Amazon offers prime membership service for free global shipping and video streaming

Amazon launches Prime membership in Singapore amid SE Asia push; stops free shipping option

American e-commerce giant Amazon launched its Prime membership programme for Singapore yesterday, ending a four-year period of blanket free shipping to the Republic.

Singapore customers will be able to enjoy Prime benefits including exclusive access to free two-hour delivery on orders over S$40 with thousands of items and unlimited free worldwide shipping on orders above S$60 on more than five million items from Amazon US, which can be ordered through the Prime Now App.

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.

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.

The e-commerce player made its first foray into the region with the launch of its fast delivery service Prime Now in July.

An Amazon customer service officer contacted through the website's live chat function on Tuesday (Dec 5) said that free shipping to Singapore ended on Monday (Dec 4).

But for a limited period, it goes for $2.99 a month, although Amazon did not specify for how long.


Mr Amos Tan, a Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer in marketing and retail, said Amazon's removal of free shipping for non-members is a way of trying to lock in more customers. Customers who make orders above SGD60 using the Prime Now mobile app will not have to pay global shipping fees.

Speaking about the launch of Amazon Prime, Jamil Ghani, vice-president of Amazon Prime International, said, "Prime membership is created to offer the best of Amazon".

Other consumers are looking for more services to be added to Prime.

Amazon's offering, available in Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco and its hometown of Seattle, will help it win last-minute craft shoppers and the artisans eager to reach them.

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.

Perhaps anticipating Amazon's move into the region, Lazada launched a service called LiveUp that integrated Uber and Netflix with its own e-commerce offerings.

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