Aldi is preparing a future in eCommerce: the German discounter will soon open a pilot web shop in the United Kingdom. The British market, already very eager on buying online, should be the ideal testing ground before future expansion.
United Kingdom is "ideal testing ground"
"The British market is an ideal testing ground for a large-scale pilot program: the British consumer is a huge online shopping fan. Online food sales have reached levels far beyond the current German trade levels", the company told German weekly magazine Lebensmittel Zeitung.
According to the same magazine, Aldi had been thinking of an eCommerce future for over 10 years, but faced huge pressure from its offline retailers - particularly in its home territory. Many of these retailers feel their turnover will face issues if the company launched a web shop.
Aldi (Aldi Süd to be exact) is allegedly also planning a web shop for Spain and Portugal, alongside its UK version. It remains to be seen of the more conservative Aldi Nord will follow suit, which means Belgium and the Netherlands will possibly have to wait as they are part of Aldi Nord's territory.
Click & Collect revolution
According to Planet Retail, eCommerce already represents 11 % of the United Kingdom's total retail turnover. "An online presence would give the discounter the opportunity of breaking into a new market, on top of its already aggressive expansion approach with its physical stores", research director Rob Gregory said.
Aldi will have to compete with some established online shops which are already fully focused on the "click & collect" pick-up points approach. The two biggest chains (Tesco and Asda) have launched their click & collect initiative back in 2010 and 2011 respectively: Tesco currently has over 300 pick-up points in its 2,650 stores, while Asda has the service in all of its 592 stores.