By now, you would probably already have heard of the launch of Amazon Prime Now in Singapore. The app by the popular American e-commerce company Amazon was officially available from Thursday morning (27 July) and offers a variety of items for Singapore residents to purchase, from groceries like fresh fruits and vegetables, to electronic items such as laptops.
While Singapore already has online grocery shopping services such as RedMart and honestbee, Amazon Prime Now seems to offer much more. Think of it as an online hypermarket rather than just a supermarket.
Similar to its competitors, Amazon Prime Now also offers a relatively fast delivery service from 10am to 10pm. While it promises a free two-hour delivery for purchases above $40, the service is subject to availability.
When Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore tried making a purchase, the next available delivery window was 10am to 12pm the following day, a Friday.
Wide range of items
According to several media reports, items available on Amazon Prime Now are specially curated for the Singapore market. If you log on to the app, which is available for download from both the Apple app store and Google Play store, you will find 28 different categories of items to choose from, with the first being “Local favourites”.
Categories of items available on the Amazon Prime Now:
- Local favourites
- Amazon basics
- Fruits & vegetables
- Dairy, eggs & tofu
- Rice, pasta & noodles
- Chips & snacks
- Chilled alcohol & beverages
- Wine, beer & spirits
- Meat & seafood (no halal meat)
- Chocolate & sweets
- Bread & bakery
- Household essentials
- Personal care & toiletries
- Toys & games
- PC & electronics
- Audio & headphones
- Camera & accessories
- Mobile & accessories
- Home & kitchen
- Sports & outdoor
- Home improvement
- Stationery & printing
Under local favourites, you will find items that are popular among Singaporeans, such as Milo, Maggi instant noodles, Ayam brand canned foods and Tiger balm. The site pretty much offers everything you need if you’re not overly brand-specific.
For example, if you’d like to buy a carton of milk, they’ll definitely have it. But if you’re specifically looking for a type of Hokkaido milk, for example, they might not.
Similarly for electronics, while Amazon Prime Now offers a variety of tablets and laptops from brands such as Samsung, Acer and Asus, the range of products is still not as extensive as Lazada, where you can also find products from other brands such as Apple.
When it comes to pricing, there were no stark differences noted. Most of the groceries were priced similarly to the ones by RedMart and honestbee. Some of the items, such as raspberries and beers, have the exact same prices.
With that said, Amazon Prime Now offers a one-stop site for one of the widest range of items yet.
Delivery service requires a bit of patience
With a warehouse located at the Mapletree Logistics Hub in Toh Guan, it’s now possible for Amazon Prime Now to promise a free two-hour delivery for purchases above $40.
However, this service is subject to availability. After Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore successfully picked items amounting to $40, the next thing we discovered was that all of its delivery slots for the day were already unavailable.
For purchases below $40, a delivery fee of $5.99 is required. If you’d like a one-hour expedited delivery service, a fee of $9.99 applies.
Also remember that while you’re free to browse through Amazon Prime Now as a guest, an Amazon membership account is still required during checkout. But since signing up is relatively a seamless process, it made the overall shopping experience hassle-free.
The app’s interface is also clean, well-organised and easy to use. It also saves your past purchases so you won’t have to create a new shopping list each time.
Read our update on the delivery here: What it’s like to shop on the new Amazon Prime Now in Singapore (Part 2)
COMMENT: Amazon owes Singapore consumers an apology
What it’s like to shop on the new Amazon Prime Now in Singapore (Part 2)
Amazon Prime Now FAQ: Everything you need to know about the delivery service
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