We introduced Amazon.sg as part of our promise to offer more ways to shop and millions of products to choose from. A year on, as we mark the first anniversary of Amazon.sg, I’m proud and humbled by the grit and resilience of our team, our partners, and with our customers, to ride through the pandemic together. It’s an extraordinary time and I’d like to take a moment to reflect and celebrate our first anniversary milestone with our employees, customers, local businesses, and the community.

Keeping safe, hiring and developing the best

I’ve been with Amazon for 10 years now. As an Amazon employee, I’ve seen first-hand how we put employee safety and well-being at the center of what we do, anywhere round the world, be it at the fulfilment centers or in corporate offices. Even as the pandemic unfolded in 2020 and introduced challenges, we continued to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers, and took swift measures, implementing changes to physical infrastructure, operational processes, adjusting policies and protocols wherever required to put the needs of our employees and customers first. It has not been easy and I want to say thank you to my entire team for your ingenuity (and intestinal fortitude) for staying the course. I am proud of you for taking the hard decisions and doing the right things.

It would be impossible to deliver results in this dynamic environment without extraordinary people. We take a long term view in hiring and developing the best, and have continued to invest in scaling our teams here in Singapore to keep pace with demand, by opening new roles, as well as offering learning opportunities for our existing team to acquire new functional and technical skills. We remain committed to building a strong, diverse and inclusive team in Singapore, with the different insights and perspectives that diversity brings to help us build for the long term.

“Start with the Customer and work backwards”

Customer obsession is one of our key leadership principles at Amazon, and one that I strongly believe in. We take pride in innovating and building solutions on behalf of our customer. The launch of Amazon.sg is a prime example of this, as we sought to provide greater convenience and more selection to all customers to shop on desktop and mobile.

In the past one year, we added 13 new product categories and new features like gift cards, millions more local and international items to our selection, and free delivery options to all customers on Amazon.sg. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we took swift action to ensure sufficient inventory and delivery slots so customers in Singapore can purchase essentials from the safety of their homes. We continue to work with local partners and leverage our international supply chain to help customers adapt to the new normal of working and studying from home.

Nurturing local businesses

At Amazon, we believe that seller success is our success. The launch of Amazon.sg opened doors not only for our customers but also for our local small and medium businesses (SMBs). Launching their business on Amazon.sg, is a first step to selling with Amazon. SMBs familiar with selling on Amazon, can easily unlock the global opportunity to reach millions of customers around the world through our Global Selling offering. SMBs are a growing part of Amazon’s DNA and we remain committed to empower them on their digital transformation journey. We understand that the past few months have been particularly challenging for local retailers. We are working closely with government bodies—Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)—to enable local retailers that sell on Amazon.sg, tap into available support initiatives to digitize and diversify their revenue streams. We are also waiving seller subscription fees until the end of the year to help with cost savings for local businesses.

Over the past year, we have progressively launched new resources to help small and medium businesses like Epitex, Happyganics, and Porcelain, sell on Amazon. This includes the Amazon Seller App, online education portal Seller University, and the Seller Forum for SMBs to manage and grow their business based on their unique needs. Local businesses can also connect with the community of sellers on Amazon.sg via the Sell on Amazon Singapore Facebook page. We continue our promotion of local retailers with the launch of a dedicated “Shop Local” storefront on Amazon.sg to position them well for increased sales during Prime Day and through the holiday season.

Uplifting our community

As a Singaporean Amazonian, it’s personally rewarding for me to grow the business to serve Singapore customers at the same time whilst giving back to Singaporeans and the local community.

In December 2019, we initiated our first wishlist program with Blessings in a Bag to help low-income families and underprivileged children. In 2020, we have grown the initiative with NVPC’s Company of Good to launch the Amazon X Retail for Good Wishlist campaign, encouraging shoppers to donate to charities – Blessings in a Bag, Children’s Wishing Well, The Food Bank Singapore, Singapore Red Cross, and our latest addition, SOSD – by purchasing items listed on their Amazon.sg wishlists. Singapore customers can simply click to purchase listed items which Amazon will deliver directly to their chosen charity.

Through the pandemic, we’ve met many likeminded people and organizations, dedicated to being a force for good in Singapore and supporting communities where we live and work. We are glad to lend a hand and support 20 nonprofit organizations and their COVID-19 relief efforts through monetary aid, in-kind donations of personal protective equipment, and donation of our delivery services with Community Flex.

We are committed to continue channeling our resources to deliver smiles to vulnerable communities, especially underprivileged children, this holiday season.

Looking ahead

We have a saying that “It’s always Day One” and indeed, with Year One under our belts, we are just getting started. As we gear up for our first Prime Day with Amazon.sg on 13 and 14 October 2020, I’d like to encourage you to enjoy shopping (and savings), support #shoplocal, and share with me your Amazon.sg experience.

Amazon.sg has been and continue to be a collective labour of love. Thank you for your continuous support and we look forward to bringing you greater shopping convenience and entertainment in the years ahead.