Last weekend, filled London’s Old Spitalfields Market with the small suppliers it sells on behalf of for a ‘live interactive shopping experience’ to mark its 10th anniversary.

With demonstrations, tastings and workshops, it is the latest online retailer to dabble in physical shops, having followed the opening of an Amazon bookshop in Seattle last year and a number of fashion retailers.

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for convenient deliveries

Using traditional channels to complement and grow online sales is a trend that we will be exploring at Newtrade’s first ever Better Wholesaling Summit in July. Musgrave boss Noel Keeley will unveil his next generation cash & carry, which will use culinary theatre and food zones to inspire and educate retailers.

Andrew Lynas, from delivered wholesaler Lynas Foodservice, meanwhile, will share how he’s using physical ‘showroom’ stores to connect with customers who want to touch, feel and sample food and drive his online sales.

Offering a point of difference and great shopper experience has long been a strength of convenience stores and it’s why we are seeing major online retailers like Amazon acting like independents. But building a complementary technology offer around your physical store so that you better serve the way modern customers shop is more of a challenge.

There are some great examples out there, however. Two weeks ago, RN shared the story of Londis retailer Sandip Kotecha, who uses Just Eat to deliver hot and cold food to his customers’ homes. And in this week’s issue, we profile Bevy, a new app that delivers alcohol and other goods from local shops to consumers within 30 minutes.

With Amazon Fresh reported to launch next month, it shows consumers are willing to pay a premium for convenient deliveries.

You must adapt quickly to take advantage and not get left behind.