Retail in Asia

In Shops

Amazon plans to enter SE Asia with Singapore launch in Q1 2017

Amazon is ready to enlarge its presence in Asia. Months after it pumped $3 billion into its India business and a week after it quietly introduced its Prime service in China, plans for its entry into Southeast Asia next year have surfaced.

The U.S. retail giant doesn’t currently offer local services in Southeast Asia, but it is working to enter the region via a launch in Singapore. The current plan is to launch selected services in Singapore within the first quarter of 2017, one source said.

The U.S. company is likely to initially offer its Prime delivery service alongside its AmazonFresh grocery service, in Singapore, we understand.

SEE ALSO: Decoding Amazon’s fashion ambitions

Southeast Asia is home to over 600 million consumers and, while online is estimated to account for less than five percent of all commerce today, its digital economy is tipped to grow significantly over the next decade.

Already, Alibaba has stepped into the region via investments in Lazada, delivery firm SingPost, and payments company Ascend Money.

Amazon competes fiercely with Alibaba-backed Paytm, Flipkart and Snapdeal in India, and it has decided that now is the time to join its rival in Southeast Asia.

There’s been speculative talk that Amazon is harboring plans to Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and Southeast Asia’s largest economy, but sources told us that Amazon is fully focused on expanding into Singapore at this point.

That makes a lot of sense because Singapore is not only smaller and easier to service from an operational perspective, but the level of customer spend and consumer culture is more closely aligned with Western markets where Amazon thrives.

(Source: TechCrunch)