The American CPG market is currently valued at $813B. Consumers face more options than ever, even with small scale, daily purchases; the overwhelming variety has contributed to a massive decrease in brand loyalty. Only 8% of global consumers self-identify as brand or product loyalists making “brand switching” an increasingly concerning consumer behavior. This behavior has led businesses to focus predominantly on the customer experience in-store to create differentiation.
Retail audits help brands collect accurate data on in-store conditions, a critical tactic to unveil and dissect barriers to growth, creating viable strategies to address and correct these barriers.
What Data Should You Collect in a Retail Audit?
Non-participant observational data is the most effective data format used in retail audits, providing a systematic approach to observing your CPG or FMCG products in their natural, unadulterated setting.
Observational data allows the auditor to test a hypothesis with real-time feedback either proving or disproving said hypothesis. For example, if your retail marketing team sets a realistic sales goal to “lift in-store sales by X% nation-wide through targeted displays,” yet sales reports show consistently lower than target performance by a solitary retailer, your team may want to test the hypothesis: ABC retailer has failed to execute the display as planned as a result of lack of compliance, overstock, out of stock or XYZ factor.
The key observational data points your business needs to collect from a retail audit should be categorically organized into the following sections: location data, contextual data, in-store data and competitor data. Each data category reveals a slice of insight into the full data pie, providing you with a more holistic overview of your current retail position.
Prefer checklists? Download our Retail Audit Checklist for the full list of every data point your CPG/FMCG company should collect during a retail audit plus 9 sample sentiment questions to ask data collectors in order to maximize consumer insight.
1. Location Data
Though the curation of location-based data may seem redundant or unsophisticated in comparison to other data points, information gaps in emerging markets can contribute to inaccurate communication of product distribution. Location-centric data allows for peace-of-mind and logistical confirmation in real-time.
2. Contextual Data
Building on location-based data, you want to collect relevant demographic data that paints a more robust picture of the physical location in which your products are distributed (i.e. description of the neighborhood, condition of the store, street view photos, etc.).
3. In-Store Data
In-store data collection is the bread and butter of a retail audit providing a bulk of the data to be collected during this process. In this phase you will want to collect information related to: product placement, share-of-shelf, inventory levels, merchandising quality and product location. You may also benefit from providing data collectors with benchmark visuals of your merchandising efforts to ensure proper retail execution.
4. Competitor Data
A thorough survey of a competitive brand’s performance in-store can help your team refine and tone the customer experience in-store. Idealistically, all data collected from Contributors should be collected from key competitors who may acquire your market share.
Crowdsourcing Your Data
Crowdsourcing is a scalable process of solving problems by engaging a network of individual contributors to complete a series of tasks or projects. Intelligent crowdsourcing has monumental potential for businesses of all sizes allowing for the proper regulation of data through the collection of real-time, unbiased information from diverse, reliable Contributors.
Crowdsourcing data through a network of global Contributors allows your team to gather real-time, observational data with a low investment, high return and no bias. This surplus of data forms the DNA for a proactive retail execution strategy rather than a reactive retail execution strategy: a massive win for your CPG/FMCG business.
The Premise Solution
Premise’s crowdsourcing technology uses a robust, innovative mobile application to collect real-time data from an extensive network of Contributors around the globe. These local Contributors provide an unbiased, unique perspective that allows them to collect extremely granular data and glean valuable consumer insight on a local level.
Are you interested in learning more about how Premise can help you conduct and analyze local or global retail audits for your CPG/FMCG business? Visit https://www.premise.com/retail-audit/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help you become more data-driven.