Retail business has become a highly competitive industry where everyone is trying to outsmart others through various techniques and strategies. For any retail business to strive there must be the implementation of the right retail strategy. This is a retail strategy that will determine what items are to be placed and in what position so that more and more customer are attracted towards the offerings of the business.
When and how items are to be restocked so that there is no storage of the business product; when and on which discounts to be offered and many more such strategies. These strategies are therefore vital for any retail business and retail business must ensure that the retail store must correctly implement these otherwise the business cannot get the desired results. To be sure that the retail store is performing every task as per their agreement, the retail business conducts a visual merchandising audit.
The visual merchandising audit ensures that the business products are visible to potential customers thus allowing the business for increasing its sales. With time the importance of visual merchandising audit has gained importance as this audit being conducted frequently instill a feeling of trust and quality among the customers of the business. Thus no retail business can ignore the importance of visual merchandising audits.
The visual merchandising audit is performed by the business in two ways i.e. Shelf audit and Seasonal audit. Under the shelf audit, the auditor ensures that the product of the business is properly positioned as decided as per the agreement. Under shelf audit, the auditor also takes into consideration that whether there is a need for more facings or not as facing can significantly improve the sales of the business.
Another important thing under shelf audits is to see whether the products are restocked at the right time so that there is no inconvenience faced by their customers. Under seasonal audit, the major area of consideration of the field rep is to make sure that the customers are aware of the sale by proper placing of signage. Besides this, the auditor also ensures that the customer knows where to find the product on sale through displays and ads.
Field reps also must see that there is no mismatch between the label price and price conveyed through sales promotion as it will create misunderstanding between the business and the customers. Thus these are two ways through with visual merchandising audit is conducted by the retail business. Besides these, the auditor is also entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the general appearance of the store.
The retail stores that are clean and hygienic will be more preferred by customers than the others. Thus without a proper retail store merchandising audit, the business will never know where they are lacking and how one can take corrective actions to improve the sales of the business.
To enjoy the benefits of the visual merchandising audit, the field reps need to perform important practices. These practices will ensure that visual merchandising activities are properly performed by the sales reps. these practices are mentioned as below:
- Planning: Planning is of paramount importance in visual audit merchandising. It determines the schedule of the audit and how frequently the audit must be performed. One must plan the audit in such a way that there are no disruptions to customer experience. One must choose the timing of the store audit in advance so that the visual merchandising audit is not compromised and all the functions of the audit are performed seamlessly. It is important to understand that visual merchandising is an on-going task and therefore one must plan accordingly.
- Stock Audit: Stock audit forms an important basis for visual merchandising audits. One must ensure that there must never be the storage of key products of the company as otherwise, it will cause inconvenience to the business. The stock audit ensures that the shelf of the business is properly maintained to attract more and more customers. This also ensures that there is no product hole. Besides the shelf stock audit, field reps must take care of stock in the storage room to ensure that there is no delay in restocking of products. Without stock audit practice, the retail business will not have the right direction.
- Product Conditions: Products of the retail business no doubt in the face of the business and therefore special attention must be given by the field rep. Field reps need to perform the visual merchandising audit to see that all the products are properly placed in an organized manner that is appealing to the eyes of the customers. Also, the field must take care that products that are placed for customers must be in proper condition i.e. they must be clean and fresh as customers are very cautious about such things. Any broken or damaged product must be immediately replaced and such things must also be brought to the attention of the store manager as it can impact the brand and reputation of the business.
- Competitor: For effective visual merchandising audit practice, the field rep must keep an eye on the activities of the field reps. This is because business retail can learn from various activities and strategies of their competitors such as advertisement, product positioning, etc. This will help the business to become proactive in its approach. Thus successful visual merchandising audit not only consist of supervising own products but also the competitors.
- Data Collection: The data collected through the visual merchandising must be properly organized so that there is no confusion. Data collected forms the basis that will guide the business in understanding where they are lacking. What actions must be taken so that it can rectify it. The whole purpose of visual audit merchandising is to ensure to make the business aware of its shortcoming which is possible when the data collected is right and consistent.
Hence these practices will ensure that the business will perform all duties related to visual merchandising and visual merchandising daily checklist effectively.