Home Business Walmart vs. Aldi curbside pickup: photos, review, comparison

Walmart vs. Aldi curbside pickup: photos, review, comparison

113
0
Walmart vs. Aldi curbside pickup: photos, review, comparison

US Markets Loading…

H
M
S



Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


  • I tried curbside pickup at Aldi and Walmart to see how they really compare. 
  • Aldi’s app is glitchy, and the whole process has some kinks that need working out.
  • Walmart has curbside down perfectly, from ordering to grocery pickup. 

Curbside pickup got a major boost because of the pandemic as customers avoided going into stores.

The logo of Walmart is seen outside of a new Walmart Store in San Salvador

Reuters


I’ve been using curbside pickup at Walmart for over a year, so I decided to compare it to Aldi’s version. Here’s what Walmart’s pickup is like.



Walmart


When you open the app, it prompts you to choose your nearest location for pickup, or add your address for delivery.



Walmart


The time slots come in hour-long blocks. At the beginning of the pandemic it was hard to find a spot, but now I rarely need to book more than a day or two in advance to get my choice of time.



Walmart


Once you’ve selected a time, create your list. The app is organized into sections that change seasonally, like spring produce, but you can also search for items or look through past orders.



Walmart


See what’s available, and get suggestions for similar items to picks that are out of stock. Just add enough items to hit the $35 minimum and pickup is free.



Walmart


I also really like how easy it is to re-add the items I order the most, all gathered in one place.



Walmart


Once your order is created, you have until about midnight the night before to continue adding to your list. For me, this is one of the most useful features, because I almost always realize we need something else before it’s actually time to pick up groceries.



Walmart


A few hours before pickup, Walmart will send a text notifying you about any substitutions or weight adjustments on produce.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


I’ve always had good experiences with substitutions that are nearly identical to what I ordered, at the same cost.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Once you accept or reject any substitutions, the shoppers start preparing your order.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


You’ll also get a text letting you know your order is ready for pickup.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Check-in on the app when you leave home so Walmart has an estimate of when you’ll arrive.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


A side area of the parking lot was marked for grocery pickup. When you pull into a spot the app knows you’ve arrived and prompts you to enter your spot number and color of your car.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


My Walmart has about 10 pickup spots. I’ve occasionally had to wait, but the process usually moves quickly.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Walmart shoppers use small carts to pull crates with grocery orders.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Shoppers come up to the driver’s window to double-check the name on the order with a handheld tablet that they carry.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Then, groceries get loaded into the trunk.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Shoppers will usually bag groceries in your reusable bags if you bring them, but I usually just ask them to load groceries into my trunk to save time and bag them myself at home.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Sometimes they are more organized in my trunk, but as long as eggs and anything else with the potential to get crushed is supported, I’m happy. I’ve never had any issues with this.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


At first, I was unsure about using a grocery pickup service, but now I’m never going back. I love the convenience, especially because I can add things to my order over several days and have them all ready and waiting for me.



Courtesy of Walmart


I also find I avoid overspending on impulse purchases because I’m browsing aisles where I don’t need anything, and I avoid purchasing too much of staples because I can look at my pantry as I shop.



Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo


Next, I visited my local Aldi in Rochester, New York to test out the chain’s curbside pickup option.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


In a recent price comparison, I found Aldi has lower prices than competing stores on nearly every product, so I wanted to see how its curbside pickup stacked up.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Source: Insider

I downloaded the Aldi app, where one of the first options I saw was curbside pickup.



Aldi


The website was fairly intuitive to use, although at first I was confused at being unable to change the pickup time.



Aldi


Groceries were divided into the categories I expected, like vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy.



Aldi


It even included a section with “Aldi Finds,” featuring items beloved by customers that the chain switches out regularly.



Aldi


Some categories didn’t have very many options. I like to buy larger 18-count egg containers, but that wasn’t an option at Aldi.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


I spent about $70 for plenty of produce, meat, and some pantry staples that I think will last my fiancé and me about two weeks, which felt like a good deal.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


After finalizing everything else, I finally got to pick my grocery pickup time. There were so many slots available, as soon as within just two hours after I ordered.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Aldi sent me 14 total texts between my order and pickup, which felt a bit excessive.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


At my pickup time, I went to Aldi and checked in online, which was quite slow and kept crashing.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


This location has four designated curbside spots near the side of the parking lot.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


The spots were marked with signs, so it was very clear where to go.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


I checked in by indicating my parking spot and car color.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


When you check in, the website provides a summary of the information you’ve entered and an estimate of the remaining wait time.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


The progress bar reminded me of Domino’s tracker, which similarly gives updates on what the worker is doing with your order at the moment.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Aldi definitely erred on the side of over-communicating, sending multiple messages about my pickup window closing, and alerting me when the worker was preparing my order.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


The Aldi employee came to my car about when the tracker predicted and placed bags in my trunk.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


The bags were all labeled with my name and number, which made it seem like a very organized process, and they didn’t forget any of my items.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Ultimately, I liked the idea of Aldi curbside pickup more than I did the execution.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


Aldi’s stock changes regularly, and the website doesn’t seem to update consistently to reflect current offerings.



Mary Meisenzahl/Insider


I also wish the app itself worked better, with the capability to do the grocery order right there instead of in a separate browser. Walmart’s app is definitely easier to use and functions better.

The entrance of an Aldi supermarket seen in High Point,

Thomson Reuters


The pickup process was also much smoother at Walmart, without sending me over a dozen texts.

Walmart, Secaucus

Rachel Askinasi/Business Insider


Walmart pickup was definitely a better experience, from the app to the service. I still like Aldi, but I think I’ll only shop there in person from now on.



Sarah Halzack/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.


Deal icon
An icon in the shape of a lightning bolt.

Keep reading


Loading
Something is loading.

More:

Features
Retail
Grocery
Curbside pickup


Chevron icon
It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here