5 Ways to Get More from Your Merchandising Audits

By Scott Hill

So, you’ve revamped the way your field reps conduct merchandising audits. Now you’re using mobile software to track compliance from product facings and out-of-stocks, to planogram and promotional verification. You’re accounting for all of the merchandising variables… or so you think.

But what about those other store variables that may affect your bottom line? Are your field reps accounting for those as well?

Here are 5 things your reps should document while conducting a merchandising audit.

1. Neighboring Products

Two things don’t exist in a vacuum: Art and CPGs. What products are next to yours? This is another variable to account for when determining the best shelf location for your product. Don’t forget to snap a photo!

2. Marketing Materials

These materials go beyond the in-store promotions your team created. It can include promotional displays, stickers, posters, signage and radio spots. If you’re paying for this extra exposure, make sure your retail partner is in compliance. A feature like GPS is especially helpful for gathering individual store feedback.

3. The Premises

Maybe you’re a company with a food product or beverage, and you’re relying on the retailer to keep it clean and orderly. You have every right to monitor their compliance. Is the floor or restrooms dirty? Are the refrigeration and lights working? Property inspection should be part of your merchandising audit. Problems that extend past your company can be communicated in a professional way, so long as they are reported with photographic evidence.

4. Knowledge of Average Store Employee

Just out of curiosity, does the average employee know your product? Can they direct a customer to the correct promotion? Again, this could be more of a retailer issue than a merchandiser issue, but it could be affecting everyone’s bottom line. Be sure to ask your retail partner if you can question their employees in the field. There’s no need to make it the inquisition either—a couple of simple “yes” or “no” questions in your custom-built form will suffice.

5. Follow Up

You’ve complete the merchandising audit, so now what? It’s time to assign tasks from your findings. Hopefully your software as real-time exception notifications as well as the ability to assign tasks based on those notifications. Compliance becomes much easier when tasks are assigned to specific stores and senior management can track their progress by region, district, or team.

To watch a video overview of Zenput and learn how the mobile app integrates with CPG operations, click here.

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