The launch took place at Amazon’s new 100,000-square-foot fulfillment center – nearly the size of two football fields – in Jurong East.
Amazon Prime Now is the US giant’s first retail service to launch in the city-state, offering free two-hour delivery of a limited range of products from its online store. Singaporeans will be able to order everyday items, books, and groceries, among other things – including 1,100 items from the company’s in-house brand AmazonBasics.
Prime Now first became available in New York back in December 2014. Since then, it has been launched in over 50 cities across nine countries.
However, the service will operate on a different model in Singapore, the company says. It will rely more heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Novel logistics processes such as on-demand delivery scheduling and random stow systems – which locates stock in a warehouse according to order frequency – have been adopted in an effort to drive greater efficiencies.
In its other locations Prime Now is exclusively available to members of Amazon Prime, which is expected to launch in Singapore soon and will come with additional features for those that sign up – including, perhaps, Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service. Until then, Singaporeans will be able to try out Prime Now for a limited time. Amazon officials would not confirm when full Prime membership will arrive in the city.
The company likewise remained tight-lipped about any planned Singapore launch of Marketplace, its ecommerce platform for third-party vendors, as well as possible further expansion in Southeast Asia.
Prime Now in Singapore will be available between 10 am and 10 pm, seven days a week. Two-hour delivery will be free on orders over US$29.50; for smaller consignments, customers will need to pay US$4.40 for each shipment. For just over US$7 express one-hour delivery will also be available.
Converted from Singapore dollars. Rate: US$1 = S$1.36.
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