Thursday, October 4, 2018

Maybe Smartphone Use During Working Hours is Not Bad After All… When a Retail Store Audit App is Installed!

Smartphone use during working hours is frowned upon in most businesses, especially when it involves outside contractors or field staff - such as merchandisers and marketing reps - or, even worse, store employees.

However, recent developments in mobile technology mean that cell phones are no longer tools used exclusively for business or social voice/text communication. Smartphones - as the name indicates - are basically small computers that we carry around, always available to us, and apps are literally the software running on them.

Retail store audit apps, in particular, are solutions that allow field staff to perform in-store activities right on their mobile devices. Most retail store audit apps work across multiple phone platforms - such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android - so they do not require any custom hardware, making it easy for manufacturers, distributors, agencies, and retailers to implement such solutions without having to invest in equipment.

Clearly, capturing data on a mobile device has many benefits when compared to the old pen-and-paper checklist system. With a retail store audit app, not only companies can set up checklists that capture from text to photos and single or multiple-choice selections, but all the data transcription work is virtually eliminated. Therefore, we can clearly see how this translates into personnel, time, and paper savings.

VisitBasis is a retail store audit app that allows for custom in-store data capture with the following additional features:

  • Mobile user tracking with GPS verification of store visits, 
  • custom setup of SKU distribution lists by store or chain,
  • visit scheduling, planning, and optimized routing,
  • real-time reports and access to audit findings,
  • Cloud-based system, easy to use and implement.

See what a retail store audit app can do for your business: Sign up today for a VisitBasis free trial at www.visitbasis.com!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Making Complex Retail Planogram Checklists Simpler to Set Up, Easier to Audit

Retail planogram checklists can be complex for all those involved with the process: From the managers setting up individual store distribution lists to merchandisers filling in information on extensive forms for several products at a time.

Merchandising apps such as VisitBasis can greatly simplify the retail planogram checklist process. VisitBasis was developed by merchandising executives who thoroughly understand the specifics of store audits and therefore provides a comprehensive retail planogram checklist platform.

VisitBasis features include the following:
  • Custom task builder
    Retail planogram checklists can become quite long and complex. VisitBasis allows managers to customize checklists with different answer types for each question, as well as provide single- and multiple-choice answers, as well as attach sample planograms and instructions to tasks so reps and merchandisers have all they need to complete their work right on their mobile device.
  • Custom store or chain-specific product distribution listsVisitBasis allows managers to configure which products are available at each store or chain, resulting in retail planogram checklists that apply only to the products available at each store. Along with a barcode search feature, this greatly reduces input errors by merchandising reps.
  • Protection against fraudulent check-insVisitBasis provides GPS verification of all store visits and tasks, so managers can be sure that the planogram audit was performed at the appropriate location.
  • Real-time access to incoming dataRetail planogram checklists can detect mission-critical issues, such as out-of-stocks and damaged promotional displays. With VisitBasis, managers have instant access to visit and task data as soon as reps sync the app, so not only can they address any mission-critical issues but also generate real-time reports.

Want to see how VisitBasis can help your business streamline retail planogram checklists? Sign up right now for a free trial at www.visitbasis.com and schedule an online demo with our team at meetme.so/visitbasis.


Friday, September 28, 2018

How a Mobile App for Merchandisers Helps Businesses Go Green

Merchandising activities are traditionally natural resource intensive, from the piles of paper necessary to perform numerous daily audits to the amount of fuel used by reps in their daily routes.

Therefore, it is easy to see how a mobile app for merchandisers can help businesses go green just by virtually eliminating paper usage during audits. But what are other ways in which such apps can help reduce the use of natural resources in merchandising activities? Here are some examples:

  • Elimination of data transcription - the most work-intensive part of traditional pen-and-paper audits is actually transcribing the data collected at stores. By eliminating this work- and time-intensive step, a mobile app for merchandising helps save power and man-hours.
  • Route optimization - some mobile apps for merchandising can automatically calculate the shortest route for reps' daily store routes. This will naturally lead to time and fuel savings.
  • Anytime online report access - another area in the merchandising audit process where there is traditionally an opportunity for reduced paper usage is reporting. By allowing anytime online report access, including for stakeholders not involved in the day-to-day operations such as outside clients or executives, a mobile app for merchandising significantly reduces paperwork as well as printing costs and power usage.

VisitBasis is a mobile app for merchandising that will help your business go green by providing all the features above along with a straightforward platform for performing custom retail store audits. Learn more and sign up for a fully-functional 14-day free trial of VisitBasis by going to www.visitbasis.com.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Best Solution for Field Reps Must Also Please Managers

Managers of merchandising retail audit activities do not have an easy time: Often they are responsible for the work of dozens – if not hundreds – of field reps who are most times geographically dispersed. Therefore, managers face large gaps in accountability and communication, what could hinder their knowledge of what is really going on in stores and, consequently, hinder sales potential.

Mobile solutions for field reps came on the market to bridge that gap and give managers a faster and more accurate view of their brands and product lines at the store level. But what are the criteria that should be used to evaluate not only the best solution for field reps but also for managers?

Some must-have features of a complete mobile merchandising solution include:

  • Visit scheduling and planning from both sides: If one is to be the best solution for field reps, it must allow the scheduling and planning of visits both from manager’s and rep’s side.
  • Automated adjustments to each individual store: This means that managers can set up pre-selected activities and also customize the product lists for each store, meaning fewer rep mistakes or misunderstandings.
  • Real-time access to field data: The true benefits of a mobile merchandising solution can only be achieved with faster decision-making and real-time access to field data allows issues such as out-of-stocks to be addressed as soon as they are detected.
  • Easy reporting and data exchange options: In order to please all inside and outside stakeholders – that might include data-heavy departments such as planning – a truly best solution for field reps must be able to exchange data in various formats, from exporting spreadsheets to having BigQuery access.

Many businesses have found out that, for them, VisitBasis is the best solution for field reps. See how it works for your company: Sign up today for a free trial, no credit card required!


Friday, August 24, 2018

What to Look For in the Best Mobile Merchandising Solution for your Business

Retail-focused businesses depend on merchandising audits to keep track of their in-store availability, presentation, and – in some cases – perception. Companies, from product manufacturers to distributors and marketing agencies, rely on field reps to perform those activities and are increasingly adopting mobile merchandising solutions in order to streamline the flow of information from the stores to decision makers.

However, there are quite a few merchandising app providers on the market, making it challenging for management to decide on the ideal solution for their company.

Therefore, when looking for the best mobile merchandising solution for their needs, managers must make sure that the chosen software provides the following capabilities:

Customizable forms
While dairy products might need frequent checks for expired items, fast-moving products will have to be checked for out-of-stocks, and promotional displays will be checked for integrity. A mobile merchandising solution that allows fully customizable forms will adapt to those different audit needs.

Customizable distribution lists
Product selection normally changes by retail chain, but can also vary by store. The best mobile merchandising solution will allow for those variations in distribution and must-stock-lists will make it easier and faster for reps to perform audits since tasks will be tailored to each store’s product selection.

Real-time reporting
One of the main reasons that businesses chose to adopt a mobile merchandising solution over traditional pen-and-paper audits is to eliminate the lag time between data capture at the store and management reports. Therefore, real-time reporting is a must-have – leading to faster resolution of mission-critical issues such as out-of-stocks and damaged merchandise.

Data exchange options
Mobile merchandising solutions must be flexible when it comes to data exchange: While an audit summary report in PDF might be necessary with the fulfillment department to justify an extra shipment, a brand manager will probably need hard data in Excel format in order to generate charts for a board presentation, and yet planning might want direct BigQuery access to generate their own custom reports.

VisitBasis mobile merchandising solution offers all the above and more: Schedule an online demo right now!


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Retail Sales Audit Software is Key to Accurate Inventory Levels

Inventory levels at retail stores seem like something simple to track. In an ideal world, a store would receive a product shipment, put it on display for sale, then customers would buy some units during the day, and the store would have some left at closing time. However, this is not what happens most of the time, since inventory levels can be affected by external factors such as theft and product damage.

Therefore, physical counts are essential to maintaining accurate inventory levels at stores and retail sales audit software is the best way to perform those.

Retail sales audit software allows reps to perform physical counts and other in-store activities right on their mobile devices. Additionally, since most retail sales audit software solutions run on the Cloud, office-based supply chain professionals have instant access to audit results, allowing for virtually no lag time between data collection and reporting.

This feature of retail sales audit software is what makes it a key to accurate inventory levels: Real-time reporting not only leads to faster product replenishment but also to more accurately detecting sales and supply trends.

VisitBasis retail sales audit software makes it easy and straightforward to manage store audits. VisitBasis runs in the Cloud, assuring that your retail data is accessible to managers at any time, from anywhere. It works on common Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, allowing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation to reduce hardware costs to your company.

Learn more about VisitBasis by scheduling a free online demo at meetme.so/visitbasis or by going to www.visitbasis.com.



Friday, July 20, 2018

Field Merchandising Software Eliminates Fraudulent Check-Ins

One of the main issues that merchandising team managers face is fraudulent check-ins. The traditional high turnover rates of merchandisers – which undermine trust among work relationships – along with the fact that virtually 100% of their work is done without any supervision, builds the perfect scenario that leads to merchandisers reporting on activities at a certain location when they are actually somewhere else.

With the advent of mobile technologies, merchandisers have recently been able to fill in forms and checklists through an app on their smartphones and tablets. However, this still did not address the issue of fraudulent check-ins.

Recently, though, several complete field merchandising software solutions were developed, allowing merchandisers not only to fill forms electronically but also to be tracked via GPS on their daily routes.

Field merchandising software allows for a streamlined store audit process, from form creation and visit scheduling and planning, all the way to reporting. With field merchandising software, every in-store activity is GPS and time stamped, what gives managers the certainty that there were no fraudulent check-ins within their teams.

VisitBasis is a field merchandising software solution that provides all of the above tools in an easy-to-use package. The VisitBasis mobile merchandiser app is available for free at Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and managers can access the VisitBasis Office interface from any desktop or laptop browser.

Book your VisitBasis online demo today or sign up for a free field merchandising software trial!