Creating the ultimate Shopping Experience with ServiceNow

Most people think the ultimate shopping experience is created by combining a fab shop interior with an appealing product display. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Besides visual stimuli, the ultimate shopping experience stimulates all senses – from smell, touch to taste. It should also be a safe experience, and, perhaps most importantly, we don’t want to wait. Queing for checkouts or inventory checks have a negative impact on the overall shopping experience. So, what are retailers doing to provide the ultimate in-store shopping experience? They are investing in all kinds of advanced technologies.


Having all these technologies installed is one thing, but you also need to maintain them to ensure everything keeps working. After all, when you have seduced your customer to make a purchase, it’s quite important that your Point of Sale device – cash register or payment terminal – actually works.


Availability of technology

Let’s investigate how important availability of technology is for a retailer. Let’s assume a fictive apparel retail chain called Fashion Flavors owns 100 shops with an average turnover of € 1000 per hour. A retail survey from 2018 by Accelerated Concepts showed that 81% of surveyed retailers incurred an outage at least once a year. This study also revealed that 87% of retailers have to wait 4 hours for support. For Fashion Flavors, this means they could lose more than € 300.000. Imagine what this will cost if you own 1000 shops or more! In other words: improving the availability of critical technical retail technology has a very obvious business case.


ServiceNow to the rescue

What is needed here is a next generation Retail Service Management solution. In close collaboration with one of our customers, we built a prototype that ensures critical retail shop components and services are constantly monitored by ServiceNow. Our solution combines the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and several ServiceNow modules, which are:


  • IT Operations Management (ITOM)
    Records critical components in the CMDB and supports Event Management.
  • Customer Service Management (CSM)
    Streamlines interaction between retail managers and the retail Service Center.
  • IT Service Management (ITSM)
    Keeps track and quickly remediates any incidents that could be resolved remotely.
  • Field Service Management (FSM)
    Helps to dispatch Field Service Engineers to fix any technical failures on-site.
  • Workplace Service Delivery (WSD)
    Allows you to capture and manage non-IT retail assets and associated maintenance contracts.


Top 5 lessons learned

Leveraging ServiceNow for the retail sector has left us with a couple of valuable lessons learned that we’d like to share:


  1. ServiceNow is a great Retail Service Management solution
    Was this a surprise to us? No. We already implemented ServiceNow for a pan-European Retail Service Provider for similar use cases back in 2015. However, leveraging the latest modules and integrating ServiceNow with an IoT platform did open our eyes about future possibilities and how quickly we can build a tailored retail solution.


  1. Data model interpretation for on-site maintenance of facility assets is complex
    On-site maintenance of certain facility assets like HVAC equipment, CCTV security systems and other exclusive technologies is usually done by local partners. It requires setting up a rather complex data model to ensure Service Agents know directly which maintenance partner to contact in case of an outage. With each maintenance partner having its own SLAs, Vendor Management quickly becomes a challenge. The challenge was not in putting the data model in place, but in making this data easily interpretable.


  1. Now Mobile too costly for use by external maintenance parties
    Another complexity arose in relation to the great extent retailers rely on external maintenance parties. It involved providing them with work instructions and tracking task completion. Although ServiceNow’s mobile app is great for internal use by Field Engineers, it would have become a costly solution to make it available to all external suppliers. We concluded that simple integrations with supplier systems (REST or mail) were needed to make the solution cost-effective.


  1. Floor plan feature in WSD is great for retail
    ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery contains a floor plan feature that appeared very useful for retail. It enabled us to easily load shop floor plans and plot assets on the map, empowering retail managers with easy reporting on asset issues without having to look for the asset ID.


  1. Integrated IoT capabilities are the way forward
    Since 2018, we are executing experiments and projects on behalf of customers related to connecting ServiceNow to IoT platforms. We soon found out that pouring loads of IoT data directly into ServiceNow is not a feasible solution. Since then, we have been closely monitoring developments of ServiceNow Now-X (future products) and are very excited about what’s ahead. Although a connection to AWS or Azure is easily done, adding a native IoT component to the ServiceNow platform would make the solution even more powerful and faster to implement.


Recognize this?

If you are a retailer who has made heavy technology investments to create the ultimate in-store shopping experience, do contact us. We can help you safeguard the availability of the technology you’ve just purchased.

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Contact person

Elmer de Valk, CEO of Plat4mation Elmer de Valk
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
+31 (0)30 76 02 670 Get in touch

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