Retail review (IRM57)
As customers and retailers look across all touchpoints rather than siloed channels, so IR retailer reviews look at the entire retailer’s eco-system of website, mobile, the use of digital in store and their overall strategy. Longer in depth analysis of the four areas can be viewed online at www.internetretailing.net. This issue our reviewers examine Aldi Wine.
RETAIL STRATEGY 20/25
Managing Director, Transform
The scene is set for the start of the Aldi ecommerce journey and, when coupled with an aggressive store opening plan and a range of delivery/collection options, the foundations look solid from an infrastructure point of view. The challenge is perhaps more from a customer perspective – questions of who Aldi is targeting digitally, and delivering on expectations for that target market will require more finesse than the price-driven strategy they have executed in the store-only environment. Having launched the wine site, ‘special buys’ will be available to purchase online in Spring. Where non-Aldi customers may previously have visited the store to experience the broader range and attractive price propositions, now they can go online. Can the site do enough to convert them to the full grocery range when it becomes available, or is Aldi taking away a key reason for visiting a store?
WEB EFFECTIVENESS 14/25
Principal Consultant, User Vision
Aldi have created a basic site that performs as users require. There are no bells and whistles; it just does what it sets out to do – sell you crates of low priced wine. There are certainly areas across the site that could be improved from the uninspiring homepage and limiting page scroll stoppers to the repetition of copy and missing accessibility mark-up. Aldi do however make it easy enough to sign up and work through their checkout process, keeping the user well informed throughout of what they’re buying, what it’ll cost and the postage options.
Managing Partner, Burn The Sky
One of Aldi’s founding principles is its basic store layout and this approach is extended to its online presence. Although its branded app has no ecommerce functionality the company has invested in a mobile-optimised site and I’m impressed by the ease of the user experience. Overall functionality is excellent and the user journey is clean and clear.
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.
INTERNET RETAILING IN STORE 13/25
Consultant, Kurt Salmon
The online move for Aldi shows a significant change in the retail landscape, where it is now legitimate for discounters to have an online offering. The idea of charging for all deliveries (a similar model to John Lewis) is a bold one, compared to Poundland, which only charge for deliveries under a certain value. The push on private label differentiates Aldi from its UK competitors, which have resorted to copying its tiered premium-to-value model and focus on quality over branding. Aldi’s low price points, combined with the benefits it has gained by being last-to-market in the ecommerce arena, could see the discounter being just as disruptive online as on the high street.