Lidl is the first Belgian supermarket chain to send its promotional leaflets via Whatsapp to customers who choose this option. The discounter wants to further reduce the distribution of paper leaflets.
Trend towards digitalisation
Three out of four Belgians regularly use WhatsApp, so Lidl saw an opportunity to reach customers digitally and further reduce the distribution of the printed door-to-door leaflet. The discounter feels strengthened in this trend towards digitisation by the growing number of users of the Lidl Plus app – it already has one million users. Lidl is the first in Belgium to use Whatsapp for leaflet distribution, but Aldi already does the same in Luxembourg, as does Rewe in Germany.
“We know that promotions are more relevant to consumers than ever. Moreover, our customers are increasingly using digital channels to look for those interesting discounts. By now also offering them via WhatsApp, we are making their lives easier. – but only if the customers themselves want it”, spokesperson Isabelle Colbrandt explains.
Paper leaflet questioned
In May, the discounter already announced that it would stop sending paper leaflets in the cities of Antwerp, Ghent, Liège and Namur, together accounting for 10 % of the total Belgian circulation. After evaluating this pilot project in the coming months, the retailer may start adding new municipalities.
More and more retailers across Europe are questioning the future of the paper leaflet, due to its high environmental impact and cost. Moreover, many cities are taking measures against distributing free door-to-door publications, or impose taxes on them. In Belgium, for example, Carrefour stopped distributing paper leaflets in Brussels and Antwerp, while Delhaize cut circulation by half.