Back in Nov, it was reported that Amazon is looking to launch by Q1 2017 (aka March).
Will Amazon be able to launch by then? Nope, but I certainly hope it’s soon and here’s why.
Disclaimer: We are not Amazon Affiliates, just very loyal customers. Maybe we will be in the future, who knows? This is going to appear very biased for some, but we don’t care!
1. Faster shipping, Free Shipping
Everyone knows Amazon offers many impressive delivery options. Same day delivery, 2-day shipping, and even free shipping. If they can fulfil their shipment policies so well in a big country like the US, it’s almost without a doubt they will do a good (or even better) job over here in Singapore. Bulky products can now be purchased instead of salivating all over them at the US Store.
2. Competition will be rekt
Currently, most Singaporeans shops at many online platforms like Qoo10, Lazada, Taobao, etc. Lazada offers lots of cheap products. However, some of these are of low quality or brandless. There is also a severe lack of reviews to describe the quality of product further. Qoo10 is filled with add-on charges. For people looking at TaoBao, good luck if your Chinese is bad, translation sites aren’t that accurate. Oh, and have fun waiting for your SHIP-ping (not PLANE-ing).
Amazon on the other hand…is known for its beautiful execution in these areas. For a start, merchants in Amazon are encouraged to undercut each other: a simple “match lowest price” allow the prices of all products across Amazon to stay competitive and relevant (Amazon itself will participating in this game). Customer reviews, questions and answers about the product will also be listed at the bottom of the product page, giving you a full and transparent description of the product. More features will be elaborated later on.
3. Quality products
Goods fulfilled by Amazon are always inspected before storing in their warehouses, even for merchants who apply for Amazon FBA (more in point 7). Most of the goods are also not from some unknown sources. This is because, any product listed on Amazon must belong to its unique ASIN number, which stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It’s a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that’s assigned by Amazon.com and its partners. This will help to enhance the authenticity of the product on sale. If you are still unsure, here are a few ways to check it:
- Product Reviews
- Question and Answers Section
- Check the seller info (whether it is just launched, shipping from which country, etc.) This point is of particular importance as just launched sellers have a reputation for going MIA after grabbing your cash.
4. Cheaper digital products
Amazon also has its digital stores. Ebooks, Music, Tv/Movies that were once only available in the US (The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc.) and Games. Hopefully, and most likely, they will come to Singapore too. An additional competitor with significant market power will make the competition (online and offline retailers alike) in Singapore reconsider their pricing model. It is also common for digital products to be on sale in the US. We can expect the same here and enjoy the discounts!
5. Superior Return Policy
If your product is delivered within 30 days, you can just mail it back to any fulfilment centres, and Amazon will refund you almost instantly depending on the duration of use, type of product and the payment method you used.
Goods fulfilled by merchants are also protected by A-Z Guarantee, meaning if you got scammed by a fraudulent seller, just fire up a claim and you will get your money back, and the bad seller or scammer will never get his cash.
I have personally benefitted from their welfare support too! There was once when I had forgotten to turn off my Prime subscription and got charged $99USD. However, the customer support was superb, and understanding as none of the Prime features was used. The money was credited back to my bank in 3 days (mostly due to bank transaction process)
6. World Class Customer Support
24/7 Support, even public holidays (I tried). Options include Phone, email, live chat support, FAQ centre (answered by veterans in the Amazon community). It will be the friendliest support you will ever receive. Amazon will always provide you with a solution to your dispute as long as it is a legitimate claim.
The live chat support system is also worth of mentioning. Chat support staff has the contextual knowledge to answer all your queries and can issue refunds/claims over the interface too. This is in absent in most eCommerce platforms.
7. Join as a merchant
You could always participate as a dealer in the past, but now it is even better. Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a system enjoyed by many from all around the world. Anyone can sign up as a merchant and send in their FBA qualified products to their warehouses. Amazon will verify that the goods are ready to go and you will see it in your inventory list on your seller’s dashboard. From there on, almost the whole process is automated and well taken care of by Amazon. Orders will be treated, and all it takes from your end is a few simple click and Amazon will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for a small fee. For some of you, you may even consider to opt in to be eligible for premium shipping options, providing your clients with a more satisfying shopping experience with you.
If you do not want such services by Amazon, you can choose to have your orders fulfilled by you instead. One excellent point to note is that Amazon credits you with shipping credits when you ship your stuff out yourself, allowing you to reap greater profits.
The idea of setting up your private website for an eCommerce store or use bloodsucking services like Shopify may very likely become irrelevant shortly with a well-established platform like Amazon since web traffic is probably tonnes more than your useless expensive high upkeep shop.
8. Deals, Real Flash Deals
Remember those irritating ads or app notifications on your phone tempting you with words like “Deal of the Day”, “Flash Deals” etc.? Well what a bummer, those are just marked up prices going back down to their regular prices. You may have been fooled by those before in the past, but hey, do not be afraid to take on those deals on Amazon! Amazon is well known for the deal section of their website because it’s 99.99% real price drops. Their deals frequently include products from all categories and changes every day. It’s nice to note that on the most recent Black Friday sale, newly released products like Fifa 17 (27 USD and that was at the time of its release) or a label machine (9.90 USD but sold at Popular for S$220) was sold at insane prices.
So what even if those deals are real? I can’t even catch it time!
Fret not! Amazon has a Watchlist function which allows you keep track of upcoming deals and your phone will buzz when it is time to grab those deals! In Singapore! Wow!
9. Be a Kind Soul while Shopping
The last feature may or may not mean much to you; it is called Amazon Smile. Just type in smile.amazon.com, and it will bring you to a page to configure which charity you would like to donate at no extra charges. 0.5% of your spending will be donated to the selected charity by AmazonSmile Foundation so I would highly recommend it if you are a nice person.
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