This was first published in BankBazaar.
When a behemoth enters the market, the rules of the game change. With Amazon now on the sunny island, a lot of e-commerce players will need to relook their marketing, delivery, exchange, and return policies, as well as overall plans. But not just them, the world will be different for us as well.
Consumers are in for a windfall in terms of reduced delivery times, lucrative offers, promotions, and even more competitive prices. Consumption patterns across television, books, groceries, and practically everything else that you can get online are set to change.
Could the Everything Store be everything Singaporeans ever wanted and needed?
1. BOOKS, BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS FOR ALL
With Amazon coming in, ordering a diverse set of books online will become a whole lot easier. It is not that Singapore didn't have options earlier, but these options are only likely to increase.
Kinokuniya makes books available online, but with Amazon Prime, one is looking at a whole different game. As the article in Straits Times states, "Booksellers hope that Amazon's reach can get more people interested in reading."
After all, when the pie gets bigger, the size of the wedge increases too.
So while it is a win-win for consumers with more access to titles and easier delivery options, industry players are sure to be apprehensive about how it will play out for them.
With public libraries also popular in the country, this seems like a dream move for book lovers. Once they whet your appetite for the written word, you only want more!
2. LAZADA VERSUS AMAZON FACE-OFF: CUSTOMERS TO BENEFIT WITH MORE DEALS, FREE DELIVERY
Singapore will be the battleground for two internet giants: Alibaba versus Amazon. Alibaba, the Chinese player, owns Lazada, which is one of the leading e-commerce players in the city. For Amazon, Singapore is an important market, and pretty much the gateway to Southeast Asia.
With two big players flexed and ready to fight it out over the high disposable income of Singaporeans, things are bound to get interesting. Some great deals have already started coming in.
Gearing up for Amazon's arrival, Lazada has signed its users onto a membership service called LiveUP, with perks including rebates on Lazada and discounts on Uber and Netflix.
Also, according to media reports, Alexis Lanternier, the chief executive of Lazada Singapore, said that the tie-up with Alibaba allows its users access to some products on the Chinese firm's flagship online marketplace Taobao.
On the other hand, Amazon Prime, quick after its launch, promised a 2-hour delivery service.
The face-off is sure to leave the consumers' grinning.
3. WITH THE ONLINE PIE IN SINGAPORE GETTING BIGGER, CUSTOMERS ARE GOING TO SHOP MORE ONLINE THAN EVER BEFORE.
Singapore is easily one of the most wired societies in the world. Experts say that the entry of Amazon into the Singapore market could speed up the shift towards online shopping.
According to Leonard Lee, an associate professor of marketing at the National University of Singapore, "As people lead increasingly busy lives, such 'express delivery' services can accelerate the growing shift of consumers' shopping from brick-and-mortar stores to online and mobile platforms."
Malls in Singapore that are already facing pressures may now have to confront a greater challenge as consumers move online for a majority of their requirements.
4. CONSUMPTION WILL CHANGE: A WORLD OF OPTIONS ON YOUR TV NOW
First came Netflix and now Amazon Prime videos. The introductory price for both players is between S$5 and S$20; in other words, practically nothing. And available to you is a whole different world of entertainment.
So, if your evenings are now spent watching marathon shows, we don't blame you.
Amazon Prime Now has already seen overwhelming demand, so much so that orders had to be stopped. While the market may be ready, Amazon is still gearing up to be 'The Everything Store.'
Excitement is in store, for sure!