In the latest of our features on the phenomenon of discounter retailers, we spoke to 1,725 shoppers to investigate how popular an e-discounter offering would be amongst customers and non-customers.
The UK’s grocery market is rapidly changing. Recent market share figures* show the sales growth of Aldi and Lidl reaching 17% and 16% respectively over the past 12 weeks. Aldi and Lidl, successful so far in converting customers to their mantra of cheap, good value produce are only now flirting with the idea of online grocery delivery in the UK. With Aldi announcing their plans to start selling wine online next year, we can only speculate as to if and when discounters make their move online complete. A survey by Impact Research looked at the potential impact of such ventures in the UK.
Discounter shoppers, renowned for being savvy deal hunters would surely welcome the introduction of a complete online service in Aldi or Lidl. Impact Research’s study shows that less than a third of discount shoppers say that they were very likely to buy their groceries online from the discounters if the service was available to them. For Aldi and Lidl customers that do not already shop online, it is unlikely that the discounters by themselves are a strong enough force to convert traditional shoppers to online shopping. Amongst people who already shop online, interest levels are much higher. They rise to 44% for Aldi and 39% for Lidl. With the German discounter’s growth in the UK, these figures should incite fear in the hearts of other online grocery retailers. If the big four want to maintain their hold over people who like to shop online, they should watch out.
What about people who don’t currently shop at the discounters? Will the advent of E-discounters open the (fridge) door to a whole new section of customers yet to convert? 11% of people who don’t already shop at Aldi would be very likely to buy their groceries from Aldi online and 10% of non-Lidl customers would take advantage of this service.
So will Aldi and Lidl win any new customers by making this move? Impact Research’s first feature into the phenomenon of the discounters highlighted that a key barrier for many non-discounters is the ideologically barren issue of location. Once this key barrier is removed by bringing Aldi or Lidl’s offerings to laptop screens, will the discounters succeed in making even greater inroads to the UK? In theory, yes, amongst people who are already comfortable with online shopping. When we look at non-discounters who buy their groceries online, interest rises to 25% for Aldi online and 23% for Lidl online. When we also factor in customers who don’t shop at Aldi and Lidl because of the inconvenient location of their stores, online interest rises to 31% for Aldi and 28% for Lidl. The move to online would coax some specific groups of people to convert to the discounters. However, the bottom line is that there is still a section of the population who for various reasons are resistant to the pull of the discounters, or for that matter, online shopping.
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