Amazon unveils .sg marketplace, two years after Prime Now launch
US e-commerce giant launches Amazon.sg with "millions of products", replacing the international selection on its Prime Now app in Singapore, but some customers say the local marketplace offers a smaller product selection than before.
Amazon has finally launched a local site in Singapore, more than two years after it unveiled Prime Now in the city-state. It promises a local and global inventory of "millions of products" including books, consumer electronics, and home. Available via a browser and its mobile app, Amazon.sg will replace the international selection on its Prime Now app, but -- as a handful of customers already are noticing -- offers a smaller product range than before.
These consumers had taken to Amazon's Singapore Facebook page to express their displeasure, with one saying the new site offered "a lot less items" and she could no longer find products that were available yesterday on the .sg site.
Another customer, describing the launch as "terrible", said: "Almost all the items I used to buy from Prime Now International [are] no longer available." In response, an Amazon.sg representative on its Facebook page said to "keep an eye" on its website for new items and updates.
The new Singapore site offers all consumers free two to three-day delivery on orders above SG$40, while those who are willing to fork out SG$3 can receive their purchases in one day.
Prime members will enjoy free one-day delivery on eligible local products on Amazon.sg with no minimum spend and free shipping for international store products for orders above SG$60.
Amazon Singapore's country manager Henry Low said: "With Amazon.sg, we want to provide what customers have been asking us for: the ability for everyone to shop on desktop and mobile, more local and international selection from Amazon and trusted sellers, paired with fast and reliable delivery.
"Today marks the next step for us in Singapore and we will continue to work hard to earn the trust of Singapore customers by growing our product range, ensuring low prices, and providing a convenient and trusted shopping experience."
The US e-commerce giant added that it welcomed local small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to sell their products on Amazon.sg, with promises to offer them listing tools, payment processing and credit card fraud protection, promotional features to boost product discovery, and reports and analytics to help them sell more on the platform.
Amazon ranked 14th based on monthly web visits, as well as 4th on Google's Play Store, and 6th on Apple App Store in Singapore, in the second quarter of 2019, according to iPrice Group, citing stats from SimilarWeb and App Annie. In terms of monthly web visits, the quarter was led by Lazada Group, Qoo10, Shopee, EZBuy, and Zalora.
Previously unavailable to Singapore shoppers, Amazon's Kindle e-book readers now are sold via the international product selection on Amazon.sg, but e-books themselves are still not available on the platform -- only physical books or paperbacks are. Other Amazon devices such as Fire and Echo also are not available on the local platform.
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Estimated to be worth US$53 billion by 2023, the Southeast Asian online retail market is the emerging battleground for Chinese tech giants--Alibaba, Baidu, Didi, JD.com, and Tencent--which have been investing aggressively in the region.
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One of the earliest e-commerce market players in Singapore, Qoo10 is planning a new round of funding as it looks to refocus on the local market, which it says still offers significant growth potential.