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Amazon sets foot in SEA region through Singapore launch with Prime Now

Amazon has finally launched its express and same-day delivery service Prime Now in Singapore, making its first entry into the Southeast Asian market.

The e-commerce giant Amazon has finally launched its express, same-day delivery services, Prime Now, on Thursday, July 27, in Singapore, making its first entry into the Southeast Asian market.

Prime Now will allow Singapore Amazon customers to place orders for fast delivery on a wide variety of products, including grocery products, fresh produce and dried goods as well as cloths, jewelry, consumer electronics, toys, baby products and among others.

Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now fast delivery and Amazon’s regular e-commerce services will become available to Singapore’s population of over five million people in the launch, according to a reliable source with the knowledge of Amazon’s plans. As for the pricing, it is still unclear at this point.

The Amazon app was made available for download on Wednesday night, July 26, in Singapore, both on Google’s Play store and Apple’s App store. Prime Now is part of Amazon’s Prime membership service and was launched dating back in December 2014 in New York. As for now, the Prime Now service is available in more than 50 cities in nine territories, including Berlin, London, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo.

Amazon is continuing to expand its footprints in international market with the launch of its services in Singapore coming very soon. The entry could take place as soon as this week and it will mark e-commerce titan’s entry into SEA countries.

Amazon has already started marketing its services through famous online personalities. A number of high-profile Instagram users residing in Singapore have posted sponsored teasers of Amazon’s Prime Now service. While it was not labeled Amazon, the distinctive smiley arrow said it all.

Amazon is late to capitalize on the region’s rising middle class. The biggest local rival is Lazada, which is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and launched in the SEA region way back in 2012.

The entry into Singapore market for a potential clash between Amazon and Chinese tech rival Alibaba, which recently acquired a controlling stake in regional e-commerce firm Lazada. The investment opened up Alibaba’s global footprint in markets in SEA countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and made it accessible to approximately 23 million active purchasers on the web-based and app-based Lazada online shopping store.

In 2016, Lazada acquired the Singapore-based online grocer RedMart for an undisclosed ammount. RedMart provides online grocery shopping to its customers in Singapore, from freshly produce foods to frozen goods within a couple of hour delivery windows — a direct competition to the Amazon Prime Now service.

Henry Low, the Asia Pacific director of Amazon Prime Now, said that the company is eager to expand elsewhere in Southeast Asian region, a market of more than 600 million population.

The number of internet users in SEA region is expected to nearly double from 260 million now to 480 million by 2020, according to research by Google and state-owned investor Temasek Holdings. It predicts that the value of e-commerce in Southeas Asia will skyrocket to 88 billion by 2025 from 5.5 billion in 2015.

Mark Julius

Originally from the Quezon City, Mark graduated from PUP with a B.S. in sports and video games. He served as Editor-in-Chief of The Pamantasan, the university newspaper, for a couple of years.

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