5 Steps for Conducting a Retail Audit

By Vladik Rikhter

How are your stores performing on critical areas like cleanliness, brand standards compliance, and safety? If you are a retail executive, you ask yourself this every day. But, if you were asked how your stores are performing at this very minute, would you know the answer?

The report sitting on your filing cabinet won’t help you, but a real-time software solution will.

Gain Real-Time Retail Insight

With mobile technology, you can collect and analyze information from the store and field in seconds, getting real-time access to vital information.

Before you begin your audit, consider your objectives. They may include:

  • Ensuring that your employees are accurately completing work like opening/closing checklists, daily store walk-throughs, and cash audits
  • Making sure your stores are in compliance with your organization’s procedures and standards, as well as those mandated by law

Once your objectives are clear, here are five steps to follow:

1. Decide which device to use

Will managers use a smartphone or tablet to complete the survey? Is there WiFi at the store, is the location in a cellular black hole?

2. Create survey questions and decide values

The quality of the data you collect is crucial. Brevity is key, so don’t make the questions too long or complicated. Consider using a mix of “yes” and “no” questions, along with multiple choice questions that have assigned, measurable values. You should make sure that not only your customers enjoy their experience at the store, but that the exterior is inviting enough to get them in the doors. Here’s how you can track critical issues in a retail audit.

3. Take photos and videos as part of the routine

When you ask your managers to conduct an audit, you are asking them to be your eyes and ears in the field. Provide a way for them to easily share photos and videos with you. Photoscan helps you understand everything from marketing promotions to loss prevention oversights.

4. Scan barcodes and QR codes

Gather definitive information about products quickly. If promotional materials aren’t correct or stock is running low, you can notify your vendors right away.

5. Be consistent

Inconsistent collection methods can compromise the quality of your data. Make sure employees who conduct the audits understand the industry and retail environment. Provide training so that employees are comfortable navigating the mobile app and using it to collect information.

A time-saving mobile solution will make the auditing process easier not only for your managers, but also for executives analyzing the data collected.

 

Looking for a mobile solution for retail audits? Learn more here.

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