What is an In-Store Audit?
An in-store audit, sometimes referred to as a retail audit, store walk, or store inspection, is basically an assessment of your brand’s position and reputation in the marketplace. Whether you have a single store or multiple locations, in-store audits provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your displays, inventory, product placement, promotions, regulatory compliance, pricing, and more.
In addition, these audits use a collection of accurate data to create checklists that retailers can use to identify problem areas in their store’s performance and implement corrective actions. The experience is also a learning opportunity for the head office representatives who gain insight into daily store operations. Keeping track of these insights allows managers to compare data over time and identify ways to reduce inefficiencies in their stores and improve their operations.
Why Store Audits Are Important
As the retail market changes, so too should your business processes. However, you cannot grow and adapt without knowing exactly what is going on in your store. You need to stay on top of every aspect of your business operations as your sales channels grow and become more complex.
The Benefits of an In-Store Audit
By performing and implementing a successful retail audit, you can maximise sales, increase market share, ensure stores managers follow your merchandising requirements, and optimise your customer experience in-store. A successful instore audit can also bring about the following benefits:
- Course-correcting – You can take into account a wider range of factors with an in-store audit than you could with just a financial audit. Instead of looking at only where money is lost, you can see why it is being lost. By highlighting these problem areas, you have the opportunity to implement new corrective strategies before they impact your bottom line even more.
- Improved Customer Attraction – You can use an in-store audit to ensure that your store is upholding certain operational standards and values. By having a comprehensive view of the operations of your store and employees, you will know where you have capacity to play around a bit with strategies, what is working and needs to stay the same, as well as what is not working and needs to be changed. This means you will have more freedom to experiment with marketing strategies that can help you attract new customers.
- Improved Customer Experience – A retail audit will allow you to analyse the customer journey and experience so you can make changes from there if need be. You can look at points like how long it takes for a customer to find what they need, the helpfulness of your staff, the cleanliness of your store, the effectiveness of your layout, and more. When you have insights into these factors and why they are or aren’t working, you can make corrections aimed at improving customer experience.
- Better Product Placement – Retailers cannot assume that they know and follow the best planograms. If your inventory sits in the storeroom or on a forgotten shelf, you have no chance of meeting your profit targets. Performing regular in-store audits ensures the best placement and display of your products.
A retail audit can have a number of benefits for your business. At Customer Perceptions, we have worked tirelessly to develop our strong track record that has spanned decades. Our cost effective auditing software and services can help you gain insight into your standards, policies, procedures, training, management and regulatory compliance (among others). Contact us today, or visit our website to learn more about our in-store audit solutions.