Amazon launches Prime Now in Singapore

Enlarge Image Some of the products available on Amazon Handmade.                  Screenshot by Ashlee Clark Thompson  CNET

Finally, to use Prime Now you'll need to be a member of Amazon's $99-a-year Prime service, which beside delivery perks also offers access to streaming movies, TV shows, music, and more.

After the news of Amazon cutting its free shipping offer to Singapore, the company has announced that Singaporeans can sign up to be members of Amazon Prime, which offers free global shipping and access to video streaming, among other things.

Prime Now, which forms part of the delivery component of Amazon Prime, launched in Manhattan toward the end of 2014 and has since expanded to 30 cities across the U.S. Customers are promised delivery within one hour for an $8 fee, or within two hours for free.

Amazon launched its fast delivery service Prime Now here in July.

Forrester senior analyst Xiaofeng Wang noted that Amazon made a splash when it first launched its Prime Now services in Singapore and has made improvements to the service since then, as in the early days, it was unable to fulfill the two-hour delivery promise and had limited product categories and options.

The Vice-President of Amazon Prime International, Mr Jamil Ghani, said that it has learnt a great deal about how to craft the Prime programme through that experience.

But for a limited period, it goes for $2.99 a month, although Amazon did not specify for how long.

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.

But customers who do not have a Prime membership in the United States can enjoy free delivery within the country for orders totalling US$25 or more on eligible items.

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.

These services would be sought now that the American retailer has ended its Free AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping service to Singapore.

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.

In a press release, Stephanie Landry, vice president of Prime Now, commented on the benefits the service will bring to both local artisan businesses and consumers.

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