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Questions to ask when choosing a Retail Execution solution

Whether employing a retail execution solution for the first time, or thinking about changing providers, here’s a handy guide of what to look for.

Brands can lose a significant percentage of sales annually to poor retail execution practices. 

If you lack visibility of in-store performance and compliance, and don’t know how to measure in-store effectiveness, you need a Retail Execution (RE) solution that automates in-store activity. This includes all execution elements such as on-shelf availability, planograms, displays and promotions compliance, store associate training, merchandising activities and in general every interaction that occurs servicing your brands.

A successful in-store Retail Execution solution can help to increase revenue by capitalizing all the opportunities available at individual stores, while maximizing the efficiency of your sales team. This involves auditing your existing processes in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness.

Below is a starter checklist for what to look for when you are looking for the right Retail Execution partner for your needs.

How do you know which Retail Execution solution is right for your company?

Here are some different areas, each with key questions that you could easily turn into a 5-point rating scale when assessing potential partners.

Goals & Outcomes:

  • To what extent will the solution help to increase sales? 
  • Can the solution drive future order suggestions through guided selling with AI/Machine Learning?
  • How much can we save using it in terms of time and resources? By how much does it reduce field sales store call duration?
  • Will it provide guidelines for success benchmarks?
  • To what extent does it increase call coverage?
  • How can I design strategies through Retail Execution to improve on-shelf availability?
  • Similarly, how can I analyze my distribution gaps and decrease out of stocks?
  • Can I drive an increase in share of shelf by executing better at the store?
  • Can I catch any distribution issues before they become substantial?

Instore Performance & Visibility:

  • How can my solution help me to optimize shelf space?
  • Does it help me identifying gaps and opportunities while I am at the point of sale?
  • Is data available in real time to allow for rapid in-field adjustments?


  • How much easier will it be for the field sales team to complete assigned tasks?
  • Does it provide field sales teams with guided workflows and specialized visits?
  • By how much does it automate and reduce shelf audit time?


  • Is it compatible with your team’s mobile devices?
  • Can it implement traceability and quality control to increase on-shelf availability?
  • How can this solution blend with my existing ecosystem?

Fit for purpose:

  • What is the level of automation in the solution? Does it include Rapid Image Recognition at shelf to reduce manual entry needs?


  • Is it easy to learn and use?
  • Can it handle large volumes of data? 
  • How can I automate the distribution of workflows to my field force?
  • How flexible is the solution in terms of configurability without development?
  • Can I bring external sources of data into my solution?
  • Can the work of my reps be optimized in terms of where to go and what to do?


  • How much analysis and reporting time will it save?
  • How often can it provide real-time updates?
  • How many data sets can it integrate?
  • Can it provide benchmarks across differently defined clusters?
  • To what extent can dashboards be automated? How easily interpreted are data dashboards?
  • How easy to read are the report outputs?
  • Does it deliver perfect store comparison to previous visits?


  • How easy will it be to implement? (Timeline, flexibility, enhancement costs, training & support)
  • Is it a good value for the money? What are the cost per user and service fees? 

Industry specialization & experience:

  • Does the provider have specialist experience in the CPG industry?
  • To what extent does the solution reflect CPG specific needs?

And last, but not least, strategy & team management:

  • To what extent will the tool help define strategy, plan accounts, and set goals? 
  • How well does it help managers review team performance and manage team activities? 
Your Retail Execution solution should help you adjust your in-store execution in-flight, rather than auditing for its own sake. Click the button to understand more about how Retail Execution solutions can help you save time and money, increase sales and profitability, and improve productivity
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