Aldi Curbside Pickup – Comfort or an Inconvenience?

Apr 08, 2022   |   10 min read

 

Aldi Curbside Pickup – Comfort or an Inconvenience?

 

There are two types of people in the world; individuals who love to do grocery shopping and others who hate the thought of it. Which one are you?

If you are from the latter category, you surely must adore the pick-up grocery services. One such recent entrant in the industry is the Aldi Curbside Pickup. Does Aldi offer curbside pickup? Yes, it does.

But is it reliable? How does it work? What are the costs? Is it something worth your time? Let’s dive into this review and see to it.

What is Aldi Curbside Pickup?

Aldi is one of the cheapest supermarkets in the industry with 2000 stores spread around the United States. Aldi has 2000 stores spread out across the nation but its pickup services are only available in 700 of these stores.

Aldi, seeing its competitors like Walmart and Target successfully running curbside pickup, also introduced the service back in 2020.

Since then, people have been able to enjoy the Aldi click and collect services. Moreover, the store partnered up with Instacart to deliver groceries to people as well. Now, people can shop at either Aldi or Instacart and get the curbside pickup at flat rates.

How Does Aldi Curbside Pickup Work?

Step 1: Signing up

Aldi recently partnered up with Instacart which is a service introduced to bring the essentials straight to your door. Yes, the service also offers Aldi delivery.

If you spend a few bucks -- $9.99/month to be exact—you can get the Instacart Express subscription. This way, you will get Aldi free delivery. But coming to the curbside pickup service, you can get the Instacart application available to all customers at the App store.

Then, all you have to do is sign up and create your account on the application. There is no fee Fill in all the necessary details and you will have built the pathway to an easy solution for lazy grocery shopping. We are not judging, only relating to you!

Then, move onto the next step.

Step 2: Ordering

What do you want to order? Even if you are trying out the application, we suggest buying something you need.

Once you sign into the application, you will be directed to a haven for all grocery items. We won’t blame you if you head to your personal cravings’ category. We would do the same if we were in your spot.

The interface is quite helpful and interactive on Instacart. You can either search through categories or employ the search bar for your next steps.

The search bar is a great tool if you want quick results. Whatever you type, you will get popular suggestions that can aid you in your fast purchase. Plus, the suggestions do not just help you with vague results, you can see the brand name and the product name through the search bar. So, that is a major plus.

Next, you find what product you wanted from the app. You will notice that each product has a little description, its cost, and nutritional facts attached. Now, it may be a small detail but it does tempt the user to keep using the application as it brings both interactivity and value.

However, one thing you will notice in the app is the lack of information for some products. While certain items have all the information necessary, there are items that are not available in certain sizes. So, it is kind of a bummer.

One thing that you will notice in the app is one of the personal favorites; a category known as Aldi Finds. It is a secret stash that the applications have stored for the users, containing items that are available for a limited amount of time.

Mostly, food items are present in this category, quenching the thirst for our midnight carvings. Yes, we would be the ones to first go there because sometimes, you can find great, limited-edition, and unique items in the mix.

You can check your items in the cart. Review them and see if anything needs to be updated, removed, or added. We often find something to delete once the price is calculated. But there is both a pro and a con during this step in the Instacart’s app.

The good part is that you can ask the rider to pick something else in case an item is not in stock. On the other hand, the bad news is that the application will not tell you whether a product is in stock or not. Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay for the non-stocked item.

Now if the order is sorted, let’s move to the next step.

Step 3: Choose the Pickup Time

It is time to check out.

When you click on the Go to Checkout button, there will be two services that you can take advantage from; pickup or delivery. Choosing the pickup will get you a number of available slots and the store location where you wish to receive your groceries from.

These pickup times are from the next few days and have various time slots for the customers’ ease. You may find that the slot is an hour long so if you are as lazy as you think you are, then arriving on time may have a 50/50 probability. All in all, the application has created a certain margin for the customers to easily pick up their groceries.

Do remember that the paper bags you buy will have a certain cost, just like it does at the store.

Lastly, whether you order from Instacart, the service isn’t free. So, you will find small charges on the pickup timings which we will discuss next.

Step 4: Prices and Tips

This is an important part of the whole pickup process.

First of all, the pickup services have a certain fee. If your order doesn’t exceed the $35 amount, you will need to pay a flat rate of $3.99. On the other hand, if your order exceeds the $35 amount, then your pickup services price cuts down to $1.99. However, if an item isn’t in stock, and your order falls below the $35 mark, then you can still pay the favorable $1.99 charges.

Similarly, with pickup services, you won’t find any service tax or delivery charges so that is a major plus. While the charges are there on the Aldi Curbside Pickup, it is far less than most services or even having the groceries delivered to you.

A thing that you should notice is that there might be certain price fluctuations, but that is a given, considering you find this at the store too. However, to prevent yourself from fighting with the managers or having a panic attack due to shock, you should remember this point before ordering. Also, Aldi does give a disclaimer about this feature so you won’t really have a reason to fight.

Lastly, let’s come to tipping. Now, tipping is an option that you can or cannot pick. It is up to you. 

Step 5: Communicating with the Shopper

This is an interesting step.

When it comes to Instacart, you will be assigned a shopper (Aldi Associate) whose name and photo will be visible on the application.

He will ask for the confirmation of your order and then proceed with the next step.

You can see as the shopper goes and buys all the products you have listed in your order. So, you can make all the adjustments as he shops all the things one by one. You can also see the items he has already bought and the items still left to buy.

Here, you have to do a bit of work. As the shopper shops, you will have to stay near your phone because if some item is not in stock, the Aldi Associate will ask for your suggestion on a possible replacement.

They might wait for your reply on the Instacart application but it only polite to get back to them as soon as possible.

Step 6: Storing Your Order

Aldi will then store your order until your pickup time is ready. Don’t worry, they will take good care of your products in a temperature-controlled environment. So, if you have dairy products in your order, Aldi will take good care of them.

Step 7: The Curbside Pickup Process

When it comes to the pickup, you have two choices. You can either opt to give away your location or let the store know you have arrived through a quick text.

Giving away your location seems the better option when you wish to save time. But if you ae concerned about your privacy, you can simply aim for the text. Plus, the application also offers the feature of sharing your vehicle’s details. This is easier for the store to spot you if the number of customers is a lot and the busy hours are in full swing.

If you do give away your location, you can stop sharing this data anytime.

Once you have chosen the method, you will need to park in the designated spot. Yes, there are certain spots specially associated for the Curbside Pickup services. They will be blue in color and carrying a number to separate the spots. You can park in there and wait for the shopper to bring your groceries.

Next, within a few hopeful minutes, if the rush hasn’t yet crowded the store, you will see the shopper making his way to you. He will be carrying the groceries in a trolley so you can easily handle the bags without any hassle.

Plus, another great feature about the Instacart services is that they will let you know how many bags will your groceries take. So, suppose you order 10 different items, then the service will let you know before that they will all fit in two bags.

Conclusion

Summing it all up, it is safe to say that the Aldi Curbside Pickup is quite handy. But it must be noted that this service is still fairly new. Many people are still not aware of their pickup services which brings one thing into focus; they might not have catered to many customers or to consistent busy hours.

However, it is a decent service, nonetheless. And if we had to give it a one-word verdict between comfort or inconvenience, we would definitely vote the Aldi Curbside Pickup as a service of comfort. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can order from the Aldi website from a bunch of categories and an employee will deliver it straight to your door.

Yes, Aldi recently launched its pickup services in the year 2020. You can order through Instacart and choose pickup as your desired option.

Yes, you will have to go to the store to pick up your order. However, you do get the option of choosing the nearby Aldi store location.

No, it is completely up to you. However, the tip doesn’t go to Aldi but rather to the Instacart shoppers.

If your order fulfils the value of $35, then you get a flat rate of $1.99, otherwise you will have to pay $3.99 i.e., if your order is below $35.