Among a slew of early 2021 announcements and initiatives, Amazon has continued to leave no stone unturned when it comes to exploring new models and mirroring successful ones. Most recently, the company unveiled a new program called Build It, seemingly based on the popular Kickstarter model.
It’s a clever idea, and yet another in a long line of new Amazon forays - such as the purchase of a major Shopify competitor - to take advantage of battle-tested business models from outside their usual wheelhouse.
Customers will be able to vote - with their wallets - on which of the proposed products Amazon will push through to the production phase. If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, Amazon will begin to build it and those who pre-ordered it will be among the first to receive the item. Participants in the program will only be charged if the product is created and delivered, so the process is risk free for the consumer.
Focusing on the consumer
The most significant variation between the Amazon and Kickstarter model is that the Kickstarter platform is open to anyone. For better or worse, anyone who fancies themselves an entrepreneur, may post a proposal on Kickstarter in order to seek funding. This has sometimes resulted in the unfortunate situation where backers have their credit cards charged, but never receive what was promised to them when they backed the campaign.
According to the Kickstarter Fulfillment Report (an independent analysis by the
University of Pennsylvania), 65% of backers agreed or strongly agreed that the reward corresponding to their contribution was delivered on time, 9% of projects fail to deliver rewards, 8% of dollars pledged went to failed projects, and 7% of backers failed to receive their chosen reward. While Kickstarter is responsible for hugely popular products like the card game Exploding Kittens and Oculus, the VR company now owned by Facebook, the site has also been home to many failed proposals.
Amazon has a bit of an advantage here, as the products being voted on will have the company’s full infrastructure behind them should they succeed, as well as the guarantee that each contributor will receive exactly what is proposed.
If Amazon builds it, will you buy it?
What do you think of Amazon’s latest initiative? Would you buy any of the initial products being offered? What kind of products would you like to see them build? Have you ever sought funding through Kickstarter or backed someone else's project? Was the campaign a success or failure? We want to hear from you! Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call: (303) 536-5505.