With millions of products on Amazon, successfully launching a new one can be a challenge for vendors. With no reviews, only basic information, and a lack of sales history or velocity, the process has traditionally been slow and problematic. Amazon’s answer to this is the Born to Run program, which is available to select vendors in Vendor Central.
What is Born to Run?
This Amazon program allows vendors to expedite the product launch process by allowing them to choose inventory for an initial 10-week period. By giving vendors the opportunity to control the process from the outset with a “Launch Buy Quantity” specified by the vendor, vendors are guaranteed a more advantageous start.
In exchange, Amazon requires vendors full return rights on all unsold products from the Launch Buy Quantity, and AMS support on the launch ASIN worth 10% of the Launch Buy Quantity’s cost.
Benefits of Born to Run
Typically, new product launches can be tricky. Continual out-of-stocks can make it difficult to build sales velocity on recently launched ASINs. Amazon will wait until products show promise to place larger orders, so finding a balance and success can be tedious. The Born to Run program changes this and is a great opportunity for qualifying vendors.
In a pilot test, Amazon says enrolled ASINs saw a 1.9x lift in sales, a 1.7% decrease in out-of-stock rates, and went from setup to sales 3.3x faster than normal new product launches.
Through the program, Amazon agrees to take on the inventory risk of launching a new product with potentially no history or information. Because of this, vendors can (and should) utilize the Born to Run program when they know a particular ASIN will sell well and be successful. Vendors know their products, range, and customers and should be able to predict a product’s success. This is advantageous.
As a result, you can launch your product faster and ensure your product will have sufficient stock for the launch. This also shows Amazon that your business is worth dealing with. If your product does well, Amazon will also place recurring orders even before the 10-week period ends.
Included AMS will also ensure your product receives crucial marketing. Use AMS to make products shine next to competitors, and push traffic right where you want it.
How to use the program
The Born to Run program has some requirements for vendors:
- The Launch Buy Quantity cannot exceed $50,000.
- Vendors must have been using AMS for at least 90 days
- The launching ASIN cannot be a hazmat, heavy or bulky, or cost less than $5 per unit.
- New items only. The product must be “new” by Amazon standards. Essentially, the item can’t have been in the FC for more than 30 days.
Example case of a Born to Run launch
Say a vendor is launching new headphones that cost $30 per unit. Because these are an updated and improved version of a popular set of headphones the vendor launched two years ago, they know this ASIN will likely sell well. Through Born to Run, they can get Amazon to purchase 1,000 units, totalling $30,000 in LBQ. In exchange, this vendor is required to invest $3,000 (which is 10% of the LBQ) into AMS services and also sign off on return rights for any unsold inventory after the 10-week period. This initial buy allows the headphones a jump start at launch, exposure as they launch, and ensures in-stocks during potentially crucial periods (like holiday or Prime Day).
If a vendor meets the requirements for the program, they can sign up in Vendor Central under Vendor Initiated Orders by filling out an intake form and telling Amazon how many units are expected to sell in ten weeks. If approved, Amazon will require a terms agreement with return rights and AMS details. The 10-week period begins once the product is in-stock and buyable.
Ready to run?
Launching a new product can be a crucial and confusing part of doing business on Amazon. For information on the Born to Run program, see the FAQ in Vendor Central. If you need personalized help and attention with Born to Run, or any other issues, please contact Vendor Society for expert guidance.