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Retail auditing, Its importance and Enablers

Primer

Today’s retail ecosystem, be it shopping malls, stores or shopping points they all need to be compliant with local regulations not only to stay acquiescent but to edge past competitors by gaining competitive advantage. The retail managers have realized that what was just an act of submission to authorities can act as a strategic asset to bring about a change in the way one does business and realize its mission & vision. There are some key parameters like out of stock (OOS), pictorial merchandising, competitive data and others that are a natural outcome of what earlier use to look like an act of being obedient. Today the customer is the king, they are spoiled by choices, they make decisions at a glance, & they have many options to pick from. Play a courtier— keep the king happy, care for his emotions, care about his choices, as he is the decision maker and care about your business future. This is where retail compliance audit helps, many have realized that you are not a tail-ender, so you also follow suit, and start believing in it. 

Key insights that retail audit gives

Retail Market Data

Following are the retail market insights that you get from the retail audit process

  • You can get a pulse over consumer sentiment towards your brand and your competitors by doing a survey of mall visitors and figuring out how they interact with your brand. 
  • The second is store appearance and commutativity – Know whether you have managed to put up a well-organized & clean store. Does it look attractive? How is its façade?  
  • Quantitative & qualitative data about tenants who have chosen to partner with you in a retail journey. Information about products kept on the shelf, and about brands present in your shopping malls. 

Merchandising Report 

Get complete insights about the products you sell. The following insights are produced:

  • Inventory condition
  • Stock position
  • Product quality
  • Used & available shelf space
  • Units ordered, units received, units sold, & units remaining
  • How much the product price pinches pockets?
  • What does the shelf look like?

Event Insights

Time & again shopping malls hold promotional events in their premises with the intention of promoting a brand and pulling crowds. It is important to measure the effectiveness of these events that how much the shopping mall has been successful in its objectives. Retail audit provides the following key findings.

  • How do people like the promotion?
  • How many of the people who turned in have been qualified as warm leads
  • In-store positions
  • Product liking
  • Promotion results
  • Effectiveness of the promotion
  • Are consumers ready to engage with your brand?

Competitor Analysis

The major insight that turns out from guide to retail auditing is competitor’s information. Whether you are a mall owner or a store manager, one key info that can turn the table in your favour is knowing as much as possible about your competition. Key findings in this category are:

  • Identify your direct & indirect competitors
  • Competitor pricing strategy vis-à-vis yours
  • How is your brand performing in any category?
  • Tenant placement information, where they are located. Are they visible?
  • Any promotions from competitors that are pulling customers away from you? 

Who benefits from Retail Audits?

All the stakeholders – owners, managers & customers, pretty much everyone benefits from surveys and audits/ display compliance. Here is a dash off of who gets what?

Owners: Their benefits are manifold—they can increase footfall, elevate revenue, get more share from sales, lower cost of ownership, earn reputation and do more. They may have the resources to help gain these benefits but that’s not a 360-degree approach, auditing with external feedback closes the loop. By digitizing the audit, they can get real-time information instead of relying on reports which can be weeks, months, or even years old. Besides, they also get an awareness of the staff performance— are they competitive? Do they need more training? Was the last training effective? and many more.

Managers: Audit information will sharpen the axes of the retail managers. They will be able to increase sales without investing more money. They will be able to gauge the effectiveness of the sales promotion plan they undertook in the past. They will be able to improve the aesthetic and safety of the store. Managers will get a handle over all the stores/ branches they have under their belt, they will be able to compare location wise data to bring an all-around improvement in the sales. 

Customers: The benefit won’t be limited to your side of the table— even customers will have a lot to gain from it. Now they will be happier visiting your mall, they will stay happy & return happy. By working towards customer satisfaction, you will qualify them as returning customers, and be able to get recommendations from them in your favour. A successful audit will lead to a better mall environment which in turn will increase CX— and that will drive more traction. 

Those who are sitting at the top of the retail ecosystem have realized the importance of automation powered by digitization, hence they are relying on on-premise and the cloud based software applications to digitize retail audit checklists. We at WovVTech provide WovVIA— the most effective, enabling, & successful inspection & audit tool.

WovVIA Key Features

Here are the winsome features of the WovVIA that make it special. 

  • Create retail audit , store survey & inspection forms easily, even on the move through mobile devices
  • Get different types of answers like free text, radio buttons & ratings
  • Plan audit, schedule it and assign accountability
  • Track audit progress & its success
  • Role based access to facilitate hierarchy based duty discharge
  • Take snap & videos to make auditing more effective
  • Seamless integration with other systems like CRM in your existing retail ecosystem
  • Measure improvement with time, compare performance across locations
  • Identify non-compliance creating bottlenecks and smoothen them out by making someone responsible for it
  • Track, learn, & assimilate the learning on how a non-compliance was fixed
  • Dashboard— gives you a holistic view, gives you more control & helps in better decision making

Conclusion

However much we write on the importance of store compliance audit, it won’t be enough. In this blog we took you through key insights that retail audit gives, stakeholders who benefit from retail audit, and an awesome tool that helps in retail compliance survey & audit. The retail audit saga is being unfolded— the owners are benefitting, customers are enjoying the bit that they are getting from it, so why don’t you come along its way, we have introduced you to WovVIA, try this cloud-based, powerful tool which is available in FREE-FOREVER model. It’s just advice, grab it immediately.