Stand out with an Amazon Brand Store
7 Mar 2022
21 Mar 2022
If you’re an Amazon vendor, you’re probably well versed in the challenges of launching a new product on the platform. But with roughly 350 million products available on the site, it can be difficult to cut through the noise, especially if you’re a new business.
In response to these challenges, Amazon has created the Born to Run programme to help brands launch their products and drive sales more quickly. In this article, we take a look at how the programme works and how you can expect to benefit.
What is Amazon Born to Run?
Accessible via Amazon Vendor Central, the Born to Run programme gives you the opportunity to sell more units of a product to Amazon when you first launch it. By joining the programme, you have control of deciding how many units you envisage selling in the first ten weeks (referred to as the “Launch Buy Quantity”), and if accepted, Amazon will purchase that number from you.
To mitigate the risk, Amazon requires vendors to agree to full return rights on all unsold products. This means any stock that hasn’t been sold after the 10-week period will likely be returned to the vendor.
Amazon may, however, offer you the option to accept a retention fee, which means you agree to give them a 25% discount on the remaining stock.
For example, an electronics company launches a new computer monitor. Under the Born to Run programme, they ask Amazon to buy 2,000 units up front. If they sell all the units within the 10-week period, Amazon will order more stock. But if they only sell 1,500 units, Amazon would either return 500 units, or ask for a 25% retention fee to continue holding that stock.
It’s worth noting that previously, Amazon required vendors to invest at least 10% of the order price into Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), but they have since removed this requirement. However, even though it’s no longer mandatory, it’s still advisable to use Amazon Advertising to ensure stock sell-through.
What are the benefits of the Born to Run programme?
When launching a new product on Amazon, it can be difficult to build momentum when it comes to brand awareness, and ultimately, sales. This is because Amazon usually only buys small quantities of stock from new vendors and re-orders depending on sell-through.
The Born to Run programme fixes this problem, giving you a better chance of a successful launch. If you believe your new product will sell well, you can ensure Amazon has plenty of stock to meet the projected demand.
This proved to be the case when the pilot programme was first launched. According to Amazon, products enrolled in the Born to Run pilot saw a 1.9x lift in sales, as well as a 1.7% drop in out-of-stock rates, and the process from setup to sales was over three times faster.
Another major benefit is that Amazon will get a more accurate idea of demand across those ten weeks, which allows them to forecast future sales, and order more stock accordingly.
How to join the Born to Run programme
Before you can take advantage of the Born to Run programme, there are a few criteria you need to meet:
If you meet all these criteria, it’s actually very easy to get your product onto the programme. You just need to follow these steps:
*Navigate to the Vendor Central portal
*Go to ‘Vendor Initiated Orders’
*Select ‘Born to Run’
Once you’ve submitted your product to Born to Run, you can see the status of the application within Vendor Central. A PO (purchase order) is normally generated on the same day, although it can take up to two business days to appear. Then all you need to do is ensure that a) you have enough stock of the ASIN(s) available, and b) your warehouse team is ready to process the order immediately.
This is still a relatively new programme, so if you need help joining Born to Run, schedule a free chat with one of our Amazon experts today.