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Amazon launches Prime Now one-hour delivery service in Singapore, Prime membership coming soon

By Ng Chong Seng - on 27 Jul 2017, 10:30am

Amazon launches Prime Now one-hour delivery service in Singapore, Prime membership coming soon

Amazon has just launched its Prime Now fast delivery service in Singapore. Starting 10 AM today, July 27, you can order from a range of “tens of thousands” of items, including groceries, household and home essentials, baby, beauty, and electronics products, toys, and more. A quick look at the app that went live in local app stores last night seems to bear out this claim. We see all sorts of stuff, from fresh fruits, frozen meat, chilled beer, and ice cream to diapers, lipsticks, hammer drills, laptops, television sets, and what have you.

Orders placed through the Prime Now smartphone app will be delivered to your doorstep within two hours for free if you meet the S$40 minimum order. For orders under S$40, the delivery fee is S$5.99. This applies to the Singapore mainland as well as Sentosa. If you need the items urgently and are in a supported postal code, you can shorten that to within an hour for a S$9.99 fee. The one-hour option has no minimum spend requirement. Deliveries take place from 10 AM to 10 PM daily.

To deliver on its one or two-hour same-day delivery promise, Amazon has built out a giant warehouse at the Mapletree Logistics Hub off Toh Guan Road East. Spanning some 100,000 square feet, the company says this is the largest urban Prime Now fulfillment center in the world. Amazon also says it’s working with local partners on both the inventory and delivery sides of things.

 

Wait, what about Amazon Prime?

For some background, Prime Now first became available in Manhattan in the U.S. in December 2014 as a benefit to Amazon’s Prime members. It has since expanded to over 30 cities in the U.S., and more than a dozen international cities, mainly in Europe. Singapore is the first in Southeast Asia to get Prime Now. The service is also available in Japan.

Strangely enough, while Prime Now is exclusive to Prime members, the paid membership program isn’t launching today. Amazon did say it’s “coming soon” though, but stopped short of revealing specific details, such as whether it includes any cross-border shipping perks when buying from the Amazon Global Store. Still, until the Singapore version of Prime arrives, you can use the Prime Now service for free for local orders.

To entice users to try out Prime Now, Amazon is now offering a S$10 discount for your first order when you use the code '10PRIMENOW' at checkout. Alternatively, if you're going to pay with a Visa card, you can use the code 'VISA20' to get S$20 off your first order.

Rumors of Amazon’s plans to launch a localized service in Singapore and make the city state the first stop in its regional expansion plan have been circling for months. With Prime Now’s entry, consumers here now have another comprehensive online marketplace to get their favorite goods. It also sets the stage for what should be a mouth-watering e-commence clash between the U.S. firm and Southeast Asia-born Lazada, the latter of which is now majority-owned by Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba.

For those unaware, to prepare for Amazon’s imminent arrival, Lazada has since April rolled out a LiveUp membership program, offering benefits such as free delivery, rebates, and discounts from the e-commerce website, online grocery delivery service Redmart (which Lazada acquired in November 2016), Netflix, Uber, UberEats, and Taobao Collection.

Another well-stocked online marketplace, with easy ordering through mobile apps and express delivery services - today’s both a glorious day for Singapore shoppers and a gloomy day for brick-and-mortar retailers.

The Singapore Prime Now fulfillment facility spans 100,000 square feet. Items are randomly stowed based on forecasting of order frequency.

Naturally, the catalog available is all that matters. Currently, there are over 20,000 unique items.

The system knows exactly where each and every item is located, and will chart the best route for the associates to pick up the products. Chilled items get picked up last, for obvious reasons.

Items are then brought to another area for packaging and sorting for final delivery.

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