Some retail audit and store execution apps only work online (“in real-time”). Others only work offline (the user synchronizes with a server at a chosen time). Both models have merits…so why chose one over the other? Store execution and retail audit software must work online and offline, here is why:
1. A network or Wi-Fi signal may not be available in the area to which you are travelling. This is especially true in remote and sparsely populated areas.
2. You are inspecting a big box store, warehouse or mall location whose construction, materials or layout interfere with network reception.
3. Regulatory or security compliance prohibits the use of a network signal. For example, the use of network signals may go against company policy in the forecourt area of a gasoline distributor.
4. A network signal may be available but is unreliable or intermittent. Intermittent reception is arguably more disconcerting and frustrating to a user than no reception at all. Who wants to be interrupted and their data lost at random times?
Your ability to audit stores cannot be contingent on internet reception, reliant on best-case scenarios and ideal conditions. In the real world, internet access is expected, not guaranteed. For the sake of your retail execution programs and users, make sure your retail audit and store execution software is capable of working both online and offline.