After months and months of speculation, it looks like Amazon could finally be continuing its international expansion push by launching its services in Singapore as early as this week. The launch will see Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now fast delivery and Amazon’s regular e-commerce services become available to Singapore’s population of over five million people. At this point, it is not clear what the pricing will be of these services.
Amazon was originally thought to be thinking of launching in Southeast Asia last November but due to certain issues and complications, the launch date was pushed back. It is looking likely though that the company will launch here iminently, with Amazon seemingly marketing the forthcoming launch through a number of high-profile social media users who have posted a series of sponsored teasers in the last few days.
Southeast Asia, The Next Frontier For Ecommerce
2017 has been a year of expansion into new geographical areas and verticals. The acquisition of Souq.com saw them expand into the Middle East and the acquisition of Whole Foods has initiated a move into Australia. Now it is taking on the next frontier in ecommerce, Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million consumers where they may find themselves playing catch up with Alibaba and fellow Chinese form Tencent. Southeast Asia has been identified as the next frontier in ecommerce, with Mark Woo, head of e-commerce, travel and financial services at Google recently saying:
“China is at the peak at the moment, with the majority of sales happening through the mobile web and mobile applications. India is hugely dominated by a couple of large players — Flipkart and Amazon. Japan and Australia are hugely mature markets, probably more mature than the UK and the US in terms of ecommerce penetration and ecommerce savviness by consumers. This really leaves us with Southeast Asia as the next frontier.”
Amazon Vs Alibaba
Alibaba’s Lazada will be Amazon’s stiffest competition according to Forrester’s senior analyst Xiaofeng Wang:
“Having been in the market for a few years, Alibaba-Lazada has a stronger understanding of the demands and behaviours of local customers as well as working with logistics and vendor systems. It has been working on building an ecosystem since [Lazada’s] acquisition of RedMart and launched its Liveup loyalty program that partners with other digital ecosystem players, such as Uber and Netflix.
“Amazon had a well-established and trusted brand and offered a range of US products and brands, including books. Its Prime loyalty programme also had been successful in the US, though, how it planned to localised this to address the needs of customers in the region would be key to its success.
“As a major technology player, [Amazon] can also leverage its tech strengths such as personalisation and intelligent agents to provide a better customer experience,” she added.