“Vendor, we were born to run” - Improving new product launches via Amazon's Born to Run Program

All Vendors have felt it. You have a new product you know will sell well but Amazon isn’t so convinced so they only order a limited number of them, to your dismay. You miss out on more sales because it becomes out of stock way too quickly and distributions are too slow to keep up. Obviously as a Vendor you are annoyed about the missed opportunity. Yet there is a little-known program that can help you make a big difference during this process named Amazon Born to Run.  

Amazon usually waits until new products start selling well before buying a large quantity of said items off Vendors. This means that launching new products can be a costly and slow process. Enter Springsteen’s 1975 classic; Born to Run, or rather Amazon’s Born to Run program that shares the same name.   

Simply put, the Born to Run Program is a fast-track service that allows Vendors to sell an initially large bulk of a newly launched product to Amazon in exchange for full return rights on all unsold products and an investment in Amazon’s Sponsored Ads. Vendors can decide the initial quantity of the product to send to Amazon which is called the Launch Buy Quantity (LBQ). Vendors pay 10% of the LBQ cost for Amazon Advertising. For example, if a new product costs $10 and Amazon agrees to buy 1000 units then you would only have to pay $1000 for the use of Amazon Advertising.

UPDATE (2020) – Amazon has removed the 10% ad spend requirement. Amazon’s Born to Run Programme now recommends that Vendors ignore the 10% recommendation and advertise in what they believe will drive sell through.

The enrolment lasts for 10 weeks, after which Amazon’s algorithm will decide whether the sales were good enough to continue to buy the same initial quantity. 

Amazon Born to Run ultimately lets Vendors prove to Amazon that their products are worth buying meaning that Vendors can launch new successful products quicker and more efficiently than ever before. By launching products with a fully-in stock inventory, ASIN sales won’t be hindered by going out of stock almost immediately. 

As if this wasn’t enough to pique your interest, if Amazon sees the ASIN receiving sales traction before the 10 weeks are up, the algorithm may even decide to place an order for more of the product during the enrolment. This means an extremely successful product will bring in sales much earlier on than if sales were garnered naturally. 

Vendors must invest one tenth of their total product cost into Sponsored Ads over the course of at least 90 days.

Does my new product qualify for “Amazon Born to Run”?
  • Vendors must be using Amazon Advertising for at least 90 days to drive product visibility. 
  • The ASIN cannot be considered: a hazmat, heavy or bulky, or cost less than $5 / unit.
  • The product/unit must be considered “new” by Amazon – meaning the item cannot be sitting in a Fulfilment Centre for more than 30 days.
  • The total product cost of the LBQ (the unit quantity the vendor wants to launch) cannot exceed $50,000.
UPDATE (2020) – Products do not need to considered brand new to the market to enlist in the Born to Run Programme.
If possible, it would be a great idea to enrol your new products onto the Born to Run Program and run it in parallel with Amazon Vine to drive further sales after the 10 weeks are over via increased sales and reviews. 
What are the main benefits of the Amazon Born to Run programme?

The Amazon Born to Run programme has come to the rescue of vendors who are tired of convincing Amazon to buy enough products to keep that item in stock. Yes, you may have launched a product with little to no sales velocity – but you have to start somewhere, right?

1. No more out-of-stock concerns

With the support of the Amazon born to run programme, vendors can ensure that ASIN has the opportunity to ramp up sales as quickly as possible, without risking or worrying about it going out of stock – which can
cause its own challenges.

2. Amazon will replace ‘recurring orders’

If your product is doing particularly well (or better than Amazon thought it would) Amazon is likely to recognise this and buy the order again, even before the 10-week period of the programme has ended. This goes to show that the Amazon Born to Run programme is giving new vendors (or experienced vendors with a totally new product) the opportunity they need to
get off the ground – something that wasn’t there before. Vendors can now launch products and sell them, without the restrictions.

So, what are you waiting for? If you would like any help or further information about the Amazon Born to Run programme or how the programme and the team at Molzi, can help to elevate your sales on Amazon, please do not hesitate to get in touch
with us, today. Whilst totally beneficial, we understand that the Amazon Born to Run programme can also be complicated – but with Molzi to walk you through it, you’ll get on just fine.

At this time the programme is invite-only however those with contacts may be able to ask their Vendor Manager to be invited. Do not worry if you do not have a contact though as we are more than happy to use ours, feel free to give us a call and we can help make it happen.

Need help with Amazon Born to Run Vendor Central?

There are a lot of issues that can arise from using Vendor Central over a Seller account and even less help. Molzi takes
pride in ensuring our clients get the bespoke help that they deserve from disputing chargebacks to applying for relevant
programs such as Amazon Vine and Born to Run. Not to mention all our services that ensure your products are retail ready.