Amazon has made its first foray into Southeast Asia by launching Amazon Prime Now in Singapore. The app was available for download beginning Wednesday evening both on Apple’s App store and Google’s Pay Store This will now allow customers of Prime Now in Singapore to make same-day delivery orders for items that include baby products, toys, consumer electronics, dried goods, fresh produce, eggs, milk, beverages and alcohol.
By making Prime Now, which was launched in the United States three years ago, available in Singapore, the city state now joins 50 cities located in nine countries who already have the service. Most of the cities are in the developed world and they include Tokyo, Rome, Madrid, London and Berlin.
In Singapore users will have a couple of delivery options at their disposal. When the value of an order is below $29.48, users are required to pay a delivery fee of $5.99. Orders whose value is over $40 are however exempted from a delivery fee and they are delivered within two hours. There is also a delivery service which ensures shoppers get their package within an hour but it costs $9.99 for every order.
“Prime Now is Amazon’s fastest delivery method yet. What we’ve done is we have looked at what our Singapore consumers love to have … (and) we’ve worked with hundreds of local vendors and made (them) available,” said Henry Low, Prime Now’s director for the Asia Pacific region in an interview with CNBC.
Prime Now offer
Despite the fact that Prime Now is limited to those who have taken out an Amazon Prime Membership, the online retail giant was making the premium plan available to those who were not members for a short period of time. This would allow Singaporeans to try out the service at no cost.
The entry of Amazon into the Southeast Asian region has been heavily awaited since reports of the move first surfaced last year. The choice of Singapore was influenced by the city state’s relative westernization, affluence and good infrastructure.
Amazon’s foray into the Southeast Asian region now looks poised to set up a clash with the Chinese online retail giant, Alibaba. Just recently Alibaba acquired a stake in Lazada, one of the dominant ecommerce operators in the Southeast Asian region. This gave Alibaba a footprint in such markets as Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Lazada currently boasts of active buyers numbering 23 million.