Analysts see e-commerce growth at Aldi UK

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Aldi and Deliveroo partnership

Analytics firm Global Data looked at e-commerce trends at some United Kingdom grocers, including Aldi, who is expanding its delivery partnership with Deliveroo that the experts said could have more impact on online shopping this holiday season.

Global Data found in a Nov. 10 consumer survey on COVID-19 that nearly a third of U.K. shoppers were spending more time shopping for groceries online now during the pandemic and 41% anticipating continuing to browse online going forward.

The firm said Aldi UK grocery sales increased from 7.3% in 2019 to 12.5% in 2020 and expects to reach 13.1% in 2021. 

Global Data cited the partnership with Deliveroo helping to deliver groceries and more at 130 of its 900 stores in the United Kingdom, expecting to reach 200 more stores before Christmas. 

Global Data looked at early activity and found that online grocery shopping has almost doubled at Aldi UK stores in 2020 compared to last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The move online has put discounters in a precarious position, as their business models had been more focused on streamlining the brick-and-mortar experience, often with minimal, if any, online service and razor-thin margins,” said Ryan Whittaker, consumer analyst, GlobalData, London. “Aldi has experienced at least a decade of strong growth but was hindered during the pandemic due to limited online services. Aldi has once again shown its agility, however, by partnering with Deliveroo and expanding the scheme in preparation for Christmas.”

Looking further at online grocery sales, Global Data predicted e-commerce to grow by 86.5% in 2020, with a cumulative value of £20.9 billion. Retail giant Tesco reported a 69% growth in online sales in 2020, the firm said.

“As consumers stay home and cook more food in the run-up to Christmas, they will rely on e-commerce platforms to buy groceries, meaning discounters need to provide deliveries and click and collect services to compete,” Whittaker said. “Deliveroo is an excellent choice from the consumer’s perspective; Aldi can list hundreds of items on the Deliveroo app, which are then picked by Aldi staff and delivered by riders in as little as 20 minutes, at a cost of £4.99. A just-in-time delivery system is extremely convenient for consumers in the run-up to Christmas, when deliveries increase and delivery slots become scarce. That convenience could absolutely make the difference for U.K. consumers.”