This launch will put pressure on Lazada, the e-commerce site owned by Alibaba, which is Amazon's primary competitor in Southeast Asia.
After the news of Amazon cutting its free shipping offer to Singapore, the company has announced that Singaporeans can sign up to be members of Amazon Prime, which offers free global shipping and access to video streaming, among other things. They're getting Amazon Prime, but only for products that they purchase from Amazon in the United States some 9,000 odd miles away. In nine USA markets, shoppers can purchase gifts from Amazon Handmade Artisans on Prime Now for delivery until 11:59 pm on Christmas Eve.
However, to succeed in the market, Wang asserted that Amazon needs to play to its strengths because besides its two-hour delivery promise, consumers in Singapore expect Amazon's own products like Echo, Kindle and digital books to be made available to them, have access to more products and brands from the U.S., as well as digital content like games and movies.
As Singaporeans are more "hyper-connected and mobile-first" users, this service was designed for Singaporeans in mind. Furthermore, items that previously shipped free to Singapore using AmazonGlobal Saver are not available, or are shipped separately but with fees.
Prime members will also be able to access content in Prime Video and Twitch Prime. The monthly membership is priced at SGD8.99, but it is going at SGD2.99 as an introductory offer.
That said, Amazon may consider adding these services in the future.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Amazon Prime International's vice president Jamil Ghani noted that the Prime membership is country-specific and not transferable at all - those who already have US Prime memberships can not convert them to local ones, and vice versa. While Amazon Handmade on Prime Now is just a short-term experiment, the trial shows that Amazon is willing to expand its local selection and appeal to an audience that prefers to shop small.
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