Write ONE paragraph ONLY! Responding to this discussion.
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I personally shop at Aldi and am overall satisfied with them. I think their business model is smart and has allowed them to continue to grow in the US market. Requiring customers to put a quarter into the shopping cart to get one requires them to return the cart to the parking spot to get their quarter back. This eliminates the need for employees to go out to the parking lot and retrieve carts so they can focus on stocking products and checking customers out at the registers. They also do not stock the shelves like a standard grocery store and instead leave products in their original bulk packages/boxes and customers can pull from them. This also reduces cost and allows employees to focus on other things. The biggest benefit is the overall low cost of products, which is a direct result of the strategies I just mentioned.
I think one thing Aldi could do to modify its business-level strategy is to focus more on employee training and pay employees a little more. I have been to multiple Aldi locations and I typically have had a poor experience with the employees. They are not very friendly and are too focused on stocking and not helping customers. They are also too much in a hurry when they are checking you out and often just toss your items back into the cart at checkout. If employees are paid more and receive more training on customer service, it would make my overall experience better.
Looking at the five business-level strategies discussed in Chapter 4, I believe the one that most applies to Aldi is the Cost Leadership strategy. They have implemented effective relationships with suppliers and have limited the number of non-Aldi brands, which helps build and solidify those relationships, and helps Aldi achieve economies of scale with those products. Their operation is efficient, and processes are focused on reduced cost and increase efficiencies. As the text states, Aldi only advertises using its own resources and only has a few commercials and utilizes inserts in sales fliers – all targeted marketing techniques that are focused on cost.
I think that if Aldi switched over to the Differentiation strategy customers would be more satisfied. As mentioned before, they should focus more on employee training, which is true of the differentiation model. The technological investment piece of this strategy would also benefit the customer experience by possibly making the checkout process even easier. I recently used the in-store shopping app at Wegmans where you scan each of your items and put them into your own bags as you shop. When you are ready to check out, you simply scan a barcode on the screen at the self-checkout area, pay for your items, and leave. Your groceries are already bagged, exactly how you want them, and you do not have to wait in line. This type of technology investment for Aldi would absolutely help improve the customer experience.