We said it just a few weeks ago…and clearly Aldi is listening to us! The discount retailer has announced that they will no longer be coughing in the dust way behind supermarket giants’ virtual shops. Aldi is finally going online!
We suspected that Aldi’s move online would happen sooner or later. But the expense of setting up the service from scratch would have been daunting and would certainly hit their bottom line initially. We know that Aldi is all about cost-savings so we’re not surprised the company has been dragging its heels on this one.
But it now seems that shopping at Aldi from the comfort of your home is closer than we initially thought. The supermarket has hinted that they will set up online shopping starting with Special Buys and alcohol.
Oh. My. Goodness! Just imagine not getting up at the crack of dawn to join the snaking queue to get your mitts on a thermal ski glove or not getting elbowed out the way in a mission to nab the last cheap-as-chips TV. It will be just glorious simply hopping onto the Aldi website and popping a couple of Caviar creams into my virtual shopping basket, to be delivered directly to my doorstep.
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Special Buys First
Aldi CEO, Tom Daunt, said the store would first dip their toes into online shopping with the popular Special Buys and alcohol, before following this up with a full grocery offer.
It has been suggested that the store may launch its online service selling its frenzy-inducing Winter ski gear.
“We had a little bit of a riot last year when we withdrew it, but I think we did so on very understandable circumstances,” he told news.com.au.
No More Ski Craziness
Mr. Daunt said that the supermarket’s annual ski sale will be back this year and will arrive in stores in the second half of May. So we could expect the online version to go live in a similar time frame.
Professor Gary Mortimer, retail expert from the Queensland University of Technology, told News Corp that Aldi’s decision to start with online Special Buys and wine is a smart move.
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“Those types of products, particularly general merchandise and apparel special buys, tend to be the type of product that you may move online to capture a new geographic market,” Prof. Mortimer said.
“So Aldi currently isn’t in the NT or Alice Springs or Tasmania, but if they were to go online with just their special buys they would immediately capture that new geographic custom.”
However, he did warn that not only would providing an online service would be costly to set-up but it also may cause Aldi to lose its key point of differentiation. There aren’t any other retailers that attract massive crowds twice a week to fight over limited stock. If Special Buys are available in larger quantities online, then this may also, in turn, reduce the demand for these items..or it may be the opposite and Aldi will make heaps of money as customers don’t have to face a catfight to get their product.
Going online also means that Aldi will be in direct competition with all the other big online sellers – Amazon, Catch and Dan Murphy.
Lose Its Difference
“Aldi’s growth has been supported with the clear point of differentiation. It’s a very different experience shopping at Aldi and that’s what draws customers to the store – the lines at the front of the store on Saturday morning to capture those Special Buys is a part of the experience of shopping at Aldi,” said Prof. Mortimer.
“If you move online you lose that point of difference and I think that’s possibly why they have been hesitant to move online even until today.”
Do you think it’s a good move for Aldi to launch online? Would you buy Special Buys and alcohol from Aldi Online? Tell us in the comments below.