Aldi and Lidl are preparing to push further into online grocery delivery after losing out to more digitally focused supermarkets during lockdown.
The pair of German discounters have until now shunned online grocery delivery to protect their margins and avoid the high cost of delivering fresh food, which is largely incompatible with their business models, according to a Reuters report.
However, the spike in demand for home deliveries during lockdown is largely predicted to continue long after measures are relaxed, as many older shoppers become accustomed to digital shopping.
According to the latest data from Kantar and Nielsen, Aldi and Lidl’s usually dramatic market share growth has been stunted due to their lack of online services, while online grocery’s market share has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.
This has forced the pair to explore new methods of providing online delivery while maintaining low costs.
“The coronavirus outbreak is likely to accelerate the digital transformation,” research group IGD’s analyst Maxime Delacour said.
“We’re expecting to see many more e-commerce developments from both retailers in the immediate future.”
In the UK Aldi has partnered with delivery giant Deliveroo to offer home delivery to hundreds of thousands of shoppers for the first time, and says if the service proves successful it could be rolled out to all of its 875 UK stores.
In the US it has launched a curbside pick-up service which will be available in 600 of its stores by the end of July.
Aldi’s US chief executive Jason Hart said: “Our curbside grocery pick-up pilot was quickly embraced by our customers and demand for this service has continued to increase”.
Meanwhile its rival Lidl has begun testing a new click & collect initiative at a select number of stores in Poland.
Customers can order their items online to be picked by Lidl staff, and pay for items upon a collection time of their choice.
In early May, it was revealed that Lidl’s parent company Schwarz Group is taking on Amazon by launching its own cloud computing service for third party retailers.
Schwarz Group, which owns both Lidl and Kaufland, is launching its own rival to Amazon Web Services (AWS) following the recent acquisition of software specialist Camao IDC
In the US it has also partnered with third part delivery firm Shipt to offer home delivery, after singing similar deals with partners in Spain and Ireland last year.