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E-discounters: Will the advent of Aldi and Lidl online break down the German discounters biggest barrier, that of location?

• 27% of Aldi shoppers claim that they are likely to shop online at Aldi if the service was made available to them
• Similarly, 22% of Lidl shoppers claim that they are likely to shop online at Lidl if the service was made available to them
• This interest level is mitigated by a resistance to online shopping in general. When we look at Aldi and Lidl shoppers that already order their groceries online, elsewhere, online interest rises to 44% for Aldi and 39% for Lidl
• Online interest amongst non-discounters is unsurprisingly much lower. 11% of people who do not currently shop at Aldi would be very likely to shop online at Aldi if they could; and 10% of people who do not currently shop at Lidl would be very likely to shop online at Lidl if they could
• However, the move to online should encourage a small selection of non-discounters to convert, in particular those who already shop online as interest rises to 25% for Aldi online and 23% for Lidl online amongst non-customers who already order their groceries online elsewhere
• The move should also encourage a selection of online non-shoppers who have not yet converted to Aldi and Lidl because of location. 31% of online grocery shoppers who do not currently shop at Aldi because there is not one nearby would be very keen to buy their goods from Aldi online, if this service was available
• Similarly 28% of online grocery shoppers who do not currently shop at Lidl because there is not one nearby would be very keen to buy from Lidl online, if this service was available

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 (1). 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.

Results based on Impact Research survey May 2015. Powered by Toluna. Base size n= 1,725
Aldi shoppers = those who have shopped in Aldi January - April. n= 725
Lidl shoppers = those who have shopped in Lidl January - April. n=629
‘Likely’ defined as top 3 box of scale 0-10 where 0 = very unlikely, and 10 = very likely

-ends-

For more information please contact
Darryl Swift
Managing Director
Impact Research
Telephone: +44 (0) 1932 226793
Email: darryl.swift@impactmr.com

REFERENCE:
(1) http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/channels/supermarkets/sainsburys-...

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