July 28, 2016
Entrepreneurs love drop shipping as a business model: It’s easy enough to figure out that one person can be their own research team, buyer, and salesperson. And plenty of services exist to help with different aspects: Product Hunt helps you get traction and Shopify lets you build an online store. But now, Amazon has seen a chance, and they’re taking it: Their new landing page Launchpad aims to be the one-stop-shop for any physical goods ecommerce startup to “launch, market and distribute” their wares.
Amazon’s Launchpad collects all startups and stand-alone sellers into one place, making it easy for audiences to find the best of the entrepreneurs on Amazon. “Launchpad” is right: With one new landing page, Amazon has effortlessly launched a strong competitor to Product Hunt. Amazon is already a high-traffic site, and audiences come to it already primed (no pun intended) to buy products.
The array of products on the page already covers some of the biggest startup names around, like the eero Home Wi-Fi System, the Casper Mattress, or the Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter. The collections reveal Amazon’s goal of luring in the startup community, with titles like “Made on Kickstarter” and “Accelerated by HAX.”
According to Techcrunch, Amazon says it is “working with over 25 VC firms, accelerators, and crowdfunding platforms.” Those involved include Product Hunt investor Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Indiegogo. “Working with,” Techcrunch speculates, likely means that startups working with these VCs and platforms will get into Launchpad.
The page has plenty of entertainment value for those actively searching for a specific product: The items are often delightfully weird, like the mushroom coffee mix for sale.
Amazon’s tapping into the large community of people buying custom-made niche goods, a $4 billion industry that big suppliers can’t get into by definition. Smaller companies have already seen the damage after this year’s Prime Day. But with Amazon’s Launchpad, perhaps entrepreneurs can find a faster path to market, and will continue to thrive.
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