Invasion Of Southeast Asia – Amazon Launched “Prime Now” In Singapore

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Jul 27 2017
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Singaporeans saw the invasion of a service on Wednesday night (July 26, 2017) which could give local delivery services such as FairPrice Online and RedMart a run for their money. After tons of rumours flying around, Amazon has finally launched its “Prime Now” in the tiny nation of Singapore, its first foray into Southeast Asia. Starting 10am today, July 27, you can start ordering using Prime Now.


The Amazon apps, through Apple iTunes and Google Play store, went live last night local time, and Prime Now – an aggressive two-hour delivery service – is effectively available to Singapore’s population of over 5 million people. According to the Prime Now app, customers in Singapore are given two delivery options, depending on their urgency.


The two-hour delivery service will be free for customers who place orders above S$40. If customers do not meet the minimum order requirement, they can either pay an extra S$5.99 for the two-hour delivery option, or S$9.99 for the speedier one-hour delivery option. Deliveries are made from 10am to 10pm seven days a week, available across Singapore and Sentosa.

Singapore Amazon Prime Now App - Launch 27 July 2017

And for a limited time, customers in Singapore will not need an Amazon Prime membership to try its Prime Now service, which otherwise would cost US$99 a year (or US$10 a month) in the U.S. However, it’s unclear when the limited-time access would end in Singapore. The launch includes “tens of thousands of items” but it isn’t the full Prime offering. Amazon said others will be available “soon”.


Henry Low, director of Prime Now Asia Pacific, said – “Should the delivery arrive later than stated, customers can reject the order. If there are missing products in the delivery, Amazon will refund the customers for the missing items, The most important thing is for customers to trust us.” Amazon’s initial target launch was supposedly first quarter of this year but was postponed due to “complications.”


With the Singapore launch, Amazon now offers the Prime Now service in 50 cities and 9 countries, including India. Singapore is also home to Amazon Prime Now’s largest urban fulfilment centre. Community relations manager Amanda Ip said that the 100,000-sq-ft facility at Mapletree Logistics Hub in Toh Guan is several times the size of the average US urban fulfilment centre (30,000-sq-ft).

Singapore Amazon Prime Now Fulfilment Centre - Mapletree Logistics Hub in Toh Guan

Apparently, Alibaba somehow saw the entrance of Amazon, and quickly snatched Singaporean grocery start-up, Redmart for US$30-40 million late last year, through Lazada, which the Chinese online shopping giant bought for a cool US$1 billion in April 2016. Subsequently, Alibaba increased its share in Lazada from 51% to 83% with another US1 billion last month.


Lazada itself offers a Prime-like subscription service in partnership with Uber and Netflix. However, with the exception of perishable goods, Lazada offers almost everything – electronics, beauty, apparel, and home and living. With Redmart, Alibaba hopes to increase Singapore’s online grocery market of US$86 million to “offline” groceries sector worth US$3.9 billion (as of 2014).


Still, Alibaba’s Redmart will be facing a tough fight because unlike Amazon, Redmart takes a minimum of one-day to fulfill orders. Now, with the “missing” information about Amazon Prime membership in Singapore, customers could potentially looking at “free membership” for as long as Amazon wishes to give, in order to capture market share.

Singapore Amazon Prime Now Launches - Discount Codes

In fact, the Amazon has already started giving Jack Ma’s Alibaba a run for its money – offering a S$10 discount for the first order when a customer use the code “10PRIMENOW” at checkout. Alternatively, if you’re paying with a Visa card, a special code of “VISA20” would entitle you S$20 off of your first order.


Regardless, the battle is just beginning. Jeff Bezos isn’t looking at Singapore alone, but the access to a cumulative population of over 600 million in the region of Southeast Asia. According to Google, e-commerce in this region is tipped to grow from US$5.5 billion in 2015 to a mouth-watering US$87.8 billion by 2025.

Singapore Amazon Prime Now App - Sample Products


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