People are always going to go shopping. A lot of our effort is just: ‘How do we make the retail experience a great one?’  ~ Philip Green



Retailing in India has grown by leaps and bounds in the recent past. As per an estimate, retail industry accounts for about 10% of the GDP and 8% of the employment. Owing to the entry of many new players in the field, the industry has made further strides. And, this has catapulted India’s position to a significant third slot among emerging nations, right behind China and Brazil.

This growth story has in part been made possible due to the entry of ecommerce companies. But it has also been found that though many companies are into ecommerce, the preference for physical stores are also growing. Though there have been speculations regarding the future of brick-and-mortar retailers vis-à-vis the ecommerce ones, the same seems to have been put to rest. The New Indian Express reports that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has clearly outlined that Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) is allowed only in such cases where the ecommerce portals follow the market place model. This means that the platform is only a conduit and not the owner of the inventory. Thus, the speculation of ecommerce replacing the physical store is more-or-less laid to rest. Now, what does this mean? Simple. Physical stores are indispensable for retailing in India. This also means that there are many aspects that the retailers must consider while maintaining a retail physical store. This is where the concept of Auditing comes in.

What is Retail Audit?

Retail audit is carried out by experts to study the effectiveness, sales trend, sales volume etc. of a brand or product. It is supposed to be carried out in real time to measure the productivity of the retail unit and suggest corrective steps. It must be noted here that in an unorganised retail sector like that of India’s there are real challenges and therefore the need for Retail Operational Audit is indispensable. Some of the key aspects in retail that need auditing are:

  1. Perfect Product Signage: It is often seen that brands spend large sums when it comes to making their brand visible to the customers at large. This requires good designs with innovative ideas that ensure the brand/product is visible to all both outside and inside the retail store.
  2. Perfect Ambience: Once the customer enters the store, what matters is the ambience. There must always be a hygiene maintained that would make the customer feel good inside the retail store. The importance that the firm attaches to its store and products is seen from the way they maintain the store (applies to their franchisees also). An inviting ambience always excites a customer.
  3. Proper Showcasing: Display or showcasing the product in a scientific way speaks much about the effort the brand puts into retail. There are brand advertisers who work with colour blocking and size mapping that makes any brand or product eye-catchy. Sometimes anything outlandish may become outstanding!
  4. Promotional efficacy: Almost always it is imperative that a promotional representative from the Brand owner is available at the store. This person is a face of the brand. Here, the image presented by the representative speaks volumes about the Brand. An ungroomed promoter can easily turn off the customer, while a well-groomed person can work magic. Almost always it has been seen that good brands spend much money on the uniform for the promoter/representative.
  5. Product fixtures: Fixtures or display methods sued for the products are representative of the value the Brand places on its products. It is worthwhile for the brand owners to spend money on innovating and using fixtures that would enhance the store’s aesthetic quality.
  6. Participative programs: Another good option that the retailers can use is to promote participative programs for their customers, by which there are ample opportunities for the retailers to often keep in touch with their customers, thus ensuring increased sales.
  7. Potential Customers: Retailers can also keep an eye on good potential customers who are satisfied with the products on offer and make efforts on giving them good reason to come again by keeping them abreast of any sale offers or new products, thus increasing their relation. A customer will always have a good reason to come back.

These are some of the areas that require Operational Audit in Retailing. This helps the retailers or brand owners to understand their potential customers and increase the volume of sales. The above 7 points are the major points on which the retailers can improvise which will go a long way in creating retails spaces that are outstanding.

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1 Comment

  • Navneet Rao says:

    Any brand have to keep their customer updated with their product or offer so that they can come back & buy the product. Also any brand have to make sure that their customer happy by their brand service. Well thanks for sharing some retail audit importance on this blog.

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