After the news of Amazon cutting its free shipping offer to Singapore, the company has announced that Singaporeans can sign up to be members of Amazon Prime, which offers free global shipping and access to video streaming, among other things.
Those who are interested to be members may sign up for the membership on Amazon website starting from Wednesday (6 December) and will be entitled to a 30-day free trial. The price for the monthly membership is at S$8.99.
However, as an introductory offer, Amazon only charge S$2.99, though Amazon decline to inform of how long the promotion will last.
Singapore is the 16th country and the first in South-east Asia to launch Amazon Prime.
Under the previous ordinance, AmazonGlobal program, every Singaporeans could enjoy free shipping for buying qualifying goods worth at least USD$125.
The Vice-President of Amazon Prime International, Mr Jamil Ghani, said that it has learnt a great deal about how to craft the Prime programme through that experience.
He said, "We were really encouraged by the strength of the response from customers, and rapidly increased capacity by adding additional staff members and drivers through our delivery service providers," adding that the company would continue to grow its teams.
He also said that the company is also taking into account what Singapore customers want.
Therefore, currently, only Prime members will be eligible for free international shipping on orders above $60 to more than five million products listed on Amazon's site in the United States, which will be made available on the Prime Now mobile app.
The company made its first foray into the region with the launch of its fast delivery service Prime Now in July. Its service, which offers free two-hour delivery from its local warehouse with a minimum order of $40 between 10 am and 10 pm daily via the Prime Now app, will also be made exclusive for members.
The members can also enjoy the streaming service Amazon Prime Video and gaming subscription service Twitch Prime. Existing Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Singapore will not be forced into joining Prime, however, it will no longer be available for subscription as a standalone service.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Ghani acknowledged that some living in the country already have Amazon Prime memberships for the US site.
However, he encouraged "anyone living in Singapore to leverage the Prime membership package developed specifically for Singapore" and noted that Prime membership is country-specific and not transferable, which means that those with US Prime memberships cannot convert them to local ones.