Singapore first in Southeast Asia to get Amazon Prime membership programme

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

After launching its video-streaming service Prime Video in December past year and the (finicky) Prime Now quick delivery service in July, the internet giant today launched its Amazon Prime membership programme in the city-state - the first in Southeast Asia to enjoy the benefits (limited as they may be).

Singapore customers will be able to enjoy Prime benefits including exclusive access to free two-hour delivery on orders over S$40 with thousands of items and unlimited free worldwide shipping on orders above S$60 on more than five million items from Amazon US, which can be ordered through the Prime Now App.

An Amazon customer service officer contacted through the website's live chat function on Tuesday (Dec 5) said that free shipping to Singapore ended on Monday (Dec 4).

This launch will put pressure on Lazada, the e-commerce site owned by Alibaba, which is Amazon's primary competitor in Southeast Asia.

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.

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The introductory price for a membership is at $2.99 a month. Members will enjoy a host of facilities, including access to video streaming and free gaming services such as Twitch Prime.

Prime membership in the U.S. costs US$10.99 a month or US$99 a year. "Customers in Singapore have been enjoying ultra-fast delivery with Prime Now since July, and now, the introduction of Amazon Prime will take their shopping experience to the next level", said Jamil Ghani, vice president, Amazon Prime worldwide. We found that people aren't going to Amazon to browse; rather, they have very specific items in mind.

Amazon Prime International's vice-president Jamil Ghani said more benefits will be added over time for Prime membership here.

Prime membership is country-specific and not transferable, he added, meaning that those with US Prime memberships can not convert them to local ones.

Lazada, the region's largest e-commerce site, launched its own membership programme in April called LiveUp in anticipation of Amazon's entry to Singapore, and the company said it now has "hundreds of thousands" of members. Benefits offered include rebates and discounts for online supermarket RedMart, Netflix and Uber.

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