Having made a grand entrance into Singapore this summer, Amazon today announced a host of new services for local customers with the arrival of Amazon Prime in the country.
The e-commerce giant, which launched yesterday in Australia to tepid reviews, had been conspicuously quiet since it launched in Singapore in July with Prime Now, a somewhat restricted offering focused on two-hour delivery times for FMCG products.
But Amazon has now upgraded its services in Singapore with Amazon Prime, offering Singaporeans, among other things, video and movie content through Prime Video, and gaming content through Twitch Prime.
Consumers can also get free international shipping for orders over S$60 on more than 5 million US products, something that Singaporeans were particularly hoping when Amazon first launched. Free two-hour delivery within Singapore for orders above S$40 on thousands of items remains.
Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime International, said the service will elevate Singaporeans’ shopping experience “to the next level”, and that “this is just the beginning”.
The Prime Now service suffered with some teething problems, according to Xiaofeng Wang, senior analyst at Forrester, which affected Amazon's adoption by Singapore consumers.
“In the early days, being unable to fulfill the two-hour delivery promise and limited product categories and options were the two main issues," Wang said. "Consumers who had to endure these disappointments were not motivated to use it regularly or ever again,” Wang said.
Aside from two-hour delivery, consumers in Singapore expected Amazon’s own products—Echo, Kindle, Prime Video—to be made available to them, Wang said, and thus were disappointed when they were not.
But by playing to its strengths and introducing the full suite of its own “unique offerings” that local competitors do not yet provide, Wang said Amazon is ready to make a big impact.
“Whether Amazon will be able to retain [consumers] and turn them into loyal customers will depend on the consistency of its service quality and if Amazon can provide more value to their customers that they are otherwise unable to get from other retailers,” Wang said.