Amazon to launch Prime membership for Singapore, ends free shipping for non-members

Amazon to launch Prime membership for Singapore, ends free shipping for non-members

Amazon to launch Prime membership for Singapore, ends free shipping for non-members

The online retailer will offer Amazon Handmade products through its two-hour delivery service Prime Now, which normally carries household convenience items found in drugstores.

To expand its base, global e-commerce giant Amazon launched its Prime membership programme in Singapore today.

Under the previous ordinance, AmazonGlobal program, every Singaporeans could enjoy free shipping for buying qualifying goods worth at least USD$125. A message on the checkout page of Amazon's USA store now states that "items shipped to addresses outside the U.S. are not eligible for free shipping".

Now Amazon, which had been offering its two-hour delivery service Prime Now for free on a R54.28 (R400.86) minimum purchase in Singapore without any membership fee, will start charging R121.47 per month after a limited introductory period.

Membership is available for $8.99 per month.

Prime members will also be able to access content in Prime Video and Twitch Prime.

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 United States, as well as digital content like games and movies.

"Amazon's dominance in retail has been the primary focus of retail executives, investors and board members - yet, the solution to steal back both market share and consumers' loyalty have evaded most traditional retail brands", said Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ, in a press release.

Lazada, the region's largest e-commerce site, launched its own membership programme in April called LiveUp in anticipation of Amazon's entry to Singapore, and the company said it now has "hundreds of thousands" of members.

However, he encouraged "anyone living in Singapore to leverage the Prime membership package developed specifically for Singapore" and noted that Prime membership is country-specific and not transferable, which means that those with US Prime memberships can not convert them to local ones.

LiveUp offers users benefits such as rebates and discounts for RedMart, Netflix, Uber, UberEats and Taobao Collection.

"We have been very encouraged by the strong response and adoption of Prime Now over the last several months", he added.

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