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Amazon has finally entered Southeast Asia with its launch of Amazon Prime Now in Singapore.
Singapore is the first country where Amazon has brought Prime Now, before introducing its flagship offering Prime. The service is usually exclusive to members of Amazon Prime but will be available to Singapore shoppers that don't have a Prime membership for a limited period of time.
Since Amazon first launched its Prime Now service in New York in December 2014, the service has been rolled out to 45 metropolitan areas in nine countries.
In Asia, Prime Now was launched in Japan in 2015 with the service available in Tokyo and Osaka. The next year, Prime Now was launched in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in India.
There is a variety of Prime products that Amazon can introduce into Singapore, including its smart devices such as Alexa and Echo.
Amazon aims to supply over 20,000 unique items to the Singapore market. Right now, a wide range of products are already available on the app, including groceries, household and home essentials, electronics products, toys, and more. Frozen meat and seafood and chilled beverages are also on the list.
There will be two delivery options for Singapore customers. For shopping bills of S$40 or more, two-hour delivery anywhere in Singapore will be free and for orders below S$40 there will be a delivery charge of S$5.99. Amazon will also have an option for one-hour delivery with an additional charge of S$9.99. Delivery times in Singapore will be from 10am to 10pm, seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is available across all delivery areas, whereas one-hour delivery is only available in selected postal codes.
Amazon has built a warehouse at the Mapletree Logistics Hub off Toh Guan Road East. Spanning some 100,000 square feet, the company says this is the largest urban Prime Now fulfilment centre in the world. Amazon also says it’s working with local partners on both the inventory and delivery.
Dave Clark, Amazon's SVP Worldwide Operations, said "We think this is a way to get closer to Singaporean customers. We think that the two-hour and one-hour slots available to customers is a differentiator in speed and gives them (customers) an opportunity to really get things at another level of urgency and speed. We are going to have the best prices and will have a phenomenal selection of goods that we have put together from hundreds of local suppliers along with the access we have to the global supply-chain we operate in all other marketplaces - if you think about Amazon it's always been about selection, low prices and speed. That's what this is all about."
It is yet to be seen how successful the launch is in the competitive market. The ecommerce companies such as RedMart, the grocery arm of Lazada and the bricks and mortar retailers such as NTUC FairPrice have both pre-empted the entry of Amazon and upped their game.
Want to grow your business with Amazon? Join us at IGD Amazon Vendor Leadership Day in London on 20 September.
Shirley Zhu, Programme Director: Shirley Zhu leads IGD’s research programme in the South-East Asia region from our Singapore office. She has extensive research experience in the FMCG industry and has helped many multinational and local clients achieve their strategic objectives. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.