Aussies are hyperventilating over Aldi’s announcement that it’s finally headed online, describing the supermarket’s announcement as a “game changer”, the “best news ever” and a “dream come true”.
The bargain supermarket signalled it would dip into online retail with Special Buys and alcohol to start.
It sent excited shoppers into a frenzy with social media users cheering that there would be “no more Saturday morning queues” and it would be “dangerous” for their wallets being able to bargain hunt online.
“OMG! Aldi Champers home delivery!” wrote one woman.
“No more queuing for special buys and then fighting for them”, another user said.
“Love their special buys especially their kitchen and Homewares,” one user gushed.
“Yay. No more early morning trips,” celebrated one woman.
“The universe heard our convo the other day”, one woman said excitedly to her friend.
Hundreds of people were tagging friends on Facebook to let them know about the news.
But others suggested the Special Buys would “probably never be available online”.
“Now we’ll have to listen to people whinging things were sold out online in seconds. It’s not going to change the amount of Special Buys products they have,” pointed out one social media user.
“How would even special buys even work, when they only have limited stock?” asked another. “Will it come from one hub or from local Aldi stores?”
One woman questioned whether the strategy was a smart idea.
“Isn’t the whole point of the special buys to attract people to the supermarket in the hope they will purchase some groceries and then convert?”
Some users expressed their hope for groceries to be available online soon too and Aldi’s CEO Tom Daunt indicated it could be a possibility in the future.
But Professor Gary Mortimer, retail expert from the Queensland University of Technology, warned that if Aldi’s groceries went online then it would increase prices.
”They may choose to charge a fee to cover the cost of picking, packing and delivery,” he told news.com.au.
“Where people have seen lots of Coles and Woolworths little trucks driving around suburbs and delivering groceries, Aldi would need to purchase assets, employ drivers or use a third party delivery provider, which again increases costs.”
Prof Mortimer said both Woolworths and Coles have invested millions in improving their online grocery shopping.
Coles had teamed up with an third party called Ocado to construct two fully automated fulfilment centres to speed up and grow their online channels, he said, while Woolworths are building three new centres and are also creating mini warehouses to bolt on to the back of larger stores.
“Aldi is able to offer low prices because of their business model with a very small range of privately owned products where customers pick those products out of literally cardboard containers or they are displayed on pallets like their soft drink and laundry detergent,” he explained.
“When you move online all that has to be done by a team member, whether that is done at a store or in a distribution centre at a central location so the costs of providing that service ramp up pretty quickly.”
Other challenges of going online were ensuring stock was available to avoid disappointed customers and the costs involved with returns and exchanges, due to an incorrect product or quality, he added.