The Amazon Prime Now app says it delivers to addresses in mainland Singapore and Sentosa but does not currently service outlying islands. The first is for orders less than S$40: It will cost S$5.99 to deliver the orders within two hours, or S$9.99 for one-hour delivery.
Southeast Asia, with its 600 million consumers, will be a huge market for the USA retailer.
Prime Now is an exclusive service for members of Amazon Prime, a membership program to launch in Singapore soon with additional benefits to come. Amazon's entry in Singapore will be its first in South-east Asia and will challenge the likes of Lazada and RedMart in the local market. The service promises delivery of items within two hours. While it was not labeled Amazon, the distinctive smiley arrow said it all.
Deliveries are also made seven days a week, so there is no worry about ordering on a weekend and only having the order fulfilled during working days.
The Seattle-based company on Thursday (July 27) inaugurated its largest global Amazon Prime Now facility at Mapletree Logistics Hub, at Toh Guan Road, and announced details of its delivery services in the Republic.
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Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said at the launch that while digital technologies are disrupting value chains across industries, the digital economy has potential to bring about enormous opportunities, particularly in Asia, with its emerging middle class and rapid urbanisation.
His fellow researcher and Gartner's research director Sandy Shen, though, said it was "never too late to enter a new market", despite the strong competition from other players here including Lazada.
Amazon Prime Now's delivery of groceries including chilled beer and fresh produce will also pit it against online grocer RedMart, which was acquired by Lazada in November previous year (2016).
The number of internet users in Southeast Asia is expected to rise from 260 million now to 480 million by 2020, according to research by Google and state-owned investor Temasek Holdings.
Two sources close to the company had said then the USA online retailer had been quietly acquiring assets and hiring new employees for the new offices as part of a drive led by its head of Southeast Asia Steven Scrive. "Even if I visited a brick-and-mortar store, I would be checking online to see if it's cheaper".
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