Kensington E-Commerce Redesign


Kensington Market is one of Toronto’s most unique neighbourhoods. The overall charm of the market comes from its wonderful diversity through the eclectic mix of vintage clothing stores, grocers, fresh produce, cafes and restaurants.

The Problem:

While the popularity of shopping local is steadily growing, local shops are losing a significant amount of retail sales to other online retailers and retail giants. Independent retailers in Canada (both large and small) have a poor online presence, making Canada a prime target for foreign retailers. The way consumers shop is changing. Along with increased purchases being made online, dollars are increasingly “digitally influenced” through product research and deal comparisons online. There is a growing concern that Canadians will lose interest in shopping local as people are being drawn online more and more.

Goals: To increase sales of boutique shops within Kensington Market.

The overall goal is to increase sales within the boutique shops of Kensington Market. I decided that an e-commerce component of the site would increase sales as it would provide the independent retailers a place to digitally sell their wares, as well as provide information of goods to customers. The challenge here is that the e-commerce platform must capture the essence and charm of physically visiting the market as that is what customers value most from the Kensington experience.



The research portion was completed by conducting 4 in-person interviews, an affinity diagram and domain research.

Interview Script and Questions:

Screener Questions:
Hi there, we are doing some research on the shopping habits of Torontonians. Would you mind if we ask you a few questions? Thank you.

1) How do you prefer to shop? Circle all that apply
a. Big Box Stores
b. Independent Stores
c. Online

2) How often do you shop online? Choose one
a. Everyday
b. Once a week
c. Multiple times/week
d. Once a month
e. Multiple times/month
f. Few times/year
g. I don’t shop online

3) With what device do you do the majority of your online shopping?
a. Desktop only
b. Mobile only
c. Tablet only
d. Desktop & Mobile
e. Desktop & Tablet
f. Mobile & Tablet
g. Desktop & Mobile & Tablet

4) How much is your average online purchase?
a. Under $25
b. Between $25-$100
c. Between $100 — $1000
d. Over $1000

5) Of the five, which of the following items are you likely to purchase most online?
a. Clothing and Accessories
b. Beauty and Health Products
c. Food
d. Electronics
e. Crafts
f. Books
g. Household items

Full Interview:

Hi there, my name is Stephanie, I’m on the Research and Data Analysis team here at Flancrest Enterprises and we’ve asked you here today in order to assist our Application Development Team. We’re looking to create a platform that best serves a growing market and would love some information on your general lifestyle, hobbies, habits and your use of technology. If you are uncomfortable with any of the questions, please feel free not to answer them. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for taking the time to assist the Flancrest Enterprise team today!

1) What is your name? Age?
2) What is your average household income?
a. < $30,000
b. $30,000 — $50,000
c. $50,000 — $75,000
d. $75,000 — $100,000
e. > $100,000
3) What do you do for a living?
4) Where do you live? Type of dwelling?
5) Why do you live there?
6) What are your hobbies?
7) What are your biggest pet peeves? Why?
8) How would you describe yourself?
9) What does an average day look like?
10) How comfortable are you with technology?
11) Where do you like to shop? Ex. Grocery, Clothing stores, bookstores, etc.
12) Do you have any brand affiliations?
13) What do you like about online shopping?
14) Do you have any pet peeves about online shopping? What are they?
15) What is your favourite e-commerce site/online store? Why?
16) What is your least favourite e-commerce site/online store? Why?
17) What is the most useful e-commerce site/online store that you use? Why?
18) How do you prefer to pay online? (paypal, credit card, etc?)
19) Would you make online purchases from independent retailers? Why/Why not?
20) Have you ever visited Kensington Market in Toronto?
21) If no, why have you not visited? Would you like to visit in the future?
22) If yes, what was your experience like?
23) What did you like about the experience?
24) What did you not like about the experience?
25) Have you ever been on the Kensington Market website?
26) Would you like to have ecommerce availability (make online purchases from) for the stores in Kensington Market? Why?
27) Would you like to add any information about your online shopping experiences that wasn’t covered in these questions? Please list below

Affinity Diagram:

From the interviews I was able to gather that Kensington shoppers would rather physically go to the market to experience what it has to offer, however shoppers would appreciate the e-commerce availability under time constraints as well as inventory listings to maximize shopping efficiency.

User Personas/User Scenarios/User Stories:

Persona #1:

Persona #2:


E-commerce Site Map:
The new E-commerce component will be part of the exisiting Kensington website. It is mapped out below. In addition to having a checkout process, I created a Wish List in order for users to curate a list of products to purchase while physically at Kensington Market. To note: all product pages will be able to pin to Pinterest in order for users to add to their Pinterest pages.

New Site Map for Kensington Market
Main landing page for new Kensington Market website

A clickable prototype of the Kensington Market E-Commerce redesign can be found here:

The testing user will be a frugal shopper in their early 50’s who wants to update their wardrobe but also wants to be able to compare prices online. She is very familiar with the market and has frequented it many times. She is not as interested in completing her purchase online but is very interested in curating a list of shopping items to pick up while at the market in person.

Use testing goals should include

  • Searching for an item
  • Browsing for an item
  • Creating a Wish List to take to Kensington Market to shop in person
  • Checking out and purchasing selected item/items


By creating an e-commerce experience for the Kensington Market shopper we realized that online purchasing wasn’t the main goal of most users. It turned out that most shoppers would rather gather information of available items on the website as opposed to online shopping, which is exactly why the wish list feature was imperative.