Amazon launches Prime membership in Singapore to attract customers

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They will also get unlimited streaming of Amazon Prime originals and free gaming services such as Twitch Prime, the company added.

"Now, with the launch of Amazon Prime, Singapore consumers can finally have access to these products and services, and can get more value when they shop on Prime Now".

While free shipping and the ability to purchase worldwide goods at lower cost are Amazon's main draw for Singaporeans, it has upped its features to include streaming with the launch of Amazon Prime.

While introducing the membership, the online retailer more than halved the threshold for free global shipping to Singapore and also cut delivery times, hoping the deal will attract more shoppers to its platform that will now give access to more than 5 million items from Amazon U.S.

For example, a quick search by Channel NewsAsia for "baby bottles" found 171,408 results on the Amazon US site, with 26,358 items eligible for Prime shipping in the US.

Singapore will be the first country in Southeast Asia, and 16th globally, to launch Amazon Prime.

Free Two-Hour Delivery with Prime Now: Following the introduction of Prime Now earlier this year, customers began enjoying exclusive access to Prime Now benefits and can continue to enjoy those benefits as part of their Prime membership, getting ultra-fast delivery on tens of thousands of items with free two-hour delivery on orders over S$40, between 10am and 10pm daily Items range from groceries to electronics, including a variety of new brands added to Prime Now since the launch such as Sunshine, Bebe Bamboo, Archipelago Beer, Kat Food, Razer and more. This year, Brooklyn-based Etsy has been providing tools to its merchants geared toward ensuring last-minute shoppers can easily find items that are on sale, ship quickly or come with free delivery.

Jamil Ghani, Vice President of Amazon Prime International said that Singapore Prime members can expect more added benefits in the future. Existing Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Singapore will not be forced into joining Prime, however, it will no longer be available for subscription as a standalone service.

Prime membership in the United States costs US$10.99 (S$14.80) a month or US$99 a year. Since 2005, Prime has been focused on making customers' lives better every day. "(Singapore customers) are hyper-connected and mobile-first", said Mr Ghani, who declined to comment on whether a local Amazon online store is forthcoming.

Mr Ghani acknowledged that some living here already have Amazon Prime memberships for the USA site, but encouraged "anyone living in Singapore to leverage the Prime membership package developed specifically for Singapore".

E-commerce competitor Lazada had launched its own membership programme in April called LiveUp.

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