Amazon finally comes to Southeast Asia, launching in Singapore

Amazon launches Prime membership in Singapore amid SE Asia push; stops free shipping option

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.

Fresh from its earlier Prime Now launch in Singapore, Amazon now wants its customers in the island country to hop on its Prime service at S$8.99 a month ($6.70).

Mr Amos Tan, a Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer in marketing and retail, said Amazon's removal of free shipping for non-members is a way of trying to lock in more customers.

Another service available to Singapore's Amazon Prime subscribers is video streaming.

Therefore, currently, only Prime members will be eligible for free global 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.




The launch of this service here is due to the strong response and adoption of the Prime Now app in the past few months. Its service, which offers free two-hour delivery from its local warehouse with a minimum order of $40 between 10 am and 10 pm daily via the Prime Now app, will also be made exclusive for members.

Under the previous ordinance, AmazonGlobal program, every Singaporeans could enjoy free shipping for buying qualifying goods worth at least USD$125.

Speaking about the launch of Amazon Prime, Jamil Ghani, vice-president of Amazon Prime International, said, "Prime membership is created to offer the best of Amazon".

The catch here is that the worldwide range of over five million products is only available within the Prime Now app itself. "Whether Amazon will be able to retain them and turn them into loyal customers will depend on the consistency of its service quality and if Amazon can provide more value to their customers that they are otherwise unable to get from other retailers". While Amazon Handmade on Prime Now is just a short-term experiment, the trial shows that Amazon is willing to expand its local selection and appeal to an audience that prefers to shop small.

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