In-home product testing is a great way to try out products before they are released on the market. Companies will send you a sample of a new product and then ask for your feedback in return.
Often, participants are asked to use the product for as long as they normally would. This allows for more detailed, realistic feedback and data than a laboratory setting can provide.
The Future of Market Research and Consumer Feedback
In-home product testing, also known as HUTs (also called IHUT or Home Usage Test), is a market research technique where the products are tested in the consumers’ natural environment. In comparison to hall tests where participants go to a central location to try out the products, this method is more affordable and gives a more realistic idea of how people might react to them in their daily lives.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers are being pushed harder than ever to deliver accurate and insightful solutions in less time with smaller budgets. This puts more pressure on market research teams to innovate, streamline and automate their work.
One way to do that is by using technology to automate review analysis. However, this is only part of the story – smart, flexible market researchers are still needed to teach and empower clients. This means mastering new technologies, bringing human foresight to the process, and creating bold, story-led, consultative insights.
Getting Real-World Feedback
One of the best ways to gather in-depth product feedback is by conducting an in-home usage test (IHUT) with your target market. IHUTs are ideal for any type of brand, whether they’re developing a new skincare product or a new outdoor power tool.
The in home product testing method of market research involves sending participants a variety of products that they can easily order and then use at home. Then, after a certain amount of time, they’re asked to provide feedback via online surveys or telephone interviews (or both).
By gathering in-the-moment feedback, IHUTs can help businesses develop products that customers want and need. It’s important to understand what motivates consumers and how they interact with a product in a real-world setting so that you can make the right improvements before it hits the shelves. IHUTs can also give a much more accurate sense of how well your product will perform once it’s released to the public. This helps your business minimize costly mistakes before launching a new product.
Getting Real-World Insights
Testing physical products with consumers at home gives you the opportunity to see how the product is actually used. It allows you to understand what the product looks, smells, tastes, and feels like to your intended consumer. It provides you with the best-informed, most realistic feedback and insights for your product.
This type of research is particularly useful for CPG products, e.g. foods and beverages, cleaning products, and tools. In the past, CPG companies relied on focus groups and surveys to gather information about their products.
To conduct an IHUT, you will need to recruit respondents who meet your requirements, typically through a screener or through a panel that is already established (market research firms often maintain such panels). Your participants will be sent the product and asked to provide feedback on their experiences using it at home. This is done at regular intervals throughout the test period, which can range from a week to months depending on your specific product.
Getting Real-World Data
In-home product testing is one of the most popular market research methodologies available. Whether you have a prototype or a finished product ready for market, this method can help you get valuable feedback that will save you time and money when launching your products.
You can test just about anything with an IHUT – from cosmetics and cleaning products to OTC medicines, toys, and even power tools. Having participants test your products in their home environment means that you’ll be able to see how they are used and the impact of different environments on their usage.
To conduct an IHUT, you’ll need to recruit participants for the study. This can be done using an online screener that filters for specific criteria such as age, location, or gender. Alternatively, you can work with an experienced qualitative recruiting company to build your recruitment screens and contact list for the project. Once the participants have been recruited they will receive a product to use in their homes. You’ll then follow up with them via online survey (message board, diaries, or focus groups), or by phone.