It’s interesting to see how different supermarkets deal with the various issues they face on the current Australian grocery landscape. On the one hand right now you have Woolworths supermarket warning all shareholders that its first half year profits could plunge by up to 35%. Whilst on the other hand, if Aldi’s cheaper prices weren’t enough of a big thank you to customers, the company is now giving out free hampers too.
Members of the Aldi Testers Club are currently enjoying the free goodies that they received last month, part of an annual program that the German supermarket chain has come up with in the hopes that it will provide invaluable feedback which they can use for competitive advantage. Why have they done this, I hear you asking, and where can you get your free hamper?
To answer your first question, Aldi has plans to take over the $90 billion grocery industry in Australia by stealing customers from Coles and Woolworths. In response to the second question, Aldi has selected an elite group of 100 shoppers and provided them with one key goal: to sample and rate each and every product in the hampers for a period of one year. So unfortunately it's not a case of simply calling up and saying you'd like a free hamper, as you would have needed to apply to become a tester. The current round of registrations has closed, thus if you wish to apply for next years group of testers you'll have to wait until August 2016, I believe.
The Testers Club members are given two months to test, review and rate at least half of the products from the hamper pack. The hampers are broken down into 10 food and non-food items with a different one being sent out every quarter, totalling 4 deliveries per year. The German supermarket chain states on its websites; “Nothing’s more important to us than feedback from our customers, which is why we’re asking you to help us make our brands and products even better.”
The website continues to explain, “The Aldi Testers Club is a one-year program that gives you – our valued customers – the opportunity to not only trial our products for free, but also have a significant influence on our product development and selection of what products Aldi stores will stock in the future.”
The supermarket chain first announced the program back in August 2015 and when it did, it received over 17,000 applications from across all of Australia. The lucky 100 were selected by Aldi to best replicate the customer demographics that the chain has on the east coast of Australia.
This dynamic approach should help move the company forward and for a relatively small competitor in the Australian supermarket industry, it’s certainly a positive step towards acquiring new market share. A spokeswoman for Aldi described the program as a way for them “to meet the needs of tomorrow’s consumer. As we expand, it is our priority to remain nimble and responsive to the evolving behaviours of our customers.”
Aldi’s new Testers Club couldn’t have come at a better time for the brand, because as it plans to ramp up its expansion plans into new Australian territories its now in a better position to receive valuable feedback from customers. Next year the brand is opening 80 new stores across Oz. If you're somebody who's shopped with Aldi since they arrived, then you will also notice that they've been making minor adjustments within their stores too in order to make them appeal more towards middle class shoppers. The main reason they are doing this is because they want to have a greater appeal to Coles' and Woolies' customers.
An example of the new prototype store can be seen in McGraths Hill, in Sydney’s western suburbs. The first thing you will notice if you ever visit it will be the improved lighting and ambience along with the fresh fruit and vegetable stands being closer to the front of the store.
Aldi have also mentioned that they will be accepting more applications for the Testers Club in the near future, but a date has not been announced yet. However, you can guarantee that Buckscoop will keep you informed on any developments, because even I would love to become a member! Additionally, if you would like to find out any more information about the program, here's their FAQ's page.