“500 per cent growth”: How Launchpad helped one Aussie brand expand

Amazon has just unveiled its incubator program Launchpad in Australia, an effort to help startups and entrepreneurs bring their products to local consumers. 

The platform will host over 150 local and international brands on a specific Launchpad storefront hosted on the Amazon Australia site, offering the businesses customised product pages, marketing support and access to the online marketplace’s local fulfilment network, including Amazon Prime. 

Local businesses already on Launchpad include Beach House Group’s skincare brand Marlowe, non-alcoholic spirit brand Lyre’s, sugar-free-drink business Nexba and sunglasses retailer Soda Shades, among others 

“Australian investors and entrepreneurs are responsible for some of the most innovative consumer products in the world, from the electric drill right through to Vegemite,” Amazon Australia country manager Rocco Braeuniger said. 

“We know that product creation is only one part of the equation in launching a product and that marketing, logistics and finding an audience can be just as challenging.

“With Amazon Launchpad, we have a program that will help ease some of these challenges for startups and entrepreneurs alike, allowing them to focus on growing their business and freeing up time for future innovation.”

The initiative was initially created in 2015 and has launched thousands of products across several categories. It is now available in eight countries: the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, and Australia. 

Chief executive of the Australian Made Campaign Ben Lazzaro said he was excited about the program and that it held the potential to make Australian products more accessible to consumers. 

A gap in the market

Launchpad aims to tap into the growing number of businesses seeking to expand their online channel but who don’t have the resources or technical knowledge to move forward on their own.

According to research commissioned by Amazon Australia and conducted by AlphaBeta, 68 per cent of small to medium-sized retailers with aspirations for growth are planning on leveraging online to drive sales moving forward. 

Despite this, 21 per cent aren’t confident with the digital tools required to utilise the online channel effectively, with a lack of understanding and skills and development costs cited as key barriers to growth. 

Launchpad seeks to address this gap in the market, allowing brands to utilise Amazon’s fulfilment services, as well as a way to reach new customers. Each business is able to customise their page with images and video, as well as a Q&A to share their unique brand story and engage their customers.

“500 per cent year-on-year growth”

The co-founders of Beach House Group, Lance Kalish and Ido Leffler, said being on  Launchpad allowed their Marlowe team to understand best practice for selling online. 

“Since Marlowe launched on Amazon Launchpad in the US, we have experienced 500 per cent year on year growth, and 230 per cent growth this year alone,” Kalish said. 

“We are excited to ‘return home’ and bring our products to Australians via the Launchpad store. With the support of Launchpad, we also have more time to focus on our love of innovation and how we can bring the next big thing to market.”

Leffler said the customer feedback received through the US Launchpad program proved invaluable in driving innovation in Marlowe’s “next big thing”. 

“Using reviews as feedback and constructive criticism has been hugely beneficial, so that’s something that has been interesting to understand along the way,” Leffler said. 

“We use these reviews to develop other products in line with customer feedback. Everything we put into Marlowe is said by our customers, not by us.”

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