When it comes to online shopping in Singapore, there are two sites that everyone must consider: Amazon and Lazada. Given this, it's not surprising that both of these companies offer unique subscription plans that offer free delivery and other services. But, is one really better than the other? Below, we use data to compare the value of Amazon Prime and LiveUp memberships to help Singaporean consumers knowingly decide whether they should sign up for one over the other, or even both.
Highlights of Amazon Prime & LiveUp
Both Amazon Prime and LiveUp offer a way to receive free deliveries on many of your online orders while also providing extra perks on other online services.
For example, Amazon Prime, which costs S$2.99 per month with a 30-day free trial period, provides free shipping on all orders over S$40 for items available locally and for orders over S$60 for items from the US site. On top of this, you also get to enjoy free access to Amazon Prime Video and Music, which rival the best alternatives like Netflix and Spotify.
Similarly, LiveUp, which costs S$28.8/year with a 60-day free trial period, provides free shipping from Lazada and Redmart, with additional vouchers and free trial memberships with Netflix, ofo, foodpanda and Grab.
No Clear Winner in Price or Value
Perhaps because these companies have delicately designed their packages to be unique, there's no clear winner between the two programs in both price or value.
For instance, Amazon Prime will cost about S$75 over 26 months, while LiveUp costs slightly less at S$57.6 over the same period. However, Amazon Prime's online shopping independently seems to already more than justify its slight premium in pricing. For example, a lot of electronics and branded fashion goods were significantly cheaper on Amazon than on Lazada, even after accounting for the impact of importing tax and Lazada's 5% rebate. Not only that, Amazon Prime provides free access to high quality video and music entertainment, while LiveUp members will have to cough up another S$219.6 for Netflix even after they enjoy it free of charge for 6-months.
That's not to say that LiveUp is less valuable than Amazon Prime. In fact, online shoppers can greatly benefit from LiveUp because it provides access to really cheap items that aren't typically offered on Amazon. For example, Lazada's Taobao collection features a slew of fashion and household items under S$50 whose prices can't be matched with most things on Amazon. Not only that, LiveUp could be a great way to save for those who frequently utilise local online services like Redmart, foodpanda, Grab and ofo. For instance, Redmart's prices are competitive with Amazon Prime Now's grocery offerings, and Amazon currently doesn't offer a way for Singaporeans to save on transportation or food delivery. Furthermore, LiveUp is also still cheaper (albeit by a small amount) than Amazon Prime, especially for those who don't need an online video service.
Choice Comes Down to Personal Preference
Therefore, when you are trying to choose between signing up for Amazon Prime and LiveUp, the decision ultimately comes down to your personal preference. In fact, choosing between the two is quite similar to the process you should take when you are comparing credit cards. For example, if you mostly shop online for cheap clothes and non-branded household items like cutting boards or toothpaste dispenser, LiveUp can be a very valuable service to help you save on shipping costs. On the other hand, if you tend to shop more for electronics and expensive brand items, Amazon Prime seems to be the better option. Similarly, if you prefer discounts on food deliveries and ofo or Grab rides over free online videos, LiveUp could be a better choice. If you care about all of the above, you can also apply for both of the memberships.
How to Save More on Online Purchases
When tech companies are competing for your wallet, they tend to provide many venues for consumers to save. If you decide to try out either of the subscription, you can still optimise your finances even further by using proper credit cards to register for the online service. For example, credit cards from Citibank provide additional 3% on of your purchases with LiveUp merchants like Lazada and Redmart. If you decide to go with Amazon Prime, you can still earn rewards on those purchases with online shopping credit cards, especially those that provide extra rebates on foreign currency transactions online.