The Challenge
Empirica Research offers a unique range of next generation consumer and social research for its clients in the US and Australia.

The challenge for Empirica was to provide a research solution for SKINS that:
–  allowed for a ‘being in the moment’ as women were about to exercise
–  was a cost-effective way of gathering feedback and photographs from 250 women
–  provided insight to the way in which women approach exercise, exercise clothing and health/fitness.

The Solution 
In an effort to meet his challenge, The Realise Group, Australia’s leading customer experience measurement company, recommended Empirica consider a solution utilising its Field Agent™ iPhone technology.

Field Agent™ was best suited to this SKINS project as it provides a fast and affordable way of collecting responses (rating and open-ended questions) and photographs that are quickly and easily uploaded by respondents.

Empirica could have conducted the survey for SKINS, but that would have not captured the ‘in the moment’ data needed. Alternatively, Empirica could have conducted qualitative home-visits, but that would have been time and cost prohibitive. Respondents could have been asked to take photographs and email them or upload them to a website – but then the burden is on the respondent and this method would also have required a much higher incentive payment. Therefore, using Field Agent™ gave advantages that other research methods could not offer.

Using Field Agent™:
–  ‘in the moment’ thoughts, feelings and photographs can be collected as women are about to embark on an exercise session (at a time that suits them)
–  Agents can easily take and upload photographs providing Empirica with easily and immediately accessible images online.

The Project
For the project, SKINS needed data and insight into what women wear for exercise. To do this, 250 women were asked to complete a short survey on their iPhone using the Field Agent™ App. To qualify for the survey, the women had to be aged between 18 and 40 and had to exercise at least twice a week.

The survey covered a range of topics:
–  demographic and lifestyle information
–  understanding what types of exercise the women take part in – and how often they exercise
–  their general motivations for exercising
–  their purchase habits when it comes to exercise gear
–  fitness role models and inspirations
–  how they feel ‘right now’ – as they are about to embark on their exercise session
–  gathering photographs of what they were wearing for that exercise session.

The Results
Empirica and SKINS received invaluable research data from the latest Field Agent™ technology. First it was a quick and cost-effective way of gathering data from women who exercise. Second, insight of how the female exercisers approaches her clothing choices was gathered by coding photographs for style, type and colour.

Sample Shopper Photos

 Female, 26 years, unfit, walking, no children, postcode 3175

Female, 29 years, extremely fit, power walking, no children, postcode 4802

Female, 21 years, fitness: somewhere in the middle, body pump, children, postcode 2197

Female, 24 years, fitness: some-where in the middle, eliptical, no children, postcode 2037

Female, 31 years, healthy, Wii workout, children, postcode 3224
Cassie Govan, Founding Partner, Empirica Research

“By using Field Agent™ we were able to collect data and photos from 250 women in one week and with a cost that would be comparable to a 10-minute online survey!”
General Manager, SKINS Australia & NZ

“The Field Agent™ App gave us a unique insight into what women wear exercising. Not only were we able to capture survey responses just as they were about to do their exercise session, but we were also able to easily have them take photographs of what they were wearing. This type of ‘in the moment’ data collection is usually cost and time prohibitive – but with Field Agent™ it was quick and cost-effective”.

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