To run a successful consumer business, it is important to implement a retail strategy as per plan. For implementing the strategy, field representatives and retailers, etc., must perform their roles perfectly. This can be made sure through visual merchandising audits. Under this, regular follow-up is conducted on retailers to see if they comply with all the terms of the agreement. In the absence of merchandising audits, there will be no system that would check on the retailer’s activities, and as a result of which desired results cannot be achieved. Thus, one must take proper steps to ensure that everything goes as per the plan.
The visual merchandising audit can be classified into self-audits and seasonal audits. Under self-audits, various activities are performed. These include the location of the product, i.e., to see whether the product is placed in the location as per the agreement; to see where your product is in relation to their products being displayed in order to decide the correct marketing strategy; also to see whether there is enough stock of your product to avoid any kind of delay, etc. In case of a seasonal audit, it is important to see that customer is aware of the sale; the next step under this is to make sure that the customer knows where to find the sale products in the store; the field rep must make sure that there is no disparity between the pricing of the product and the promotional pricing. Otherwise, it will only add chaos to the mind of the consumer. This summarizes what visual merchandising audit stands for. To make it successful, it is important that best practices are followed while conducting it.
The best practices to make it successful are mentioned as below:
- Planning: Proper planning is the foundation stone of a visual merchandising audit. The field rep must regularly visit the store to see that their products are properly placed and positioned, leading to an increase in sales. A proper schedule must be developed for the field rep to visit so that audit is done more effectively and efficiently.
- Stock Audit: The field rep must keep a close eye on the stock of the company to make sure that the key products are always properly stocked in the store as they are essential for the business. It is important to properly inspect the inventory level within the store to be properly prepared in advance.
- Proper Condition: Make sure that your products, packaging, and shelves are in proper condition and properly maintained. Make sure that the surroundings are clean, and no damaged parts are lying around. Make sure your products give a good impression to the target customer.
- Competitors: Keep an eye on competitors’ products and their activities to remain ahead of the competition. Look for their product positioning and other marketing activities to make sure you do not lack behind.
These are some of the practices that can make your visual merchandising planning a success. Implement these to get the desired outcome.