Implement a Retail Audit Process in Five Steps

Implementing a retail audit process is neither time-consuming nor difficult. It is perhaps one of the easiest thing an operations/sales team can do to boost in-store execution, customer satisfaction and sales. Let us see how you can implement a retail audit process in five steps:

Step 1: Ask yourself: do you need retail audit software?

Asking a retail audit software vendor whether you need retail audit software may be like asking a shoe salesman whether you really need shoes. And yet the answer may surprise you. If your retail chain is small (❤0 stores), primarily corporate-owned, you have no or few “problem” stores and you don’t serve or prepare food, you may not need the software at all. A complete discussion for having and automating retail audits is available at Do You Need Retail Audit Software?

Step 2: Build an audit form or checklist.

This form should encompass the service, merchandising, safety and loss-prevention standards you need your stores to uphold. These are the standards that define and protect the brand, that drive sales and cut costs and shrink. A complete overview of considerations and best practices for building a retail audit checklist is available at How to Build A Retail Audit Checklist.

Step 3: Launch the form on a small scale with a small group and “calibrate” the form and the team.

The purpose of calibration is to vet and tweak the form(s) with a sample group of users and stores prior to general launch. A complete discussion of the purpose, benefits and some best practices for calibrating forms is available at Retail Audit Calibration — Purpose and Best Practices.

Step 4: Determine whether you need to buy or build your retail audit software

The factors that need to drive your decision are your costs, your return on investment, your time-to-market and the value and benefits that you will derive from the software you chose. A complete discussion on the economics of buying vs building your audit tool is available at Retail Audit Software: Buy vs Build

Step 5: Deploy and track results.

Deploy the program to your stores, record results, tracks trends and observe the positive impact on your sales and customer satisfaction. Retail audits have known and documented benefits that significantly exceed their costs. A discussion of the benefits of retail audits is available at Who Benefits From Retail Audits?

And then…

That’s it. As we said in the introduction to this article, implementing a retail audit process is neither time-consuming nor difficult. Leverage the expertise of retail audit process and software experts and take your retail audit process and your sales to the next level.