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Retail review: Aldi Wines, Mobile score Rob Thurner – (IRM57)


Aldi, the German value supermarket chain, operates on a succinct and very successful mission: be as cheap as possible, practical and with no frills. The approach has proven very successful – driving double-digit sales growth and building Aldi’s consumer base, which has evolved from its core value-based demographic, to include a significant AB social category consumer. The typical Aldi customer is female, over the age of 60, with less than £100 monthly discretionary income.

In-store Aldi has altered its stock to cater for its new audience – including increased luxury items, and its recent launch of ecommerce, which cost £35m to set up, focuses on selling wines by the case – a great hook for the AB consumer, and is soon to launch its famous Special Buys i.e. random appliances and later groceries.

According to Aldi’s UK CEO Matthew Barnes, in 2015 “one in every 13 bottles of wine purchased in the UK was bought from an Aldi store” and clearly the brand is seeking to extend this popularity online.

Aldi has a branded app, though there’s no ecommerce functionality, so for the purpose of this review, we’ll be exploring the mobile site via smartphone.

First Impressions: 3/5

One of the store’s founding principles is its basic store layout and this approach is extended to its online presence. Overall functionality is excellent and the user journey is clean and clear. Aldi has invested in a mobile optimised site and I’m impressed by the ease of the user experience.

A search bar pops up quickly on the homepage, or users can access the wine section using the key navigation tool – an expandable ‘hamburger’ menu icon, which sits top left of the home screen. This ease of navigation and overall site simplicity is testament to the brand’s understanding of its consumer – predominantly non-digital natives – who value function over fuss when purchasing online. Wine is the first product category to launch and groceries are also planned. It will be interesting to see whether/how the site UX changes when catering for the grocery consumer.

Discounts such as free delivery are offered for first orders and a horizontal banner clearly displays the offer on the homepage. Other homepage content includes curated product shots enticing new users.

Branding is as streamlined as the Aldi in-store experience and colour is kept to the key colours. This no frills works well for mobile.

Areas for improvement

Focus here is all about pushing to purchase. However, given that there’s a Wine Club, which is clearly built for consumer retention, there’s also an opportunity to build the brand database – which I feel Aldi is not currently maximising. The subscribe option is at the bottom of a fairly lengthy page. It would be advantageous to have a subscribe option pop-up for new users, at different points on the user journey.

Search & Navigation: 3/5

Aldi Wines is easily searchable on Google. The site has functional search and navigation and though I like the side-loading menu, this ‘hamburger’ approach risks content becoming buried. To reach a shoppable product page the user has to click through two pages. To ease the path to purchase, an update could be to reduce the scale of the wines product page banner, so that the ‘shop by colour’ option appears higher on the page, which would make it an easier prompt for users to purchase. Once on a product page, the filter options are clear and easy.

Though the ecommerce option is limited, there’s a lot of compelling content and I particularly like the Meet Our Suppliers section, and the easy links to in-store special buys, offering a rounded consumer experience that drives interest back in store too. The alternative Discover More options are also neat, showing Aldi’s sponsorship of the Team GB Olympics. Clicking through takes me to the team page, highlighting Aldi athlete ambassadors etc. As the supermarket continues its quest to beat the traditional UK ‘top four’, there looks to be a great future in this type of branded content and I look forward to seeing where the brand takes it and how else it nurtures advocacy.

Areas for improvement

The Lot Series doesn’t load for mobile and I can’t pinch to expand content. Shame as the video loads quickly and plays perfectly, so perhaps a tweak can address this. On refreshing twice, the page loads and is full of engaging content.

On the Meet Our Suppliers pages, I would prefer to see more professional photographs of the suppliers, but that’s a personal aesthetic preference. I think these informal photos are fine for social channels, but on a branded website I would prefer to see more uniform content.

My only criticism here is that the homepage scroll is quite long, and to reach the ‘follow us on social’ tools, the user has a long scroll down to reach them. Clicking through leads to a ‘social centre’. This slightly convoluted approach is a little off-putting and offers too much distraction.

Products & Categories: 2/5

The homepage clearly shows what the site offers and its breakdown wines by the case of 6, online exclusives and free delivery. This ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach is really refreshing.

When clicking through to the wine page, the user is greeted with a dynamic landing page, with multiple calls to action and a clear way to search by wine colour. This is presented in a basic but visual way, which works well.

Getting into product pages I note wine descriptions are filtered for taste, alcoholic content. This no fuss approach is really useful. Photography is clear, with multiple product shots. Users can double tab to enlarge an image and pinch to magnify further.

It shows confidence in the product and implies the brand’s respect to its consumer and is particularly important for Aldi needing credibility to appeal a more upmarket audience.

Areas for improvement

The social sharing tools show below the product – as you would expect, but the icons are tiny & it’s quite hard to select the one you want.

I didn’t see any option to Shop by Most Popular Products which could certainly tempt me. Nor did I see a Favourite or Save For Later option on product pages. I really like the opportunity to rate and review on the product pages.

Personalisation is limited. Users see product suggestions and recommendations underneath their current selection, but it doesn’t appear to be particularly targeted. If I’m purchasing a £100+ case of Champagne Blanc de Blanc, am I going to be interested in a £44 Prosecco case? Probably not. It could be interesting to include a product comparison tool earlier in the journey too.

Check Out: 4/5

Once I’ve input my email address I’m asked to confirm my age – standard practise and quick and easy to do via standard format drop down and select boxes. I can sign in or register to my account or I can proceed as a visitor, which I often choose when purchasing from a new site for the first time – I’m an elusive shopper.

Aldi is treating me to free delivery on my order as a launch offer and I’m reminded throughout my checkout process of this great little incentive. I wasn’t prompted to redeem discounts, but frankly I wouldn’t expect to – this is discount retailing and I’m purchasing wine that’s under £5 a bottle!

Payment and check out is quick and easy with limited steps. It feels secure and my automatically-generated order confirmation email arrives immediately. It isn’t particularly exciting, but it’s simple, provides the information I need and I checked out in far less time than it takes on several other mobile ecommerce sites.

Areas for improvement


Post Purchase: 3/5

I’m impressed by the ease of my purchase. Aldi offers all usual home delivery as well as pick-up from the CollectPlus parcel service. All options are clearly displayed. Unlike other supermarkets, there’s not an option to select the delivery day and time, but this is likely to be launched with groceries.

Areas for improvement

I would like to receive some context around my order – perhaps a call to action, to subscribe to the newsletter or Wine Club or some re-appropriated content about the vineyards which produced my wine.

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