Opinion

Aldi Specialbuys: will shoppers buy discount online?

29 March 2016

Rupal Marthur IGD analyst
Rupal Mathur

IGD shopper insight manager Rupal Mathur has over 12 years’ experience of leading and delivering food and drink insights, with expertise of both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. In this opinion, she questions whether UK shoppers could be buying more non-food from discounters online in the near future as competition rises in the channel

Less than two months after Aldi launched online with wine, Aldi UK has expanded its online offer to include its popular non-food Specialbuys. But what are they, and what does this online expansion mean for Aldi and its market competitors?

What are Specialbuys?

Specialbuys are exclusive offers beyond Aldi's usual food and grocery products that change every week. Items range from clothing to homewares to DIY goods and everything in between, and have traditionally been available in store twice a week. Until now. Now, Specialbuys are also released online every Thursday and Sunday.

Specialbuys create a sense of excitement in store, allowing the experience to go beyond the regular food shop and launching them online takes that even further.

Although there are no concrete plans for a full online grocery service, Aldi is evidentially expanding its offer online and gaining expertise in this channel. For more information on its strategy visit the Aldi profile on IGD’s Retail Analysis.

aldispecialbuys1
Source: Aldi.co.uk

Shopper reaction to non-food ranges in discounters

Discount shoppers often tell us they enjoy shopping in food discount stores, particularly in the non-food section which brings a sense of newness and excitement for those visiting frequently. This drives footfall to Aldi and it does benefit from the impulse opportunity.

Our food discount tracking (Oct-Dec 2015) shows that 28% of food discount shoppers visit Aldi to buy non-food items and that 18% of them will buy more non-food from discounters in the future, so it makes sense to expand reach through online.

What’s the growth potential of online grocery retailing?

We already know that online grocery could deliver huge potential for the industry. Some research IGD published last year shows that 42% of British grocery shoppers could potentially be converted to online shopping in the future. Combine this with the current level of regular online grocery shoppers – around a quarter – and this means a significant number of shoppers could be shopping online for their groceries in the not too distant future.

aldispecialbuys2
Source: IGD Research

What’s the growth potential of online in the food discount market?

Other recent research we have conducted shows there’s significant opportunity for the discounters.

A quarter of main grocery shoppers claimed they would buy non-food from discounters online, and specifically 44% of British grocery shoppers say they would buy something from Aldi or Lidl online in the future, if the service was offered.

aldispecialbuys3
Source: IGD Research

What’s next?

As competition increases in the discount channel, both food and variety store discounters need to work closer together with suppliers to enhance their offer and drive shopper loyalty. The discount sector is being disrupted by new entrants such as EasyFoodstore and channels are blurring even further as discounters move online. To stay ahead, understanding the shopper mindset and needs to be able to tailor your offering and remain relevant is key.

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