Amazon Prime Now Available in Singapore－is it Worth it?
Amazon has arguably transformed online retail over the past decade or so as the leading global online retail platform. Services such as Amazon Prime allow users to take full advantage of the value that the company has to offer, but the problem is that not everyone can access those services. For example, Singapore residents have had quite an underwhelming experience of Amazon. For this reason, there was a lot of excitement when it was reported that Amazon would introduce Amazon Prime Now in Singapore.
Even after its launch, it seems that Singapore residents are still not pleased with Amazon Prime Now. This mostly has to do with the fact that the Amazon Prime offering in Singapore is not as appealing as the Prime services offered in the U.S. For example, the Amazon Prime Now service in Singapore does not have the free shipping GlobalSaver option which is available for U.S counterparts. The removal of that option forces Singapore users to secure free shipping by signing up to the company’s loyalty program.
Amazon’s strategy in Singapore seems to be different from that of The U.S
The regular Amazon Prime service available in the U.S features a variety of offerings including rapid and same-day delivery, free shipping and also the Prime Video. The latter is a significant content streaming service which competes with big players such as Netflix. The Amazon Prime service also features other types of services such as Prime Reading, Prime Music, and Prime gamers among others. The subscription has changed over the years, and it currently stands at $119 annually following an increment in April 2018.
Singapore’s Amazon Prime Now service is less comprehensive than the U.S version. One of the key features is a 2-hour delivery period where products are delivered to the user’s selected location. Below is a chart demonstrating what the Singapore version of the service has to offer as of 2018.
As noted earlier, Amazon’s Prime Program in Singapore requires members to have a loyalty program that is unique to the country. It was initially launched with a 30-day free trial where users may opt to cancel their subscription upon expiry or to continue using the service but at a fee. Those who choose to keep using the platform will enjoy a promotional period during which they will get to pay just $2.99 per month. However, the monthly subscription fee will jump to $8.99 per month after the promotional period ends.
The monthly fee will facilitate free shipping on Amazon U.S and Amazon Singapore purchases. However, there is also a caveat where the user has to spend a certain minimum amount on Amazon purchases each month. This applies for the Amazon Prime service in the two countries although the minimum spend is different for each country.
Singapore Amazon Prime members have to spend a minimum of S$60 to enjoy free shipping from the U.S. This is less than half the minimum spend requirement for users in the past before the global online retailer scrapped its GlobalSaver option. The good thing is that the membership subscription allows shoppers to spend less to ship the items they purchase from Amazon since they can leverage the free shipping option.
Unfortunately, there is also a downside to the Amazon Prime Now service in Singapore. It requires users to purchase products from the Prime Now app which does not feature everything available on Amazon US. The Prime Now service offers a limited range of local products that include toys, electronics, and groceries among others. The two-hour shipping period is also free for any orders above $40, but this is exclusively for Prime members. Below is a list of the pros and cons of Singapore’s Amazon Prime service.
- The Amazon Prime Pro membership facilitates a 2-hour delivery which might be quite convenient for shoppers.
- Subscribers get to enjoy other services that are under the Prime banner including the streaming service.
- Free shipping
- Easy access to online products especially from the U.S.
- Singapore customers still get to enjoy Amazon Prime day discounts but only if they are registered Prime members.
- Singapore users are forced to get a prime membership if they want to enjoy free deliveries ever since free shipping was removed from the GlobalSaver option.
- The membership subscription fee might seem steeply-priced to many.
- The Amazon Prime Now service in Singapore is a bit underwhelming compared to some of the other similar services in the country such as Lazada which is expanding to other countries in South East Asia.
- The Amazon Now app separates the Amazon U.S offering to what Amazon Singapore has to offer, thus making it hard for customers to determine the best product through comparison shopping.
Is Amazon Prime appealing to the Singapore market?
That is a tricky one considering that the service has significant benefits, but people in the country feel that it is underwhelming compared to what their counterparts in countries such as the U.S receive. Some feel that the service is just not good enough. However, it depends on the shopping experience that the company offers to customers.
Other similar services in Singapore also seems to be offering competitive services that have also gained a lot of traction in the market. This means it will be even more difficult for Amazon to gain traction in Singapore’s online retail space. The retail giant could still make headway by incorporating a mix of competitive pricing, attractive product range, and excellent customer experience. Amazon has lacked in those three areas, and that is why Singapore users have not found it as appealing as they thought it would be.
The Amazon Prime service may not have taken off as much as the company might have liked in Singapore, but that is normal. After all, it cannot be for everyone, but there are those that will still enjoy the service. Amazon already has millions of customers subscribed to the Prime service not only in major markets including the U.S and the UK. The company has also been expanding its business in other regions.