10 Reasons Why Retailers Use Store Audit Software

We couldn’t think of one reason why retailers, particularly franchise-based retailers, use (or ought to use) store audit software, we thought of ten. 1. Your customers and employees’ health and safety When serving customers, compliance with standards and regulations is not simply a matter of building a positive customer experience; your customers and employees’ health … Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Retailers Use Store Audit Software

In-store Data Collection vs. Retail Audit

Type "mobile data collection" in your favorite search engine and you will find a large number of vendors in this category.   Unfortunately, data collection alone does not, and cannot, help retailers and consumer packaged goods companies.  Why? Data collection is a means to an end, not an end in itself.  Focusing on the means can … Continue reading In-store Data Collection vs. Retail Audit

Mobile-First does not mean Mobile-Only

Some retail audit apps only run on specific mobile devices.  They often run on iPhone™, iPad™ and Android™ but lack support for other mobile platforms such as Windows Phone™.  Some do not even support store PCs and district managers’ laptops running Microsoft Windows™ or Apple OS X™.  Why restrict options?  Isn't universal access and broad participation important … Continue reading Mobile-First does not mean Mobile-Only

Why your Store Checklist Needs to Work Online and Offline

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 … Continue reading Why your Store Checklist Needs to Work Online and Offline

Retail Audit Software Vendors

We care about the success of our customers.  Even the ones we haven't met yet. If you are in the market for retail audit software, you are probably shopping around, researching the category on search engines, and speaking with colleagues to get to know the vendors operating in this space. We want to make it … Continue reading Retail Audit Software Vendors

Excel and Email vs. Specialized Software

Most customers come to a retail audit vendor like Compliantia with an existing retail audit “system” developed in house.  It usually involves Excel™, email, more follow-up emails and phone calls and a large investment in human sweat equity for compiling and summarizing the data.  Anyone who has ever experienced the pain of collecting, distributing and … Continue reading Excel and Email vs. Specialized Software

7 Store Data Collection Scenarios

Let us look at several scenarios involving the collection and dissemination of store-based data. 1. Merchandising and service standards. A district manager visits her franchisees and uses her tablet or smartphone to run a quarterly audit on each store’s compliance with merchandising and service standards. 2. Work order forms. A store manager fills out a work … Continue reading 7 Store Data Collection Scenarios

10 Operational Failures That Hurt a Retailer’s Image and Sales

On this blog, we focus on retail best-practices and store execution. Our mission is to help retailers execute better as well as identify and correct issues that cause loss of goodwill and loss of revenue. A top 10 list of retail failures is relevant to the scope of our blog and our audience and we … Continue reading 10 Operational Failures That Hurt a Retailer’s Image and Sales

Merchandising Audits: Purpose, Scope and Methods

This article sheds some light on the purpose, scope and methods of conducting merchandising audits. Why should you conduct merchandising audits? Ninety percent of purchasing decisions are based on visual appearance alone! Additionally, while companies spend an average of 19% of their budget on promotional campaigns, less than 40% of displays are executed properly. Use merchandising … Continue reading Merchandising Audits: Purpose, Scope and Methods

6 Reasons Why you Should Audit Franchisees (It’s not What you Think)

Whether you call them « audits », « assessments », « evaluations » or simply « visits », the practice of sending a district manager to a franchisee to uphold standards, answer questions, communicate best practices and coach is widespread. Let's look at six reasons why franchisors should indeed "audit" franchisees plus one reason everyone … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why you Should Audit Franchisees (It’s not What you Think)

5 Steps to Implement a Retail Audit Process

Implementing a retail audit process is neither time-consuming nor difficult. It is perhaps one of the easiest things an operations/sales team can do to boost in-store execution, customer satisfaction and sales. Here is how you can implement a retail audit process in five steps: Step 1: Ask yourself: do you need retail audit software? Asking … Continue reading 5 Steps to Implement a Retail Audit Process

Why Store Execution Matters

We often hear that retail is all about execution.  But what exactly is execution and why is it so important? Theory vs practice Albert Einstein once said “In theory, theory and practice are the same.  In practice, they are not.”  While he referred to science, this adage applies to many other fields, and indeed to … Continue reading Why Store Execution Matters

Retail Audit Lexicon

Why a retail audit lexicon? Many industries and occupations have their own vocabulary to describe the various facets and nuances of their trade. Retail audits (also called store walks or store inspections) are no exception. Since we could not find a suitable lexicon for retail audit terms, we built one. This lexicon is based on … Continue reading Retail Audit Lexicon

Managing Retail Audit Expectations & Dealing With a Low Score

Scoring a store's compliance with operational, merchandising and service standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions.  Most operators/franchisees take pride in their work and can struggle with a disappointing audit  score and district manager guidance.  Was the district manager too harsh or unfair?  Is my store really lacking in certain areas as the audit's score, notes and action plan suggest?  It … Continue reading Managing Retail Audit Expectations & Dealing With a Low Score

The Mighty Action Plan

What is an action plan? The action plan is an opportunity to apply corrective actions to problem areas.  It designates an individual responsible for rectifying each problem (anything deemed substandard or non-compliant by the district manager during the audit) and a target date for resolution.  By doing this, the action plan fosters ownership and accountability … Continue reading The Mighty Action Plan

Retail Audit Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

At the heart of any successful retail audit program lies a well thought-out, field-tested form.  A form is a collection of operating standards and best practices.  What goes on the form is a reflection of what matters to the brand at a given point in time (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what it is required … Continue reading Retail Audit Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

People vs. Forms – Retail Performance Requires Both

Structured form data and the district manager's own experience and personal touch (aka heuristics) are sometimes presented as alternative methodologies for the purpose of retail audits.  Structured data consists of largely yes/no answers to mostly static questions on a form.  When a district manager fill-out a form that rates the store against the brand's standards and … Continue reading People vs. Forms – Retail Performance Requires Both