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 and safety depend on it. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to take action. Protect your customers. Protect your employees. Protect the brand.
2. Customer retention
Studies have demonstrated that it is a lot more expensive to gain or regain a customer than it is to keep an existing customer satisfied. Customers have a way of thanking stores that are well run: they come back. Don’t spend money fighting fires. Prevent problems before they happen, deal with them expediently when they do.
3. The pitfalls of inconsistent execution
When dealing with a large number of franchisees and store managers, some will invariably execute better than others. A store audit system helps spot repeat unacceptables, execution laggards and downward trends quickly.
4. Compliance affects the bottom line
Failure to execute on in-store merchandising programs alone has been shown to cost the industry between 1% and 4% of sales. Compliance is not a feel-good initiative. Compliance drives your bottom line. Also, automation saves time and money. The organisation saves $84 for every store audit done with store audit software.
5. You don’t need to spend more
You don’t need to spend more. You may need to spend better. A good store audit system pays for itself. Paper-based processes are expensive, needlessly expensive.
6. Engage your franchisees and store staff
To motivate your franchisees and operations staff, you need to engage them. The benefits of the store audit platform should permeate through the entire organisation.
7. Inspect what you expect
You can publish standards and train your staff but only when you measure compliance do you achieve it. Trust but verify.
8. Training is necessary but not sufficient
Training is essential but training alone does not guarantee your standards are followed. Store staff may be trained, answer the quiz and pass the test, but are they applying their learned skills where it matters, enhancing the customer experience? Measure what you communicate so the standard is communicated, reinforced and measured using a consistent set of parameters.
9. Technology is an enabler, not an end in itself
Store audit software gives you the best possible tools to manage your operations. The software manages your infrastructure so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.
10. Try before you buy
With a cloud-based store audit platform, there is no setup fee, no hardware to procure, no software to purchase and no IT investment to speak of.
OTHER RETAIL AUDIT AND INSPECTION RESOURCES
Refer to the Retail Audits and Inspections category for how-tos and best practices for retail audits and inspections.