- Choose a party, responsible for merchandising performance. Merchandising audits can be conducted using a company’s workforce, or they can be outsourced. Both ways have their own strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that the development of mobile technology allows companies to easily conduct in-house merchandising audits using tablets and smartphones. Gathering retail data using merchandising software allows companies to conduct merchandising audits in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
- Develop the schedule of merchandising audits. The frequency of merchandising audits is determined by the specific of each organization’s business processes. Merchandising software allows companies to easily organize the schedule of visits for any period of time and improve the field team bottom-line by reducing their time traveling to appointments, planning routes and accessing information.
- Set the areas to be audited. The type of merchandising audit and its purposes determine the content of the merchandising checklist’s tasks and questions. It can be a store interior audit, a merchandising audit, a safety audit, a loss-prevention audit and so on. A horizontal audit covers a retailer's overall strategy and performance issues. A vertical audit allows to evaluate in detail one element of a company's strategy.
- Create merchandising audit forms. Consider the merchandising checklist’s basic information, including task titles, store name and location, field reps names, data forms. Keep in mind, that you can completely automate store visits basic information using merchandising software. In this case all information is derived from the corporate database and the schedule for merchandisers is built using customized tasks for each visit.
- Set up tasks for merchandisers. Group questions into tasks and set up merchandising checklist according to the natural course of the visit (from the store window through the isles to the back of store and inventory) to save time. To make tasks more clear, illustrate them if possible. Up-to-date merchandising software allows you to attach images, PDFs, videos and multimedia materials to task templates.
- Collect merchandising data. Perform merchandising audits with ease using just your tablet or smartphone. Most merchandisers already have one of these devices so you don't need to spent money on hardware. Simply have them upload a merchandising app with a customizable merchandising audit forms, and start receiving real-time, highly accurate retail audit data. Merchandising software provides automated retail data collection using mobile devices, minimizing mistakes and avoiding awkward data re-entry.
- Analyze merchandising performance. Merchandising software virtually eliminates fraudulent check-ins among retail audit teams by allowing supervisors to track and monitor each field rep's activities in real time and by GPS and time stamping every activity. As the tasks are being performed, the results are instantly visible to the management and available for analysis or export. Merchandising software provides team leaders with an opportunity to receive instant reports and manage operational priorities in real time. The web-based dashboards and reports help you identify productive employees and perform workflow analysis, taking informed strategic decisions using reliable up-to-date data.
To try our data collection software for free register at www.visitbasis.com and download the VisitBasis Retail Audit App FREE on Google Play or App Store. To learn more about how our field merchandising system works request a demo or check the links below to watch the demo videos.