Why Retailers Should Digitize Store Visit Procedures

27 September 2018

Customer experience | Operations | Compliance | Store visits & audits

Why should we bother to digitize store visits? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… right? Wrong.

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We’ve already seen plenty of stores we know and love go under because they couldn’t keep up with what their customers wanted.

We've seen so many retailers incorporate tech into the shopping experience to remove pain points, but store operations processes have lagged behind.

Related: The Complete Guide to Retail Store Visits and Audits

But retailers shouldn’t just be thinking about digitization because it’s the inevitable way forward. Moving operations to a digital platform right now will give businesses a competitive edge by simplifying admin processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring consistent store compliance.

Below are our top reasons why your business should switch to a digitized store visit platform now:

Because customer satisfaction is the key to retail success, and store visits are key to customer satisfaction

It might seem that an internal process like a store visit has little to do with the customer, but let’s remember what the goal of this process is: to ensure that all stores are presenting the best possible brand image to consumers.

Related: 5 Common Problems with Store Visits and How to Fix Them

And in this day and age, you really have to go the extra mile to catch - and keep - people’s attention.

With the convenience of online shopping changing consumer behaviour, shoppers need an incentive to come into stores. They need something that their laptops can’t provide them with - an experience.

And what kind of experience are they getting if stores aren’t uniformly compliant with VM and operational guidelines?

If it looks as though your brand doesn’t care how its stores look or how its staff conducts itself, customers will look to spend their money elsewhere.

A digitized store visit process makes it easier to improve store standards across the board, ensuring that your customers come back time and again to enjoy a stress-free shopping experience.

 Because a digitized process will do wonders for your efficiency

The real problem with the way most store visits are conducted is that they are inefficient.

Area managers have a lot of stores to get through, and being bogged down with laborious admin at each branch means they’re not really focusing on how to improve stores, being more concerned with completing the forms and moving on to the next place.

Having no set system for collating all of this data can cause a lot of confusion. Reams of paper with various checklists and forms to fill in, alongside information sent intermittently via email or text, makes it difficult to actually implement improvements.

If there’s no cohesion to store visits, there’s bound to be a lack of cohesion in-store.

With a digital store visit tool, however, everything can be easily collated in one place. Area managers can complete checklists, upload photos of displays, set tasks for store teams and give them overall scores, all without the time-consuming process of recording it all manually.

Because a faster process means more time to focus on the most important element - store teams

Store visits are often seen by teams as stressful and inconvenient trials designed to test them. This attitude, though perhaps understandable, certainly doesn’t help the process.

Visits from area managers should make your teams stronger - after all, they provide a chance for managers to pass on their expertise to the teams and make them better at their jobs, which will ultimately increase the store’s conversion rate.

A more efficient process frees up extra time to spend on training teams, as well as listening to their feedback and finding out how they think store performance could be improved.

The more effort you put in with store teams, the more you will get back from them.

Going digital also means that team members can take a more active role in store visits.

If all team members have access to the platform and can therefore see and complete the tasks set for them immediately, they will feel more like they are part of a collaborative process, rather than being dictated to from on high.


Want to learn more about improving store visits? Download the Ultimate Guide to Improving Store Visits

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