This Is How Amazon Singapore Can Change Your Life
There’s now one less reason to queue at a supermarket or step out of your house for mundane things like shopping when you can do that while being stuck in the MRT.
If you haven’t already tried Amazon Prime Now in Singapore, now’s the best time to because you’ve just avoided the initial nightmare of over-zealous Singaporeans crashing the service.
Yes, even Uber drivers were roped in to help get their pak choy and eggs in time. Wondering whether Amazon Singapore will cut the deal for you? Read on.
Why is Amazon Singapore a big deal?
It’s been a long while since Redmart and Lazada made waves by introducing online grocery and electronic shopping to the local market.
It is about time that the industry gets a shakeup, and nothing shakes things up better than having a giant make its first step into a tiny island.
Singapore is Amazon’s first entry into Southeast Asia, a region where 600 million consumers are eagerly waiting to click, drop, and buy. It’s also a region where Alibaba reigns.
In Singapore, Alibaba practically owns Lazada, which just acquired Redmart. So really, this is a battle of Amazon versus Alibaba and Singaporean consumers can sit back and enjoy the benefits of competition.
Here are a few factors to look into to determine the winner in this battle:
Lightning fast delivery
What makes Amazon Singapore stand out is not just the access to tens of thousands of products, but the key selling point that it delivers your products in one basket within two-hours.
One-hour delivery is also available to select postal codes, and that’s as close to having a full-time personal shopper as you can get. It’d be interesting to see if Redmart will improve their delivery timings and flexibility.
Also, delivery is free with a minimum spend of S$40, which is pretty easy to meet considering the range of products that you can buy.
From groceries, wines, meat and seafood, vegetables, baby products, household essentials, and electronics, it’d be hard not to meet the S$40 if you’re buying for the week.
To be fair, Redmart also has the same threshold, so we can say that Amazon is merely on par for this one.
Penalty for missing delivery time
What’s also important for the online shopper who’s all alone at home is the policy on missing delivery times. RedMart could charge you a restocking fee of S$10 in addition to the cost of fresh and frozen items that you ordered, which cannot be restocked.
Not only that, they could even deny future service to customers who are repeatedly absent for deliveries.
In contrast, Amazon Prime Now has a much kinder policy. If you’re not able to receive the delivery and cannot cancel in time, your order will simply be returned for a full refund.
Ease of use
Perhaps, one of the user-unfriendly parts about Amazon Prime is that it’s available on an app and not on desktop.
While most people have no problems using an app, it’s still perhaps easier to be able to shop on your desktop with minimal scrolling, especially when you’re of a browser than a customer who knows exactly what brand you’re going for.
Based on the simple analysis above, Amazon Singapore wins the battle with more competitive features.
Why now is the best time to use Amazon Prime
If Amazon Prime sounds too be good to true, it kind of is, for now. At the moment, there is no need to be a Prime member in order to use the app as they’ve just entered the Singapore market.
However, it’s only a matter of time that they get sufficient customers and introduce the dreaded membership fee.
As for how much the membership fee will be, that’s anyone’s guess. In the U.S., the membership costs US$99 (S$133.87) a year while in Japan it costs just about US$39 (S$52.74) a year.
A membership fee that costs an equivalent of US$99 also makes sense if customers get to access an equal range of products available to the U.S. market, though that seems more like wishful thinking at the moment.
In addition to being able to use the app for free, Visa card holders can also enjoy a S$10 discount on their first order. The offer expires on October 8, 2017, so if you haven’t tried the app yet, now is the best time to do so.
What we can look forward to
The introduction of the app is probably a tiny step. As they step up their offerings here, customers can probably look forward to getting their Kindle books as well as credit card partnerships that further sweeten the deal.
Once Amazon gets its foot strongly and firmly in Singapore, we can even hope for Amazon Restaurants, the food delivery service, to roll out in food-crazed Singapore.
Overall, more competition, especially from big players like Amazon, can only mean better service, competitive prices, and increased product offerings for Singaporeans.
While there was a logistical hiccup by Amazon right at the start, there’s no doubt that the operations will eventually smoothen out.
So, sit back and scroll your way out of the supermarket queue.