dglobalnews.com Amazon pushes into SE Asia with Singapore launch
Published: Thu, July 27, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

Amazon pushes into SE Asia with Singapore launch

Amazon pushes into SE Asia with Singapore launch

Now available for a limited time to customers without a Prime membership, Amazon said the membership programme would "soon" be launched in Singapore with additional benefits for subscribers.

Since launching in December 2014 in New York, Prime Now has expanded to more than 50 cities in nine countries including Berlin, London, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo.

Amazon customers have to pay a monthly fee for the service, although Singapore-based customers will initially be exempt from it.

Amazon launched its Prime Now services in Singapore, making the country the e-commerce giant's first foray into the Southeast Asian market. But the Prime Now service will be available here without the membership requirement in the meantime, offering free two-hour delivery with a minimum order of $40 and one-hour delivery for a fee of $9.99.

Prime Now is an exclusive service for members of Amazon Prime, which will be available in Singapore to try without a Prime membership for a limited period.

Amazon is late to capitalize on the region's rising middle class.

Amazon's entry into SEA signals its intentions to take on Alibaba, which already has a foothold after buying Lazada and Redmart.

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Shen said the United States company enjoyed brand recognition in Singapore, which was the most mature e-commerce market in Southeast Asia in terms of user behaviour and infrastructure.

To do well, he said, Amazon would need to offer a differentiating customer experience.

But the market is also fragmented, with several local players including Indonesia's Tokopedia, in which a source has said Alibaba rival, Chinese e-commerce group JD.com Inc, is considering an investment. Singapore consumers would be able to download the app on Google Android and Apple iOS.

It offers free two-hour delivery on grocery items, local favourites, and branded goods with orders of S$40 or more.

Here, Prime Now will now vie with online grocers Redmart and Honestbee, and supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage.

Amazon continues its expansion move as it now sets its eyes on Southeast Asia.

Henry Low, the Asia Pacific director of Amazon Prime Now, said that the company is eager to expand elsewhere in Southeast Asian region, a market of more than 600 million population. Not to mention poor internet connections across the region.

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