Amazon Launches its Prime Membership Service in Singapore

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

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.

In July, the e-commerce giant made its biggest push into Southeast Asia by launching a free two-hour delivery service in the city-state, marking its first head-on battle with Chinese rival Alibaba Group Holding.

Amazon Prime in Singapore will be available for S$8.99 per month and for a limited time, customers can sign up for S$2.99 per month.

The online retailer will offer Amazon Handmade products through its two-hour delivery service Prime Now, which normally carries household convenience items found in drugstores. In nine US markets, shoppers can purchase gifts from Amazon Handmade Artisans on Prime Now for delivery until 11:59 pm on Christmas Eve.

The move to add Handmade goods to its list of items eligible for speedy Prime Now delivery should help artisans score a few more orders in the run up to Christmas, and give truly last-minute shoppers the chance to secure delivery right up until 11.59 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Amazon said in a release.

Prime members here are eligible for free global shipping on orders above $60 of more than five million items from Amazon's U.S. store, which are available on the Singapore Prime Now mobile app.

As Singaporeans are more "hyper-connected and mobile-first" users, this service was designed for Singaporeans in mind. 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.

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. Amazon Prime is also available in India and Japan, so its Asian penetration is growing quickly to encompass a large portion of the fast-growing region.

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