Monday, August 29, 2016

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Data Collection?

Data collection in retail used to be limited by the data compiling and processing capacity of the business conducting the operation, whether it was a retailer, a sales and marketing company, or the merchandising department of a CPG manufacturer.

Some surveys, for instance, had to be limited to especially selected markets or even stores in order to get a sample of shoppers similar to the product's target audience so data transcription and processing wouldn't slow down critical go-to-market decisions.

Mobile data collection software has revolutionized this scenario. With mobile data collection software, field reps can perform surveys, product tastings, etc., at the point-of-sale on their own mobile devices, and the information collected will be instantly available for management to analyze and use as part of their decision-making process.

Therefore, by doing away with the limitations of data transcription and processing, mobile data collection software opens the door for better strategic decision-making based on a much broader, more representative of the target market, sample size.

VisitBasis mobile data collection software is an ideal solution for business conducting in-store 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.

Easy to use and implement, VisitBasis streamlines data collection for retail businesses of all sizes and is fully cross-platform, working both on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

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



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is It Really Safe to Outsource Retail Audits?

Retail audits can be tedious, messy and overwhelming. It takes a lot of organization and coordinating to get retail audits done effectively and on time, and transcribing audit checklist findings can mean losing time and important information. It doesn't come as a surprise, then, when retail businesses outsource their audits to companies specialized in the process.

However, outsourcing retail audits has some considerable disadvantages, that include higher costs and uncertainty concerning the qualifications and experience of subcontracted auditors, as well as confidentiality issues.

By outsourcing retail audits, businesses also miss out on the benefits of store self-assessment, especially the round-the-clock awareness it can create among team members when combined with proper training and mentoring.

Retail audit software is an ideal solution for businesses concerned with outsourcing their store audits. With retail audit software, businesses can reach their compliance objectives by allowing store team members to perform audits on individual or shared smartphones or tablets.

An advanced retail audit software solution allows businesses to create their own customized checklists and surveys, that can include photos and signatures, and has the added benefit of doing away completely with data transcription.

VisitBasis is a comprehensive retail audit software solution for businesses of all sizes. VisitBasis allows creating task templates for everything that needs to be checked at the retail location as well as instant access and analysis of the information collected, providing a budget-friendly and easy-to-use system that helps you take full control of retail audits at the point-of-sale.

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



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Who Has the Time for Reporting?

In general, salespeople hate reporting. After all, every minute spent on reporting means time away from customers and, therefore, sales opportunities.

However, reporting is obviously a necessary "evil", especially in sales organizations with widespread territories.

The good news is that mobile technology along with SaaS (Software as a Service) now allows for outside sales reps to fill out customer visit reports on their mobile devices. With field sales management software, reps can place orders, take visit notes, present new products, and notify management of their current whereabouts, among others, all on their smartphones and tablets.

And once the sales call is over, the report is already synchronized with the office so there is no need to spend more time away from sales opportunities.

Field sales management software has also many other benefits that can help field reps increase customer-facing time, including:

  • Route optimization: With a field sales management software in place, reps can use the app on their mobile devices to calculate the shortest route for the day and maybe have time for one extra call.
  • Anywhere access to collaterals: Sales and marketing management can upload documents such as product images and PDFs so they will be available whenever the opportunity comes for the sales rep to present a new product, reducing call preparation time.
  • Automatic notifications: How many times, in the middle of a call, the customer needs some advanced product information but the rep cannot reach the product manager or engineer who could answer the customer question and then the closing is lost? Some field sales management software allow the set up of automatic notifications of events so, whenever a rep performs a certain task, the appropriate people will be notified and customers get their answers faster.

VisitBasis is a complete field sales management software that has all the tools to help your reps save time and close more sales.

Learn more about VisitBasis: Sign up today for a free trial or request an online demo!



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lost Sales are Just the Tip of the Iceberg in Out-of-Stocks

"Out-of-stock" is a dreaded term in retail. When there is no stock of a certain product, there can be no sales of such product, so out-of-stock means lost revenue. Period. The customer that didn't find their favored product in stock at a certain location might even be lost forever, since the absence of that product could mean settling for - and then liking - available alternatives.

In summary, out-of-stocks mean more than lost sales, they can mean losing customers due to poor reputation and brand loyalty.

Therefore, consumer product goods (CPG) and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have systems in place in order to prevent frequent out-of-stocks. One such system involves having merchandising teams going to each and every store where their products are sold in order to verify the quantities still available and request more product if necessary.

Field merchandising software has revolutionized how out-of-stocks are handled. Before, companies had to rely on the old pen-and-paper methods of filing reports and then making calls if necessary. Field merchandising software allows field reps to use their own devices to notify operations of any low or out-of-stocks.

Some field merchandising software, such as VisitBasis, even allow for instant notifications of specific tasks to certain people. For instance, if a field rep detects that there is a low quantity of a product in the point-of-sale he/she is visiting, by using the field merchandising software in his/her mobile device to report this, sales and shipping can be automatically notified and take immediate action in order to prevent the out-of-stock.

Ready to see for yourself? Sign up today for a free trial of VisitBasis Field Merchandising Software or request an online demo!


Boosting Retail Sales with Field Marketing

Field marketing aims to better promote brands in stores and also to make sure that customers have a positive brand experience. Easier said than done, right?

For CPG and FMCG companies, field marketing can become a nightmare simply due to the army of people needed to implement effective point-of-sale strategies.

A field marketing software can make help brand and marketing managers make sure that their retail plans are correctly implemented. With a field marketing software, there can be significant improvements not only on field marketing operations management, but also on the accuracy of data collected and in planogram consistency.

Here is how field marketing software can make a difference in the following everyday in-store activities:
  • Planogram compliance and shelving
    A field marketing software allows access to planogram schematics for each point-of-sale on the rep's smartphone or tablet and also captures store photos. This clearer communication along with stricter supervision turns into a higher level of planogram compliance and brand consistency.
  • Questionnaires and surveys
    With field marketing software such as VisitBasis, it is easy to customize forms and surveys to gather precise information from customers in order to tweak promotions and products. By collecting the data in the field rep's mobile device and automatically sending it to a cloud server, field marketing software allows companies to skip the dreaded paper collection and transcription process and streamline data capture and analysis.
  • Boost sales
    Field reps who interact with store managers have the ability to influence which products are carried at a certain store, as well as where they are carried, hopefully ensuring prime placement. A field marketing software gives reps easy access to sales collaterals and product information along with the ability to place orders, all in their mobile devices.
See how VisitBasis field marketing software can boost your retail sales - sign up today for a free trial!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Building a Culture of Field Force Efficiency

highly-productive and efficient field force is a must-have for retail-related businesses. Merchandising departments and sales and marketing agencies in CPG, however, have a hard time managing their field force mostly due to high rep turnover.

While some factors that lead to high turnover cannot be controlled - such as personal expectations and lack of knowledge of what the field rep job entails - it is proven that effective mentoring can dramatically reduce turnover and improve rep productivity and efficiency.

The "field" aspect of field forces, however, can make rep mentoring a challenge, to say the least, since one-on-one monitoring becomes highly costly and time-demanding.

A field force monitoring solution can be an invaluable tool in mentoring reps.  When reps have a field force monitoring solution in their mobile devices, they can view their schedule, perform tasks, answer questionnaires, take pictures, capture signatures, and place orders, among others, in their smartphones or tablets. Then, without leaving the office, field operations managers and supervisors can track field rep activity in real time and constantly evaluate their performance. 

VisitBasis is a field force monitoring solution that offers all the tools needed for field operations managers and supervisors to effectively plan, track and evaluate their team activities. The VisitBasis field force monitoring solution includes many capabilities that will assist with field rep compliance and mentoring, such as the following :

  • Optimized GPS routing, maximizing the number of visits per day 
  • Visit scheduling and planning integrated with Google Calendar
  • True online/offline capabilities, so reps are able to work even if they don't have coverage
  • Instant notifications of specific tasks (such as orders) or visits to key locations
Sign up today for a VisitBasis free trial or request an online demo!




Friday, July 29, 2016

How to Deal with the Challenge of Poor Planogram Compliance

Poor planogram compliance is a known issue in retail. According to the ISI Sharegroup, it is estimated that the total cost to the U.S. retail RCP industry of poor planogram compliance (actual and opportunity costs) is approximately 1% of gross product sales.

Planogram compliance, however, is not something that is accomplished in an office by the merchandising strategy team. The adherence to a category's or product's retail merchandising standards must be verified at every single recurring visit performed at each point-of-sale by every single field rep.

A retail planogram app for compliance checks is the ideal tool for verifying adherence to merchandising standards. By having a retail planogram app for compliance checks on their smartphones and tablets, field reps can have access to the merchandising schematics for each store they visit, making sure that the products are displayed according to plan.

By implementing a retail planogram app for compliance checks, merchandising departments and sales and marketing agencies are able to:

  • Virtually eliminate the use of paper by trading survey forms, reports and even literature for their electronic equivalents.
  • Eliminate transcription errors and misunderstanding.
  • GPS-stamped data collection in order to avoid fraudulent check-ins.
  • Save on travel reimbursements and maximize store time by calculating the shortest visit route for each day.
  • Implement revenue-boosting strategies by communicating more effectively with field reps through visit checklists and notes.
  • Receive automatic notifications of mission-critical situations, such as out-of-stocks or damaged lots.
  • And much more.

VisitBasis is a retail planogram app for compliance checks with all the key elements necessary for an effective empowerment of merchandising teams. See what a retail planogram app for compliance checks can do for your merchandising efforts, sign up today for a free VisitBasis trial!