At long last, the time has come.
Amazon, US’ retail giant, is currently in the process of launching their services in Southeast Asia. According to a TechCrunch article dated 2nd November (Wednesday), the plan is to enter the region by launching selected services in Singapore within the 1st quarter of 2017.
As we speak, Amazon is covertly acquiring assets, including refrigerated trucks and making new hires. The company will initially offer its Prime delivery service alongside its AmazonFresh grocery service in Singapore.
For those of you who are not in the know, Amazon Prime was launched in the US 11 years ago. The express shipping membership program, which was initially met with skepticism because it was an unproven concept, later became a hit and is now one of the world’s most popular subscription services.
Today, Amazon Prime offers fast, free unlimited shipping on more than 30 million items for tens of millions of Prime members, as well as unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, more than one million songs – and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music.
Last week, Amazon quietly a tailored version of its Prime service in China to tap consumer demand for overseas goods. Chinese Prime subscribers get free shipping on orders exceeding 200 yuan (about RM124) on millions of eligible overseas goods, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Domestic goods will also be delivered free and a membership costs 388 yuan (about RM240) a year, lower than the US fee of USD99 (about RM415).
Although Amazon has yet to make any official comment regarding its expansion to Southeast Asia, e-commerce in the region has grown significantly over the past 10 years, with more room to develop in time to come. Southeast Asia’s is the world’s fastest growing internet market, adding 3.8 million new users a month. As of May 2016, there were 260 million users and by 2020, there will be an estimated 480 million users.
It’ll be exciting to see what Amazon will have to offer Southeast Asian e-commerce clients.