How to make Top quality retail audits for fmcg channel partners and brands useful

What are the benefits of a mystery audit to a retail business?

Retail audits are conducted to discover which consumer products are disappearing from shelves and stockrooms, and then follow the chain of custody for these items to find out how and when they vanish.

Post-Deployment, retail audits are conducted to measure and maintain footfall, conversion rates, consumer behavior, and effective ROI


Is Retail Audit And Maintenance Only A Myth

This is exactly what achieving real-time for relevant and consistent retail experiences does for a brand through drawing the analysis of customer responses and activities. It uses data analysis and broad experience to review the response of customers, citizens, or employees to your brand. It identifies how customers feel about your brand and takes the in-store experience to a more extensive degree.

The transition towards brand activation in a new retail age of providing top-notch customer attention services is transparent. It constitutes the epicenter of experiential shopping. Brick and mortar or physical stores will have to answer more quickly to enhance in-store execution and sustain greater consistency for their online existence.

Successful organisations work hard to ensure they deliver a positive experience for their customers and yet there are many variables which could make the experience less than perfect.

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Retail Audit And Maintenance offer a range of data that help organisations better understand how the outside world views their products and services.

This is particularly vital in highly competitive sectors and in challenging economic times when customers are more careful than ever about where they spend their hard-earned cash.

Retail audits provide insight and clarity, giving organisations the reassurance and confidence that comes from truly understanding what the customer sees and thinks – knowledge is King!

Why Waste Resources On Retail & Store Audits

Providing retail compliance audits and store surveys to deliver enhanced brand impact and to maximise ROI spend.

Consumer Insights

Retail consumer insights are essential for brands, manufacturers and suppliers to succeed.

Supply Chain Availability
Ensuring availability at all times throughout the supply chain.

Price Checks

Price and promotions captured in-store on a daily basis allowing to accurately monitor your competitors pricing strategies and promotional activities.
Legal Compliance
Make sure your displays are legally compliant.
Field Marketing
 Field Marketing solutions encompass retail merchandising, compliance auditing, sampling demonstrations and mystery shopping.

Bespoke Reporting

Fmcg Brand Retail Audits are able to collate mountains of data into bespoke, easy-to-understand, analytical reports that show your best course of action.


Customer Counting

Track people movement and gain better insight

Heat Mapping Surveys

Providing a graphical representation of store data analysis


Do retail stores review camera footage during audit?

Promotion Monitoring & Compliance

Price and promotions captured in-store on a daily basis allowing to accurately monitor your competitors pricing strategies and promotional activities.

Again why Retail Competitor Analysis


An in-depth competitor analysis provides insights into your competitors’ pricing strategies and in-store activities across key FMCG and CPG categories.

With A Proper Retail & Consumer Market Research
One can Understand your customers, their experience, and purchasing to ensure success.

Consumer Insight

Retail consumer insights are essential for brands,manufacturers and suppliers to succeed.

Understanding your consumers’ needs and wants is essential, especially now with the worldwide changes people have had to make in their shopping habits. With this knowledge you will be able to act on essential changes needed to ensure your company is future-proof. Listening empowers you to learn from and talk to your customers in order to create vital ever-improving experiences.
By having quality data and acting on it, businesses are more likely take a larger share of the market and in turn grow their bottom line profit.

So what exactly is Consumer Insight?

Put plainly, Consumer Insights is the action of gathering consumer data for use by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of how their audience buys, thinks and feels.

The ultimate aim is to improve how a business communicates to customers, therefore improving the customer buying pattern resulting in more sales.

What you need to have:

Good data quality

A dedicated analytics team

Consumer research

Database and segment marketing


Feedback programmes are a cost effective way to receive real-time feedback and act on it – helping to ensure that customers stay customers!

Supply Chain Availability

Ensuring availability at all times  throughout the supply chain
The challenge for your stock inventory and supply chain management is always trying to find the right balance between your stock level and customer demands. This is something every business has an issue with when dealing with stock.
In today’s uncertain situation, it’s very important for businesses to guarantee that when a customer wants to make a purchase they can – and you have stock to meet demand. If you don’t what will happen is simple, you will lose the customer to your nearest competitor who does have stock.

How do Fmcg Company prepare for a retail stock audit?

The threat of not being able to meet demand is therefore a key concern within the supply chain, but coupled with the current economic climate forcing many firms to drastically cut stock levels, puts many people in a chicken and egg situation. Some businesses have gone too far and have stripped away strategic buffers which are usually in place to protect the supply chain from risk factors. So the key point to take away here is not to cut measures to extreme levels and leave yourself at risk of normal orders not being able to be fulfilled.

Price Checks

Price and promotions captured in-store on a daily basis allowing to accurately monitor your competitors pricing strategies and promotional activities.

Knowing your competitors prices are important in the marketplace. It helps to know you are pitching your prices correctly and monitors any massive changes and offers you need to know about.

Once you know these prices the formula to work out value based pricing is quite simple really – take whatever your competitor is charging and add how much the buyer values what you do better, then minus how much the buyer values what your competitor does better. Simple, maybe not in reality but at least you can work from proper numbers when you have done your price checks.

sometimes you may only be able to get a list price and with that you have no idea how much they discount off that price, but this is still helpful as you can apply your industry standard discounts.

At inside tracks we can check competitors prices for you, compare them to your own organisation and make suggestions where to pitch your prices. No job is too small so please just call us to discuss your needs.

We can also check that your price changes have been carried-out/adhered to in store, to save you a lot of hassle yourself and ensure your customers are paying what you need them to.



Make sure your displays are legally compliant

Compliance is important in the retail world as it impacts people – customers and employees. Up-to-date planograms are vital as these are designed to influence the customers buying decision. This leads into the legal aspect of the layout and companies will want to make sure their displays are legally compliant.

We check everything in-store from fire exits & extinguishers to point-of-sale materials, hardware functioning correctly and processes being carried-out correctly. Your legal compliance will be safe in our hands.


Product Recall
Should you find yourself in the position that a product needs to be recalled, We can check that product recalls have been carried out successfully – often at very short notice to cover your legal obligation.
Site Security Checks

 Visit online and physical sites and attempt to gain access without damaging property – therefore testing site security and encouraging staff to remain vigilant


Age Verification – eg Challenge 18

Regularly run Age Verification programmes that help retailers to ensure that they are complying with regulations and keep young people safe. This is an important legal obligation that you don’t want to get wrong.

Top Retail Research & Store Audit Companies

Big 4 audit clients are what arguably make the largest audit companies in the world worth working for. These companies, as you may already know, are DeloittePwCErnst & Young, and KPMG.


Monitor Field Marketing

Fmcg goods-Merchandiser in a retail store
Field Marketing solutions encompass retail merchandising, compliance auditing, sampling demonstrations and mystery shopping.

 Field Marketing solutions include a wide range of diverse activities that support your in-store retail marketing:


Retail Merchandising

Sales  team have significant merchandising expertise across multiple sectors. We work on making brands stand-out and reduce ‘out-of-stocks’ therefore increasing your campaign success.


Sampling Demonstrations –

A great way to direct an immediate purchasing decision when consumers are actually trying the products. Our Field Marketing experts can become brand ambassadors for you and demonstrate products, their key points and solutions to drive sales.

Mystery Shopping – how do customers experience your brand? Find out from their perspective. Are you seeking an insight into competitor activity or want to measure customer service standards? Our team is not only proficient in the technical aspect of their role, they fully understand the human element too.


Customer Counting

Track people movement and gain better insight.

So that you can gain a deeper understanding of your business or prospective business area, we offer counting solutions to track people movement within indoor and outdoor spaces.

Monitoring the flow of people is an integral part of analytical data – even more so now for Health and Safety social distancing (Covid-19!) of course, but also for looking at new store sites by counting flow of people at different times and days-of-the-week. Our customer counting solution covers areas such as: car parks, traffic flow, stores, shopping centres, specific streets, train stations and larger commercial spaces.


Consumer Heat Mapping Surveys


Providing a graphical representation of your data analysis.

Where have your customers come from?

How far are they willing to travel?

Should you relocate or add another store?

What is the likely level of cannibalisation of an existing store by opening a new one?

How is shopping on-line reducing visits to stores and how does that vary by geography and geo-demographic factors?

Lot’s of key interesting questions, and by knowing the answer you would have vital insights into how to grow your business.


A heatmap is a visual method

 Representing which areas get the most attention in a color-coded chart. The advantages of heatmap analysis in surveys are

Convert qualitative data in quantitative

Save resources

Gain deeper insights

Higher conversion rates

Market researchers can visualise heatmap data analysis and generate reports based on the responses.

This is where we come in – we can answer all the questions above, and more with our heat mapping surveys.


Promotion Monitoring 

& Compliance

Providing online and in-store data, offering you trusted retail insights to closely monitor your product categories and track competitor performance.

Consumers love a promotion! Constant retail promotions is the key to keeping your sales up and your customers engaged. One thing is for sure however, they have got to be launched correctly and set-up/merchandised correctly. 


Brands and head offices can send promotional displays to stores, but very often they are deployed incorrectly or in some cases not constructed with guidance at all.

To reap the great benefits that promotions can bring to your business, they should be strategically placed to attract customers, influence impulse purchasing and optimise sales.

 Is it feasible to do a retail store audit manually or digitally?

Cannot be certain,In short, Clarify your goals. Determine the main goals of your retail audit. Select the exact questions to ask in the audit and the types of answers accepted


New product deployment

In a similar way that salesmen work with items on promotion, when a customer has a new product to launch we check that the products have been merchandised correctly, fully stocked and are appealing to attract buying customers.

Why Retail Competitor Analysis in Fmcg Brands


It helps in-depth competitor analysis provides insights into your competitors’ pricing strategies and in-store activities across key FMCG and CPG categories.

Competition is inevitable in every industry and as more brands come out, this is only getting more competitive.

Most companies want to see what the competition is doing and whether they can win more shelf space against the competition.

It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to your competition so that you can react quickly and re-gain any lost market share.

A retail competitive analysis is the process of collecting and evaluating competitive information to reveal insights which if acted upon can give your brand a strong advantage over others. The information you would collect is competitor activity and their products, then you would find our what their customers’ felt towards that company.


Benefits of conducting a retail competitive analysis:

You can undertake better strategic planning including benchmarking

Your decision-making will be at a lower risk due to the knowledge you have

Marketing campaigns will be more effective and on target

You can be ready for any threats and opportunities in your marketplace

Any new product launch will be more targeted and prepared

We can help to look at your competitors with an unbiased view using standardised reporting and scoring methodology.


How Retail & Consumer Market Research Helps

To understand your customers, their experience, and purchasing to ensure success.

A detailed market research service helps clients achieve a deeper understanding of shoppers and their buying behaviours which directly impacts the customers products and therefore their profit margins.


Retail & Consumer Market Research Helps to:

Get to know your customers

Measure and track customer satisfaction

Understand product communication like design and POS

Find out why there may be purchase barriers

Launch new products better and more successfully

Gain competitive advantage 

Increase sales quicker


Fmcg Retail measurement services

What is a retail measurement service (RMS)?

An RMS tracks the consumer off take for FMCG products through retail trade on a monthly basis, on the basis of audits of retail outlets in the country. Our RMS tracks 40,000 stores every month and projects the information on a universe of 9.2 million retail stores in India.


What do we measure in a retail audit?

 Visit  40,000 stores  from panel of retail outlets every month and collect details on stock and purchase and arrive at sales for about 100 odd FMCG categories. The estimated size of the retail outlets which stock any FMCG product in the country is about 9.2 million. A report to the manufacturers on the market sizing in terms of the volume, the value, the penetration of the category, company brand and SKU, and the price at which it is reported.

How do Fmcg Salesmen conduct an RMS?

 Conduct a physical audit, and the auditor manually counts the SKUs in the outlet, the stock available and he traces the purchases by checking the purchase records for receipts and kachha bills and arrives at sales.

What value does the Nielsen RMS deliver? What does this data basically mean to any manufacturer?

The Nielsen RMS provides essential data on sales, competition, price, penetration, and market share trend. It provides a company- and brand-wise sales performance within and across markets, the manufacturer’s category sizing across markets, it helps compare the sales performance of key competition, helps him estimate opportunities to increase or decrease price, find out the reach of his brand’s SKUs in the market, potential markets to increase distribution, and the market share trend – in that it estimates the volume and value share trend for a company or brand.

Retail landscape

The retail landscape broadly looks as represented in the figure.

This is restricted to FMCG. To describe our panel of outlets, a grocer is somebody who stocks and sells loose products such as rice and dal, and who physically weighs products and gives it to the consumers.

Retailer also stocks branded products but more of his turnover comes from products sold as loose items. A general store mostly stocks packaged branded foods. Chemist stores sell ethical allopathic drugs and posses a license. Stores that sell ayurvedic, unani or homeopathic medicines but not allopathic drugs are excluded from this category.


Methodology of Nielsen retail audit

The methodology of a retail audit is given in the figure.Conduct a census of outlets to arrive at our base data. Every year we conduct a retail outlet census to estimate the FMCG outlets in the country.  Classify these retailers by the type of outlet (such as grocer, general store etc) and by the turnover (high, medium, low) of the outlet. Once the outlets are classified, Select the outlets based on the universe number in a particular centre. This is done across the country. The data collection process involves collection of monthly data from outlets; the data is processed and cleaned, and it is projected to the universe and the reports are delivered to the clients every month.

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 Basic premise of Nielsen retail audit

Electronic hand held terminal is used to collect the stock purchases from the outlet, which is processed and reported in software called the Nielsen advisor.


 Cover a specific set of outlets which cater to the manufacturers’ needs. However, there are several channels which we do not cover but which could be critical for some of the manufacturers. These include exit points such as railway and bus stations, highways, tourist towns, school canteens, and so on. We do not visit these channels unless a manufacturer asks us for distinct, one-time information.

Fmcg goods and retailers

Retail Channels  such as chemists and paan outlets, and modern stores are critical and evolving channels. Another important channel is the online channel. Queries from manufacturers prompted a Nielsen survey to check on purchase intent of a connected device and the responses revealed a high intention to buy in the case of mobile phones (50% of respondents), computer games and entertainment tickets. There is a huge potential for the online channel, even in the FMCG category.


In rural areas the following six entities are identified as viable distribution channels: non-government organisations; co-operatives; self help groups; micro finance institutions; and rural retail.


Looking at future trends, in the near term  the following trends are shaping demand: personal consumption mindset, nutrition and wellness, digitisation, partaking in global brand culture, premiumisation and lifestyle upgrade, and emphasis on time saving.


Connectivity will be the key, with telecommunication, social media, and the online medium affecting trends in the long term

Most retail stores do not maintain  books of accounts, they sell products on cash basis, if they deposit the cash in their bank account and as per the reconciliation of bank account turnover is justified.

Also  the purchase report and turnover reported in GST is calculated and considered the turnover for audit.

Critical points to consider during a retail audit

Stock in shelf

Stock in Store/Godown

Customer crowd

Market credibility

Condition of Stores and shelf

Purchase report

Expenditures are very important role in any business on the basis of expenditure and profit margin you can calculate the turnover

Retail audit is a critical process that is adopted by Retailers. The audit is done in

Look and feel of the store, so that everything thing is working properly and the store looks neat and clean

Audit of demo stocks or display

Audit of inventory at store

Audit of the personal grooming of the store staff

Audit of the accounting/billing process followed.

All these are to ensure that the customer experience is at the best and there are no gaps in the operations of the store







Offline Branding

Retail window displays are one of the most effective ways to represent increasing sales.

This process makes it easy for customers to select their needed things and make purchase decisions. It also provides a pleasant experience to the customer with more personal buying experiences.

It’s an Absolutely simple method to understand offline branding is to think of it as any medium or platform that is not online.


Another way to examine offline branding is to understand it as traditional marketing and advertisement platforms or media. Before the internet age, carried off, all enterprises retained in terms of marketing and offline advertising themselves on offline channels.


Following are a few offline advertising mediums that are utilized by brands in regard-Television advertising Hoardings, Banners, and Billboards Newspaper advertisements Airport, Metro, and Bus Terminals Physical Marketing Events Leaflets, Flyers, and Brochures. 


Offline branding platforms persist to be in significant demand and are rising in value and attraction for businesses for offline advertising.

Window Display

Shadow Box Display


Elevated Display

Corner Display

Semi-closed Display

Island Display

Acrylic Display

A fmcg major Loreal-Cosmetics-sampling-and-btl-activity-


A subtle brand engagement strategy lets businesses leverage unprecedented exposure to a large audience which ultimately brings more customers. The idea of event and activation connects with user engagement. We, as a Brand Activation Agency, help our clients to interact with their targeted audience through a strong plan. We do the due research, identify conventional issues in the process, bring innovative ideas on the table, and implement things from scratch.


Brand-activation events are usually one-time experiences that inspire customers or the public to engage with a product or notice the brand in a new form. As for your sponsors, they will see the significance that you induce through successful Event Activation. Be it marketing a new service or re branding a current product; sponsors like to see the result at the end of any effort, and Event Activation will help you achieve that.

Product Launch

Event Planning

Event Promotion

Brand Engagement

Brand Engagement Marketing

Free Consultation on Brand Usage & Customer Engagement




Digital Branding

Brand strategy is a paramount segment of every company’s overall strategy. Customers, workers, and partners’ perceptions of your brand influence how they engage with you. The plan to influence and mould that perception is known as brand strategy. It gives unambiguous guidance for achieving long-term goals and optimising marketing performance.

Team DigitalGumma

A Professional Team Of Over 25 years of experience in Sales & Marketing operations, Channel (Direct & Indirect) Development and Distribution, and Key Account Management in the FMCG Sector. AREAS OF EXPERTISE Sales & Marketing: Conceptualizing and implementing sales promotional strategies as a part of brand building and market development effort. Business Development: Handling infrastructure development of sales & distribution systems and increasing coverage & penetration to have maximum market share. Channel Management: Identifying and networking with financially strong and reliable dealers/channel partners, Super Stockist, C&F resulting in deeper market penetration and reach. Ensuring cost-effective logistic operations & seamless materials movement to ascertain sufficient inventory levels at each sales outlet/ distribution channel. Evaluating performance & monitoring distributor sales and marketing activities. website has everything you need to create a fully personalized, high-quality free showcase website. Get the word out about all the amazing things you’re doing. Easily email your contacts or share on social media to tell everyone you know. Sell Anything Anywhere To Anyone. is a business development platform motivated to ideate connect propagate to millions of users worldwide. Create a beautiful, professional web presence. Our expert team members collaborate across digital marketing specialties to produce powerful results. Build your next digital marketing plan utilizing the latest internet technology, explode your online presence with a Fully Managed SEO program, and maximize your profits.

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