How to Conduct Merchandising Audits That Drive Sales

"A retail audit strategy is a must for any company, but by implementing these best practices you’ll be able to reach new levels of success."

A merchandising site audit is a critical part of any effective retail strategy. Retail audits provide a valuable opportunity to collect important data insights about product performance, strengthen relationships with key retailers, and interact with potential customers at the point of purchase. In a global economy, where brand growth and awareness are at a premium, audit data becomes a valuable tool for verification and actionable insights.
To get the most out of your site audits, there are certain things every brand should be sure to do before, during, and after each visit. This best practice guide provides you with key actions to include in your retail audit strategy.

Provide Field Workers with Clear Expectations

The expectations you have for one visit to the next will vary based on your chosen goal. Lack of direction will lead to inconsistent results during merchandise audits. Instead of defining what you want to accomplish with a retail audit, share your objectives and provide guidance on how they will be achieved. This provides both you and your reps with a clear idea of how to evaluate their effectiveness in the field.

Create A Checklist

When performing a retail audit strategy, it is important to make a checklist for each visit. This helps standardize data collection during store visits. By giving reps a set of items to report on each time they conduct a visit, data managers will see an increase in consistency both between different reps’ reports as well as over some time. Their ability to identify trends and provide feedback on strategic decisions leads their effort to be more productive.

Collect Observational Data

Sales data will help you to highlight trends in sales. With observational data, you get a new level of insight into the areas or locations where your brand struggles and needs improvement.

Collect organized observed data to see the underlying issues clearly from the store level. Observational site audit data help you dive in and find the problems that are holding back your sales. These commonly include things like:
  • Poor retail shelf placement hurts your brand’s visibility
  • Out of stocks that are preventing purchases
  • Poorly executed or outdated point of purchase displays
Having a streamlined process of identifying, relaying, and fixing issues at the store level will help your brand to boost those numbers back up.

Share Data in Real-Time

One way of empowering managers and reps alike to achieve better outcomes is to share site audit data in real-time. A best practice is to share information as it becomes available so that the entire team can benefit from an audit strategy while in the field. This allows you and your team to act on insights in real-time and make data-backed decisions.

Streamlining these processes by utilizing 3rd party auditors and technology can save your brand both time and money. The ability to leverage a global pool of experienced auditors or adopt data sourcing technology like the Eyes:On app will ensure organization and improve efficiency in the long run.

A retail audit strategy is a must for any company, but by implementing the preceding merchandising best practices you’ll be able to reach new levels of success. Consider using a mobile site audit tool to get clear, accurate, store-level data and take your retail merchandising to new heights.
To find even more tips, strategies, and insights about retail merchandising schedule a briefing with us today!