Amazon officially enters Southeast Asia, launches Prime Now in Singapore

  • Amazon officially enters Southeast Asia, launches Prime Now in Singapore

Amazon officially enters Southeast Asia, launches Prime Now in Singapore

The Prime Now application was made available for download in Singapore on Google's Play store and Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) 's iTunes.

Amazon's launch in Singapore reaffirmed the importance of Southeast Asia for digital commerce, but the United States operator was a "late entrant" in a market that was hotly contested between regional and local e-commerce players, said Adrian Lee, Gartner's research director.

The way it works here is the more you cash out, the faster you'll receive your order.

There are several delivery options given: For orders below SG$40 (£22.3, $29.5), users pay a S$5.99 delivery fee; orders above SG$40 are delivered free in a two-hour delivery window. For now, shoppers from Singapore are still able to shop at Amazon's worldwide site and enjoy free shipping for orders above $125. No luck for those staying in outlying islands though.

Amazon launched its Prime Now service in NY in December 2014 and has since expanded to 50 cities worldwide. Customers can also get their Prime Now order with one-hour delivery for S$9.99. Amazon said others will be available "soon".

Alibaba is already active through the company Lazada which started previous year and has also acquired the Singapore eGrocery store Redmart.

In an interview with Bloomberg Finance, Amazon Prime Now director, Asia Pacific, Henry Low said, "Southeast Asia is a burgeoning marketplace for us with more than 600 million consumers, growing wealth and digitization".

Workers at Amazon's 100,000 square foot warehouse in Singapore were already busy on Thursday dealing with orders placed in the early hours. With Redmart, Alibaba hopes to increase Singapore's online grocery market of US$86 million to "offline" groceries sector worth US$3.9 billion (as of 2014). "Customers without a Visa card can get S$10 off their first order using promotional code 10PRIMENOW".

"This is the first time we're offering Prime Now to an entire country".

Southeast Asia, with its 600 million consumers, will be a huge market for the U.S. retailer.

So let the fresh food fight begin.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is among the dominant ecommerce platforms in Southeast Asia where it competes closely with Hong Kong's Tencent Holdings Limited.