Core Denave Retail Capabilities: Retail Audits and Visual Merchandising to Augment Retail Operations

Technology | 5 minutes to read

13th Jul, 2021

A retail audit is like a wellness check for a retail store. Retail audits does hygiene checks and reporting of inventories, planograms, visual merchandising, competitive intelligence, promoter preparedness providing valuable insights into the store’s overall health and operations.


    • By employing extensive retail audits, retailers can address weak spots in their operations and optimize revenue enablement strategies

    • Visual Merchandising makes sure that retailers leverage adequate promotional and customer engagement branding

    • Retail audits seek to integrate internal and external teams throughout retail lifecycle

    The retail market continues to adapt and grow around the world due to increased consumer awareness, income, accessibility, and lifestyle changes. The retailers must develop tailored strategies for their markets. It is important to understand the unique challenges and opportunities that the market faces in view of post-covid effects and digital expansion. Unfortunately, most retailers don’t have a consistent retail audit mechanism leaving them unreceptive to market changes.

    As a retailer, you want customers to locate the products of their choice easily, and when they locate the products, you want them to be presented meaningfully. To attract and engage customers and increase conversions, it is important to conduct in-store hygiene checks and data-backed merchandise planning. Accurate reporting of retail operations helps to identify and address the barriers to growth. It verifies the compliance of retail processes and builds customer’s confidence in the brand.

    Take cue from Denave Experts!

    The retail industry has entered a new world of trade on the back of digital technologies and changing customer behavior. Here are some retail audits and visual merchandising solutions that can help retailers to quickly adapt and remain consistent in the market.

    Retail hygiene audits

    The hygiene standards of a retail store sets in motion other aspects of store operations. It is fundamental in attracting customers and influencing their decision-making. The exterior and interior hygiene standards of a retail store help the customers to build a long-lasting impression of the store. Retail audit technologies will bring together all the hygiene practices of a retail store and automate it through a single platform. It encompasses a host of in-store hygiene practices such as attendance and leave management, data reporting, walk-in/virtual sales tracking, and other operations management.

    Furthermore, it also covers digital program management, intelligent data validation, online assessments, and merchandising compliance, among others. Automating store hygiene will automate mundane operations and allow retailers to focus on priorities and contingencies to augment customer engagement and conversions.

    Find out more about virtual retail audit to improve visual merchandising and customer experience.

    Retail compliance

    The marketing and sales team work arduously towards planograms, merchandising, signage, and more. However, lack of thorough retail compliance alone hurts the retailers to the sum of anything between $1 to $30 million in sales annually. Innovative retail audit solutions examine retail compliance with placement, pricing, and promotional agreements. Modern retail compliance strategies make sure that retailers can effectively measure the success or failure of specific campaigns, marketing signage, SKU arrangements, and more. Retail compliance allows retailers to remain consistent vis-à-vis branding, merchandising, promoter experiences, and more. Enabling technology-driven compliance mechanisms can augment in-store and virtual retail operations.

    Mystery shopping

    A mystery shopping program is one where an anonymous and unbiased evaluation is done of your store’s operations. Mystery shopper gathers data about promoter’s proactiveness, inventories, visual merchandising, customer engagement practices, store hygiene, etc. This retail tactic deep dives into understanding customer’s awareness and preferences. Mystery shopping can help retailers identify and address the weak spots in their operations and improve entire customer journey to increase the market share.

    Mystery shoppers objectively evaluate a store by locating products, taking photos, scanning barcodes, promoter interaction, and take note of the entire customer journey. From promoter’s experience to detailed product information, mystery shoppers can provide substantial feedback on the customer experience at the store. A comprehensive mystery shopping program can help retailers identify weaknesses along the customer journey. It allows retailers to create a starting point from where to strategize and optimize processes, product offerings, planograms, etc., across all channels.

    Unlock more insights: quick read:  Driving Retail Perfection-New-Age Retail Hygiene Management Solutions

    Planogram compliance

    In an increasingly competitive retail space, implementing a robust marketing strategy is paramount to attract, engage, and maximize customer experiences. Developing a retail planogram offers a roadmap to help retailers place products, visual merchandising, displays, and other components exactly where they are needed to attract customer attention.

    Planogram for retail store is developed with key demographic, foot traffic, and conversion data that can help retailers optimize their marketing efforts. Store planogram compliance ensures that retailers receive accurate sell-through data to make meaningful adjustments to the planogram to maximize efficacy. Planogram compliance can be assessed through an extensive retail audit to ensure that in-store operations are consistent and right on target.

    Shelf monitoring and OOS

    Another common issue with retailers is frequent out-of-stock (OOS) scenarios. Retail auditing can help retailers monitor and maintain optimum stock levels at all times. Modern retail auditing capabilities use data-backed solutions that analyze historical data to draw predictive models. It ensure that retailers never run out of crucial stocks at a crucial time. At least 50% of shoppers do not go with a substitute product if their preferred product is out of stock. Out-of-stock interferes with the overall customer journey and impacts customer’s confidence in your brand. Shelf monitoring through a retail audit can help you determine the root cause of OOS and address issues with the inventory management or supply chain.

    Insightful Read: Retail playbook 2021

    Promoter evaluation

    While products are primary for any retail store to succeed, promoter experience and proactiveness help drive favorable customer engagement. Retail audit objectively measures the performance of sales staff. Through retail audit, retailers can regularly monitor KPIs like pitch adherence, promoter knowledge, and communication, etc. These tactics can help retailers identify a promoter’s training needs and accordingly design their upskilling program to facilitate improved in-store and digital communication with the customers. A proactive sales representative can help buyers make impulse purchasing or repurchasing with an appealing product pitch and personalized service. Having an enhanced promoter experience goes a long way in building brand loyalty and maximizing revenue.

    Merchandising compliance

    It is necessary that a retail store conforms to consistent branding and promotion strategies that agree with the universal brand appeal. Visual merchandising audit ensures thorough inspection of in-store branding and outshop displays. From evaluating demo displays to dirt-free fixtures and price hygiene, it ensures that the store radiates a uniform marketing message that appeals to its target market. Merchandising audit can help retailers to display up-to-date information and product displays to attract prospective customers. Regular merchandising audit brings out maximum efficacy from various design and visual elements like shop fittings, signage, displays, and accessories. A standard merchandising program will tell retailers if their brand value is being communicated with the customers through visual elements like banners, standees, glow signs, etc. Smart visual merchandising is the mandate of the day to create brand awareness and generate product buzz in the market.

    Quick read- Case Study: Improving retail merchandising using data analytics


    Conducting regular retail and merchandising audit is mandatory for the retailers to stand out in the competition. Retail audits and visual merchandising compliance generates a huge amount of data that reflects actionable market intelligence like brand penetration, visibility, marketing opportunities, competitor analysis, etc., to drive retail success. Market success in the 21st century requires data acquisition and analysis. Customer behavior and store operations are changing as new technologies emerge. Monitoring the retail business through periodic retail audits and hygiene checks can help retailers narrow down the early signs of change and adopt strategies accordingly.

    If you want to learn more about Denave’s retail audit and visual merchandising solutions, get in touch with our experts.

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