Amazon launches Prime membership in Singapore to attract customers

Delia Watkins
December 7, 2017

Now Amazon, which had been offering its two-hour delivery service Prime Now for free on a R54.28 (R400.86) minimum purchase in Singapore without any membership fee, will start charging R121.47 per month after a limited introductory period.

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.

Singapore customers will be able to enjoy Prime benefits including exclusive access to free two-hour delivery on orders over S$40 with thousands of items and unlimited free global shipping on orders above S$60 on more than five million items from Amazon US, which can be ordered through the Prime Now App.

Gaming is also an upcoming entertainment industry, and Singapore Amazon Prime members can also enjoy access to gaming benefits on Twitch Prime at no additional cost. To encourage sign ups the Singapore Prime membership advertised at $8.99 per month will be reduced to $2.99 for a limited time, although Amazon haven't yet indicated how long the discount will last.

Jamil Ghani, Vice President of Amazon Prime International said that Singapore Prime members can expect more added benefits in the future.

This follows news that the American e-commerce giant has ended its FREE AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping service yesterday, 5 December.

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But administrative assistant J. Tan, 38, said he was disappointed that items he had been eyeing, such as the Nintendo Switch game console, are not available through the Prime Now app and no longer qualify for free shipping on the USA store.

Membership in the U.S. costs US$10.99 a month or US$99 a year, and provides access to a slew of services such as music streaming, free same-day delivery and even restaurant delivery in certain areas. "(Singapore customers) are hyper-connected and mobile-first", said Mr Ghani, who declined to comment on whether a local Amazon online store is forthcoming.

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. We will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits".

Mr Ghani acknowledged that some living here already have Amazon Prime memberships for the United States site, but encouraged "anyone living in Singapore to leverage the Prime membership package developed specifically for Singapore".

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".

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