06 Jan Still using email for your VM compliance?
During the earlier phase of developing StorIQ we undertook some research as we were trying to establish the potential ROI of making incremental improvements in VM compliance in the retail store window.
An interesting finding from the survey was that the primary way of communicating visual merchandising compliance is via email – with as much as 70% of retailers in the UK still doing this. Following the use of email was VM team and Area Manager visits.
Email is widely used as a form of business communication for a good reason and overall it is a highly effective tool for communicating with colleagues. We would certainly not argue with that. But we do have to ask:
Is email is the best tool for ensuring and enabling VM compliance across a retail estate?
Store visits are clearly important too – but we would question how many stores can be visited after a window refresh and at what pace; the practicalities and cost of doing this would be challenging. You can’t completely do away with store visits – they fulfill a far wider function than just ensuring VM compliance – but you can increase the rate and effectiveness of feedback on VM compliance through adoption of technology purpose built for the task.
Not convinced yet?
In 2013 an in-depth survey was conducted by Retail Info Systems in the USA on “Optimizing In-Store Merchandising” and whilst the respondents were all US retailers the responses would echo those of most markets. In the report, one of the findings that stood out most was that nearly 54% of respondents felt that a “Disconnect between merchandising, marketing and store ops” was the key challenge they faced in ensuring VM compliance:
Could it be that this disconnect between merchandising, marketing and store operations is as a result of using tools like email and spreadsheets for communicating VM compliance? We think yes.
But we would say that wouldn’t we? We have built a tool called Store View which we want you to trial across your retail estate!
However, if you look at the potential financial impact of non-compliance it may help to give such a trial serious consideration.
The same “Optimizing In-Store Merchandising” survey asked senior-level retail merchandisers to estimate the percentage of lost annual sales they attribute to non-compliance of in-store merchandising. Thirty-seven percent said that up to three percent of annual sales are lost due to non-compliance.
That means, for a company with a £100 million in annual sales, up to £3 million is lost as a result of holes in in-store merchandising practices, and a key factor in justifying a corrective investment. The scariest part is that for nearly 15 percent of respondents, the percentage lost was upwards of 14 percent.
Even if the reality was that a far lower percentage of lost sales is directly attributable to poor VM compliance, it is clear that this is an area of bricks-and-mortar retail that warrants considerable attention.
We’re pleased to point out that StorIQ’s Store View application is a simple and effective means to bridge the gap between marketing, VM teams and store operations. The StorIQ Store View application provides a collaborative platform for retail teams to share, manage and review in-store visual merchandising standards. A cost effective and time saving tool for VM/Head Office teams, Area Managers and Stores.
Store View is a licensed cloud based application and scales to all devices. The application sits alongside but requires no integration with existing business information systems.
Access our ROI of the Store Wind0w White Paper.
If you would like to find the ROI for your own store windows – why not put your own figures into our free ROI calculator at https://www.storiq.net/roi