Amazon launches Prime membership for S'pore

Posted December 07, 2017

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.

For the first time, and just in time for the busy holiday season, Amazon is extending its one- or two-hour Prime Now delivery service to goods sold on its Handmade site, which, as the name suggests, offers items made by artisans or small teams of local producers. "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". While subscribers will get access to same day deliveries via Prime Now, it will only apply to some 5 million items from the global selection, compared to over 50 million in the USA, with free shipping if they spend S$60 ($45).

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The Prime membership here costs $8.99 per month.

The Prime membership will entitle the customers to have access to more than five million products listed on Amazon's site in the United States.

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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.

So long as orders are $60 or more, Singapore Prime subscribers will be able to order a choice from over 5 million items shipped from Amazon US. Benefits offered include rebates and discounts for online supermarket RedMart, Netflix and Uber. Amazon are hoping that the lure of halving the threshold for free worldwide shipping from Amazon US to Singapore and cutting delivery times will be enough to convince Singapore customers to cough up. The company says it will expand LiveUp beyond Singapore into other Southeast Asian markets soon, including Indonesia, which Amazon is also eyeing as a key growth market.

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Events coordinator Mabel Tan, 26, said that Prime does not have a strong enough draw for her at the moment, but if it adds "more products and services, I will consider the membership".