As e-commerce and delivery ramp up in preparation for Christmas, Covid-19 and lockdowns, Aldi has expanded its tie-up with Deliveroo to almost 130 of its 900 stores in the UK, and will extend a click and collect trial to an additional 200 stores by Christmas.

The pandemic has prioritised the e-commerce channel for many consumers. No longer are many people as willing or able to patronise brick-and-mortar stores due to the looming threat of infection. Lockdown, furloughs and working from home have encouraged many consumers online, almost doubling the e-commerce share of the grocery market.

GlobalData’s most recent survey (published November 10) found that *26% of UK consumers were spending more time shopping for groceries online, and furthermore, *241% of UK consumers will continue to browse for products online rather than in stores in the wake of the pandemic. While Covid-19 may have sped up the adoption of the channel by UK consumers, the impact on online grocery sales is predicted to be significant and lasting.

The move online has put the discounters in a precarious position as their pre-pandemic business models been more focused on streamlining the brick-and-mortar experience, often with minimal if any online service and razor-thin margins. Aldi has experienced at least a decade of strong growth but has been hindered by the lack of significant online presence as the pandemic hit. Aldi has once again shown their innovative nous, however, by partnering with Deliveroo and expanding the scheme in preparation for Christmas.

As consumers continue to stay at home and cook more food at home in the run-up to Christmas, the more they are going to use e-commerce platforms. the more opportunities the discounters can provide for consumers to get deliveries or click and collect, the more they will be able to move into this very timely and lucrative channel. Deliveroo is an excellent choice from the consumer’s perspective; they can choose from hundreds of items on the Deliveroo app, which are picked by Aldi staff and then delivered by riders in as little as 20 minutes at a cost of £4.99. In addition to providing an initial online offering, Deliveroo’s integration also extremely convenient in the run up to Christmas for both consumer and store. That could absolutely make the difference for UK consumers, and utilising low-cost couriers presents a significant opportunity for other discounters and smaller grocery businesses, both during the pandemic and afterwards.

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