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Saturday, September 18, 2021

JD Sports Adapting to Pandemic Becomes Global Success Story

Sports-retail giant JD Sports Fashion Plc. is passionate about customer experiences. Since it was founded 30 years ago, it has been building a seamless omnichannel experience, across all its territories and brands.

It claims it has become the largest omnichannel sports-retailer in the world with more than 2,600 stores across 19 countries, and more than $8.5 billion in revenue. What makes JD Sports different from other retailers who have struggled during the pandemic is its commitment to invest in innovation and customer experience.

JD Sports is an international, multi-brand business. Driven by a customer-centric philosophy. It identified the need for an Order Management System (OMS) that could handle this complexity and make it easy for the business to reuse fulfillment rules and processes across their brands, but still tailor those rules and processes to meet the needs of each individual brand.

It chose the Fluent Order Management platform for the job. The ability to share location and networks, as well as catalogs and inventory across all territories and brands enabled JD Sports to do cross-region fulfillment and cross-brand merchandising.

JD Sports has a multichannel proposition that enhances its relevance to consumers and has the agility to progress in an environment where the retailing of international brands may see permanent global structural change.

Rapid Expansion

Speed was a key factor in JD Sports’ expansion plans. With Fluent Order Management it could create reusable templates for business rules and processes and use them as the base for each new location or brand. The templates were easily modified to suit each division.

When COVID-19 forced many retailers to shut their doors, JD Sports had to adapt its fulfillment strategy. A close working partnership with Fluent Commerce enabled JD Sports to respond rapidly in these ways:

  • Ship from Store – With Ship from Store, JD Sports was able to fulfill orders using stores as delivery depots. This let it move store stock despite closures by turning physical stores into dark stores that could ship goods directly to customers.
  • Fluent Order Management gave JD Sports total visibility of their entire inventory. It also provided the flexibility to add or remove stores from their distribution network as needed. As a result, stock was released from stores instead of sitting on shelves and growing stale. This led to more sales and more revenue for JD Sports.
  • Digitized In-Store and Online Returns – While JD Sports saw an increase in ecommerce sales, it also resulted in more returns of online orders. To make this process more efficient JD wanted to improve its return process. Using Fluent Order Management, JD Sports was able to implement an automated seamless returns solution. This meant customers could initiate returns online without the need for a printer, and it offered them a better in-store returns experience. Using Fluent Order Management JD Sports was able to turn Click and Collect on or off for individual stores in minutes. This flexibility allowed the company to respond to customer demands as well as a changing trading environment at an unprecedented speed.
  • Cross Brand Merchandising – With an increased demand for sporting equipment such as bicycles, JD Sports saw an opportunity. It could sell bikes stocked by one part of its business on the website of another. Because all its stock locations can be shared across all brands, it was able to update its fulfillment logic to support cross brand sales in a matter of weeks. This enabled JD Sports to maximize sales and better meet customers’ needs.

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