“Aldi has overtaken Coles and Woolworths to become Australia’s most-read catalogue. More than five million people read an Aldi catalogue in an average week, and 38 percent of them decide to buy something advertised,” Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research, said.
Although there are only over three in five readers browsing Aldi. In an average week during 2016, 5.1 million Australians (aged 14+) read or looked into an Aldi catalogue. For the first time, Aldi’s weekly catalogue reach surpassed that for Coles (4.9 million) and Woolworths (4.8 million). Readership of Aldi catalogues has now grown for three consecutive years, up 28 per cent over the period from four million Australians a week in 2013.
“As well as groceries, Aldi also advertises a range of household, sporting and clothing items in ‘Special Buys’ catalogues and this no doubt plays a big part in its increasing readership. Catalogue readers who don’t necessarily want to snap up a discounted television, garden shed or snowboard may well be tempted by next week’s sheet set or bar fridge. Many bargain-hunters keep a close eye on catalogues, ready to pounce when the right deal comes along,” Levine said.
Just like the supermarkets themselves, Coles and Woolworths catalogues remain locked in a tight race: Woolworths had the edge in 2013 with 179,000 more readers; in 2014 both catalogues grew (but Coles grew more) to end in a virtual tie at just over the 5.1 million readers each; Coles first claimed its slim lead in 2015 while Woolworths held steady; but both grocery giants fell back below the five-million mark last year opening the door for an Aldi win.
“Supermarkets, and all catalogue advertisers, need to pay close attention to how many people they reach, who and where those people are, and what share of the audience decides to make a purchase after reading. Roy Morgan Research has a number of consumer segmentations on hand, including Food Segments and Helix Personas, which can give supermarkets greater insight into the ROI of their advertising across all channels,” Levine said.
IGA’s catalogues also gained readers from 2013 to 2015 but declined in 2016. Of the four big supermarket chains, only IGA is now reaching fewer readers per average week than it did in 2013. Of course, the bigger issue for catalogue advertisers isn’t simply how many people they reach, but how many readers actually buy something they’ve seen.
On this metric, the clear winners are Woolworths and Coles, with most of their weekly catalogue readers buying something advertised. 52 per cent of Woolworths’ catalogue reach leads to a sale (up from 48 per cent in 2013), just ahead of 50 per cent for Coles (up from 46%). Aldi’s reader-to-shopper conversion rate is unchanged over the period at 38 per cent, while IGA’s has grown from 36 to 37 per cent.