Store-check is a tool widely used in marketing research as to review the merchandises in a retail store by non-sales researchers whose responsibilities are to perform such field examinations. Store, in marketing research, means to put one’s products into others’ distribution canals in China. It’s a method often applied to launch new products or to explore new markets. Store-check, together with retail studying, aims to know the final markets through market share and the competition on the shelves. Store-checks are done from a micro angle to see how the products are displayed and how they are sold.
In a store-check, we can get much information as below.
l Brand visibility. It means how often we can see a band on the basis of the sample. For example, if 100 out of the sample size 200 can be seen, the brand visibility is 50%(100/200).
l Product visibility. Taking the sample size as the base, we come to know how many of them have presented the products. For instance, if 50 out of the sample size 200 can be seen, the product visibility is 25%(50/200).
l Category visibility. Taking the sample size as the base, we come to know how many categories can be seen in a retail store. Attention, here, brand is not taken into account. For example, if 120 out of the sample size 200 can be seen, the category visibility is 60%(120/200).
l Relative visibility. It means what the product visibility is within the category visibility. For instance, if the sample size is 200, the category visibility is 60%, the product visibility is 50%, then the relative visibility is 83.3% (50%/60%).
l Weighting visibility. The product visibility is based on the weighting allowance made by the company itself. For instance, the visibility of product X of Brand P near schools is 50%(0.2 weighting allowance), the visibility in restaurants is 60% (0.3 weighting allowance), the visibility in supermarkets is 90%(0.4 weighting allowance).So , the weighting visibility is 50%×0.2+ 60%×0.3+90%×0.4=64%
l Compared with store rate, the visibility considers the products that are displayed on the shelves.
For the most of time, a company which performs such a studying attempts to compare its products with those of the competitors, as the following charts shows.
When we set about to a store-check, we should pay attention to :
l We should select the targeted stores in different regions of a city so that the results will be representative.
l We should ensure that the researcher’ role is not recognised by the sellers so that the results will be authentic.
l We can reexamine the check with a few samples to make sure of the check’s credibility.
l The researching statistics should be logged accurately as soon as possible.
Before we start our operation, we should be clear about the objective, define the researching contents and draw up an outline. Then we should be care of the date , regions and the sample size. At last, it comes to write the report after the research is over.