Amazon offers prime membership service for free global shipping and video streaming


American e-commerce giant Amazon is launching its Prime membership programme for Singapore this week, ending a four year period of free shipping to the Republic.

Apart from qualifying for unlimited free global shipping on orders above S$60 on more than 5 million items from Amazon US via its Amazon Prime Now App, Prime members can also enjoy free two-hour delivery on orders over S$40, between 10am and 10pm daily.

Amazon had been offering 2-hour delivery with Prime Now for free on orders over $40 Singapore with no membership fee, so for customers who have been using the service it's going to appear to be a price hike.

Amazon on Tuesday announced that products from artisans selling through its Amazon Handmade marketplace, the company's answer to Etsy, will be available for delivery through its Prime Now one- and two-hour delivery service, available in certain cities.

While existing Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Singapore will not be forced into joining Prime, it will no longer be available for subscription as a standalone service. And this is just the beginning. "(Singapore customers) are hyper-connected and mobile-first", said Mr Ghani, who declined to comment on whether a local Amazon online store is forthcoming.

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This comes a day after free shipping options to Singapore for qualifying items over US$125 (S$168) were reported to be no longer applicable.

This will largely be of interest to merchants who sell on, as Prime Singapore offers free 2-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items but more importantly free worldwide delivery on millions more items from Amazon US.

Twitch Prime: Free in-game loot, like exclusive characters, boosts, and skins, in games including Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Origins, and Digital Extreme's Warframe, plus full games from indie developers. They will also enjoy access to gaming benefits with Twitch Prime, at no additional cost.

Prime members in Singapore can try all of the benefits of Amazon Prime for free for 30 days. Handmade at Amazon has expanded apace, moving into five European countries last fall to take on Etsy overseas, and now offering Prime Now delivery.

Customers who do not have a Prime membership in the USA can, however, enjoy free delivery within the country for orders totalling US$25 or more on eligible items. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.