Like a pilot ready to take off after completing his checklist, a store audit will ensure that both customers and employees will experience an optimal purchase (and selling) experience. The store audit can be done by several different profiles : store employees, sales people, marketing, management or third parties. In all cases, the store audit will provide useful data ranging from :
When focused on the global customer experience these store audits are mainly adapted to retailers (drugstores, DIY retailers, ,other chains of points of sale, etc.)
Store analysis will ensure that everyone share common standards and help up leveling your whole POS network.
It can also enforce your store teams autonomy and increase their sense of responsibility about global risk management while contributing to build the diagnostics and corresponding checklists with other teams within the company.Besides, measuring store gap and deviation from the common POS standards will help you detect patterns of failure and prevent them as well as detecting unmarked, weak or missed market signals.
Lastly, store audits results will allow a sound competition between stores (through benchmarks) and unveil axes of improvement and concrete examples to increase your employee training efficiency.
The first step is to write a structured plan (safety, merchandising, processes, etc.) close to the field reality. In order to make sure your store audit is efficient and well adopted, don’t hesitate to enroll people close to the field operations into its elaboration.
Based on store observations and assessments, a store audit will contain pictures taken in the store, comments, and interviews of store employees.
Each and every audit will be synthesized into a single report that must be archived in order to measure evolutions and improvements of each analyzed segments.
Daily inspections like store safety, lighting, cash registers or windows can be done directly by store employees.
Gap checks with IT systems are done by employees and store managers, on a regular basis for very every product line, and annually for complete inventories. Audit done on work conditions can be conducted by someone external to the store ,or even the company.
Customer experience audits can be done by a specific central team and/or with third party mystery shoppers.
Audit plans can also include :
If you use easy customizable checklists, a fine granularity of different analyzed items will provide a richer information. Beware not to dig too deeply into details if this granularity doesn’t reflect real needs and is not useful, as this could affect the legitimacy of your audits and discourage those who are conducting them.
Make sure you associate a scoring to the checklists and their different constituent elements to make analyses and drill-downs more readable.
A digital application working on smartphone can be a great help to make your audits more efficient and user-friendly. When choosing a solution, make sure it will also work off-line as access to mobile data can be difficult once inside the store.
What are the expected benefits from a digital checklist app?