Retail-focused companies, such as CPG manufacturers and sales and marketing agencies, face a real dilemma on whether to implement retail merchandising software. While there are some clear material benefits brought by the technology – such as the virtual elimination of paper forms – the costs can escalate for larger teams.
Cloud-based merchandising platforms, however, brings in other reasons beyond the straightforward material and monetary aspects of why it should be implemented. Here are some of them:
GPS verification of visits
One of the most serious challenges field force supervisors face is fraudulent visits. Not only because of staff non-compliance issues but also because it will likely skew merchandising audit results, possibly leading to flopped strategies. Retail merchandising software, through GPS verification of visits, will, therefore, increase rep compliance as well as audit accuracy.
Agility in correcting or refocusing strategies
Issues with traditional pen-and-paper retail audits include the lag time between data capture at the store and running reports at the office, as well as the time it takes to correct and deploy new forms. This means that many issues get overlooked and whatever strategy is implemented has to be carried out for a while, even if it needs adjustments. Software for merchandising allows not only for faster detection of issues with up-to-the-minute reporting but also for tweaking forms as a project or campaign progresses.
Reduced out-of-stocks and other in-store issues
Finally, merchandising platforms make it easier to have more frequent store visits and, with them, better supervision of brands and categories at stores.
VisitBasis is a field force merchandising software that transforms the rep’s mobile devices into retail data capture tools.