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!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

During World Cup, Merchandising Has to Step Up

Sales of drinks and snacks go up dramatically during the Soccer/Football World Cup. According to a market analysis done in the UK during the 2014 edition of the global tournament, consumers spent an extra £28 million in beer and cider and £3 million on snacks and nuts on its first week alone, compared to the same week of the previous year.

Along with the opportunity for more sales through the increased demand for product, though, comes the threat of out-of-stocks. Out-of-stocks mean more than just the loss of a sale: They can mean losing customers forever since, due to the absence or their preferred product at the store, they might choose to try a different brand (and like it) instead of shopping around.

That is why merchandising during the World Cup and other sports events has to be so diligent. Category management and product distribution need to be working in synchrony in order to avoid out-of-stocks at all costs.

A mobile app for retail audits is the solution not only for World Cup merchandising but also for year-round in-store activities. With a mobile app for retail audits, reps and merchandisers can verify product inventory as well as perform many other in-store tasks right from their own smartphones and tablets. Upon completing each visit, the captured data gets synchronized and then it is immediately available for decision-makers to act on.

VisitBasis is a mobile app for retail audits that helps business stay on top of their in-store merchandising, giving managers have real-time access to field activity, as well as to reporting tools that can be used to detect trends. VisitBasis also includes options for instant notifications, making it an ideal system for year-round and especially World Cup merchandising.

Sign up today for a free trial at www.visitbasis.com.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Reporting is not a Chore with Field Merchandising Software

Every retail-centric business has to perform merchandising activities. From stores to manufacturers, distributors, and marketing agencies, companies in retail need to make sure that products are being distributed and displayed correctly.

However, retail means multiples: Multiple stores, multiple products, multiple cities, sometimes multiple brands… And, most definitely, multiple people performing merchandising activities generating a huge amount of data.

This means that detecting threats and opportunities within the captured data becomes increasingly difficult as business grows, therefore mission-critical issues such as frequent out-of stocks or damaged shipments can easily be overlooked.

Field merchandising software can greatly simplify reporting in retail and make it easier to take charge of non-conforming situations, as well as to grasp opportunities for business growth.

With a field merchandising software solution in place, reps will capture data by filling in forms on a mobile app. Upon synchronizing, the captured data will be readily available for managers to run reports, that can then be filtered in order to pinpoint mission-critical information.

So not only field merchandising software expedites the time between data capture and reporting, but it also allows for a faster addressing of urgent issues.

VisitBasis field merchandising software is a complete mobile data collection solution designed to build, schedule and monitor store activities in real time. It provides tools for all types of retail merchandising activities, including planogram checks, audits, inspections, surveys, POS asset management, training, product sampling and demonstrations, among others, and allows instant access to captured data upon completion of visits.

See for yourself how VisitBasis field merchandising software will generate retail audit reports in a breeze: Schedule an online demo with our team or sign up for a free trial!


Monday, April 30, 2018

Retail Audit Application is the Key to Planogram Compliance

Achieving consistent planogram compliance across chains and stores is the dream of all brand and category managers. However, the reality is that it is almost impossible to reach full planogram compliance unless there is a centrally, well managed retail audit operation and the only way to achieve that is through mobile technology.

Retail audit applications provide a sure way to implement effective planogram compliance operations. With a retail audit application, brand and category managers are able to set up country-wide, or even worldwide, retail audit operations right from their offices.

Most retail audit applications currently available rely on Cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) technology and provide the following benefits, especially when compared to traditional paper-based audits:
  • Form customization and the ability to capture photos and signatures in addition to text, numbers, and selections.
  • Real-time access to incoming data, with total elimination of data transcription.
  • Protection against fraudulent check-ins through GPS visit verification.
  • Identification of individual or chain store distribution lists and planograms, leading to fewer auditing mistakes when selecting products.
  • Setup of mandatory tasks for each location.
  • Visit scheduling, planning, and routing capabilities.

VisitBasis retail audit application makes it easy and straightforward to manage centralized planogram compliance activities. VisitBasis runs in the Cloud, assuring that 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 businesses.

VisitBasis retail audit application is easy to deploy – and you can start up completely free! Just register for a free trial at www.visitbasis.com and download the free VisitBasis app from Google Play or App Store.