Amazon launches subscription-based Prime service in Singapore

Yahoo file

Yahoo file

Amazon Prime in Singapore will be available for S$8.99 per month and for a limited time, customers can sign up for S$2.99 per month.

The members can also enjoy the streaming service Amazon Prime Video and gaming subscription service Twitch Prime.

Prime members here will be eligible for free worldwide shipping on orders above $60 of more than five million items from Amazon's United States store, which will be made available on the Prime Now mobile app. Its service, which offers free two-hour delivery from its local warehouse with a minimum order of $40 between 10 am and 10 pm daily via the Prime Now app, will also be made exclusive for members.

Membership is available for $8.99 per month.

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). For a limited time, customers can join Prime at an introductory promotional price of S$2.99 per month ahead of the S$8.99 monthly price.

While benefits are only restricted to the mobile app, Ghani said that more will be added in the future for Prime membership in Singapore.

However, this does mean the previously free Prime Now service is gone, and users will have to subscribe to Prime if they even want to make a purchase locally, unlike local rivals Redmart and Honestbee, which do not require a subscription to order products such as diapers or groceries.

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.

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".

Another service available to Singapore's Amazon Prime subscribers is video streaming. "(Singapore customers) are hyper-connected and mobile-first", said Mr Ghani, who declined to comment on whether a local Amazon online store is forthcoming. "We will keep making Prime better and better in Singapore, adding more selection, finding ways to make it faster and adding more benefits including great quality entertainment".

Prime membership is country-specific and not transferable, he added, meaning that those with US Prime memberships can not convert them to local ones.

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