Saturday, January 30, 2016

Automating Merchandising Operations: Best Practices


Managing merchandising activities can be quite a challenge, as managers and supervisors are overwhelmed with lots of data in retail locations. But this can be easily changed thanks to mobile technology that helps organize retail data and business processes.
When merchandisers have tools that enable them to work more efficiently, office managers can easily achieve company’s goals and increase the effectiveness of retail campaigns. Here are the best practices to develop highly organized merchandising activities and speed up decision-making.
  • Switch to paperless data collection to streamline retail data workflow. In today’s mobile-driven world you can find an app for everything, and retail data collection is not an exception. Merchandising applications for tablets and smartphones empower merchandisers to collect retail data faster and help supervisors manage tasks, ease collaboration and track goals in a more efficient manner. Choosing a SaaS merchandising solutions allows having 24/7 access to data and mobile data collection tools without spending time and money on IT support and server maintenance.
  • Move your retail data to the Cloud. When you adopt a Cloud merchandising solution to automate your merchandising operations you can count on the best service availability even if your company is multinational and runs in different countries and time zones. Being on the Cloud also makes it possible for merchandisers to collect retail data offline and synchronize retail data once an Internet connection is established.
  • Opt for merchandising software with CRM capabilities. Today there are plenty of merchandising applications on the market. However, not all of them are comprehensive solutions that allow such additional features as territory management, CRM capabilities and/or the possibility to connect with existing CRMs through APIs and export/import.
  • Use analytic tools to make data-driven decisions. The up-to-date merchandising software solutions don’t end with streamlining retail data workflow and CRM capabilities but provide managers and supervisors with an opportunity to receive instant reports and manage merchandising operations in real time. The web-based dashboards and reports help you identify productive employees and perform workflow analysis, taking data-driven decisions.

Learn more about the benefits of merchandising software at www.visitbasis.com. Free downloads of the VisitBasis merchandising app on Google Play and App Store for any number of users!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

How a Merchandising App Can Help Companies Increase Sales Numbers


When the New Year begins retail companies are usually anxious over sales figures for the post-Christmas season. When it comes to winning the naturally lower-paced market, merchandising activities is one of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of retail campaigns. In order to maximize the value of retail merchandising operations, a company needs to make sure that marketing campaigns are implemented in a consistent way, and merchandising software is a simple solution to achieve just that.

If a company needs to increase its sales numbers, merchandising activities at retail locations are as important as the characteristics of the product being sold. This is why automating merchandising activities in the field using mobile technology is so important: The up-to-date data collection solution will allow your merchandisers to perform more effectively, while helping you save costs.

Merchandising software provides real-time tracking and monitoring of in-store merchandising activities along with advanced task building, visit planning and scheduling, so the management can take control over what is happening in the field and make sure that marketing campaigns are implemented and followed through in compliance with marketing strategy.

VisitBasis is a complete merchandising software solution that offers unique features for CPG and FMCG companies, merchandising agencies and field-service based organizations alike. Since it was designed by retail professionals for paperless data collection it translates some essential business requirements into differentials that make VisitBasis merchandising software stand out of the competition.
  • Scheduling visits and tasks in bulk – With VisitBasis merchandising software you can quickly plan retail visits for any number of merchandisers in multiple retail locations for any periods of time. 
  • Every mobile activity is GPS and time-stamped – Fraudulent check-ins become easy to detect and dealt with.
  • Route optimization both on mobile merchandising app and on management interface – When following the optimal route your merchandisers save a lot of time and fuel, and may be able to squeeze extra visits every day while your company saves in expense reimbursements.
  • Offline data collection –  With the VisitBasis merchandising mobile app merchandisers are able to collect store data offline and the system synchronizes once online eliminating the need for paper forms and manual data reentry.
  • BYOD implementation – the VisitBasis merchandising app works on common Android and iOS mobile devices, so your merchandisers can use their own tablets and smartphones with familiar features and interface and your company  saves on hardware and mobile workforce training.  

Learn more about the benefits of merchandising software at www.visitbasis.com. Free downloads of the VisitBasis merchandising app on Google Play and App Store for any number of users!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Merchandising Software – Eliminating Data Storage Costs


Looking for the ways to reduce costs of retail merchandising activities and increase productivity of your mobile workforce? This can be easily achieved by leveraging mobile technology into merchandising operations. Merchandising software solutions provide paperless retail data collection in order to streamline data workflow and significantly reduce or even bring to zero data storage costs.


Retail data collected by merchandisers, who use mobile forms, requires much less space than paper sheets and therefore costs less money. In order to store 2 million paper documents, an organization can expect to spend between $40,000 and $60,000 on filing cabinets alone. Those same files could fit on fewer than ten CD-ROMs (Business Guide to Paper Reduction).

To store retail data completely free and have 24/7 access to all the information from anywhere, the most tech-savvy companies in retail opt for Cloud-based merchandising solutions. The up-to-date data collection SaaS providers usually offer Cloud storage as part of their service.

Here are the main reasons to move your merchandising operations to the Cloud:
  • When choosing a Cloud-based merchandising software solution you can improve the efficiency of operations and increase productivity with minimum upfront spending. 
  • Cloud merchandising software allows companies to eliminate time and resources spent on operational issues, like IT-support and server hardware, so the management can concentrate on the things that matter.
  • Adopting Cloud merchandising software you get the best service availability even if your company is multinational and runs in different countries and time zones.
  • If you move your merchandising operations to the Cloud, all the data can be accessed both by field reps and office managers anytime, anywhere and on any device.
  • Being on the Cloud also makes it possible for merchandisers to work offline, and to synchronize once an Internet connection is established.
  • Cloud merchandising software allows retail organizations to quickly transfer big amounts of data, including photos from retail locations, which provides real-time data workflow.
  • Merchandisers can easily perform retail audits using just their tablets and smartphones and office managers are able to analyze all the retail data as soon as it is collected with activity dashboards and reports.
VisitBasis is a complete merchandising software solution that runs in the Cloud. It operates common Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, is extremely easy to deploy, and you can try it completely free. Just register at www.visitbasis.com, download free VisitBasis App on Google Play or App Store and start use the advantages of being in the Cloud today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Merchandising Software: Mobile Workforce Tracking


Merchandising software is designed to fully automate retail data capture in the field. Besides data capture, merchandising software provides companies with all necessary tools to manage mobile workforce, monitor field activities and communicate with merchandisers directly via mobile merchandising application for tablets and smartphones.


When it comes to monitoring merchandisers, companies face significant challenges arising from the specific of their work. Merchandisers collect store data outside the office, which makes impossible to monitor their performance with your own eyes. To track field activities, you need to leverage mobile technology that can provide real-time picture of retail conditions in the field, and merchandising software is a unique solution for CPG and FMCG companies to track their merchandisers working outside the office.

Merchandising Software as a Mobile Workforce Tracking Tool – How Does it Work

  • Office managers plan retail visits for merchandisers, and assign territories and data collection tasks.
  • As soon as visits and tasks are scheduled, merchandisers instantly have access to the information via mobile merchandising application.
  • Having installed a mobile merchandising app on their mobile devices, merchandisers can perform all kinds of data collection activities using just their tablets or smartphones.
  • As soon as visits and tasks are being performed, managers and supervisors can monitor merchandisers’ locations, activities and routes in real time on the map getting time stamped and GPS-confirmed data from points of sale, including photos, numbers, text notes, electronic signatures.
  • During a workday, it’s possible to quickly reschedule appointments for merchandisers, change routes or contact them directly via the application
  • After retail data is captured, it can be instantly transferred to corporate database and is available for analysis. Managers can create various reports at a click of a button; getting the exact data they need at the moment and easily share data with a third party.

Reasons, Why Your Merchandisers Should Want to Be Tracked

  • Using a merchandising mobile app allows your merchandisers to perform in-store tasks very quickly, while minimizing mistakes and being more efficient.
  • Time stamped and geo-tagged data allows completely eliminating controversial issues on work hours or travel routes – it’s always clear, where exactly the activity was performed and how much time it has taken.
  • Empowered with a merchandising mobile solution, merchandisers do not have to visit the office to receive tasks and report back – the reporting is automated and doesn’t take anyone’s time.
  • Working in a mobile merchandising application, merchandisers never notice they are being tracked, because tracking does not interfere with their activities.

Ready to take the advantages of merchandising software as a mobile workforce tracking tool? Sign up today at www.visitbasis.com for a free trial or schedule a free demo to get more information on how it works.


Friday, January 22, 2016

3 Ways To Enhance the Level of Motivation Across the Retail Merchandising Team


Merchandisers’ turnover is a common thing in retail, but still it impacts customer relationships and company’s bottom line. Therefore, motivation of merchandisers is one of the most important components of management a retail merchandising team. Merchandisers, who feel satisfied and engaged with their work, are more productive and efficient. In the same time, motivating merchandisers, who are constantly on the go, can be quite a challenge.


Merchandisers spend most of their workday outside the office, collecting retail data at various locations. It’s no wonder that their motivation is down. When it comes to job satisfaction, wage is not always on the top of the list. For outside employees feeling part of a team and being appreciated is at least as important as financial rewards. Getting no feedback from the management, merchandisers, begin to look elsewhere for a place where they’ll feel valued and appreciated.

Keeping your merchandisers motivated allow to minimize costly employee turnover and maximize their productivity. Staying continuously in search of new methods and techniques of merchandisers’ motivation, a field team manager gets a worthy investment that benefit the company and long term goals – an employee who enjoys coming to work and being a part of the business. Below you’ll find some techniques for making your merchandisers motivated and satisfied with their work.
  1. Encourage communication. Today, with widespread of mobile devices it’s much easier to communicate effectively with your field merchandising team. Messengers, email, and social media allow creating a framework, where merchandisers and office managers work together, sharing achievements and getting engaged. To maintain a sense of ownership for each team member, engage your merchandisers in planning and decision-making, bring their ideas to life, and ask for their input. Encouraging merchandisers to use corporate communication channels strengthens the team spirit of employees, which increases their loyalty and leads to more efficient teamwork. 
  2. Give merchandisers the right tools for their work. Merchandisers, empowered with a kind of mobile solution for retail data collection, are able to perform their duties more efficiently, having better results and becoming more satisfied with the job done. Having all necessary tools on a single device, which they are used to and familiar with, your merchandisers become more engaged and productive performing various tasks with ease. Merchandising software allows your merchandisers to be targeted with their time, spending more hours negotiating with customers and driving larger order size. Making merchandisers’ job less manual enhances their productivity and allows you to use your mobile workforce for more rewarding work.
  3. Provide feedback. A feedback from supervisor is another great motivator, which provides merchandisers with a sense of how they are performing. A good field team manager provides feedback regularly and frequently enough to keep merchandisers motivated. In today’s mobile world you don’t even have to organize a meeting to tell your merchandisers how they are performing. Use corporate messengers or emails to thank merchandisers for the job done, instantly encourage more of good performance, or make timely remarks to give them opportunity to quickly correct the situation. Publicly acknowledge your merchandisers’ contribution using corporate communication channels or social media.

Visit www.visitbasis.com to learn more about mobile workforce management or sign up for a free trial of our merchandising software.