I’ve been using RedMart for the last two years here in Singapore and have a generally great experience. They simplified my shopping experience and saved me loads of time.
About 8 months ago, Amazon appeared in Singapore under an offering that they call “Prime Now”. Under their Prime Now membership, you get free 2-hour delivery island wide. They also offer you access the Prime Video with an increased set of offerings in the works.
To combat this, RedMart teamed up with Lazada, Taobao, UberEats, and Netflix to offer a paid premium program called LiveUp. Priced at $49.90 per year, it offered a cash back initiative on purchases with RedMart and free delivery for orders above $40 (as opposed to $80 for non-members), 5% rebates on every Lazada order with 5% ongoing rebate, free delivery on Taobao, $10 off every 10th ride with Uber, delivery fees waived on UberEats (4 times a month for orders over $35), and 6 months of Netflix free.
I signed up at an introductory price of $28.80 for the first year.
All things remaining equal, this was a very competitive offer. However, there have been some developments off late that have changed the playing field.
In mid-March 2018, Uber was acquired by Grab. The Uber app will no longer support ride-share hailing in Singapore (and South East Asia) after the 8th of April 2018. Along with that, the free rides are a thing of the past.
Netflix becomes a paid subscription after the introductory 6 months… that comes off the equation.
That leaves RedMart, Taobao and Lazada to go head to head with Amazon on even footing.
I did the math and came up with for following comparison.
- Prime Membership costs $2.99/month or $35.88 for a year (introductory pricing, against a regular price of $8.99/month of $71.88/year)
- Free 2-hour delivery island-wide
- Free International Delivery on items from Amazon US
- Access to Amazon Prime Video
- Access to Twitch Prime
RedMart and LiveUp
- LiveUp Membership costs $28.80 for a year on introductory pricing, and $49.90/year thereafter.
- Free delivery for orders above $40 from RedMart. Delivery is scheduled for the next day, and 5% rebates on RedMart (which must be used within 30 days of earning them).
- Access to a range of products from Lazada with 5% discount, and a further 5% rebate (which must also be used within 30 days of earning them)
- Free delivery from Taobao.
- 6 months of Netflix free on an annual membership)
- $10 of coupons on Ofo for new user sign-up and $10 of coupons every month (this is a ride-share platform for bicycles).
When you look at this, it appears that RedMart and LiveUp offer a lot more than Amazon Prime. However, having used the services of both, I can tell you that there’s not much in it.
Amazon’s Prime Now service is awesome for a busy professional like myself. I can get groceries delivered the same day while ordering them while I’m at work. Their packaging is very ecologically friendly in brown paper bags. Their cold items come in brown paper bags wrapped in foil bubble-wrapped envelopes with gel ice blocks to keep them cool. Amazon also has an amazing selection of everyday items in their Amazon basics selection – something that RedMart does not offer. Their video offering is part of the package, and (while I don’t use it) they also offer a gaming platform. Amazon also gives you access to a large selection of items from Amazon US, and waives delivery charges for orders over US$125 to Singapore. While there are no promotions with ride-sharing partners, Uber has now been bought by Grab, and as of the time of writing this post, there is no indication on whether LiveUp will be able to continue offering ride-sharing promotions. Amazon’s offering is simple… in it’s true identity, it really is the place where you can buy everything.
RedMart’s LiveUp is not a bad offering, especially if you are a family. The rebates will more than pay for the annual membership. However, if you’re a busy professional and travel a bit, you may end up missing out on rebates (which I am a bit resentful about, given that I’ve paid a membership fee, and feel that I should be able to use my rebates throughout my membership period). If you’re not a big shopper on Lazada, you’ll probably never avail the Lazada rebates. Between RedMart, Lazada and Taobao, you do get a good selection of goods. Same day delivery is still not available yet. Having said that, if you’re a Netflix user, there is a case to keep both Amazon Prime and LiveUp.
Internet shopping just got better in Singapore!