CJRS Hamburger Close Client Login CJRS Login

The retail auditing process explained

The retail auditing process explained

What is a retail audit?

A retail audit is an objective evaluation of many aspects of a brand’s or retailer’s outlets, from merchandising to POS and general customer experience.

The aim of retail auditing is to garner a wealth of insights on areas including brand impact and customer behaviour in store. It is only through this process that brands and retailers can ascertain where they stand in relation to the competition, and what they need to tweak in order to improve competitiveness or performance (or both).

The benefits of retail auditing

  • Cost efficiency (compiling information on a store-by-store basis means that only appropriate equipment is sent to the outlet, and in the right quantities)
  • Brand/asset consistency (ensuring that different outlets utilise their valuable assets in the same ways, leading to a consistent customer experience)
  • Greater compliance (identifying whether in-store activations are being carried out in a legally compliant fashion, and, if not, why this is)
  • Keener insight for better channel/category management (evaluating what is happening within each category, and whether there are any opportunities for more SKUs, more shelf real estate and so on)

Put simply, carrying out retail audits – sometimes referred to as store surveys – is about gathering information for better planning and better decision-making.

How the auditing process works

Retail audits AKA store surveys are laid out in a questionnaire format for efficient data capture, and the content of the survey should be bespoke, based on the retailer in question.

The auditing itself is carried out by an independent party to ensure objectivity, and the individual auditor should be an expert in retail asset management, so that they can recommend how to optimise everything – from on-shelf merchandising and presentation, to signage installation, to the positioning of POS displays, to promotional compliance, to customer service levels and more.

Part of this process takes place during opening hours, so that the audit can observe customer interaction, from shelf to POP.

The main areas covered by the auditor are as follows:

  • Corporate identity compliance analysis
  • Legal POS compliance analysis
  • Promotional space assessment
  • NPD executions
  • Print & POS requirements
  • Gap analysis
  • Pre-Installation store surveys

Upon completion, the findings are fed back to the retailer along with recommendations on how to make improvements, starting with the most urgent areas. Again, this is all with a view to saving costs and increasing sales, while ensuring compliance at all times.

Working with CJ Retail Solutions

At CJ Retail Solutions, we provide a holistic retail auditing service from start to finish.

We work with numerous clients across many different retail sectors, servicing large nationwide brands as well as smaller chains and independent outlets. Some of these clients are brands, while others are retailers. This means that we draw from an unmatched breadth of retail experience that can often be applied cross-sector, resulting in a forward-thinking, modern approach to retail optimisation.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can work with you to maximise your operational efficiency, and also be sure to read our post about The Importance of Retail Audits.