5 Steps for Conducting a Retail Sales Audit

By Vladik Rikhter

retail-sales-auditPhoto via derrickcollins, Flickr

How are your stores performing? 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

Collect and analyze data from your retail sales audit by using a mobile app on your smartphone or tablet.

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

  • Monitoring your products in relation to what your competitors offer
  • 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. Although retail execution is abig focus of your audit, don’t forget to ask about your store’s curb appeal.

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 product displays to maintenance needs.

4. Scan bar codes 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.

Sample Retail Inspection Form

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