Amazon launches Prime service in Singapore five months after entering Asia

Cesar Mills
December 7, 2017

Amazon.com today launched its subscription-based Prime service in Singapore that provides access to fast shipping, streaming and gaming, intensifying competition with incumbent rival Alibaba-backed Lazada in Southeast Asia.

This will largely be of interest to merchants who sell on Amazon.com, as Prime Singapore offers free 2-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items but more importantly free global delivery on millions more items from Amazon US.

Streaming service Amazon Prime Video and gaming subscription service Twitch Prime will be bundled as part of the membership. The monthly membership is priced at SGD8.99, but it is going at SGD2.99 as an introductory offer.

Therefore, currently, only Prime members will be eligible for free worldwide shipping on orders above $60 to more than five million products listed on Amazon's site in the United States, which will be made available on the Prime Now mobile app. But for a limited period, it will go for $2.99 a month, although Amazon did not specify for how long.

These services would be sought now that the American retailer has ended its Free AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping service to Singapore. A message on the checkout page of Amazon's USA store now states that "items shipped to addresses outside the U.S. are not eligible for free shipping".

Amazon Prime International's vice-president Jamil Ghani said more benefits will be added over time for Prime membership here.

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"Amazon's dominance in retail has been the primary focus of retail executives, investors and board members - yet, the solution to steal back both market share and consumers' loyalty have evaded most traditional retail brands", said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ, in a press release.

Other consumers are looking for more services to be added to Prime.

Singapore will be the first country in Southeast Asia, and 16th globally, to launch Amazon Prime. They're getting Amazon Prime, but only for products that they purchase from Amazon in the United States some 9,000 odd miles away.

Lazada, the region's largest e-commerce site, launched its own membership programme in April called LiveUp in anticipation of Amazon's entry to Singapore. Benefits offered include rebates and discounts for online supermarket RedMart, Netflix and Uber.

Events coordinator Mabel Tan, 26, said that Prime does not have a strong enough draw for her at the moment, but if it adds "more products and services, I will consider the membership".

Other reports by GizPress

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