How has your retail store been performing lately? If you are the manager of a retail store it is your priority to ensure that your store is performing as well as possible. However, sometimes it’s hard to know what you could improve on and what aspects of your business are holding you down.
Have the correct Point of Sale displays reached your store and are they being displayed in the right way? Is the retailer presenting all products in the correct way? Is the price right? Is the retailer adhering to the brand standards and following along with the important core elements of promotions? It’s hard to know what is happening in each store, especially if you have a number of stores in different locations and it is difficult to visit them all.
Retail Audits Make Sense
This is where a retail audit can come in handy. It will ensure that each unique element comes together, in order to improve and streamline the retail process. A retail audit is bespoke to each business and will help you to understand how you can make intelligent decisions that will save money and improve business.
Retail audits can be designed to suit your specific business and you can choose to focus on a specific part of your retail operation, whether that is price checks, brand standards, POS placement, stock availability, tracking compliance or any other factor. A retail audit can also help you to collect information about the newest products on the market, eliminate data reentry and decrease overall response time. You will be able to see how your competitors are changing their strategies, so that you can improve your product and compete with them.
If you are unfamiliar with the process of retail audits, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about them:
What is a Retail Audit?
A retail audit involves a professional retail audit provider taking a close look into your company and how it operates, so that you can understand how things are happening at store level in order to improve your business. An audit might take a look at prices and promotions or it could examine compliance, space vs. sales studies, availability studies or competitor activity.
The auditors will gather information, then analyze that data in order to understand how improvements could be made in the future. For example, a retail audit could help you to know what is happening in the store right now, rather than finding out at the end of an activity period if the correct POS were displayed. These assessments will help you to understand what’s happening with your products so that you can strategize, benchmark and improve.
What are some of the reasons for conducting a retail audit?
There are a few reasons why a company might choose to conduct a retail audit – the needs will be as unique as the company. One reason might be to identify any individual locations that are non-compliant with marketing or merchandising programs, or another reason might be to ensure that products are priced consistently and accurately. Or, a company might choose to have a retail audit to quantify any lost sales that are due to stock-outs or verify that promotional programs are launched on time and executed properly.
Do retail audits take a long time?
If you have a large business with a number of shops you might be wondering whether a retail audit will take a long time. However if you hire a team of auditors from a field marketing company they will be able to visit multiple stores at once and gather a large amount of information in a short time. Using tablets and PDAs they will be able to send live reports in real time so that any in-store issues can be dealt with as quickly as possible. Usually you will be able to see all of the information on an up to date dashboard so that you can visualize it and make adjustments to the strategy if necessary.
If you feel that a retail audit is the best option for you, take a look into the options offered by a field marketing company so that you can put together a plan for an audit that is suited to your business.