The success any retail business achieves is not measured only by the turnover it rotates in a single day. This metric provides only a partial glimpse of what the truth is. Conducting a retail audit provides a more holistic picture from an objective perspective. It helps businesses understand how they are performing from the viewpoint of an outsider, competitor, or customer.
Some of the key factors and indicators found in a retail audit are:
- The total number of sales made
- Which items are stocked, both in the main warehouse and at the retail store
- The items, if any, that don’t meet the standards set for the product offerings or any damaged goods
- The layout of the store, including the branding and product placement, whether it’s engaging your customers or not
- Whether displayed items align with the store plan or strategy
- The way competitors run their stores, any recent innovations or changes is price setting or product placement
If these factors are audited regularly and thoroughly, you can create a more accurate business map. You will better understand your business, whether it’s about how you can attract customer attention or how competent your business is based on your competitors and the market needs.
Importance of a Retail Audit:
When implemented correctly, a retail audit has several benefits for your business.
Maximizes market share and sales:
Real-time data from retail audits allow enterprises to adjust planograms, shelf location, and merchandising efforts by looking at consumer feedback. What’s more, competitor data through retail audits will enable teams to implement agile decision-making through competitive trends and predictive behavior. Such benefits of retail audits can optimize your sell-through and grow your market share.
Ensures retail compliance:
Sales and marketing teams work hard towards merchandising, signage, and planograms. However, simple non-compliance with planogram standards costs retailers in the US sales between $1 – $30 million.
A retail audit examines your compliance with pricing, promo, and placement agreements. Compliance ensures that your business is prepared to measure the failure or success of specific campaigns, marketing signage, SKU arrangements, etc., effectively.
Optimizes the customer experience:
Smart Insights shows that of all your customers, 86% are prepared to spend more money on products or services that come with a pleasant customer experience. There are many product options out there, but the experience you provide is what makes your brand truly memorable.
A retail audit helps you monitor and measure retail success through a thorough analysis of a shopper’s experience in your store. You can identify how long consumers take to find products on the shelf, how helpful store employees are, products that need to be overstocked or understocked, etc.
Optimizing Your Retail Audit:
Now that you know why and how retail audits help your business, it’s time to optimize your audit to get the maximum benefit. The end goal is your retail audit and solutions should run efficiently and effectively, in line with your enterprise needs. Retail enterprises should:
Set suitable targets:
The target of your retail audit can start with the more glaring issues in your store. Is the stock inventory tidy? Are existing promotions running well? Choose the issue you wish to resolve through this audit. You cannot hope to achieve multiple objectives in a single retail audit.
Schedule regular retail audits:
Don’t let a fundamental solution like a retail audit be a one-off thing. Fix audit times and leave room for reviews.
A retail audit doesn’t gather data for the sake of it. With all the data that’s collected about how your business is functioning, use it as the foundation for any future business plans and strategies.
Use the right audit platforms:
Auditing is not an easy task. However, using tools like online applications makes retail audits faster, more accurate, and easier. Advanced developments in technology have made it easier to perform retail audits using automated platforms instead of doing them manually.
A retail audit is any business’s best chance to understand how they are doing in terms of attracting new customers or the success of present promotions. Make sure your retail audits are thorough and regular for the best results. Choose the right retail solution partner to help you meet your retail audit requirements.