The Essential Merchandising Audit Checklist

"Merchandising audits are essential for CPG companies that want to have a strong shelf presence. This checklist covers a number of essential metrics that your field reps should measure every time they conduct an audit to ensure you receive the most precise and valuable information possible."

For retail-focused CPG companies, a merchandising audit checklist is important for maintaining a strong shelf presence. Merchandising audits provide regular checkups for retailers and CPG companies, to ensure that they are complying with the agreements that you have made regarding product location, shelf space, product displays, pricing, and promotion. To streamline your audit process, you must organize your strategy. And one of the first steps you should take is creating a merchandising audit checklist.

When conducting an audit, it is often difficult to know what to look for. To ensure you maintain quality control without missing a beat a checklist is vital. Merchandising audit checklist is just one element of an integrated marketing strategy. Whether you're looking for a new CPG merchandising program, or are seeking to improve your current program with a faster and more automated process, we have a checklist that will help.

The Benefits of Using the Checklist During Merchandising Audits

  • Merchandising audits keep things organized and ensures quality control
  • Audit checklists ensure that the essential tasks get done.
  • Checklists save time creating an outline that is easy to follow and is likely to result in less errors
  • Ensures merchandising programs are executed in time and in full at every location
While individual situations will vary, you should address some or all of the following areas in your merchandising audit checklist:

 

Product Condition

  1. Presentation: Collect photos of the products on shelves
  2. Product damage: Collect photos of any damage to products.
  3. Stock level on the shelf: highlight any low or out-of-stock situations
  4. Location of product: which locations can the product be found?
  5. Retail price: how much is the product retailing for?

 

Shelving Presentation

  1. Access: The product is easily accessible (not placed too high or too low)
  2. Display: All products are “fronted” correctly
  3. Availability: Products are not hidden and are easily found in the appropriate area.
  4. Presentation: Check to ensure there are no product holes in overall shelf presence.
  5. Inventory: Shelves are fully stocked but not cluttered.

 

In-Store Displays:

  1. Inventory: Promotional displays are fully stocked but not cluttered.
  2. Consistency: Promotions are current and consistent with company directives.
  3. Location: Promotional bins are clearly signed with pricing and positioned in agreed zones.
  4. Price: Promotional pricing is correct
  5. Feedback: Collect consumer feedback on promotions 

 

Competition:

  1. Competitor Presentation: document competitive activity with photos
  2. Competitor Inventory: what is the stock level of your competitor’s product compared to yours?
  3. Promotions: What are your competitor's in-store promotions?
  4. Adjacent Competitors: Who are your neighbors?
  5. Competitive Pricing: What is your competitor/adjacent products' price?

 

Not only do merchandising audits ensure that retailers are correctly implementing your retail execution strategy, but they also allow you to evaluate and assess the results of your merchandising efforts. 

Winning brands execute brand standards making it critically important that merchandising audit checklists are created considering all the elements of your marketing strategy.

Download this merchandising audit checklist PDF below or schedule a briefing to evaluate and improve your merchandising efforts today.