Also, two-hour delivery service!

Just less than 24 hours ago, we reported that some of Amazon's products were very likely to launch in Singapore this week. Lo and behold, the Amazon Prime Now app went live on the Apple Store last night, and was officially launched this morning at the Singapore Amazon Fulfillment Center in the western part of Singapore, which happens to be the largest global Prime Now facility.

Why is this a big deal? For months now, Amazon has teased its entry into the Southeast Asian region. While they did deliver by releasing Amazon Prime Video—limited as it is—back in Dec, the e-commerce giant postponed launching its other services in the region (they decided to go with Australia first). And it’s finally here!

Sure, there’s Redmart—even though Alibaba's Lazada acquired the online grocer to prepare for Amazon’s impending entry—Honestbee, and a whole bunch of other options to get anything from food to booze in Singapore. But Amazon’s Prime Now promises to deliver anything you need from their catalog of over 10,000 items within two hours.

They’ve literally enabled us to be lazier (that’s what technology is supposed to do right, to make our lives easier), to the point where we can shop for groceries in our PJs from the comfort of our homes and get them on the same day. You can get everything from eggs and ice-cream to consumer electronics and ice cold beer, as well as local necessities like Milo and Tiger Balm.

Rows of shelves at the 100,000 sq ft. Singapore Amazon Fulfillment Center in Toh Guan. Photo credit: Amazon

The service was first launched three years ago in New York, and has since expanded to more than 50 cities, including Berlin, London, Tokyo, and now Singapore. If you, like many others, are a little concerned about whether they can deliver, seeing how many of us are ridiculously tech-savvy, they've explained that they’ve incorporated complicated technology on the back-end, using “advanced techniques and algorithms to fulfill orders as quickly and efficiently”.

A staff member picking out items. Photo credit: Amazon

When we were touring at the Fulfillment Center this morning, there were rows and rows of shelves of items that have been tucked away randomly, instead of how supermarkets usually arrange them. This arrangement is meant to help staff retrieve the items through a device that will show them the fastest route around the maze of shelves (really helpful seeing how the entire compound is about 100,000 sq ft).

The Prime Now app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and is available from 10am-10pm every day. The service is usually exclusive for members of Amazon Prime, but for a limited time, you can try it out without signing up for a membership. Two-hour deliveries are free with a minimum order of $40 (you’ve gotta add $5.99 if it’s anything under), but you can also opt for a one-hour delivery for $9.99.

First time users with a Visa credit card can get $20 off using the promo code “VISA20”, while those without Visa can enjoy $10 off using the promo code “10PRIMENOW”.