Following a successful trial for store staff, Aldi has launched its click and collect service to customers.
What does Aldi's click and collect look like?
The click and collect service is currently available from the Loughborough, Allendale Road store. Aldi's website states it is rolling out the service to more stores, the location of which have not yet been announced.
The majority of the retailer's range is available for click and collect, including produce, chilled and frozen and health and beauty. If items are not available substitutions will be offered, if the product chosen is more expensive the shopper will pay for the price of the original item, and if the product is cheaper, they will pay the cheaper price. This shows the retailer's commitment to value.
Shoppers can book one hour slots for collection between 9am and 9pm Monday - Saturday, and 10am and 4pm on Sunday.
If shoppers experience issues with any of the products that are not raised at collection they will need to return the items into store.
What are the opportunities and challenges?
There is a growing demand from Aldi shoppers for an online service. Our ShopperVista data has shown 41% of Aldi shoppers would be interested in shopping online with the retailer, compared to 33% in 2019. Therefore there is a huge opportunity for the retailer to satisfy this need, and potentially engage with new shoppers.
However, the costs of operating an online service are high, with picking and packing placing extra demand on stores resources. This is a challenge for Aldi, who's main focus is efficiency.
One option is to pass these costs onto the customer, as we have seen the retailer do by adding a £3.99 charge for its click and collect service. This is not only higher than its competitors, many of whom offer the service for free, but also impacts its value proposition. Our ShopperVista data shows the top store choice driver for shopping with Aldi is 'it helps me save money', therefore this charge may be a barrier.
Despite the many potential online operating models we believe that click and collect is still the best option for Aldi. It is efficient and does not have the last mile costs and complexities of home delivery, and is therefore more cost effective.
What does the future look like?
Although Aldi has been operating in the online space since 2016, Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated its move into e-commerce, as the demand for online shopping has dramatically increased. Since April the retailer has launched essentials food parcels and partnered with Deliveroo in response to the growing demand for a convenient and safe way to shop other than in store. We expect to see this development continue as the retailer tests and learns from new concepts.
It will be interesting to see if Lidl responds to these latest developments. Although the fellow discounter has said it is "actively exploring" ecommerce in the UK we have not yet seen any developments beyond this. There is potential for Lidl to use a third party operator as it does in Ireland with Buymie, although the retailer is currently more focused on increasing its digital services, with the recent launch of Lidl Plus in the UK.
Looking for more insight?
Subscribers can access an in-depth look at Aldi and Lidl's ecommerce development in our Online: discount's biggest challenge? report.
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