E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its Prime membership programme in Singapore on Wednesday (6 December), which among other benefits includes free international shipping for orders above S$60 for items listed on its US store. This comes after free shipping options were halted for Singapore orders.
Customers interested in Prime membership can now sign up for a 30-day free trial on Amazon’s website, and subsequently pay an introductory monthly fee of S$2.99 in the following months.
When contacted by Yahoo News Singapore, Amazon declined to comment on when the introductory fee promotion will end, as well as when charges for existing Prime members will revert to the original price of S$8.99 per month.
Customers who are currently Prime members in other countries, including the United States, will not be allowed to transfer their membership over.
Singapore will be the first country in Southeast Asia, and 16th globally, to launch Amazon Prime. Countries in Asia with the membership programme include India, Japan and China.
Free shipping for non-prime members halted
Until recently, free shipping to Singapore was an option for qualifying orders over US$125 (S$168). This has since stopped.
An Amazon customer service officer, contacted via its live chat option on Tuesday, said that these shipping changes were implemented “a few weeks back” and that free shipping no longer applies to items “larger than 45.72 cm x 35.56 cm x 20.32 cm, or over 9.07 kg”.
Amazon declined to comment on when these options, offered under Free AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping, were officially terminated but confirmed that from now, “unlimited free international shipping will exclusively be a Prime member benefit”.
The e-commerce giant had launched its Prime Now fast delivery service in July.
Apart from qualifying for unlimited free international shipping within seven to nine business days from its US store on orders above S$60 made on its Amazon Prime Now app, Prime members can also get free two-hour delivery between 10am and 10pm daily on orders over S$40.
Currently, Prime members cannot order from the Amazon US website to qualify for these benefits. More than 5 million items from Amazon’s US store are available for purchase via the app and, said an Amazon spokesperson, “We are continuing to add more products to our Prime-eligible selection.”
Prime members will also enjoy unlimited access to Amazon’s video streaming service Prime Video and gaming subscription service Twitch Prime.
While Amazon remains tight-lipped on the possibility of an Amazon Singapore store, it says that there are plans to make Prime “better in Singapore”, by adding benefits including entertainment options.
E-commerce competitor Lazada had launched its own membership programme in April called LiveUp. Benefits offered include rebates and discounts for online supermarket RedMart, Netflix, Taobao Collection, Uber Eats and Uber.
Currently, new sign-ons are entitled to a 60-day trial with LiveUp, with first-year membership charged at S$28.80 per year, down from its original fee of S$49.90.
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