Friday, December 21, 2018

How Merchandising Apps Help Category Management Focus on the Shopper

Merchandising apps have become a must-have for category managers. Not only are they a key data collection instrument when reviewing and assessing category performance but these apps also assist in implementing category plans.

But how can merchandising apps be used in gathering shopper insights so these can be incorporated into category strategy reviews?

Most merchandising apps offer some degree of customization for the mobile forms that will be filled in by merchandisers and field reps. However, a few of them allow category and brand managers to fully customize those forms, opening the software to be used as a platform for implementing shopper-centric activities such as customer surveys, tasting questionnaires, and even mystery shopping.

Beyond the possibility of fully customizing mobile forms, the greatest feature of merchandising apps for category managers is the agility that cloud-based systems bring to retail surveys. The virtually instant access to the data captured in the field makes it possible to implement strategies such as A/B testing – unthinkable on the old and slow pen-and-paper testing – and quickly fine-tune category plans according to the survey results.

VisitBasis is a comprehensive merchandising app for businesses of all sizes, from small marketing agencies to large CPG companies and retail chains. VisitBasis allows creating custom forms not only for retail audits but also for in-store surveys, making it easy for category managers to gather shopper insights, and provides real-time access to the captured data with both tabulated and visual reports.

Online demos of the VisitBasis merchandising app can be scheduled at http://meetme.so/visitbasis. For more information and to sign up for a free trial, go to www.visitbasis.com.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Retail Planogram Compliance Checks via VisitBasis

Retail planogram compliance checks used to be notoriously complex activities due to the scale of operations necessary to implement them on many stores - and then transcribing sometimes thousands of pages of data in order to generate reports. 

VisitBasis came into the market with the purpose of making recurring retail planogram compliance checks drastically easier to implement and report - and it delivers.

On the VisitBasis mobile app, merchandisers answer questions and fill in checklists developed by brand, category, and merchandising managers. The information collected during the retail planogram compliance checks via VisitBasis is then available for reporting by management as soon as store visits are completed.

What makes retail planogram compliance checks via VisitBasis truly effective is that the system was built, first and foremost, with these activities as its main focus. VisitBasis features tools and settings that allow, for instance, the following:

  • Building store assortment (or MSL - must-stock lists) by individual store, chain, or group of stores
  • Cross-referencing store assortment and planogram compliance check tasks, reducing product search time and the risk of user input errors.
  • GPS verification of visits, preventing fraudulent check-ins.
  • Follow-ups and corrective actions scheduled directly on photo reports.

Besides, VisitBasis provides a powerful, Google Cloud-based system that is easy to use and implement, allowing for straightforward implementations not only in large businesses with IT support but also in smaller service providers - such as local distributors and sales and marketing agencies.

Customers wishing to see how retail planogram compliance checks via VisitBasis work can schedule an online demo at http://meetme.so/visitbasis.

For more information and to sign up for a fully functional free trial of VisitBasis, go to www.visitbasis.com.



Thursday, December 6, 2018

Store Audit Report Templates: Customizing is Key

Having store audit report templates can greatly reduce the amount of time spent reporting. However, many mobile merchandising software solutions available on the market do not offer the flexibility needed to fully customize templates, both for data collection and for report generation.

The reality for merchandising and category managers is, despite some common metrics, each category, product, or even campaign has its own audit requirements and, therefore, require custom checklists.

Store audit report templates can be used to monitor topics as varied as the following: Out-of-stocks, product quantities, dating issues, sets and resets, sampling, displays, damages or hazards, etc, so one can see why custom checklists and audit reports are needed.

VisitBasis is a comprehensive mobile merchandising software for businesses of all sizes. VisitBasis allows creating custom store audit report templates for everything that needs to be monitored at retail outlets, providing a complete system for creating checklists with various multiple data formats, from free text to single/multiple choice, photos and even signatures.

VisitBasis also gives managers instant access and analysis of the information collected, delivering a budget-friendly and easy-to-use system that helps you take full control of store audits.

Ready to take full charge of your store audit report templates? Sign up today at www.visitbasis.com for a free trial, or book a free online demo to see how it works.


Monday, November 26, 2018

7 Merchandising Report Examples

One of the many duties of merchandising managers is to summarize meaningful product and/or category information collected at the sometimes thousands of retail stores for which they are responsible. Merchandising reports can seem complex to build but, with the right piece of software, merchandising and category managers can easily organize multiple store data in a way that will lead to the appropriate action by management.

The following merchandising report examples are just some of the ways in which information collected at stores can be organized:

Product availability report
This is the probably the most important type of merchandising reports since it shows any out-of-stocks by stores and therefore allows management not only to know which locations need extra shipments but also to better adjust shipment quantities and frequency.

Product display reports
This type of report can include information on issues such as product damage and/or tampering, as well as photos.

Product pricing report
As the name indicates, this type of report can help merchandising managers view and analyze product price fluctuations by store.

Product category report
This merchandising report example includes planogram compliance reports and can contain share of shelf percentages as well as category shelf photos.

Competitor product report
Viewing and analyzing competing product information allows merchandising managers to tweak their product/category strategy. Information may include pricing, promotions, packaging, and display strategy.

Seasonal display report
Seasonal displays are a great way to increase product awareness at stores. With this report, merchandising managers can keep track of the set-up, maintenance, and performance of seasonal displays.

Merchandiser activity report
This merchandising report example allows managers at CPG companies and marketing agencies to keep track of how many and which stores each merchandiser is visiting a day, as well as know if they are properly performing their duties with GPS verification of store visits.

VisitBasis is an end-to-end merchandising solution that allows managers to create the customized questionnaires necessary to capture store-level data in order to generate the above merchandising report examples - and more. See what VisitBasis can do for your business: Sign up for a free trial or schedule an online demo.



Friday, November 2, 2018

Field Force Automation Solutions Deliver More Than Just Mobile Data Collection

Field force automation solutions have revolutionized the way businesses with outside teams work. From sales to in-store merchandising and service professionals, field force automation has done away with paperwork and double data entry errors, as well as brought increased productivity.

But besides straightforward mobile data collection, what are some other benefits of field force automation solutions? Businesses who have adopted such software report the following:

Better accountability with little effort
In addition to actively collecting data, mobile field force automation solutions also gather passive information, such as GPS and time stamps. This means that management is able to see where their field personnel are during the day and which activities are being performed at which customers.

Empowering of field professionals
More than data collection, mobile field force automation solutions provide a platform for accessing relevant information. For instance, sales reps can retrieve new product brochures and past customer call reports without the need to plan visits by printing out materials. Also, specific forms can be designed so field personnel can report on out-of-the-ordinary situations, such as distributor or retailer out-of-stocks.

Real-time reporting 
Real-time reporting is probably the biggest advantage of field force automation solutions for businesses since there is virtually no lag time between data collection and reporting, thanks to the elimination of data transcription and processing, and therefore make faster and better strategic decisions.

VisitBasis is an ideal field force automation solution for businesses conducting in-store or in-customer activities such as surveys, product tastings, audits, planogram checks, among others, that require customized forms along with real-time access and analysis of the data being collected.

Want to see how VisitBasis works? Sign up for a free trial or schedule an online demo!


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Mobile Merchandising App is Key to Improving In-Store Customer Experience

With the threat of online shopping looming over brick-and-mortar retailers, more than ever it is important to ensure a positive in-store customer experience in order to maximize revenue.

But how can merchandising managers in large, sometimes multinational retailers and CPG manufacturers have any control of customer experience in every single store? Mobile merchandising is the answer to that.

A mobile merchandising app allows reps, store personnel, and retail auditors to capture data on their smartphones and tablets. The information is then stored in the Cloud, where managers can run reports and follow in real time what is going on with their brands or territories.

So not only is mobile merchandising superior to the traditional pen-and-paper audits and surveys when it comes to the speed that information reaches decision makers but it also provides more opportunities for centralized management to be involved in the customer experience at individual stores.

Beyond speeding the access to information, mobile merchandising platforms improve the quality of information collected at stores. For one thing, electronic forms are easier and faster to fill in and therefore can be more complex since there is no need to take data transcription into consideration. On top of that, the use of a smartphone for data collection means that photos can also be captured, giving management visual elements that help track and improve the customer experience at stores.

VisitBasis mobile merchandising platform provides all the tools necessary to set up and execute retail audits and customer surveys, among others, from custom checklists and questionnaires that include photo answers to real-time access to captured data and GPS verification of visits.

Try VisitBasis today! Sign up for a free trial or schedule an online demo.


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!