Steps to a Successful Retail Audit

Owning a retail business is hard work and one thing that you have to understand completely and be able to conduct efficiently and effectively is a retail audit. If you are new to the retail game, or owning a business, you might not appreciate how important a retail audit is; in fact it is necessary in order to thrive as a business. Having a team with specialist knowledge of audits can help you put together a plan of action to combat this area of your business with gusto and accuracy. Here are a few other tips to make your retail audit as effective as it needs to be.

Always Ask the Right Questions – Having the right questions listed for auditors to ask is vital to the efficacy of your retail audit. There has to be a balance so that you are receiving enough detail in the answers to make a difference to the collected data, but also that the answers are worthwhile. You might be interested in product positioning or what draws people in who are walking past your store.

Always Have the Right Types of Answers – The best way to easily collect, collate and analyse data from a retail audit is to offer an easy answering system, such as a number scale of 1-5. It provides you with enough detail to make a difference to your analysis, but also doesn’t overwhelm the respondents with having to think too hard about their answers. Additional (and optional) details feedback should be allowed.

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Cover Your Bases – You’ll have specific areas of your store that you wish to cover but it is important to segment your data for each of these. You may wish to look at staff behaviours to see if they are following the training guidelines and brand principles that you have provided. Other things to collect data for include the inventory, promotions, condition of the store, speed of service and health and safety issues.

Alternative Audits – As well as customer surveys you can also add an element of modern mystery shopping into the mix with sound and images being included. If you can clearly see your staff and customers you can pick up on the nuances of conversations and have a real, authentic feel for how your store operates when you are not physically present.

Choose Your Stores Wisely – If you own a number of stores, or you are in charge of managing a number of locations you will want to choose carefully which you audit, and how regularly. You can segment the stores into regions, size, category etc.

Regular Audits – You don’t want to be reviewing the store patterns every week, but a regular retail audit allows you to build up a fair and accurate picture of how your stores are operating and which areas need to be tweaked and improved upon.

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Choosing to work alongside specialist retail auditors gives you the faith and peace of mind that the data you receive will be honest and displayed in a way that is easy to analyse.