This post details what happens before, during and after an audit or inspection for merchandising, service and/or loss-prevention in a store. Here's how to conduct a retail audit/inspection in 10 steps. Step 1: Schedule the audit First, using your enterprise calendar or your Bindy built-in calendar, schedule the audit. Some audits are announced to the … Continue reading Conduct a Retail Audit in 10 Steps
Category: Retail Audits and Inspections
10 Operational Failures That Hurt a Retailer’s Image and Sales
Christopher Fifelski recently posted this list of Top 10 Retail Failures to the District Managers and Retail Operations group on LinkedIn, a Bindy-moderated professional group with over 40,000 members. With his permission, we are cross-posting Chris’ list on this blog. We also thank the other industry professionals who have contributed to the discussion, including Adele … Continue reading 10 Operational Failures That Hurt a Retailer’s Image and Sales
Excel / Email vs. Bindy
Most customers come to Bindy with an existing retail audit workflow developed in house. It usually involves Excel™, email, phone calls and a large investment in human sweat equity to compile the data that was collected. Anyone who has ever experienced the pain of collecting, distributing and compiling data like this will invariably think...there has … Continue reading Excel / Email vs. Bindy
In Your Words…Mystery Shopping Doesn’t (Really) Work
Bindy recently asked a retail audience of over 49,000 retail professionals an open-ended question: "Do mystery shopping programs work?" Members quickly answered. The answers are overwhelmingly mixed or downright negative on mystery shopping. While some praised the insights it brought, the majority argue that mystery shopping simply doesn't work. Let's dive in. as good as … Continue reading In Your Words…Mystery Shopping Doesn’t (Really) Work
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
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 check on brand standards, answer questions, communicate best practices and coach is widespread. Let's look at six reasons why franchisors should "audit" franchisees plus one reason … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why you Should Audit Franchisees (It’s not What you Think)
Misconceptions about Brand Standards
Let's be completely honest. Are your franchisees, stores and locations really on top of brand standards? A survey by the In-Store Implementation Network sought to quantify a facet of this issue, specifically merchandising, and asked retail professionals how they measure performance of in-store merchandising. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed responded that they "make the assumption … Continue reading Misconceptions about Brand Standards
Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits
District manager-led audits focus on the process A mystery shopping program and district manager audits ultimately address different needs and have vastly different outcomes. A district manager audit essentially amounts to “quality assurance”. Using retail audit software, the district manager follows a process that is regular and actionable. The visit is meant to be educational … Continue reading Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits
Do You Need Retail Audit Software?
Asking a retail audit software vendor whether you need retail audit software may be like asking a shoe salesperson whether you really need shoes. And yet the answer may surprise you. The economics of automation hinge on your activity and the exposure, liability and costs that inconsistent or poor execution may have on the brand's image and … Continue reading Do You Need Retail Audit Software?
How Much do Retail Audits Cost?
There are now mature, highly efficient, largely automated systems for conducting retail audits. Some organizations devise their own system, one or more "checklists", usually with Excel and email. Is this approach practical and cost-effective? In this post, we compare how much retail audits cost, with and without retail audit software. Let's get started. Excel and … Continue reading How Much do Retail Audits Cost?
Who Benefits from Retail Audits?
Retail audits and store visits are proven to drive brand standards, increase customer satisfaction and mitigate risks in multi-unit retail. How exactly do retail audits benefit you? Here are some of the benefits you can expect from retail audits. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. Home-grown solutions are often … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?
Calibrating Checklists and Teams
In a retail and hospitality environment, a checklist is a collection of brand standards and best practices. What goes on the checklist reflects what matters to the brand (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what the brand is required to do (laws and regulations, health and safety, etc…) and what it aspires to be, operationally and … Continue reading Calibrating Checklists and Teams
What is a Retail Audit Action Plan?
What is an action plan? When the district manager walks a store/location as part of the retail audit, she is bound to find issues. Even the best and most diligent operators make mistakes occasionally. Brand standards exist for a reason: they protect the brand and make locations more inviting to guests and more profitable. The … Continue reading What is a Retail Audit Action Plan?
Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity
Scoring a store against brand standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions by the franchisee or store manager. Most operators/franchisees take pride in their work and can struggle with a disappointing visit score and district manager guidance. Was the district manager too harsh or unfair? Is my store really lacking in certain areas as the visit's score, … Continue reading Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity
Lexicon for Retail Audits and Brand Standards
Why a lexicon for retail audits and brand standards? Many industries 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. This is the lexicon for retail audits, retail execution and brand standards. It is based on Bindy's interactions … Continue reading Lexicon for Retail Audits and Brand Standards