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Retail Audit

Retail Audit

Learn what it takes to win at retail.

We walk the stores and experience what the consumer does when shopping your category. A lot can be learned about retailer strategy from seeing their choices and priorities come to life in store. We connect the dots from observation, to insight, to action to ensure we apply all we’ve learned to your brand strategy and design.

Detailed analysis of retailer categories, planograms, merchandising and customer service that impacts buyers & consumer choices

Competitive Market

Shopper journey – what we know about the consumer’s experience in store & how it impacts their mindset and mood at shelf

Summarized with implications and actions for the brand and business


Frequently Asked Questions

I already know who my competitors are - why do I need a retail audit?

Retail store audits are crucial in our process, as we want to learn what to do and what NOT to do for your brand. If all your competitors are saying the same thing we want to know what it is. Do all of them look the same? What is their value proposition? Why are consumers grabbing their product? The only path to meaningful retail execution is by designing a distinctive and different package to stand out, and that only occurs if you first understand who you are up against.

What is your approach to conducting a retail audit for packaging effectiveness?

Our approach to conducting retail store audits for brand positioning and packaging design involves a comprehensive analysis of how current brand design performs against shelf competitors and existing opportunities in meaningful retail channels.The same approach applies for a new brand or brand innovation with exception to current store performance. When benchmarking your current packaging design against key competitors, we evaluate consumer perceptions across various category attributes.

The retail store audit can be performed in tandem with baseline brand testing further identifying valuable insights into your brand's strengths and weaknesses, uncovering new threats and opportunities. We utilize this data to refine brand positioning for enhanced distinction against shelf competitors. This methodical approach ensures a detailed understanding of packaging effectiveness in the market, aiding in the development of strategies to enhance brand performance and consumer appeal​​.

How do you track and measure the visibility and shopper engagement of packaging in a retail environment?

To track and measure the visibility and shopper engagement of packaging in a retail environment, we work with leading CPG industry market research and data providers to understand competitor performance, trend forecasting, and more. The data gathered from these methods is then analyzed to understand patterns and trends in shopper behavior, which helps in assessing the effectiveness of packaging in capturing consumer attention and influencing purchasing decisions. This multi-faceted approach allows us to provide a detailed and accurate assessment of packaging stand out and purchase drivers in competitive categories.

How often should a retail audit take place?

The frequency of conducting a retail audit should be strategically aligned with the brand's objectives, market dynamics, and the rate of change in the retail environment. Typically, conducting a retail audit at least annually is advisable to stay abreast of market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive movements. However, for industries experiencing rapid change or high seasonality, more frequent audits, such as bi-annually or quarterly, may be necessary to maintain a current understanding of the market and effectively respond to emerging trends and challenges. The key is to balance the need for up-to-date market insights with the resources available for conducting these audits, ensuring that each audit provides valuable, actionable information without overburdening the process.

How much do your retail auditing services cost?

The cost of our retail auditing services vary based on the scope and complexity of the project. Unlike the traditional retail auditing agency, SmashBrand has developed a proprietary approach to brand development called the PathToPerformance™, a roadmap taking brands from conception to retail-ready. Our process includes brand strategy, brand design, and brand testing. A brand development project starts at $25,000.00, but we're happy to discuss unconventional opportunities for promising partnerships.

How is a retail audit different from a competitive audit?

A retail audit and a competitive audit, while complementary, serve distinct purposes. A retail audit focuses on analyzing a brand's performance within a retail setting, examining factors like product placement, pricing, promotional effectiveness, and shopper engagement with the brand's packaging and displays. It provides insights into how well the brand is executing its retail strategy and how consumers are interacting with the brand in store.

On the other hand, a competitive audit is broader, evaluating the overall positioning, strategies, and performance of competitors in the market. While a retail audit is more introspective, assessing the brand's in-store effectiveness, a competitive audit offers a broad view, giving a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape and how the brand stacks up against the entire competitive landscape.

How long does a retail audit take?

The duration of a retail audit process can vary, typically we are able to complete this over the course of a few weeks to a month, depending on the scope, complexity of the market, and the specific objectives of the audit. The process involves thorough data collection, analysis, and reporting, all of which influence the overall timeline.

What other brand development services do you offer?

In addition to our retail audit services, we offer a comprehensive range of brand development services designed to enhance your brand's market presence and share. These services include trend assessment, competitive and retail audits, packaging baseline tests, strategy development, consumer targeting, and brand positioning, among others. Each service is tailored to meet the unique needs and objectives of your brand, leveraging our expertise in market insights and consumer behavior analysis. For a detailed list of all the services we provide, please refer to the footer of our website, where you'll find a complete overview of our offerings, ensuring you have access to the full spectrum of our brand development expertise.

How does a retail audit help understand the shopper's journey and experience in-store?

A retail audit helps understand the shopper's journey and experience in-store by analyzing how consumers interact with products and navigate the retail space. It provides insights into factors like product visibility, brand blocking, white space, and general effectiveness of in-store presentations. This detailed analysis helps in identifying what influences consumer decisions at the point of purchase, thereby enabling the optimization of the retail packaging to capture greater market share.