Over the last 12 months, Lidl has expanded its online presence from four countries to 11, including grocery ecommerce operations in five countries. With the discounter accelerating its online expansion we look in-depth at its presence across Europe and the US.
Lidl’s online presence
Since the beginning of 2019, Lidl has launched grocery ecommerce operations in three countries and a non-grocery range online in Poland. The pace of its online store openings is accelerating in Europe, aligned with its current strategy to offer more digital solutions to shoppers. Lidl uses online non-grocery, as an extension of its physical stores, providing additional ranges to its shoppers.
The map below summarises Lidl’s online presence for its grocery and non-grocery ranges across Europe and the US.
Partnerships for online food delivery
In most markets where it offers online food, Lidl partners with well-established online supermarkets, such as Lola Market in Spain and Boxed in the US, instead of managing the process itself. This is an efficient and safe way to offer a new service to shoppers thanks to very limited investment required.
With online supermarkets managing orders and deliveries, Lidl doesn’t have to change its supply chain or invest in new facilities as products will be picked in store. These partnerships will also provide Lidl with a better understanding of shoppers and potentially improve its ranges and services.
In Italy and Spain, Lidl partnered with companies managing online grocery for other retailers, enabling it to also compete with these retailers, online. In every market where it offers online grocery, Lidl uses the same strategy. It tests the delivery in a limited area, usually a major city, before expanding to other cities. Tests in Belgium and Italy are proving successful and there are plans to expand the services to more cities.
Future online developments in Europe
Earlier in May 2019, Schwarz Group, Lidl’s parent company, stated that investments and developments in digital will be an area of focus in 2019. Other markets are likely to follow, Lidl France has already mentioned it has plans to expand its ecommerce operations by 2020.
Currently the UK is the only major European market where Lidl doesn’t have any online presence. With all other major retailers offering online solutions, it appears as a country to watch for Lidl’s next non-grocery online store.
On top of these online stores’ developments, Lidl also invests in digital and payment solutions. It currently tests new payment solutions such as SHOP&GO in Paris and self-checkouts in several European cities.
On the digital side, Lidl continues the expansion of its loyalty programme, Lidl Plus, now available in five countries, after being launched in 2018. Following the success of the app in the different markets, we anticipate other countries will launch it by the end of 2019 as part of the discounter’s global strategy to strengthen its relationship with shoppers.
IGD can support all your online needs. For short-term success, we can advise you on how to sell more online. For the longer-term, we can help you prepare for the future and the new opportunities e-commerce brings, such as omnichannel, rapid delivery and social commerce. For more information, get in touch with Milos Ryba, Head of Retail Strategic projects, [email protected].
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