Aussies are hyperventilating over Aldi’s announcement that it’s finally online, describing the supermarket’s announcement as a “game changer,” the “best news ever,” and a “dream come true.”
The bargain supermarket signaled that it would dive into online retailing with special buys and alcohol.
It frenzied excited shoppers and social media users cheered that there would be “no more queues on Saturday mornings” and that it would be “dangerous” for their wallets to hunt for bargains online.
“OH MY GOD! Aldi Champers home delivery!” Wrote a woman.
“No more queuing for special purchases and then fighting for them,” said another user.
“I love their special purchases, especially their kitchen and housewares,” enthused one user.
“Yay. No more early morning trips,” celebrated a woman.
“The universe heard our convo the other day,” one woman said excitedly to her friend.
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Hundreds of people tagged friends on Facebook to let them know about the news.
However, others said the Special Buys would “probably never be available online”.
“Now we have to listen to the people who sold out online in seconds. The number of Special Buys products will not change as a result, ”emphasized a social media user.
“How would even special purchases work if they had a limited inventory?” asked another. “Will it come from a hub or from local Aldi stores?”
One woman asked if the strategy was a smart idea.
“Isn’t the point of special purchases to lure people into the supermarket in the hope that they’ll buy some groceries and then convert?”
Some users expressed hope that groceries could soon be available online as well, and Aldi’s CEO Tom Daunt suggested that it could be in the future.
However, Professor Gary Mortimer, retail expert at the Queensland University of Technology, warned that if Aldi went online, it would raise prices.
“You can charge a fee to cover the cost of picking, packaging, and delivery,” he told news.com.au.
“Where people have seen lots of little Coles and Woolworths trucks going through suburbs delivering groceries, Aldi would have to buy assets, hire drivers, or use a third party, which in turn increases costs.”
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Prof. Mortimer said both Woolworths and Coles have invested millions in improving their online grocery shopping.
Woolworths has teamed up with a third-party provider called Ocado to set up two fully automated fulfillment centers to accelerate and expand their online channels. Coles is building three new centers and creating mini-warehouses that can be attached to the back of larger shops.
“Aldi has the ability to offer low prices on a very small selection of privately owned products because of its business model, where customers choose those products from literally cardboard containers or display them on pallets like their soft drink and laundry detergent,” he said.
“When you go online, one team member has to do everything, be it in a store or in a distribution center, in one central location, so the cost of providing this service goes up pretty quickly.”
Other challenges with going online have been making sure inventory is available to avoid disappointed customers and the costs associated with returns and exchanges due to the wrong product or quality, he added.