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JD Sports is latest British retailer to add PayPal mobile payments

The move to offer PayPal as a payment option brings JD Sports in line with Coast, Karen Millen and Sports Direct. Adding mobile payments is a trend others will follow in 2014.

“Retailers that don’t offer a purchasing option through the app or mobile site will be left behind,” said Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research, Hampshire, Britain. “It really is that simple.”

“Mobile is increasingly being utilized by retailers as a means of marrying their digital and physical assets – both in terms of driving footfall to the retail outlet, but also offering additional payment channels,” he said. “In some cases, it may not be convenient for the consumer to physically go to the store – if the retailer doesn’t offer a remote payment option that allows the consumer to buy when they like, then they will miss out.”

Mr. Holden is not affiliated with JD Sports. He commented based on his expertise.

JD Sports declined to comment for this article.

Bringing the best
JD Sports was founded in 1981 and its stores sell sports footwear, clothing and accessories from adidas Originals, Nike, McKenzie, Lacoste, Carbrini Sportswear and K-Swiss, among others.

On its Facebook page, JD Sports states its mission as: “Bringing you the best of the best gear from the best of the best brands.”

Before Christmas, as part of its #JDSANTA competition on Facebook, consumers could win a 1,000 pound JD gift card to spend at the JD Sports store by paying with PayPal online, via mobile or in-store, and also by going to Twitter and tweeting to @JDsportsfashion with #JDSanta.

Since the holidays passed, there have been no regular posts on either JD Sports’ Facebook or Twitter sites promoting PayPal.

Sponsored ads on Facebook and Twitter have been lucrative for some brands and retailers.

Social networks enable retailers to connect with a younger demographic of consumers who tend to frequent these sites.

In July, United States sporting goods retailer Sports Unlimited partnered with Unbound Commerce to create a new mobile site and enable customers to complete purchases using payment types such as PayPal (see story).

JD Sports Facebook page

Partnering with PayPal
JD Sports opted to partner with PayPal, which marketers use because of the company’s established reputation as a credible and trustworthy payment option.

“PayPal is a high-profile, trusted brand, so these are key elements from a consumer perspective,” Mr. Holden said. “There is a huge demand for mobile payments, both via the handset and via the tablet.

“Combined, these two channels account for more than 20 percent of online retail sales in a number of key markets, such as the U.S. and [Britain] – within five years, these proportions are expected to approach 50 percent,” he said.

JD Sports offers PayPal mobile payments on its apps, which can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store or Google Play.

JD Sports also offers PayPal payment on its mobile Web site, online and in-store.

Providing mobile payments may help JD Sports better serve its customer base.

“The key for retailers is to optimize the retail experience from the consumer perspective, allowing the consumer to buy how they want when they want,” Mr. Holden said. “Adding a mobile payment/engagement channel can only add to that experience.”

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York