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Published: Sat, July 29, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Amazon officially launches in Singapore

Amazon officially launches in Singapore

The Amazon Prime Now service is now available to Singapore customers, after it was released on the Singapore iTunes and Google Play stores on Wednesday (July 26). The launch is the e-commerce giant's first foray into South East Asia, and it's point of entry is significant.

According to Tech in Asia, Singaporean business models put a far greater emphasis on machine learning and AI than companies in, say, Europe - a necessity given the incredibly short time frame in which Amazon has to make deliveries.

Prime Now will allow Singapore Amazon customers to place orders for fast delivery on a wide variety of products, including grocery products, fresh produce and dried goods as well as cloths, jewelry, consumer electronics, toys, baby products and among others.

The Seattle company said with Prime Now, consumers will get delivery on tens of thousands of items within two hours for free if customers spend 40 Singapore dollars or more.

Singaporeans can expect to pay about S$6 for orders under S$40, with free shipping on orders over S$40.

Deliveries are available from 10am to 10pm, seven days a week.

For now, customers won't need Amazon Prime memberships to try out the Prime Now service, but there's no end date given for the limited-time offer.

Prices for Amazon's premium packages are unknown. According to a Bloomberg interview with Prime Now APAC head Henry Low, this is the first time the company will be launching on offer in a new market.

Workers at Amazon's 100,000 square foot warehouse in Singapore were already busy on Thursday dealing with orders placed in the early hours.

Alibaba is already active through the company Lazada which started previous year and has also acquired the Singapore eGrocery store Redmart. For those with no Visa card can save S$10 their first order using promotional code "10PRIMENOW".

But while Southeast Asia may be the last big battleground for e-commerce in Asia, it is not easy: there are regulatory differences, language barriers and logistical hurdles like the huge number of islands that make up the Philippines, or Jakarta's paralyzing traffic.

Regardless, the battle is just beginning.

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