What’s the best strategy to launch New Product Development (NPD) on Amazon?

How to successfully launch a new product onto the marketplace? A question with no straightforward answer, we put it to our expert panel in our recent Live Q&A and the discussion was well worth diving into…

Covering all angles, we posed the question of how you can best launch new product on Amazon to our Seller (Becca Woollin), Vendor (Ant Finch) and Amazon Ads (Jake Browett) experts – and this is what they said…

The Seller view

Becca begins NPD launches by first getting a really strong understanding of the foundations – the category, the competition and the context.

By taking a long hard look at the category and gaining a good understanding of the key players, you’ll know what kind of RRP to set to be competitive.

You’ll also be able to see how you can use your uniqueness – whether that’s your product or your selling position.

And then?

  • Go in hard – be aggressive with Vine, be aggressive with your pricing.
  • If your product is eligible for subscribe and save, look to drive as many signups as possible with vouchers.
  • Implement a “really heavy” ads strategy in support of your efforts.

In terms of your own expectations, Becca suggests you aim for breakeven or a loss for at least the first three months if you’re pushing hard on growth – then adapt your strategy for margin after.

The Vendor perspective

From a Vendor point of view, Ant said his approach would “not be too dissimilar” to Becca’s – but wanted to stress the importance of knowing exactly what you’re trying to achieve with this NPD before you put any strategy in place.

Different objectives will call for different approaches – so determine what you’re looking to achieve, whether it’s driving profitability, pushing turnover, stealing market share or something else.

And make sure your NPD is going to deliver against what you need. If not? Don’t launch.

“You need to know what good looks like.” Ant emphasised.

And then?

  • Nail the basics – content must look good, copy must read well, all must be fully optimised.
  • Engage Vine.
  • If you’ve got an existing product with good visibility you can link to, make use of it.
  • Use discounts – it’s always good to have the visibility of Best Deals on your side.
  • With all that in place, drive sales with ads.

But the key to success for Ant is knowing exactly what you’re aiming for, right from the start.

“It all has to play into your strategy to deliver what you need it to deliver for you.”

The Amazon Ads Boost

And how would our award-winning Amazon Ads mastermind Jake Browett approach the PPC side of the strategy?

“Ads are the last piece of the puzzle,” he advises.

“You need to get the foundations right before – the product needs to be retail ready, getting those reviews, that social proof needs to be spot on, content needs to be really good.

“And it’s really important with NPD to evaluate the customer journey and the digital shelf on Amazon, making sure you’re putting a product in the market which customers will buy over some of the competition – so whether that’s competing on value or value proposition.”

And then?

As with all advertising on Amazon, there are a number of strategies depending on your objectives, but…

  • Focus initially on upper funnel strategies for your NPD to build brand awareness, looking to Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display formats with rich content like video and/or banner ads with custom messaging – it’s really important to put your new product in front of people.
  • Determine early on the main keywords you’re going for – then separate out the key 3 to 5 from your main strategy and do a big push on them.
  • Get your product in the right placements, don’t go too broad in the early stages.

Ready to dive deeper?

There’s even more value in this 7-minute snippet that our CEO Andrew Banks posted to LinkedIn – including the importance of ensuring your internal structure is also aligned to support your NPD launch.

Want to chat through with our experts? Get in touch today.

Are Amazon Shortage Claims getting you down?

Another hot topic from our recent Q&A, we’re seeing lots of frustration with Sellers and Vendors receiving chargebacks and shortage claims from Amazon – sometimes multiple times on the same invoice.

Our advice?

As Vendor expert Ant Finch says, “Amazon is Amazon”.

Their processes won’t change, so the key isn’t about changing your submission processes to try and mitigate how those chargebacks and shortage claims are being applied – it’s to solve the root cause.

We’ve talked a lot recently about the importance of plugging profit gaps within your business and ensuring you’re not leaking profits from your back-of-house operations in the first place (head to question 6 of this blog) – and our stance hasn’t changed.

Even a great chargeback recovery service like ours can only recover a percentage of your claims.

And, though that boost to your depleted profit line is helpful, it’s better to plug the leaks where they’re occurring.

As our CEO Andy Banks says, “If you plug the gaps, your money stays in your P&L from the outset”.

Struggling? Our specialists can give you the guidance you need to identify your underlying issues.

And, with our “no win, no fee” shortage and chargeback recovery service, we can put some of your lost profits back where they belong. Get in touch today to find out more.

Will FBA low inventory level fees impact you? (And how you can mitigate any charges)

April was just a transition month for this new, and rather controversial fee. But now it’s being levied, what does it mean for you – and how can you mitigate the chances of being charged?

What is the Low Inventory Cost Coverage Fee?

This contentious fee, which saw uproar on Seller Central after its announcement in December, applies to products with consistently low inventory levels relative to their unit sales, with the threshold set at less than 28 historical days of supply. 

Amazon’s view is that the fees are there to help maintain sufficient inventory levels, which in turn allows for effective product distribution across its fulfilment network, improving speeds and generating more sales.

But Sellers flocked in droves to flag their concerns, highlighting how seasonal fluctuations, supply chain issues and impact on business operations could render the charge both impractical and unfair – and calling for more understanding and transparency from Amazon.

Why were April fees returned on 1 May?

Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon VP of Worldwide Selling Partner Services, said that Amazon decided that April should be a transition period only – where fees would be charged but re-credited to help Sellers learn whether they’ll be impacted and, if so, by how much.

So, although the fee was set to be introduced from 1 April onwards, Amazon returned amounts charged between 1-30 April to Sellers on 1 May.

The idea is to allow time for adjustments to be made, and to show many Sellers that the fees won’t impact them.

And if you were charged?

Now’s the time to look at how you could improve the health of your inventory levels.

Need expert help? Speak to our team.

Useful Links

Amazon Ireland set for launch in 2025

Following the opening of Amazon’s first Dublin-based fulfilment centre in 2022, Amazon have announced they’re launching a dedicated store in Ireland to feature “more products from Irish businesses and low, local prices without additional customs charges”.

Irish customers have still been able to buy through Amazon UK after Brexit, but shipping times have generally been longer and orders above a certain level are subject to customs charges.

So it’s no wonder that, with its commitment to providing the best customer experience, Amazon is finally making the move to establish a stand-alone Irish store in 2025, bringing “a wide selection of great value products with fast delivery to Irish customers.”

What does this mean for Amazon brands?

It’s good news all round – with those already selling to Irish customers experiencing the benefits of the attraction of clearer, local pricing and faster delivery times and those looking to expand into the country having a better customer experience to support their efforts.

To get your strategy ready in time for the launch of Amazon.ie, speak to one of our experts today!

Looking to maximise any of these opportunities for your marketplace business? 

Click here to speak to our Award-Winning Amazon Team!