JD Sports Fashion Plc is the leading retailer and distributor of branded sports and fashion wear. With more than 900 stores in the UK and across Europe the group prides itself on providing its customers with the latest products from the very best brands.
With a mission of delighting their customers' in-store shopping experience the retailer wanted to put a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) in place which should provide for a smoother, more effortless and effective check-out process. Customers can pay directly with their sales representative which allows them to avoid long queues at the tills.
ThoughtWorks partnered with JD Sports on this with the goal of getting a minimum viable product (MVP) out rapidly so the mobile point-of-sale could be tested in the market and then improved based on first-hand feedback from the customers. Given 25% of all transactions within JD Sports are footwear which are paid for using a card, the retailer decided to initially roll-out to the footwear department only, with the possibility of extension into other areas of the business at a later point in time.
Using lean start up principles the team identified a long list of potential functionalities and collectively decided to tackle one of the hardest challenges around acquiring bank accreditation. The team worked with Barclaycard and Ingenico to ensure that these payment standards were met without which nothing could be put live.
After six weeks of development, the MVP was introduced to the market in October 2013, was successfully piloted in 6 stores and is now used in over 30 outlets across the UK, with the roll-out to be continued into 2014.
Looking out, there are further functionalities that the mobile point-of-sale is enabled to support. Examples are delivery to home, returns or identification of stock in other stores.
“We are consistently looking to add value to our customer experience and as everyone is time poor we felt reducing queuing time would be a significant benefit to our customers. Using technology which we now know to be pretty innovative has added that option to some of our busiest stores across the UK”
"By taking the lean start up approach we tackled the hardest things first and produced the simplest application possible so that JD Sports could get into the challenging bank accreditation process. This helped to resolve core payment security, before moving on to richer customer facing functionality. Typically this kind of project would have taken several months and cost six figure sums. We were done in weeks"