After launching its video-streaming service Prime Video in December previous year and the (finicky) Prime Now quick delivery service in July, the internet giant today launched its Amazon Prime membership programme in the city-state - the first in Southeast Asia to enjoy the benefits (limited as they may be).
But with the impending launch of Amazon Prime this week, "unlimited free global shipping will now be exclusively a Prime member benefit moving forward", Amazon told The Straits Times.
Streaming service Amazon Prime Video and gaming subscription service Twitch Prime will be bundled as part of the membership. The price for the monthly membership is at S$8.99.
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.
Amazon made its entry into Southeast Asia when it launched its Prime Now service in Singapore in July.
While existing Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Singapore will not be forced into joining Prime, it will no longer be available for subscription as a standalone service.
These services would be sought now that the American retailer has ended its Free AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping service to Singapore.
Prime membership in the United States costs US$10.99 a month or US$99 a year. "(Singapore customers) are hyper-connected and mobile-first", said Mr Ghani, who declined to comment on whether a local Amazon online store is forthcoming.
Amazon on Tuesday stopped free shipping options to Singapore for qualifying items over S$168 were reported to be no longer applicable, media reported.
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.
Amazon Prime International's vice-president Jamil Ghani said more benefits will be added over time for Prime membership here. "We will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits".
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".
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