Amazon has launched a new marketplace, called Launchpad, that is specifically geared at startups. This initiative sees Amazon partnering with Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz and Indiegogo to source and vet startups.
Launchpad allows a registered startup to have a product page where they can share product videos and information about the startup. The site currently hosts 200 products in 18 categories including tech gadgets, grocery, home furniture and accessories. Startups on Launchpad will be able to take pre-orders from Amazon apart from their own website. Amazon will handle the shipping logistics. Joining Launchpad won’t cost startups anything apart from a commission on product sales. The products on Launchpad have a slightly different display page than other products on Amazon. This allows startups to build out pages with their products and tell their own story. This also gives startups a flexibility to form their own brand strategy.
Amazon’s Launchpad is not the only venture trying to bank on the world’s growing interest in startups and entrepreneurship. eBay’s new initiative ‘Innovators Collective’ is also a marketplace that sells home devices made by small companies. Quirky is an interesting startup that is focusing on creating a hub of smart products by not only selling but also manufacturing crowd-sourced inventions. But sadly none of these initiatives has proved to be a successful ground for startups which gives Amazon a great opportunity to capitalize on the situation. However, people come to Amazon with a specific item in mind. They are going to need hefty advertising in order to drive people to visit startup products.
See Also: Clikky: A new e-commerce player in the Pakistani market
Such a hub for startups is more than necessary. It provides young businesses with a little free advertising which is more than useful at the early stages. When startups leave their incubators that is when they realize how difficult it is to drive people’s attention to your products. The number of startups sprouting up in Pakistan has increased considerably over the last few years. Most of them start off by making social media accounts because that is the go-to marketing approach. But it takes a considerable amount of time to be discovered like this and if your marketing strategy is poor you will probably lurk in the shadows.
However, it should be noted here that most of our startups provide online solutions and don’t sell any actual products. An initiative like Launchpad would be of less use to them, but they still need a well-known hub which can help them advertize their services. New startups need to be encouraged and appreciated. They need a little boost to be discovered. There are many Pakistani startups selling top-notch products. Tools2Bake, as their name suggests, provide baking tools and also baking lessons. Markhor sells brilliantly crafted shoes. Blue Saints is a startup trying to revive the art of ‘Kashi Kari’.
Needless to say that our people are doing wonderful work. However, we need to educate our people more about the work that young startups are doing. A singular hosting platform will introduce our people to the work of all these startups and would also give a much-needed boost to our young entrepreneurs.
News Source: VentureBeat & Featured Image: Pixabay