Client: LimoLand - a casual luxury clothing brand
Team: Launch Collective
Goal: Launch Collective was contracted to establish a new clothing brand with an e-commerce presence and a retail presence. I set out understand the value of a potential retail storefront. Initially requested to count the total number of people that pass the target storefront location and the number of people that enter adjacent storefronts.
Approach & Process:
To understand user flows in physical space for the opening of this casual luxury brand's first retail store, we looked beyond price per square foot. The immediate locale was examined by counting foot traffic and documenting people's shopping patterns.
I stood outside with a flip
camera in my pocket, noting the number of people that entered three
nearby stores and the number of people that passed by the target
There were questions beyond "Is the potential retail space in the client's budget?" To determine if this location was the right opportunity, we asked "Are SoHo shoppers the right type of shoppers?" "What type of shoppers gravitate to nearby stores, and how do they behave?"
Instead of just a total figure of the number of the people that entered neighboring stores, and passed the target location. Statistics were compiled on a blackberry every 15 minutes to get higher resolution.
To gain a deeper understanding into what type of person is a "SoHo shopper", when someone's behavior was eye catching I would note the time on my blackberry and type a description of the person walking by and their actions. Having noted the start time of the video recording, I was able to use the time highlights from my blackberry to find that specific time on the video track. This method provided access to image and sound that was captured in the field to be analyzed at the desk.
Addendum & notes on research methods:
In the end, a one page spreadsheet of foot traffic was provided accompanied by text notes of qualitative analysis and two hour long HD videos.
How to improve this type of research method
Researcher being present:
In the field, people can see the red icon of the camera, providing feedback that they are being observed, possibly causing them to act differently than they normally would. During this research effort, one shop keep and two people passing by clearly noticed this.
The temperature was low enough to effect people's behavior - assumptions can be made that the foot traffic would certainly increase during spring and summer temperatures, but behavior may not scale linearly.
Launch & Orbit
The Launch Collective team further develop the LimoLand brand and later opened LimoLand's first store in the West Village.