To run a retail store efficiently without any disruptions, one needs to have a good retail strategy. Without a good retail strategy in place, your retail business cannot be successful. To make sure that everything takes place following the strategy agreed upon, it is important to conduct a visual merchandising audit checklist. With this, the business can oversee whether the strategy is being implemented properly by the field rep and the retail store manager. Retail store audits are essential for evaluating whether the displays are able to attract customers; inventory is properly stocked up, etc. Thus retail visual merchandising store audit provides insights into whether your business is on the right track or not. In the absence of such an audit, one cannot see whether the agreement between the retail store manager and the businesses is being fulfilled or not.
The visual merchandising audit can be performed in two ways: shelf audits and seasonal or promotional audits. Undershelf audit, one sees that there is perfect compliance of price and planogram. In the case of a seasonal or promotional audit, one sees that special occasion items are correctly priced and placed. This ensures that there is no confusion and chaos and everything happens smoothly and easily. There are certain things that one must keep in mind before performing these two types of audits. In the case of the shelf, the following things are looked into by the field reps:
- Location of Product: Under this, the field rep sees whether the product is at the right location. The location of the product in the retail store is negotiated during the initial phase of the deal and must be fulfilled by the retail store manager. The location of the product is decided on such a basis so that the potential customers can easily find them, thus enhancing their visibility. The location is decided after proper and careful thinking.
- Position of the Shelf: It is very important to take care of the product’s shelf position so that one is aware of what is adjoining to its products and thus devise the marketing strategy accordingly. Different product brands will require a different strategy to have a competitive advantage over them.
- Facing: Facing plays a very crucial role in increasing the revenues of the businesses. In fact, by doubling the facing of your product, one can increase its sales revenue up to 20 percent, which is a significant increase. Hence one must choose to increase the facing, but such decision must be taken after taking into the all the cost involved with new facings and expected increase in return associated with it.
- Take care of Open Spaces: Field reps need to see that there is no open space on the shelves where your product is supposed to be. Stock them up before there is any kind of inconvenience to customers. Your field reps should be proactive to avoid such situations.
- Stock: When your product is out of stock, it can lead to a loss of revenues. This is because your current and potential customer will shift towards your competitor. Hence field reps must keep an eye on the availability of the product and restock them on time. This will ensure that there is a streamline of operations.
- Pricing: Field reps must see that the products are correctly priced, and there is also no mismatch between tags. It is the duty of field reps to rectify any such issue before it creates chaos and confusion. Not able to perform such a duty can cause lots of inconvenience and discomfort to the customer.
These are performed in case of shelf audit, which takes place at regular intervals. But besides these regular tasks, the field reps also performed an audit in case of seasonal or promotional products. The things to focus on are mentioned as below:
- Signage: In the case of promotional or seasonal products, the most important thing for the businesses is to make aware of such products to the prospective customer. There are different ways of doing so. One such way is in-store signage that helps the businesses make customers aware of your product’s sale. Field reps must see that these are properly placed for attracting the majority towards your product location.
- Displays: Once the customers are aware of the products that are available on sale, they must know where to find them and what kinds of items constitute the part of the sale. These are done through ads and displays. Hence the field reps must see that specials ads are played informing the customer.
- Pricing and Labels: Pricing and labels must match what is conveyed through ads and displays. Field reps must surely look into this as their first priority; otherwise, it will not add confusion in the minds of customers but will also disappoint them. It is one of the vital things that field reps must take care of because any error in such case will only lead to loss of revenues as well as trust and confidence of the customer, which is difficult to win back.
- Employees’ awareness: In the case of seasonal or promotional products, customers tend to ask more specific questions to the employees. For this, the field reps need to ensure that their knowledge is brushed up and have full clarity. Only then will they be able to clear all the doubts of the customers and persuade them to buy your product.
These are some of the activities that are to be undertaken by field reps to undertake seasonal or promotional audits. Apart from the activities performed by field reps in case of both seasonal and shelf auditing, it is to take care of the retail store’s appearance. The retail store needs to look presentable and thus make a good impression on the customer’s minds. This involves ensuring that there is proper cleanliness around the store, especially near your product location. Nothing unnecessary must lie around it.
Hence we can conclude to maximize the revenue; Field reps must carefully generate the store visit report for retail to be proactive and take corrective actions whenever necessary.