It can be difficult to assess your retail business’s performance yourself. You can’t expect yourself or your staff to be completely objective about how well you are meeting your goals and standards. In-store audits provide an effective way to get an accurate assessment of how well your store is doing. These audits allow you to keep control of your inventory, check the effectiveness of your marketing displays, and ensure that you are always presenting your store in the best possible light.
In-store audits gather and interpret hard data as a way to examine the health of your retail location(s). Assessors carefully comb through every aspect of your store to collect information on what is working and what is not. Why should you consider having an in-store audit done, and what effect will it ultimately have on your business and staff?
Why Store Audits Are Important
The retail market changes constantly, and it can be all too easy for your store to get left behind. Keeping up with the trends involves, not only understanding how the market as a whole is changing, but also having a clear and truthful understanding of how your store performs relative to those trends. An audit can help you gain that clarity. Acting on the findings of the audit, you can then adapt your operations, marketing practices and inventory management approach to make sure that you are serving your customers to the standard they expect.
The Benefits of a Store Audit
Store audits offer multiple benefits, all of which help you and your staff improve your service and product offerings. These benefits include:
- Teaching your employees more about the operations of your business.
- Identifying and solving problems with in-store presentation, merchandising and branding.
- Identifying and solving maintenance and operational issues.
- Developing new, more effective in-store processes and procedures.
- Building better relationships with managers and other staff members.
- Identifying training needs.
Elements of a Retail Audit Checklist
The people performing your audit, whether they are your own staff or third-party auditors, usually use checklists that cover the following:
- Products: The checklist helps the auditor to assess how well your products and services are organised and presented in your store. The goal is to make sure that these elements are maximised to enable your customers to engage completely with your offerings.
- Employees: The audit assesses your staff’s training levels, product knowledge, understanding of emergency procedures, security protocols, hygiene practices and customer etiquette, among other factors.
- Facilities: The checklist also enables a thorough assessment of your entire facility, including compliance with health and safety standards, and the extent to which it promotes and enables productivity and efficiency among your staff.
Customer Perceptions are leaders in market research solutions. With 27 years of experience, we have developed bespoke research solutions to help our clients to enhance their customer experience, gain insight into their competitors, increase customer retention, monitor standards and ultimately, increase sales and revenue. We provide in-store audits to help businesses assess their performance as merchants or service providers. If you would like to learn more about our in-store audit services, and see how they can help you assess and improve your business, contact us for more information.