Amazon vs Alibaba: A Perspective from Singapore

December 5, 2017 by Paul Byrne

eCommerce Technology
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Written Blog By: Paul Hussey

Uber, Grab, Amazon, and Alibaba have created a world of convenience and consumer advantage in our modern age, but these tech giants are competing for more than brand loyalty in the Eastern world. They are looking to gain dominance over one another, as the American companies try to make their presence felt in a market dominated by the regional platforms.

At this moment in time, the Singapore consumer is king and currently enjoying a window full of perks, discounts, and innovative marketing offers.These benefits are a result of rival tech companies competing for the consumer dollar. Grab versus Uber, Alibaba versus Amazon. Grab and Alibaba are two Asian companies taking on the USA.

As a consumer in Singapore, we enjoy the unprecedented savings. It’s a great time to be a consumer on the small island known as the Red Dot. As online services improve and efficiency is prevelant, the consumer is in a position to make some significant changes to the way we manage our lives.

A year ago, as a family, with two small children under five, we decided to sell our car and take advantage of the ‘ride-sharing’ services offered by Grab and Uber. We get to delight in the benefits of two large, cashed up companies fighting for market share. In Singapore where a car will cost as much as five times the cost of having a car in Australia, our annual car expenses were over $15,000. For over a year, our family used Grab and Uber at the cost of approximately $5,000 for the year. After the experience of not having a car, the idea of owning one now suddenly seems insane.

One of the benefits of owning a car was the convenience it provided, such as traveling to buy groceries. However, with the improvement of online grocery shopping we no longer feel the need to have to physically visit the supermarket. Online grocery shopping is now providing this solution. Like the ‘ride-sharing’ industry, the improvement in service and pricing is increasing every day. This disruptive space is spurred on by fierce competition between Alibaba and Amazon.

Free delivery is easily available, so price comparisons between the two major competitors gives the consumer options. The consumer also wins by taking advantage of essential items on promotion. However, there are still massive areas for improvement. For instance, current grocery packaging has been designed for traditional on-shelf, in-store marketing. It’s not appropriate for online delivery systems. Additionally, at times quality can be a concern, although this area is progressing with every delivery and easily fixed with high levels of after-care service motivated by extreme competition.

This fast emerging industry is opening up opportunities for [Avo and Co.](" target="_blank" rel=“noopener noreferrer) This new start-up offers the latest in-season produce that will ‘wow’ you and that the majors can’t offer along with unique ways and recipes to use their product.It’s a great time to be a consumer in Singapore as these giants fight each other for market share. At the same time, niche players find nuggets to offer an increasing convenience oriented consumer.

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