amazon will provide you with a suite of marketing tools and support from its team.
To boost visibility, you can take advantage of free credits for Amazon Sponsored ads and Amazon Web Services. To gather feedback and increase your product ratings, you’ll gain access to the Amazon Vine Program for free. You’ll gain access to more analytics too.
Amazon staff can also help you produce content for your product listings and assist you with social media and email marketing.
Plus, if you happen to be based in Seattle, you can even use Amazon’s co-working space to run your startup.
What are the downsides?
If all of these benefits sound too good to be true, that’s because we haven’t listed the program’s limitations yet. While the Amazon Accelerator Program can provide a leg-up to startups, the accelerated growth it offers comes at quite a high cost.
The biggest drawback is that you can only sell your products on Amazon. So, if your brand proves to be a big hit, you can’t expand or diversify your sales channels. You can’t even sell your products through your own website. Instead, you’ll be completely reliant on Amazon for your sales. This is a risky setup, which could significantly limit your growth in the long-term.
Plus, if your brand is successful, Amazon can decide to buy it at any time. This is written into the Amazon Accelerator contract, so you’ll have to sell – even if you’d rather not.
By joining the program, you also relinquish a lot of control over your brand. Amazon controls the supply chain and product pricing, as well as many aspects of your brand’s marketing.
The fact that Amazon chooses the price of your products is particularly scary. This means you can’t set your own profit margins and this could impact your ability to make money.
Other programs to support brand launches on Amazon
If the Amazon Accelerator Program isn’t right for your business, you should consider taking advantage of one of Amazon’s other startup support programs.
Here are two worth knowing about:
Amazon Launchpad makes it easy for startups to launch, market and sell their products on Amazon.
Some of its benefits and processes are similar to the Amazon Accelerator Program. However, participants are able to retain control over their brand. Another key distinction is that Amazon Launchpad has its own marketplace for you to sell your products on.
With Amazon Launchpad, businesses can access startup growth support, guidance on Amazon branding and exclusive brand tools, such as A+ Content, coupon fee discounts, free translation services and Amazon advertising support.
Amazon Born to Run
The Born to Run program allows vendors to fast track the success of new products by quickly building up sales velocity.
You can use the program to get Amazon to order lots of stock up front. This can help you avoid stockouts, build momentum for your listings and quickly improve your search result rankings.
However, to take part, you must provide Amazon with the right to return all unsold stock after ten weeks. Amazon will also charge a hefty fee for each unsold unit.
More tips to successfully launch your brand on Amazon
Using these programs isn’t the only way to accelerate the success of your products.
Here are three tips to help you kick start your sales without Amazon’s help.
1. Build your brand off Amazon
Amazon may offer a huge audience, but it’s a good idea to build a presence across other retailer sites and marketplaces too. Having your own D2C platform is also invaluable.
Unlike the Amazon Accelerator Program, having a D2C store will give you full control over your brand. This allows you to build a loyal following and collect in-house data on customer behaviour and preferences. These unique insights can then be used to improve your marketing and boost sales across all your channels.
2. Optimise your product pages
With some simple Amazon listing optimisation, any brand can increase conversions and improve their rankings on Amazon.
Simple actions like performing keyword research and rewriting your product descriptions can significantly boost visibility and sales for the long-term.
3. Use Amazon advertising
Members of the Amazon Accelerator program are offered free Amazon advertising credits because it is one of the best ways for new brands to increase their visibility.
You should also consider using social media advertising, affiliate marketing and a Where to Buy solution to drive up conversions. Because once you establish a sales history and build up reviews for your products, they will start to rank organically in Amazon’s search results.
If you don’t mind giving up control of your brand, the Amazon Accelerator Program is an ideal way to grow your business fast. But don’t worry, if that’s not something you’d like to do, there are plenty of alternative ways to launch your brand on Amazon.