The Business Case for Using Checklists and Inspections in Retail

Your retail business is inherently complex. It has many moving parts and a multi-faceted cost structure. Cost of goods sold, labor costs, leasing fees, hydro costs…these costs are real and have a direct effect on a store’s bottom line.

Control your costs and if you sell a product for which there is demand in the marketplace, you will turn a profit. Simple in theory, complex in practice.

Thankfully, the business case for using smart checklists in retail (also known as Retail Audit) is straightforward. Let’s dive in.

Saves more than it costs

A smart checklist helps retailers and operators execute brand standards, find, assign and track deficiencies to resolution. In the retail industry, the need for smart checklists and inspections is particularly acute for operations, merchandising, security, health and safety and loss prevention.

The value proposition is simple because a smart checklist has to, by design, save more than it costs.

This is achieved through labor savings, and the retailer’s ability to preempt sales losses and added costs.

Let’s look at a few use cases.

Loss Prevention inspections

If you are using a Smart Checklist platform to audit Loss Prevention practices in your 150 stores and you currently have a shrink of 1.8%, your value proposition is the delta net margins effect of the reduction in shrink – the cost of the Smart Checklist platform. A solid Smart Checklist platform should cost a fraction of what it returns, making the value proposition clear. Customers are usually able to make a solid business case, and observe the value proposition first hand, during the free trial.

Loss prevention, theft prevention inspections and audits

Merchandising inspections

If you are using a Smart Checklist platform to audit Merchandising practices for your key seasonal programs, concerned that these programs are deployed inconsistently and/or late across your 700 stores, costing 1% in foregone revenue, then the value proposition is equal to delta net margins of the sales increase – cost of the Smart Checklist platform. A free trial of the platform against key stores during a seasonal program can provide definite evidence of the sales increase, before and after the Smart Checklists where implemented.

Merchandising audits and inspections

Operations and Labor Use Case

The value proposition also transpires in any activity involving labor. Labor costs are high, and rising. Driving productivity and being efficient, represent a strategic competitive advantage. The automation of a Smart Checklist platform will have a direct correlation to your field force’s productivity and your stores’ bottom line.

Retail staff team in a store


Refer to the Retail Audits and Inspections category for how-tos and best practices for retail audits and inspections.

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