Amazon launches Prime service in Singapore five months after entering Asia

Herbert Rhodes
December 7, 2017

Free two-day shipping is very important to Amazon Prime members - so much, in fact, that they would cancel their membership if it wasn't offered.

The free two-hour delivery on orders over SGD40, between 10am and 10pm daily via the Prime Now app, will also apply to Prime members. From this week, however, it is offering its full Prime bundle which includes free global shipping on orders over SG$40 and subscriptions to its Prime Video service and Prime Twitch offering. Amazon Prime is also available in India and Japan, so its Asian penetration is growing quickly to encompass a large portion of the fast-growing region.

The Prime membership will entitle the customers to have access to more than five million products listed on Amazon's site in the United States.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is going head-to-head with China's biggest e-commerce company in a key Asian market.

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.

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Singapore will be the first country in Southeast Asia, and 16th globally, to launch Amazon Prime.

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 U.S. store.

Amazon.com will offer last-minute delivery of pottery, necklaces, candles and other handmade products ordered as late as Christmas Eve in nine US cities, including Seattle, looking to win orders from competing arts-and-crafts marketplace Etsy.

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".

The online retailer will offer Amazon Handmade products through its two-hour delivery service Prime Now, which normally carries household convenience items found in drugstores.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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