HS Brands Asia Retail Audits: Types, Importance, and Process


Retail Audits: Types, Importance, and Process- HS brandsAsia

retail auditAn audit is a crucial component of retail business management, as it ensures that operations are running smoothly. It is the process of confirming the accuracy of the data or information pertaining to a company’s retail operations. Typically, retail audits include a systematic review and analysis of sales, inventory, and other relevant activities.

The HSBrands 0ne of the best retail audit companies provides businesses with a variety of benefits, including the identification of inconsistencies in their processes and operations, the evaluation of their performance, and the verification of their compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, it assists them in identifying areas for improvement, allowing them to become more efficient and cost-effective.

For instance, a retail audit can assist a store in identifying areas where they are losing money due to inefficient operations, such as overstocking or understocking inventory or failing to meet customer expectations. It can also assist them in identifying areas where operations can be optimized, such as by streamlining their supply chain or implementing new technology.

In addition, the retail audit conducted by HS Brands can assist businesses in gaining a deeper understanding of their customers. By collecting information about customers’ shopping habits, preferences, and buying patterns, businesses can better tailor their products and services to meet their needs. This can help them increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as their profit margin.

Overall, retail audits are a crucial aspect of business management that can assist organizations in ensuring their operations are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. It can provide them with valuable insights into their customers, operations, and performance, enabling them to make the necessary improvements and adjustments to maintain market competitiveness.

Types of Retail Audits

Compliance Audit

The compliance audit is an important retail store safety inspection that determines whether the store is operating in accordance with government and industry regulations and guidelines. The store audit ensures that the store adheres to all applicable laws and regulations to safeguard its customers and employees. Depending on the industry, a

compliance audit can cover a range of topics, including workplace safety, environmental protection, and health and safety.

The compliance audit conducted by HS Brands ensures that the retail store adheres to the industry’s rules and regulations. It also contributes to the store’s ability to provide a safe and secure environment for its customers and employees. Businesses must also conduct a compliance audit to ensure that they are adhering to government and industry regulations and standards.

Compliance audits are essential to store audit programs. The HS Brands audit assists in evaluating the store’s compliance with government and industry-mandated regulations and guidelines. To protect customers and employees, the audit also checks the store’s compliance with laws and regulations. The audit also finds noncompliance and ensures the store follows all laws and regulations.

Any store audit program must include a compliance audit to ensure compliance with all regulations. The audit ensures customer and employee safety in the store. The store must also pass a compliance audit.

Mystery Shopping Audit

Mystery shopping audits are an important tool for retail store owners and managers. This audit entails a mystery shopper’s visit to the store in order to evaluate the customer experience and identify areas for improvement. A mystery shopper is typically a customer who visits the store and observes customer service, store layout, product availability, and other aspects of the shopping experience. The mystery shopper then reports his or her findings to the store’s management, who can use the data to make changes and improvements.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of the audit, it’s important to have a comprehensive retail store safety inspection checklist. This checklist should include items such as evaluating the store’s security measures, ensuring the store is well-lit and clean, inspecting for any potentially dangerous materials, and confirming that customer service is satisfactory. Examining the store’s layout is also crucial for making sure clients can quickly locate products of interest. Lastly, the mystery shopper should confirm that the store has adequate stock and that all items are correctly priced and labeled.

HS Brands Mystery shopping audits are a great way for retail store owners and managers to identify areas for improvement. Using the results of an audit conducted by

HS Brands, store owners, and managers can make adjustments that may increase customer satisfaction and boost sales. Store owners and managers can ensure that their store meets customer expectations by using a retail store safety inspection checklist and a mystery shopper.

Loss Prevention Audit

The HS Brands loss prevention audit is an in-depth analysis of a retail store’s inventory, customer, and employee activity to detect and prevent losses due to theft, fraud, or other criminal activities. This audit is essential for any retail store in order to identify potential risks and implement loss-prevention measures.

A thorough retail store safety inspection checklist is required to ensure that certain processes are in place, including customer and employee access control, alarm systems, and surveillance cameras. Additionally, the store should have procedures in place to detect any suspicious behavior or activities, such as unauthorized access, and to prevent potential losses.

Maintaining and checking the store’s inventory system is crucial. Checking inventory periodically prevents overstocking and shelf discrepancies. Customer and employee records can be audited regularly to verify transactions and employment authorization.

The store should also investigate and correct suspicious activity and losses. An internal investigation, notifying authorities, or disciplinary action may be needed. Store managers benefit from loss prevention audits. Store owners must take precautions to prevent theft and crime.

Performance Audit

Retail stores rely heavily on performance audits to evaluate their performance and identify areas for improvement. It assesses the store’s operations and employee performance. The audit usually examines customer service, inventory management, operations, and store management. Customer service, product knowledge, and employee performance are also evaluated in the audit.

A retail store visit checklist is the initial step of the HS Brands performance audit. This checklist provides a complete store and staff overview. Customer service ratings, feedback, store policies, and employee performance are covered. The audit assesses

the store’s finances and operations. Sales, profits, inventory, customer service surveys, feedback, and satisfaction ratings are also on the list.

Performance audits are essential for retail businesses looking to improve. The store can identify issues and improve performance with it. HS Brands’ performance audit sheds light on store operations and employee performance. It shows the store what’s working and what’s not. Performance audits can guide store operations and employee decisions.

Importance of Retail Audits

Improving Operations

A retail store audit is a valuable tool for improving operations and reducing costs. Retail store audit software helps companies assess store performance. Companies can improve operations, efficiency, and costs with retail store audit software. 

HS Brands retail store audits help companies determine the effectiveness of their store operations. Companies can identify inventory shrinkage, staffing issues, and customer service issues with audits. Understanding these issues lets companies improve operations and cut costs. 

Retail store audit software can also evaluate retail store employees. This software can analyze employee performance and identify areas for improvement. This lowers staff turnover and improves customer understanding. 

Store audits help companies identify areas for improvement. Store audits identify cost-saving opportunities like inventory reduction and customer service improvement. This helps firms find ways to cut costs and boost efficiency.

Maintaining Compliance

Conducting an HS Brands compliance audit is a vital step for any business that wants to avoid legal trouble and fines by staying in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Retail store safety inspection checklists can aid compliance audits. To avoid legal issues and fines, retail stores should complete a safety inspection checklist.

The compliance audit checks the company’s policies and procedures against all laws and regulations. Financial audits ensure proper management. Auditing the company’s risk management practices reduces risks. 

HS Brands Compliance audits reduce the risk of costly legal issues or fines by ensuring regulatory compliance. These audits can identify areas for improvement. HS Brands Compliance audits reduce legal risk and ensure compliance.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

HS Brands’ mystery shopping audits reveal customer perceptions to improve customer experience. Mystery shoppers evaluate customer service in retail stores and restaurants. They pose as customers to audit customer service. Mystery shoppers assist companies in improving customer service.

A mystery shopper may ask, “Was the staff friendly and helpful?” or “Did the store has a good selection of merchandise?” These questions can help companies assess their customer service and make improvements. Mystery shoppers also assess the store’s cleanliness and appeal. 

Focusing on customer feedback improves the customer experience. Customer feedback should be used to improve customer service. Customers can rate their satisfaction and answer customer service audit questions. This feedback helps companies improve customer experiences.

Reducing Losses

Loss prevention audits are essential to business success. HS Brands audits can reduce theft, fraud, and other losses for companies. A merchandising audit checklist and store audit list help companies identify risk areas and review their controls to protect their assets.

The first step in a loss prevention audit is to review the company’s internal control procedures. This includes reviewing the company’s asset and employee protection policies. Locks, cameras, employee background checks, and access control are examples of this. Inventory, cash, and other potential fraud or theft areas should be monitored.

After assessing internal controls, review the company’s merchandising audit checklist and store audit list. These documents describe the company’s assets and security measures. Auditors should examine the company’s inventory, cash flow, and asset protection processes. They should also check for discrepancies between the company’s records and inventory levels.

Risk management should be assessed after reviewing internal control procedures, merchandising audit checklists, and store audit lists. This includes reviewing their loss reporting, investigation, and theft and fraud response procedures. To ensure employees understand loss prevention policies, auditors should check company training.

The Retail Audit Process

Planning Planning is the foremost step in the retail audit process and plays an important role in the success of the audit. It helps determine the audit’s scope and objectives, ensuring that all store areas are properly assessed. This includes understanding the merchandising audit checklist and creating a comprehensive retail store audit program. Make sure your retail audit meets your goals by planning ahead.

Data Collection- Data should be used to create a merchandising audit checklist, a retail audit process, a retail store audit program, and a store audit procedure. These tools and protocols can help analyze and assess all data to identify and target areas for improvement. Then, the right protocol can be implemented to maximize retail store and employee efficiency. These audit tools and data can help organizations improve operations.

Analysis- In the merchandising audit checklist, retail audit, and store audit, data analysis is essential. Organizations can optimize their retail store audit program by identifying trends, issues, and areas for improvement. This analysis can also reveal ways to boost sales.

Reporting- To ensure business compliance with industry regulations, the merchandising audit checklist, retail audit process, retail store audit program, and store audit procedure must be reported. To maintain operational excellence, a report with findings and recommendations is created. This will also guide resource allocation decisions for maximum efficiency and profit. To improve based on new findings, the report should be updated regularly. 

Implementation- To improve store operations and customer satisfaction, the merchandising audit checklist, retail audit process, retail store audit program, and store audit procedure are used. These changes can help the store streamline operations. Retailers should also conduct regular store audits to identify potential issues. By doing so, they’ll maintain high service levels and customer satisfaction.

retail audit

Benefits of Retail Store Inspections with HS Brands Audit

The HS Brands retail audit offers numerous benefits to businesses, including the identification of inconsistencies in their processes and operations, the evaluation of their performance, and the confirmation of their compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, it helps them identify areas for improvement, enabling them to become more efficient and cost-effective.

Businesses can better understand their customers with HS Brands’ retail audit. By gathering data on customers’ shopping habits, preferences, and purchasing patterns, businesses can better tailor their products and services to meet their needs. This can help them boost customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and profit margins.

Retail audits are an important part of business management that can help companies optimize their operations. It can provide valuable insights into their customers, operations, and performance, enabling them to make the necessary improvements and adjustments to stay competitive.

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what is forecasting in business?

A marketing plan’s core and the foundation of making strategic decisions – Market Forecasting! Market forecasting is a phase every business moves through. It’s how brands build products and services. In simpler terms, market forecasting is the study of market behavior, predicting potential changes in the industry, and taking action based on that prediction.
The purpose of market forecasting extends beyond the creation of products and services; it contributes to the projection of cash flow statements and the analysis of how the business will perform financially as a result of the given market statistics. The process of market forecasting usually starts with a top-down approach, where the company studies the current market as a whole, gets a bird’s eye view, and then narrows it down according to its target market. This makes it possible for businesses to get detailed information about the market.
Using market forecasting, businesses’ financial projections can be made accurately, current financial status can be analyzed, and forecasts of better returns can be predicted.

what is forecasting in business

In order to help you better understand the importance of market forecasting, here are three reasons:

1. Aids in setting clear

Realistic objectives for the company that is in line with the needs of the market. Having a grasp of the market will aid in setting clear goals for the company that is in line with the market’s needs.

2. Aids in budget development

Without creating an accurate budget and setting goals in line with it, business development cannot be considered complete. This aids in moving in the right direction and maintaining control over your finances.

3. Grow your business 

There is no better method to discover new markets and consumer trends than to do this! Forecasting the market can help businesses grow and expand into new markets.
From new startups to well-established companies, it is crucial that they research market trends, consumer behavior, and, most importantly, what the industry’s rivals are offering.
The most crucial question in this situation is HOW to start market forecasting.

There are primarily two approaches to forecasting:

1. Qualitative

By using this approach, you can’t use historical data to compare your business predictions. It’s a typical approach for new companies without previous sales or expense information. The forecast’s judgment heavily relies on the person creating it. It’s also a desired method for forecasting.

2. Quantitative

When you have quantifiable data to support the forecast, you can use this approach. You can determine whether a business is expanding or contracting by comparing current sales to previous results. It is a typical approach to short-term forecasting.

Here’s how you can predict the market behavior Qualitatively

The most effective and traditional techniques are market surveys:

You might be wondering if surveys are still relevant nowadays. They most definitely are!
Physical forms and individual manual surveys have been replaced with Google forms and a tonne of social media tools. Businesses can now receive survey answers and numerous statistics within minutes, covering a wide range of dynamics.

Business executives are solely responsible for leveraging these technologies.

1. Market Experiments:

This is a tried-and-true method of evaluating things on the market, and it’s arguably the most trustworthy as well!
releasing a test product in “limited” markets to a particular group of consumers, or, to use another term, the target market, and gathering feedback. This would be the main source of information, and having firsthand knowledge of the product will help you decide whether or not to launch it.

2. Extraction of Sales Data:

Sales data records are the best resource for organizations to follow their customers. encouraging customers to try your new goods and services by following up with them. By soliciting opinions about your service and suggestions for enhancements, you may use sales data in the best possible way. By doing so, you may show customers that their opinions are valued and learn more about the level of customer service they are used to receiving from the company.

3. Exploiting Social Media:

To know what the customer needs, go where the customer exists!
Social media- you may love it, or hate it but you cannot ignore it… Today the customer exists on social media platforms. Following the pattern of customers’ behavior on certain posts and videos will contribute to great insights into the customers’ points of view. With trending videos and challenges, it has become easier to understand where the viewers are moving and what interests them the most.
It also helps to observe how influencers and celebrities are contributing to the trends and influencing market behavior.

The qualitative methods, this is our favorite as we interact directly with the customers.

5. Keeping up with the global trends

Keeping a track of daily news: nationally and globally as well will help you to keep up with changing govt regulations, how companies in the industry are performing globally, and changes taking place in the industry. Keeping an eye on peers and analyzing their strategic decisions will help to predict market changes.

Apart from Qualitative or also traditional methods of forecasting,

business forecasting

here’s a list of methods that will help to measure market trends Quantitatively

1. Correlation Models

Most popular methods of quant methods- consider two variables one would be Sales and the other one would be the basic factor that would drive your Sales significantly. Considering how that one factor would affect your sales will help to make decisions regarding the Factor. That one factor could be price, demand for the product, or even your product quality.

2. Analysing Sales data

Using analytical tools and software to study the sales pattern and brainstorming ways to overcome the drop in sales. Using historical data helps to gain insights into the pattern of market behavior, which can also be called a time series model.

Quantitative models of forecasting differ from business and involve complex models of Linear regressions, Seasonal forecasting, and Econometrics models as well. These sophisticated models dive deeper into numbers from sales data and provide forecasting inaccurate numbers.


Irrespective of the methods, the most basic step in understanding a market trend is to first define your target market and your target audience. That’s how observing market changes will get easier and more precise as well.

Knowing whom to sell to and what are their needs regarding the product will help to make better strategic decisions and also assess your performance in the industry.

It would be fatal to make a mistake or neglect the market predictions. For instance, if a firm underdelivers because of inaccurate estimates, it may hinder corporate growth; yet, if a company over delivers, it may prove advantageous but may place the business in peril.

Companies may deploy resources effectively for growth and steer their financial management in the proper direction by using accurate sales predictions. These sales projections make it simpler for managers to predict future trends. Sales targets and revenue projections must be in line for revenue leaders to earn additional bonus points.

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What are the Best Tools for Conducting Market Research


What are the Best Tools for Conducting Market Research

Today, there are an immeasurable amount of market research tools, apps, and websites to get the best insights to grow your business. This blog is a compilation of a few such efficient tools that will up your marketing game.

A thorough evaluation is an indispensable part of generating revenue for any business to thrive. Great market research does that job. Market research is a methodical approach to gathering, structuring, analyzing, and interpreting useful data to draw actionable insights. The data can be about consumer behavior, competitors, market trends, or just the overall industry. This is the cornerstone of any flourishing business. The study serves a variety of reasons, from locating a new market to starting a new company. 

Why is market research essential?

The market research presents a panoramic view of the industry which helps businesses determine where they stand in the long run. The data helps them improve their products and services, understand their target customers, and make better business strategies. 

1. Helps evaluate your own business by drawing useful insights from your competitors.

2. Helps you identify your potential customers and provide accurate information about the existing ones

3. It also provides data on how your customers perceive your products and services. 

4. It can help you discern whether a new strategy or product will thrive in the market or not based on how those strategies have performed in the market for others. 

5. Additionally, it can assist in making informed decisions about promotional strategies and marketing campaigns. 

Types of market research:

The two major categories are primary and secondary market research.

Primary research

Research is conducted by directly gathering information from the target market using various tools and methods. it aids in gathering two types of results namely, exploratory and specific. Exploratory information helps to identify problems that weren’t looked into earlier. This can be either done via face-to-face interviews or customer surveys. And the specific information focuses on problem-solving by compiling the raw data. 

Secondary research

Constitutes previously gathered data. it generally includes published market studies, focus groups, customer emails, surveys, feedback, etc. 

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Both are a collection of primary and secondary data which can be used to draw deeper business insights. A prime example of this type of research is mystery shopping. Professionally trained shoppers are employed to analyze the quality and standards of the products/ services of a particular business. This method helps improve customer experience. 

marketing research

Market Research tools to thrive your business

Take your marketing to the next level with these free and paid marketing tools. Gather relevant and accurate data so that you can target a wider audience and connect with them. 

Google Trends

This tool helps you keep track of trends by gathering data on what others are searching on Google. Google processes over 99,000 searches each second. That’s over 8.5 billion searches per day. And, you can get this data with proper structure using Google Trends. Its simple user interface and appealing visuals can be used by even those who are not tech-savvy. it’s a free data library.

HS Brands for Mystery Shopping

HS Brands provides mystery shopping services for various industries. their audits are performed by an expert, independent evaluators that allow an unbiased opinion of your products/services. This can help you gather and analyze data critical to your business. It is an interactive platform with a consultative approach that has built its audits around intelligent surveys that give you accurate insights to improve your customer service.

Facebook Page Insights

With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an excellent platform to advertise your business. Facebook page insights provide useful information about your audience, post reach, and the condition of your page. It helps you analyze your most viewed posts and why. Moreover, it offers courses that can help you get started on how to maximize your profits by generating insights and how to develop data-driven suggestions. 


A great tool if you want to conduct surveys. This tool produces easy-to-make surveys that can be conveniently distributed using a link to emails, social media, or websites. All of this is done with its enterprise-grade platform. To view data visually, you can either browse through individual replies or utilize the tool’s reports and graphics. Even though a paid tool, it has amazing free plans and numerous templates to choose from. A great tool to up your customer feedback game. 

Tableau Software

This tool uses business intelligence and analytics in a visually appealing way to drive wise business decisions. Even a person with no prior programming knowledge can use this intelligence suite. You can easily extract data from PDFs, Excel, SAS, Python, etc. It provides a comprehensive view of your data so that you can stay updated with emerging patterns in the market. Its flexibility makes it a widely used analytics platform. 

Make My Persona

A free tool if you want to create a buyer or user persona. Make My persona is a research software from HubSpot that creates a buyer persona using the information you provide in the form. It asks for details like age, company size, job titles, goals, challenges, etc and you get a ready-to-use persona template for various client categories. There is a feature to add new sections manually and you can easily download and export the buyer persona with a click. 

How to improve your market research?

1. Identify your purpose for market research: unless you don’t know what you’re looking for, any amount of data won’t be enough to tell you what sections your business is lacking in.

2. Utilize market research reports: There is a wide range of free data available online. Apart from that, use the company database to make comparisons in the data

3. Conduct field studies: research such as interviews, surveys, and feedback can significantly affect your strategies. Start asking the right questions. 

4. Take services from a market research firm: outsourcing can help you focus on the aspects that were getting ignored otherwise. For eg. HS Brands for mystery shopping services. 


Using the right market research tool, you can always find out what your customers think and even target a wider audience. Be it paid or free, the insights you gather can have huge benefits for your business. And if you want a more in-depth perspective of your customers, HS Brands is your go-to option. Receive transformative information with our full range of audits, regulatory inspections, and integrity checks. 

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How Important is Customer Satisfaction to Business Today? What You Should Know About It


How Important is Customer Satisfaction to Business Today? What You Should Know About It

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

As said by Bill Gates, these words stand true for fundamentally any business whose revenue depends on customer response.

Without customers, your business would cease to exist. As a marketer, you need to understand how to gain new customers and retain them. And customer retention can only happen if you pay attention to their grievances, act on them, and create a personalized and happy experience at the end of the day.

This is where customer satisfaction comes into the picture. The following blog will provide you with a detailed account of how customer satisfaction determines your business’ growth and what measures to take to keep your business up and running. So, take out your notepads, and let’s begin.

What is customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction discerns whether your business will bloom or doom. It is a tool to determine how happy a customer is with your company’s service and how likely are they to recommend your services to their friends or family. A happy customer is synonymous with the success of your business.

A happy customer doesn’t solely refer to receiving a high-quality product in less time, but the overall experience of how satisfied they felt throughout the buying process.

Why is Customer Satisfaction important?

In simple words, a happy customer will provide you with leads, and an unhappy customer will leave in a heartbeat. Every customer wants a personalized experience and if they are not getting it from your company, they will be happy to go elsewhere to get it.

Doing business is a fierce game and you should know all the rules before the game starts. So, here are a few reasons why good customer service is required:

1. Higher customer retention: It builds customer loyalty as satisfied customer is more likely to come back and bring their friends and family along. This provides a higher ROI

2. Low Acquisition Costs: A higher customer retention will help you streamline your services according to your loyal base and this would negate the extra effort required in targeting new customers thus, reducing the acquisition costs.

3. Provides Competitive Edge: A lot of companies sell the same product that you do. But by establishing a culture around good customer service, you can stay ahead of the curve and strengthen your position in the market.

4. Improves Employee Efficiency: Evaluating the customer service KPIs and other metrics will help you determine your team’s performance and aid in boosting morale as a better workflow will help your team to do a good job.

5. Upholds Brand Standards: Loyal customers act as informal brand ambassadors. Therefore, keeping them happy is pertinent to upholding the legitimacy of what your brand stands for.

The main aim of customer relationship management is to alleviate the customer experience. You need to consider all the touchpoints between the company and the customer. One way to improve this could be feedback in the form of surveys and audits. The results from these can be clubbed together to calculate the Customer Satisfaction Index and CSAT score.

What is the difference between the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) and the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT score)?

A CSAT Score is assigned by asking your customer to choose from the “Five Levels of Customer Satisfaction” by answering a simple question i.e. “How would you rate your overall experience with the product/service received?” The customer can assign a score based on a scale from one to five, with one being, “Very Unsatisfied” and five beings, “Very Satisfied”

CSAT scores provide a great starting point to gain insight into whether your framework is progressing or not.

On the other hand, CSI or Customer Satisfaction Index is a sub-total of all the CSAT scores gathered at various touch points. CSI allows you to compare various attributes spread across departments and identify the weaker ones.

This way, both CSAT scores, and CSI can help you mitigate risks and recommend accurate suggestions and tools to strengthen the customer satisfaction process.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction?

The holistic way to up your customer service game is a two-way approach. Conducting surveys and audits, commonly called mystery shopping.
Customer Satisfaction Survey

To provide high-quality customer service, you as a marketer, need to delve into the buyer’s psychology. And the most feasible way to do it is via CSAT surveys.
These surveys help in meeting customer expectations, reducing churn rates, improving service across all touchpoints, and analyzing the processes that might put your business in jeopardy.

You can utilize an omnichannel approach to collecting customer feedback. Ensure a customer-centric mindset so that you ask the right questions, receive feedback, and work those metrics into your internal structure.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is the process of gathering objective, unbiased feedback from a third party that enables you to determine whether your teams consistently adhere to your standards.
Contrary to its name, mystery shopping solves the mystery behind the shortfall in a satisfying customer experience.

It monitors staff performance, improves customer retention, and pinpoints the strengths & weaknesses of your policies. And if you are clever enough to use mystery shopping skilfully; it can even provide helpful intel on your competitors’ strategies.

You probably know that HS Brands provides exceptional mystery shopping services to its clients. Their skilled shoppers tactfully conduct mystery audits of the company’s services or products and provide their observations on various parameters such as staff service, ambiance, product quality, and similar contributing factors responsible for a happy customer experience.

What is better: A Customer Satisfaction Survey or Mystery Shopping?

CSAT surveys capture the customer’s feelings that mystery shopping can’t fully achieve. On the other hand, mystery shopping provides thorough information about your competitors as well as your internal functioning.

Both tools must be used in concert with one another to guarantee that you’re providing an outstanding customer experience that meets your customers’ expectations.


Customer experience is a crucial component of every flourishing company. Therefore, enhancing customer happiness should be a top priority for all businesses.

It is impossible to create a setting where your customers and staff members are content all the time. However, now that you are aware of how crucial customer satisfaction is, you can work on creating and attaining objectives for this while also ensuring that both your customers and team are treated with respect and understanding.

HS Brands aids in increasing the efficiency and quality of customer service to deliver better overall customer satisfaction. Hence, mystery shopping can be used as an effective tool to handle customer satisfaction metrics and reduce churn rates.

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Vs Customer Experience Management (CEM)​


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vs Customer Experience Management (CEM)

How is Customer Experience Management (CEM) different from Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

No matter how big or small your business, the customer is always at the center of it all. Hence, customer satisfaction is of paramount importance when it comes to increasing revenue. 

Understanding the needs and expectations of the brand helps companies improve their strategies and monitor their progress amidst the changing market trends. Two ways to monitor this customer-brand relationship are Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). People often use these terms interchangeably; however, there are monumental differences between the two procedures. 

From a layperson’s point of view, CRM talks about how a customer views the company and CEM is how a company views a customer. Today we are going to deep dive into how the two tools, despite having different objectives, affect each other and the overall company’s performance. So, let’s dive right in!

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

The concepts, procedures, and rules that a corporation adheres to while communicating with its consumers are referred to as customer relationship management (CRM).

This complete connection, as seen from the organization’s perspective, includes direct interactions with consumers, including sales and service-related procedures, forecasting, and the examination of consumer trends and habits. CRM’s goal is to improve the customer’s experience in general.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in the usage of CRM software to improve a brand’s relationship with new and existing customers.

The main purpose of CRM is to maintain consistent sales. Its entire framework is based on initiating strategic business insights in order to establish strong relationships with customers.

Aim of CRM

Lead Generation: CRM provides a range of strategies to improve a brand’s campaigns, tracking, and analytics. As a result, companies get more conversions, which helps in boosting sales. CRM guides in tracking the inconsistencies in the marketing framework.

Closing more sales: Numerous CRM software tools store zillions of consumer data, including their past shopping history with the company, which helps monitor the results and predict future projects, campaigns, etc. This saves a lot of time for the sales team and increases productivity.

Streamlined Customer Support: Customer Support is the face of any company. Structured customer support will automatically build great rapport among customers. With a good CRM system in place, the team will have all the important information to resolve a customer’s issue and therefore, deliver exemplary service. 

What is Customer Experience Management (CEM)?

It is a set of actions taken by a business to give consumers a tailored and easy experience at every touchpoint, right from a product’s manufacture to its sale. CEM ensures that every department runs smoothly and avoids any oversights. 

This system’s primary goal is to make the difference between the intended and real customer experiences that you deliver. CEM is about accumulating all this experience data, whether it be through direct feedback, reviews, surveys, or other kinds of communication, in order to comprehend consumer viewpoint, improve the customer journey, and foster brand loyalty.

Aim of CEM

User Intent: Any successful business must answer three important questions in order to become successful. Who is my target audience? What do they need? And how do I provide it to them? It is essential to monitor your customer’s behavior and tap into their psychology to understand what they are looking for. Once you find those answers, you can build a loyal customer base.

Customer Engagement: Adding a personal touch helps the companies build a bond with its customers. For example, a lot of brands send push notifications on their apps to remind users of sales, offers, renewing memberships, etc. Regular engagement acts as a reminder for the customers. 

Examine the Feedback: Receiving real-time feedback assists the brands to act on it in a timely manner and avoids future mishaps. Additionally, having a digital presence and getting input from these channels is crucial in the digital age.

Difference between CRM and CEM

So far, we have already understood that CRM is a holistic experience management strategy and CEM uses more of a customer-centric approach. Now, let us understand how both differ on other parameters:

Structural basis: CRM focuses more on catering to customer needs by establishing a customer management platform (e.g., customer support), configuring software systems, and establishing analytics tools. While, on the other hand, CEM deals with every touch-point between the company and the customer for which it builds customer-wise surveys (e.g., Mystery Shopping), feedback, company metrics, etc. 

Functional basis: CRM attempts to align internal business processes and policies with an Inside-out approach, while, CEM devises strategies and plans that shape the product and service offerings. CEM employs an outside-in approach. 

What is the role of customer experience management in CRM?

Even though typical CRM models provide a broad overview of the client contacts; they don’t provide the details as to why certain events take place the way they do. CX answers the questions here by analyzing the good and bad feedback and recalculating countless strategies so that the department focuses only on the process that improves the customer experience rather than wasting time and effort on methods that are useless. 

Therefore, we can illicit that CRM and CX go hand in hand even if they solve distinct problems, follow different protocols, adhere to different tech stacks, and utilize different data. They effectively collaborate to build durable, reliable client connections.

Mystery Shopping: A gateway to building holistic CEM strategy

A covert collection of consumer data can be used to figure out an effective CEM strategy. The reason is, mystery shopping not only helps keep a particular brand’s customer experience in check but gathers useful info on competitor’s marketing models as well. Now that is a smart way to draw comparison graphs. 

Brands can either develop their internal program or partner with external mystery shopping services (e.g., HS Brands Asia). the mystery shopping services oversee the entirety of shopper programs. This entails designing a survey with questions unique to the company, recruiting participants, checking the accuracy of completed surveys, and examining data to identify areas for improvement.


Customer satisfaction is at the core of every successful business and mapping their behavior can offer various insights into improving every aspect of the product or service. Therefore, employing effective CRM and CEM strategies would be a good plan for enhancing business acumen. 

Since customer experience is a multi-faceted process; the addition of mystery shopping audits helps businesses plunge into the psyche of their customers and make shopping a delightful experience for them.

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How is marketing intelligence useful in marketing research?


How is marketing intelligence useful in marketing research?

If you are a business owner or even remotely interested in the market, you might have heard the terms market research and market intelligence. And, often, people mistake the two as the same thing. However, they are far from being similar. For starters, marketing research is a sub-category of marketing intelligence. 

While marketing research is a primary focus for larger, established firms, market intelligence is equally important for start-ups, small businesses, and organizations servicing specific industries.

And, marketing intelligence is highly useful in increasing your business revenue. In this blog, you will find out how marketing intelligence, when clubbed with market research, helps you stand out.

Marketing intelligence vs Marketing Research

Before we deep dive into the interdependent nature of the two, let’s understand the basic difference between marketing intelligence and marketing research.

Market intelligence provides a detailed report on the changing market as a whole. On the other hand, market research derives company-specific knowledge pertaining to the company’s target audience, consumer behavior, and the success or failure of a company-specific strategy.

Market intelligence is market-specific. Its goal lies in analyzing changing market trends around the world, competitors’ strategies, customer behavior, and future prospects in the industry. It is a constant process because the market is ever-changing; it wouldn’t stop functioning if your business decides to take a vacation. Hence, constantly gathering market info is necessary.

On the contrary, market research is consumer-centric; it analyses the company-specific strategies, a customer’s response to the said strategy, consumer behavior, their response, etc. Market research is beneficial in determining whether a new product or service will be profitable in the long run or not. It relies on the consumer’s response to identify pitfalls and rectify them.

How are marketing intelligence and marketing research interrelated?

Marketing research and intelligence work together to optimize your product or service for the marketplace.

Let’s say you’ve got a new product idea, and want to make sure it will be successful on the market. You could start by conducting market research to gather information about who your target audience is, what they need from your product and how much they are willing to pay.

Once you have this kind of information in hand, you can use marketing intelligence tools like predictive analytics software to analyze all that data. For example, by using a statistical model that tells us “85% of my target audience will buy this if I price it at 4500 INR” or “The best way to get more traffic is by improving my SEO ranking on Google Search results page.”

Competitive intelligence and its impact on market research 

As the name suggests, competitive intelligence involves collecting and analyzing a company’s competitor’s data over various parameters.

Out of all the types of marketing intelligence, this has been known to generate the most traction. By gathering numerous data from credited and uncredited sources, you can keep track of your competitor’s next move and also plan ahead to build effective strategies to mitigate risks before they get out of hand. This also helps you dive deeper into consumer behavior.

How does Marketing Intelligence help in Marketing Research?

So far, you would’ve probably understood that both need to work in synergy to outshine your competitors. Now let’s focus on how market intelligence is helpful in market research.

It Aids in competitor analysis which encourages you to make informed decisions for your product or service.

It Helps you understand the company’s potential to grow in the face of fluctuating market trends.

It Helps you strategize better.

It Helps your company makes decisions by guiding it through the market’s noise.

It Offers a consistent flow of data on the target market, the competitive landscape, consumer trends, and particular buyer profiles.

It Enhances the position of your business by assisting with the correct project investments and loss prevention.

Because of this infallible marketing tool, even traditional marketers are switching to new strategies. Additionally, the rise of AI-enabled marketing analytics tools has ensured faster growth in less time. Thus, in order to grow your business, it is only relevant that you employ ideal marketing tactics.


Both marketing intelligence & marketing research is invaluable to a business and its optimization strategies. It can help you understand your customers better, discover new opportunities and make more informed decisions. Market intelligence data gives you a better understanding of the marketplace as well as how your company stacks up against competitors. 

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How to Use Market Intelligence for Your Small Business?


How To Use Mystery Shopping ​

In order to stay ahead of the curve, small-scale businesses must stay updated with industry trends. Nowadays, everything is data-driven and with the right framework, this data can be used to your advantage by proper analysis, structure, and assessment.

 That’s where market intelligence comes into play. Market intelligence is collecting and analyzing all the market-relevant data suitable for your business and driving valuable insights to drive more sales and improve business standards. Having a proper marketing intelligence system provides your business with a competitive edge over your competitors and provides a comprehensive understanding of the changing consumer landscape. 


What Is The Difference Between Market Intelligence, Business Intelligence, And Market Research?


Whenever any organization does sales-oriented campaigning, people often confuse these three terms and use them interchangeably. However, there is a minute difference between all three and it lies in their ultimate objective.  Market research focuses on the initiatives of a particular business and aids in the specific area of campaigns, but doesn’t take outside issues into consideration.  Business intelligence, on the other hand, collects data from various business operations in order to increase the productivity of the organization.

The aim of market intelligence is to collect information from multiple sources and provide a broader perspective on the company’s current market. It helps the company navigate its course of action, and evaluates its sales, customers, and product pricing. Moreover, it makes it convenient to spot competitors’ flaws. Market intelligence is a great way to understand emerging trends and incorporate them into a company’s strategy.

How to effectively use market intelligence for small businesses?

Make a Marketing Person: Creating a detailed fictional account of your potential customers will help you connect with them and their needs. It will allow your team to gain insights into potential customers and help them create directive strategies for different age groups. Building an emotional relationship with the buyer will help your company sustain itself in the longer run.

Establish a Sales Team: A skillful sales team for B2B and B2C audiences will keep regular tabs on customer behavior, market trends, and competitor progress. They will be able to provide a precise analysis of where your company is lacking and if there is room for improvement.

Invest in the right marketing analytics tool: Getting an appropriate marketing analytics tool would help the company in optimizing its campaigning, aid in focusing on the essential touch points, and gain helpful customer insight, cost acquisition, and current demographics. Using the right tools will make your company the center of attention.

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How to improve poor customer experience?


The Forgotten Side of Mystery Shopping

Every company that leverages the customer-centricity model to grow its brand must consider customer satisfaction to be of paramount importance. Poor service can negatively impact your brand’s identity, affect the customer retention rate, and push away potential buyers. It would also become an easy aid for your competitors to snatch your loyal customers.

What is Bad Customer Service?

When a customer feels that their expectations are not met and they cannot see any possible sign of redemption for the inconvenience, it is considered a poor customer experience. Long waiting hours, complicated automated systems instead of a human agent; rude behavior from the staff, inconvenient return policies, lack of discounts, and minimal to zero feedback response are a few examples of poor customer experience.

Consequences of bad customer experience:

When your customer service is below par, customers are not going to hang on to your brand. In today’s digital world, people are quick to voice their opinions on social media, and it is only going to take a few clicks to tarnish your brand image. It could impact your revenue generation for an indefinite period.

According to Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers”, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience. Almost 78% of customers back out of a purchase due to poor service, and 65% of customers change to a different brand soon after. All this data is a testament to how essential it is to cater to your customer’s needs and build brand loyalty. Failing to do so would only lead to poor revenue generation and losing even regular customers.

How can I improve bad customer service:

Regarding customer service, time is of the essence. Data suggests that a response within 10 minutes of their query is extremely important and drastically impacts sales figures.

  • Reduce the response time: In today’s fast-paced world, no one is waiting for no one; a furious customer surely would not wait either. As stated previously, a 10-minute response time is crucial to establishing trust and gaining loyalty from them. 

Devising a framework consisting of a proactive support team with quick responses would work far more efficiently than any sales funnel.

  • Empathize with your customers: Everyone wants to feel seen and heard. Adding a personal touch would greatly improve a customer’s perception of your brand and they would be quick to spread the news of good service through word-of-mouth publicity. Treat your customer how you would want to be treated.

Reviewing the customer’s background, understanding their query, and a sincere apology with good compensation would certainly improve the customer-brand relationship.

  • Declutter your communication channels: A complicated automated system with unclear instructions tends to frustrate customers. Additionally, a poor social media presence fails to connect with people. In a world where everyone is digitally connected, it is crucial to cater to the needs of every age group, especially in the retail industry.

Direct call support and chat support can make a huge difference regarding query resolution since some customers do not prefer automated systems.

  • Take good care of your support team: A poor work environment could be one of the reasons for poor customer support. If your staff is overworked and underpaid, why would they be concerned with fixing any issue? This would also pose a threat to your efficiency since there is a higher chance of your employees leaving the company for better pay.

A customer service team is your backbone and has a huge impact on almost every other aspect of the company. Taking good care of your customer service team means taking good care of your overall sales model.

Pay attention to what the team needs and try to find ways to improve it. Build a healthy work environment and reward employees for their hard work. A happy employee results in a happy customer.

  • Build evaluation models: Reviewing and evaluating your marketing strategies can help identify any weaknesses and resolve them in a timely manner. Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test out their business models and to understand customer perceptions.

Conducting routine audits helps analyze your marketing strategy, customer experience, analysis of any new framework, and helps improve sales. Apart from this, you can use the customer satisfaction score and NPS (Net Promoter Score) to assess the customer’s needs and make necessary changes.

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HS Brands Asia Retail Audits: Types, Importance, and Process


What are the Best Tools for Conducting Market Research