SINGAPOREANS, rejoice! Amazon’s popular Prime Now service has finally arrived on the shores of the Little Red Dot, as noted by several news outlets who spotted the app on Apple’s App store and the Google Play store.
Amazon’s foray into Southeast Asia was announced last March and had been beset by delays, though the company has remained tight-lipped as to what caused them. However, it’s likely the newness of the region and the upper-hand competitors such as Alibaba’s Lazada have over the American company that caused them to push back plans to open in Singapore.
— TODAY (@TODAYonline) July 26, 2017
But evidently, the time has arrived – the arrival of Amazon’s low-cost, fast-delivery services has been hotly anticipated in the island-state, as well as all around the region. Amazon’s entry into Singapore is the beginning of the e-commerce behemoth’s plans to enter the potentially lucrative Southeast Asian market, with its 650 million consumers and highly mobile populations. The region is reported to be worth US$88 billion by 2025, according to Bloomberg.
Singaporean customers will have at their fingertips two delivery options: two-hour deliveries – that will cost US$5.99 if total purchases are below US$40, or free if orders are above US$40 – and one-hour deliveries, which are only available to certain postcodes, priced at US$9.99 per order.
At the moment, deliveries are only available to those in mainland Singapore and Sentosa, with outlying islands unable to access quick-delivery services.
— Sri Jegarajah (@cnbcSri) July 26, 2017
For a limited time, Singaporeans will be able to test out Prime Now for free, before the hard launch of the membership program. According to a Bloomberg interview with Prime Now APAC head Henry Low, this is the first time the company will be launching on offer in a new market. Prior to this, membership would be needed to receive same-day delivery.
From the looks of the app, Amazon Prime will make available products such as groceries, electronics, toys, beauty products and stationeries, as well as some Amazon Basics range. However, Channel News Asia did note the options are fairly limited when compared with stores in Japan and the United States.
The e-commerce giant had been widely rumored to launch in Singapore after a series of high-profile Instagram users made sponsored posts alluding to the service.
Of course, Amazon won’t have an easy time of – the company will be going head-to-head with local players such as Lazada, FairPrice Online and grocery delivery operator Redmart. Alibaba has a significant influence over the region’s e-commerce. Furthermore, expansion plans will also be fraught, as the Chinese tech giant has been investing heavily in regional e-commerce players, such as the recent news Alibaba was considering a stake in Indonesian Tokopedia.
Let the games begin!