Singapore first in Southeast Asia to get Amazon Prime membership programme

Federico Mansilla
Diciembre 7, 2017

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.

Amazon launched its members programme Prime Now in Singapore which will allow access to benefits like fast shipping, streaming, and gaming. 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.

This launch will put pressure on Lazada, the e-commerce site owned by Alibaba, which is Amazon's primary competitor in Southeast Asia.

But administrative assistant J. Tan, 38, said he was disappointed that items he had been eyeing, such as the Nintendo Switch game console, are not available through the Prime Now app and no longer qualify for free shipping on the USA store.

Our attempts to order items from the Amazon US website itself didn't seem to include or display the benefits of our Amazon Prime Singapore membership. To encourage sign ups the Singapore Prime membership advertised at $8.99 per month will be reduced to $2.99 for a limited time, although Amazon haven't yet indicated how long the discount will last. Members will enjoy a host of facilities, including access to video streaming and free gaming services such as Twitch Prime.

Membership in the U.S. costs US$10.99 a month or US$99 a year, and provides access to a slew of services such as music streaming, free same-day delivery and even restaurant delivery in certain areas. Customers who make orders above SGD60 using the Prime Now mobile app will not have to pay global shipping fees.

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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.

"The Prime programme in every geography is custom designed for that region".

The Vice-President of Amazon Prime International, Mr Jamil Ghani, said that it has learnt a great deal about how to craft the Prime programme through that experience.

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

These are all now available on the Amazon Prime Now app.

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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